View Full Version : no water changes?

12-12-2004, 02:20 AM
Hello everyone,

I've been reading here for awhile now and I have to say you guys\gals realy seem to know your stuff. So heres my question:
I do 50% water changes on my tank everyweek and I've never lost a fish but my freind does not do any water changes (besides evaperation loss) and has now lost her second tank:( sad to say it was over ten fish this time. She doesn't do any water changes because her fish guru (owner of her favorite fish store) claims he doesn't change ANY of his tanks water because if you have them set up right you should never have to. In fact when all of her fish started acting funny she called him and he told her what chemicals to use and what to check for and said "last case senerio change 25% of water"...Is this guy just saying this so she keeps buying fish from him (she's spent well over 1000 thus far) or is this posiable?

12-12-2004, 10:01 AM
I could write a long response, but that guy is just as wrong as it is possible to be.

Tell her to find a new store.

12-12-2004, 10:15 AM
Tell her to check her nitrates. You CAN go without water changes, but it is the easiest, cheapest, most effective way to reduce nitrates and keep your fish healthy. Also, your fish will grow faster and large with frequent water changes.

12-12-2004, 11:44 AM
Without water changes, there is no practical way to eliminate the growth of nitrates in fresh water (it is possible to slow the growth though). Also, many necessary trace elements and minerals need to be replaced through water changes.

12-12-2004, 11:54 AM

Other fish types such as guppies mollie ect you can get away for about 6-8 weeks but it is not recomended

Cichlids need water changes.

First cichlids need and thrive in Clean water espesialy the Tanganyika species this is the type of water they evolved in and are acustomed to and cannot live without now bear in mind if you miss a week or two in a cichlid tank it will probably be ok but no more the once every two weeks should me missed. They are messy fish who dig, chew and spew food, burry things that decompose, and much more. Remember what your gravel vac pulls out all that debri.

Put it to her this way when you tell her to find a new guru:

Just imagine not bathing for three weeks while wearing a diaper that is not ever changed during that period this is what not having weekly water changes feels like to a fish. Then imagine being loked in a box where ther is a slow gas leak for a week as you loose your senses and then aspixate because your blood cannot cary oxygen to your brain because of nitrates and nitrites
Then tell her to think about both happening at the same time.

12-12-2004, 12:03 PM
If the water is very well filtered, additives are used and nitrate reducing products, it is possible - but why in the world would you want to go through all of that when a water change is so much easier?

12-12-2004, 01:45 PM
some times LFS are the worst place to get any sort of advice.

have her get a good testing kit

and have her either do a fishless cycle or have her get 3 gold fish per 50 gallons, and only keep them (with the filters and heaters going like normal water temp ~24c) and only keep the starter/cycle fish untill you are done with both the ammonia and the nitrites spike. then do waterchanges as needed to keep the nitates down.

hope this helps

12-12-2004, 02:12 PM
To cichlid-keeping novices reading this thread:

As chc points out, nitrate reduction is but one of several reasons to change a fraction of your tank's water regularly.

I don't know even one successful cichlid-keeper who doesn't follow this most fundamental of fishkeeping practices.

There is no substitute for partial water changes. None.

12-12-2004, 04:12 PM
sounds like her fish guru is either
a.not a guru at all
b.likes the fact that your friend is replacing 10 or so fish at a time and reaping the monetary benefits of it.

i do 30% water changes every week and it works well for my fish and i.

12-12-2004, 05:04 PM
You should go with her and check some of the water at the guru's store.:twisted: Make your friend a bet that his water will test over 40ppm and I'm sure you'll win.

12-13-2004, 12:50 AM
Thank you for the advice everyone I will be relaing this info to her. She only has one tank left now and she hasn't done a water change on that for at least 3 weeks because shes scared by doing so its going to kill her fish. This being: our water in the town has a ph of 6.9 or so and when it gets to 8.2 or so in the tank shes afraid that by adding the 6.9 into her "perfect" 8.2 its going to lower the ph too much and kill the fish. I will be going to her house directly from work to try and convince her to do this and spare her fish such a horriable death as "Tobeannounced" desribed. thanks again and I'll let you all know what happens.

12-13-2004, 03:46 AM
if she does an 10% water change, it should not move her ph much below 8.0 and it should not shock the fish all that much, and if it is a problem, she could pre-treat each gallon (old plastic milk just work great for this) with de-cholonator and with a ph up (either chemicaly or with backing/washing soda) to get it to 8.2 so that her fish will not notice it.

but most importanly the high Nitrates/Nitrites are worse on the fish then a minnor movement in the waters PH!

12-13-2004, 07:37 AM
haha, funny you should say a milk jug I've been using one for months now. I'll let her know about the 10% it doesn't seem that much and I should be able to talk her into it.

On another note the first tank this happened to the nitrates were so high that 2 of the fish tried to jump out of the tank and had enough speed that they killed themselfs instently...at least they went quickly....sorry for the visual there :(

12-13-2004, 09:03 AM
try some LIVE AQUATIC plants... they are known to reduce nitrate evels... but they also take other trace elements out of the water... :( IMHO, really can't get away from a good water change in a closed eco-system like a fish tank unless you really have enough space to do it right and in true natural balance.

12-13-2004, 09:40 AM
you guys are making me wanna go change water right now!

12-13-2004, 09:52 AM
The plants use nitrates as a fertilizer - just like your lawn uses nitrogen.