Low tech - no waterchanges?

Discussion in 'El Natural & Low Tech' started by Aeropars, 26 Feb 2010.

  1. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

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    Hello Guys!

    I've converted my nano to be low tech. I can't keep up with the CO2 costs. I read somewhere that you shouldnt water change for a low tech but is this right? I wont be dosing any liquid carbon but what should I be dosing? I gather any EI type dosing would just induce algae and as I already have blue/green algae I dont want to help this take over.

    Any advice apreciated.
     
  2. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    Hi ,

    I ran a low tech tank at 1wpg with no water changes for the best part of a year last year.
    I took my daily dosage for EI (from when the tank was injected CO2, 50%WC weekly, 1.5wpg) and just dosed that once a week. That covered ferts. I intentionally missed entire weeks dosing every so often. Only after one month of not dosing did I start to see deficiencies.

    Check out the 'non co2 methods' article on barrreport.

    I then introduced water changes as the fish were not looking as healthy as they used to.
    I then got lots of BBA (preusmably due to fluctuating CO2 levels from the WC).

    So I now use liquid carbon and 5-10% WC most weeks. Fish are happier and I still have far less maintenance than with inhjected CO2 :thumbup:

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    I change 10% water every day on all the tanks (all low tech, no CO2), when I'm away for up to a week, I don't have the fish fed or the water changed. In a nano I'd change more water volume every day, if its 30 litres even 20% is only 6 litres a day. I use rainwater and keep a days supply inside so it is reasonably similar in temperature to the aquarium water when I change the water.

    I've never noticed any problems with fluctuating CO2 (caused by the water changes), possibly because I run all the tanks very lean on nutrient, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't use a all dilute solution of nutrients with every water change, and possibly a 50% water change once a week, or you could just feed the sediment with root tabs (I wouldn't add dry powders purely because addition to the tank is going to be a tiny amount of fertiliser). I usually just go on the colour and growth of the plants, if they look particularly weedy and yellow, I feed them with an "all in one" solution and a sprinkle of KNO3, and then add some osmocote to the sediment(I just roll a few grains in a ball of clay and then bake it in the oven on a fairly low heat). The only testing I do is to dip the conductivity meter in every month or so.

    I don't have the range of plants, fast growth and vibrant colours that you would get with EI, but I have acceptable plant growth, and very healthy fish. The tanks that have been set up for over a year tend to get small amounts of slow growing green BBA and Staghorn algae, but with this approach you don't get algal outbreaks or visible cyanobacteria.

    If you use a lot of floating or emergent plants you don't need to add CO2.

    cheers Darrel
     
  4. sanj

    sanj Member

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    LOl for one second I thought you were Diana Walstead. :D
     
  5. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    I have read her book and it is well worth a read.
    Cheers Darrel
     
  6. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

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    Matt, what do you do for topping up the water level? This is an open top tank so topping up with tap water would just cause extreamly hard water.
     
  7. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    I topped up with tap for a few months and then ro for a few months.
    In a no WC tank, assuming you are not adding them back in, the KH and GH will steadily drop. I did some occasional testing which supported this theory...

    The KH slowly dropped (even when topping up with tap with a KH of about 12).
    It went from 12 to about 3 in the course of the year.
    While the GH went up slowly but surely - from about 8 to 18 from memory - so I was overdosing either the Mg or Ca dry salts (or both).

    ... obviously it might be different for you as your evaporation levels will be higher.

    The TDS rose steadily the whole time (even when topping up with RO).
    There is an interesting article on TDS here: http://www.plecoplanet.com/forum/showthread.php?p=28581

    I did not test any other parameters.
     
  8. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

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    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.ph ... O2-methods

    Lengthy thread using water column dosing 1x a week, maybe 2-3 x a month etc.
    Specific for no water changes and non CO2 methods.

    I would suggest a mix of this plus sediment based ferts like soils, worm casting, ADA As etc.

