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Re: [APD] High water evaporation in a planted aquarium


Some will disagree with me, but in theory, if you use reverse osmosis water
which is like laboratory standard of chemical purity, then you can keep a
tank on good order by adding water and separately add trace elements and
essential minerals to it and not taking away anything except for excess
vegetation. However if you are adding 5 galls of TAPWATER a week you cant,
as the amount of dissolved mineral is gradually increasing because the
plants do not use minerals in the same proportions that they exist in water
table water. They take what they need and leave the rest and in a hard water
area that is a lot of alkaline material, eg the fur in a kettle, so you are
gradually turning your fish tank into a soda lake. In a soft water area it
is less pronounced but still happens that mineral content builds up, though
snails will extract a little calcium again they dont do it for your sake so
the remaining minerals will never be entirely balanced and wholesome.

If you do not have RO or vacuum distillation to get chemically pure water
then you have to dilute the soda lake effect by removing some of it and
replacing it with fresh or suffer the consequences. In a hard water Rift
Valley Cichlid setup or with brackish water species you might get away with
it for quite a long time but inevitably you would need to change the water.

With RO or distilled water you can add the water without changing but the
plants will remove elements needed for growth which are dissolved naturally
in tapwater so you have to add those too, but if you know what to add it can
be done. However a syphon is usually the best way to get gunk off the floor
and unless you have a peat based tank and great plant growth you cant ignore
gunk aka mulm due to unsightliness and nitrate increase, so people have to
do at least a small a water change anyway usually to remove mulm.

I agree though it would in principle be feasable to create a self sustaining
tank if you add the right stuff and have pure water and a lower fish
density, which is the direction I have gone in to reduce the demands of my
main tank and it works up to a point, but I only do that when I am unable to
give it the attention I would like to for various reasons, it has gone upto
3+ months between changes. I keep rummy noses which are very sensitive to
water quality and have had the same half a dozen in there for the last 3
years. But I have a Purity on Tap RO unit which provides me with 6 gallons a
day of absolutely pure water which is continually conditioned in a heated
airated reservoir, plus CO2 addition, plus 480 Watts of mercury lighting to
keep the plants alive and I used hornwort (which is the Bruce Willis of
aquarium plants ie Die Hard) as a nitrate extractor. I am not trying to put
you off just let you know you cant just go ahead with it without the RO as
otherwise you might ruin your tank.


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