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[APD] Re: Large water changes

Robert H. wrote:

> Large water changes DO put
> stress on fish. It can even trigger ICH, particularly if a newbie is
> not carefull with the temp change It could also trigger Cryp melt. You
> would be changing water chemistry, hardness, pH... frequent large
> water changes can interfere with spawning.

My experience in keeping fish for nearly eight years doesn't agree 
with your assertions, Robert.  I was doing large water changes (up to 
90%) as frequently as every 3 days on my fish tanks even before I 
started growing plants, and it has never caused any problems...quite 
the opposite.  I have more than a few fishes that get excited and 
race around the tank when they see me coming with the hoses and then 
frolick in the stream of fresh water as it comes in.  Is that a sign 
of stress?

I quit using heaters in my tanks when I quit keeping them in my 
parents' basement where ambient temp could drop below 60F, and I 
never heat my change water...just let it come up to room temp.  
Temperatures regularly swing several degrees F in my tanks, and I've 
never had a fish die or get sick because of it.

I've never had a fish develop Ich....ever.  That problem has 
everything to do with the quality of the fish and fish shop that you 
choose, and nothing to do with the water itself.

pH also fluctuates in my tanks...though only a few tenths of a point. 
Change water from the tap is usually a full pH point above the water 
in my planted tanks, but that has not proven to be harmful either as 
the tank pH recovers to its prior level quickly.

The 4 species of Crypts I've kept only melt when there is a large 
fluctuation in nitrate levels (maybe other nutrients too).

Try to spawn Corydoras, Otocinclus, or a variety of other species 
without using a significant amount of cool water as a trigger.  Doubt 
you'd have much success.

Anyway, generalizations are dangerous (and we all are probably guilty 
of them from time to time).  I think the success or failure of large 
water changes (or use of tap water in general) boils down to the 
quality of the water supply.  Some folks might indeed have trouble 
with their tap water, and that's why I think it's a good idea for 
everyone to *know* their source water.
Chuck Huffine
Knoxville, Tennessee

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