    Example of the above with sediment ferts:
    cubenonco21.jpg

    No water change for 2 years.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Kannu

    Kannu Member

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    Tom, what kind of filtration do you use? And how often do u clean the tank (if any)
     
  10. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

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    Small canister,
    Not much, maybe once a month or two?
    Hardest part is keeping water in it from evaporation losses.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. PM

    PM Member

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    Mr Tom Barr, I have just read the whole thread you posted above,

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/2817-Non-CO2-methods

    I plan to setup a 3 gal tank according to your advice in the thread as a shrimp only tank, I have one question:

    I am torn between these two lights:

    Option 1:
    http://www.plantedbox.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=77&products_id=333

    Option 2:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dymax-Aquariu...plies_Fish&hash=item56347bfc35#ht_5431wt_1039

    Which would you go for? I don't want too much light to induce algae.

    Thanks,
    Paul.
     
  12. Brenmuk

    Brenmuk Member

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    I know the question is aimed at Tom Barr but if it were me I would go with the LED. My only worry is the price is £12 too good to be true - are there any UK retailers for the LED?
     
  13. arty

    arty Member

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    I had some years ago 100L low tech with soil from garden and gravel. Sometimes changed water every 3 months sometimes 6 months, or simply can't rememebr any shedule and never thinking about exact shedule :)
    Two fluoriscent bulbs, can't rememebr exact but good light over 1wpg, manualy switching on and of every day in different times.
    A lot fastgrowing plants and fishes + hangon small filter with only floss media
    No any ferts, only once i fit some root tabs in to gravel.
    No heater, only room temp.
    Plants growing well.
    Never had any algea, except after non longer water changes got slightly green water.
    This tank less maintenace i ever had.

    About introducing co2 with water changes i'm not sure. I don't agree, sorry.
    I think easily with non problems can change 20%, 30% or other amount of water weekly or monthly or longer periods or every day.
    Water changes is good in any amount until Yours water is good and approx. same parameters.
    Instead i before used airstones in low tech near some plants, plants get litle co2 and tank o2 from air.
    In night time( i used air stones 24/7) injecting air is necessary for healthy low tech. And what's difference small introducing co2 with water changes or via airstone feed tank with co2, or via surface agitation or both combinations.
    If tank have good areation - airstones, surface agitation Yours co2 going out imediately and in one time introduce gases from air in to tank like gas exchange process , that why i'm keeping 24/7 aeration and why i put small airstones near some plant roots-gravel, i believe plants can extract from air little co2
    Or where is this TAP water with so high co2 concentration , can cause problems in tank ?

    Best Regards,
     
  14. PM

    PM Member

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    I went for the LED. There was a UK supplier too, charging 30 odd quid plus postage, can't remember where I saw it now though. Needless to say I ordered from overseas £17 all in! :D
     
  15. roadmaster

    roadmaster Member

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    Am wondering if storing change water and aerating it a day before use would eliminate worries of CO2 fluctuations due to water changes in low tech tank?(algae)
    Have set plants in 80 gallon low tech ,and plan on large fish load and am concerned with fishes health if weekly water changes are not performed. Am letting the plants get established at present ,substrate is eco- complete capped with fine gravel and once weekly dosing with flourish comprehensive. lighting is 64 watts 6500 K supplied by two 32 watt T8 bulbs with eight hour photo period for now.(low light to moderate light plants)
    I understand that through natural process that tank can go acidic over time with no water changes ,and as my water is moderately hard, I would prefer to use tap water to maintain hardness rather than add calcium and magnesium in dry form.
    Given the low light condition I have,, I am wondering if weekly water change of 50 percent that I have performed on non planted tanks for years, will encourage all that much alage with respect to CO2 fluctuations from water changes?
    I would prefer not to be limited to fishes that do best in soft or acidic water that I fear my tank will become without water changes. Have no problem with twice monthly changes but am wondering how fishes will fare with no water changes over weeks,months (live bearer's) for example that need alkalinity.
    Appreciate a little algae and have always liked fishes that consume same, but are water changes going to have significant detrimental effect on plants ? or is it only a little alage were concerned with through water changes?
     
  16. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    The answer to this one is if you draw the water and leave it for even a short amount of time the CO2 will fall to equilibrium with the atmosphere. I'm not sure that our tap water will have elevated levels of CO2, as there would need to be some process to create it and then water under high enough pressure to keep it in solution. I change approx. 100% of my water every 10 days (as about 10% a day) in all the tanks (all low tech), and although all my tanks have some algae in them (I'd be worried if they didn't) I don't tend to get algae "outbreaks".

    cheers Darrel
     
  17. roadmaster

    roadmaster Member

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    Many Thanks, That brings me comfort.
     

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