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Re: More musing on water change.

Charles wrote:

"There is no equilibrium. and that is a common thought, that there
must be.  One adds food, the fish produce waste and evaporation adds
to concentration. Partial changes only remove portions of it. The
same food, fish waste and evaporation continues to build.

There is only one way to get back to the start . . . Change it all.

"Change as much water as often "


But there are chemical processes in action that alter the chemical nature
of the wastes.....NH3 to NO2 to NO3 and alter its identity and toxicity.
And although the end product, NO3 increases, there are even processes (as
in the recently discusses nitrate filter) that remove SOME N2, if not all,
under localized anaerobic conditions.

Speaking for myself alone, I would never change all of my water at once. In
fact when I start a new tank or even bag fish for shipment I always be sure
to provide a mix of established tank water  with fresh tap water. I think
the "natural" bacterial flora in my established water and its environs  is
invaluable to my tank environment. It keeps the nitrogen cycle going and
healthy. Yes, we think that most of these bacteria are in the substrate or
filter, but what of our "bare" tanks, where are they here? on the glass?...
remove the filter and does the tank stay healthy and clear? mine do (The
Scheel approach?) I perceive a flora in the water itself  that contributes
to the biochemical waste processing in an established tank. ......and I
hate to flush all this and replace it with sterile tap water, at least
100%.  I've seen the Spotte data telling us most of the bacteria is on the
surface area of the filter media, I just don't think many give the flora in
the water adequate credit. I can "start" a fresh 2 gallon with water from
my established tanks and have it healthy  and ready for fish immediately.
Is it unfair to attribute this to a positive characteristic of this used
water that Charlie wants to flush?   I may be out on a limb here, but this
is what I see happening in my tanks. Any of you bacteriologists out there
disagree with this?

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