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re: the great eqm debate




Thanks for all that excellent thinking on the issue of equilibrium in
aquariums. I enjoyed it all. I think we can all see that a true and exact
equilibrium is unlikely over the long term. But, for me, the issue that
started this, the question of 100% water changes is still debatable. I'm
still gonna' leave  a good portion of "seasoned water" in my tanks each
time I change.

One comment on the calculations presented. We must remember that each of
these calculations drastically simplified the system in our  tanks. They
usually were calculated based on a "poop-in" vs "poop-out"  basis, We all
know it's MUCH more complex than that because out tanks are also
biochemical processing units wherein numerous reactions are taking place
transforming hundreds (if not thousands.....various proteins, carbs and
lipids) of compounds into others. A better mathematical approach would be a
series of equilibrium calculations, one leading into the next,  like we
might use for the dozen or so "daughters" of Radon-222. Here we find that
each and every daughter has some specific and unique equilibrium
concentration.

Anyway, my point way back, was that the "seasoned" tank  as a whole is a
biochemical processing unit, and one of my primary goals is to preserve the
health of this living unit as I do partial water changes regularly, rather
than 100%  once a year (or even more often). I DO use water right from my
tap and I'm not going to chance the water district screwing up. cleaning
the system this week, adding to much chloramine, whatever. Small changes
more often will "buffer" the effect of mistakes on their part and keep my
fish healthier.

[ and they do "screw up" occasionally, I can count on a week or so, usually
in November, when the water comes out of the tap smelling like the local
Municipal Swimming hole....enough chlorine to smother a horse. But then
next week its back to normal...which is generally pretty good.]



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