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treliantf 12-14-2014 03:14 PM

To change or not to change
 
When do you think you need to change water and by how much? This is a question that has been bothering me and my fellow aquarists, novice or expert, for a long time. Here is a summary that I am offering to all fish geeks to help answering the million dollar question. The first answer is : it depends.(!!!)
For those keeping FW tanks, water changes can occur more frequently because it's easy to put your oxygenated, temperature regulated, RO water to your tank and get over with it. Many studies indicated fresh water fishes are more sensitive to nitrate intoxication than marine fishes, esp. those are in the egg-fry stages. This being said, keeping nitrate level at 20ppm and below is a recommendation for adult FW fishes, 2ppm for breeders when you think you need to do a partial water change to reduce nitrate levels. Certain FW fishes can tolerate nitrate level >400ppm but it's not a sure bet.
What’s more interesting is most tropical marine fishes do well in relatively small home tanks (100 to 150g) with nitrate levels up to 200ppm. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I intended to test to find out what is the acute toxic concentration of the nitrate for my tank. Fortunately for my other fishes, or unfortunately for my Harlequin Tusk, I now have the data. At 300ppm nitrate my tusk stop feeding and later died due to acute nitrate intoxication. The fish was doing well in my tank for more than 5 years and during this period I had been practicing annual 2/3 water change to control nitrate to less than 250ppm for 14 years. Obvious signs of intoxication include unable to maintain swimming level and skin coloration changes (pinkish to deep blue). I was hoping I can revive him in a QT tank but it was too late. My tusk’s sacrifice is not in vain; now I know I must not allow nitrate to go above 300ppm.
For reef tank, nitrate has to be non-detectable (<1ppm), otherwise you may run into trouble.
My tusk die In the name of fish keeping science. Let salute him!!!
In God we trust; for others we need data to back our action. Do not let your nitrate level in the fish tank to go above 250ppm.
Link to nitrate toxicity:
Acute and chronic toxicity of nitrate to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas), ceriodaphnia dubia, and Daphnia magna - Scott - 2009 - Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry - Wiley Online Library

Reefing Madness 12-14-2014 03:45 PM

Re: To change or not to change
 
Thats just irresponsible!!
DO NOT LET YOUR NITRATES GO ABOVE 30!
I don't care what kind of tank your running.
Now those fantastic pictures of your Nitrate, Hair Algae factory tank come into play.
Your Tusk died from an irresponsible fish keeper, PERIOD!

coralbandit 12-14-2014 04:26 PM

Re: To change or not to change
 
Most of the Marine keepers who don't change water(there are many) control their nitrates some other way?
You could vodka or vinnegar dose(any other form of carbon dosing).
You could do Bio plastics ,it really couldn't get much easier just equipment investment.These can almost eliminate your nitrates!
For fresh I like under 40,for marine the difference is corals or FO.Niether should ever be allowed higher then fresh(40) IMO.
My FW tanks take way more maintenance then my marines(10X plus).




treliantf 12-14-2014 07:00 PM

Re: To change or not to change
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Reefing Madness (Post 568185)
Thats just irresponsible!!
DO NOT LET YOUR NITRATES GO ABOVE 30!
I don't care what kind of tank your running.
Now those fantastic pictures of your Nitrate, Hair Algae factory tank come into play.
Your Tusk died from an irresponsible fish keeper, PERIOD!

It is always a potential danger to explore something new but I am still young enough to explore new stuff. Yes, there are tonnes of data to support what kind of action you can or can't do but comes to specifics, the person need to test and acquire data. My records of more than 10 years blueface and almost 9 years cleaner wrasse life span would not be consistent with the action of an irresponsible keeper. How many get to keep a large marine angel for more than a decade?
As a matter of fact currently I am formualting a chemistry to greatly enhance survivability of Moorish Idol and Hippo Tang and the project is going really well. The product is going to help all fish geeks to reduce fish keeping risks. This is a special knowledge and knowledge is power, which is driven by data and only unbiased data we can trust.
California had experienced a 500 year drought this year. Water conservation is the incentive and responsibility of every Califonians. Reduce fish tank water changes certainly would help.
Yes, you are correct. There are other ways to reduce nitrate. Dosing is convenient one but titrating the end point is uncertain at best because this rely on a bioreduction process, which is a function of filter surface to volume ratio and the bacteria loading, which my current fish only tank is not layout for and each tank is different. My next tank will get into this.

Reefing Madness 12-14-2014 07:38 PM

Re: To change or not to change
 
I've been dosing vodka for years, doesn't hurt a thing, and is way cheaper than doing water changes, all you need is a skimmer, of which most would be using in a SW set up anyways. Dose away, worry about nothing at that point. I do water changes once maybe twice a year, but my Nitrates never go above 30, I guarentee that one!

treliantf 12-14-2014 10:46 PM

Re: To change or not to change
 
My experiments with dosing at one point years ago ended up near a disaster. The bacteria in my wet dry did the half way bioreduction of nitrate such that it did not get to the nitrogen stage and stopped at nitrite. Having this near disaster I just discontinued.
I'll have a better setup very soon and try again.


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