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Re: Are water changes always necessary?
The short answer is a loud YES!
"DeMarle, Steve" wrote:
> I've been reading all the posts about how water changes are absolutely
> essential for success. I have been diligently making water changes on all
> my tanks at least once a month or more commonly every three weeks. It's a
> major hassle and takes lots of time. Last night I spent a couple of hours
> over Ken Normandin's house building two Dubruyen (sorry if I misspelled
> Henry's name) filters. Ken has been maintaining tons of tanks with this
> filter and raising tons of fry without doing any water changes, just topping
> off the water as it evaporates with rain water. Seeing this obvious success
> I don't believe that you always have to do water changes. I'll know more in
> a couple of months after I gain experience with these filters. Does anyone
> else have experience with these filter they can share?
Yes. I have.
The blanket claims sometimes made for the wet-drys often are too broad, and
rarely consider local water and other conditions.
They keep the water in *better* shape for longer than without them, IMO. So
does any other seasoned filter. Evaporation rates are wildly different in dry
CA than humid FL. They could be quite squirrely in really soft-water areas,
IMHO, they are not a substitute for water changes, for they don't get rid of
nitrates, phosphates and a lot of trace things that cause mischief when
allowed to gradually accumulate. Their big advantage is the extra oxygen they
can provide. That reduces potential ammonia damage, etc., and induces growth.
Other sponge or box filters compete with the fish for oxygen, so probably are
a bit less effective, long haul.
In the 50s, as did Henri's father, I kept fish in unchanged water for years.
We thought that was a good thing (natural). I now know it wasn't. Young fish
never reached full potential and breeding was far less prolific. Aquatic
gardening was rudimentary, so we never had truly vigorous plant growth,
either. His father's wet-dry had vigorous (outdoor) plant growth to absorb the
nitrates, etc., so it covered up for the lack of water changes better.
Use the filters, as they are great, but always remember what Bob G. said about
unflushed urinals. Change some water, too. [Plants can help a lot, and I never
go without them (except in hospital situations).] Henri always does *some*
water changes as he vacuums up the bottom mulm or uneaten food that
accumulates. That gets overlooked in the retelling. The filters just let him
go away for several months without a disaster, until he can get them back to
Wright Huntley 510 612-1467 - 879 Clara Drive,Palo Alto CA 94303
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