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[APD] RE:Crypt rot and water changes

> --- Vaughn Hopkins <hoppy1 at surewest_net> wrote:
> I have been reading past posts about the desirability of
> frequent large 
> water changes.  . . . So, my obvious question is, if you
> do 50% water 
> changes weekly, do you also risk having more crypt rot? 
> I have given 
> up on crypts due to my past experience, but I really
> would like to keep 
> growing them in my new tank, when I finally get it set
> up.

Water change is not the issue, dramatic changes and allowing a plant to
acclimate tend to be the reason.
Similar to a change in the seasons.
If someone has not done a water change for a long time period, often there
is a substantial build up of waste and DOC in the water, a large water
change can bring the plants to melt in that case. Similarly, changing a new
light bulb will do the same thing and perhaps even more so. I've had both
occur in the past. That was the only change I did in each case.

The changes that are caused by the water change should be considered, not
the water change itself necessarily.  
Light intensity dramatically increases when I switched to new FL's vs the
old 1/2 dead NO FL's. 

Many plants have changes in their phenology over a course of a season.
This is likely a contributing reason why Crypts in the wild are variable if
morphology and difficult to locate year to year.
Crypts invest heavily in their rhizomes and roots system. Some seem to
think that implies they are heavy roots feeders, that's not true either.
Seasonal changes in an aquatic environment is a tough place for leaves to
survive. So when dramatic changes occur, the plant looses the leaves and
regrows them later after the environment stabilizes (think deciduous Fall
leaves on trees) . They need the storage in their tough roots to regrown
the leaves afterwards. Same for sword plants. Both plants are amphibious
and live along rivers, streams and a few backwaters/ditches.  

Water changes are used for a few reasons:
Keep the tank clean and free of algae after wiping things down
Maintain a stable consistent water chemistry with the tap water
Avoid testing/remove unknowns
Increase growth rates

They are not needed depending on the method, but they can help make things
easier till the tank evens out with folks using CO2 and having troubles.
I have tanks that get no water changes with Crypts, I also have tanks that
get weekly water changes.
Some folks do water changes more frequently, some less.
Many use water changes to maintain stable nutrients without test kits, this
keeps things clean, and in good shape.
As you gain experience, you can guess the nutrients and dose accordingly
and vary your routine.
Or you can test to use that to avoid water change like PMDD methods
suggested but test for NO3, rather than Fe/PO4.
Or you can go non CO2 and not worry about water changes, testing or much
dosing and still have decent growth, although perhaps 5-10x slower.
Crypts are very good for non CO2 approaches as well.

So you can do a number of things to suit your approach and goal.
There are trade offs with each. They all address plant growth in a similar
way, although the rate of growth will vary, each does very well with

Tom Barr

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