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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to cut back on water changes. I currently do a 20-25% change once a week in my 55gal ciclid tank. I don't use carbon because disposble doesn't work for me. I'm currently using Seachem's Purigen as my chemical media. Of the others on the market that can be regenerated and used indefinitely (API Nitri-zorb, Fluval nitrate remover, etc), which is most effective?
 

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There's a product made by a well known entity that works very well for nitrate removal. The product is placed into the aquarium, and, over time, spreads throughout the water, removing both ammonia _and_ nitrates. As a bonus, this product will also provide nutrition to your fish if need be.

This product is call hornwort (a good replacement is anacharis) and is produced by nature.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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Those plants works real well, so does duckweed. But there is never a replacement for water changes. Even if the plants suck up all the nitrates soon the plants will start dieing and will cause higher spikes as they are not receiving the nutrients that they need out of the water.
 

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If you are cutting back on water changes for conservation reasons, why not just use the waste water to water plants?

I really don't like using chemicals or special filtration media for routine maintenance. As has been said, plants are great for removing nitrate, and nothing can replace water changes. Of course, the lower the bio-load on the tank, the less nitrate will be produced. Low stocking levels make everything easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not arguing the importance of water changes. I'm just trying to cut back a little. Not for conservation reasons. My schedule's been too busy lately. It's been hard getting my regular water changes in. I won't cut back unless there is a way to do it that doesn't compromise the health of my fish. I'll look into plants.

Woodyg3, do you not use any chemical filtration?
 

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your WC schedule is already bare minimum as is.
there is NO way to cut back further.
 

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minimum 25-30% weekly

personally i do more often then that, which also includes vacuuming substrate (where applicable), and cleaning filters.
 

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I also do 30,40 & sometimes 50% WC. At times I may even do 2 WC a week. I do not think you could cut back any more. If you do-you will simply speen more money on Chemicals & or Chemical filtration products that would coast much more then doing weekly water changes in order to keep your water peramiters in check.
 

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This talk of water changes has piqued my interest. I currently do roughly 10% on my two tanks weekly. I've been told and read that with live plants, frequent and/or large water changes can remove too much of the nutrients the plants need.

Any of you folks doing frequent, large water changes (I know large is relevant, but you know what I mean) doing so with live-planted tanks? If so, are you supporting the plant life in any way? Fertilizer, CO2, etc.? Or is it not affecting the plants in a negative manner?

Not trying to steal this thread, but I'm just wondering if there's any truth to what I've heard and read. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey! Why are you stealing my thread. Haha, no worries. My question has been answered. I didn't like the answer but notheless it's been answered. Anyways I'm interested in the responses to your question. I think my fish would tear up any pants in my tank. I'm considering some type of refugium in the sump possibly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So I'm sticking to the weekly water changes and I've upped the volume. My original post was in regards to what chemical filtration works best, specifically for nitrate removal. If I'm keeping the nitrate in check with the water changes is there any need for chemical media at all? Aspects says no. Is that the consensus? There is no meds in my water, but it is city water (treated of course).
 

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The very best thing that I have found for nitrate removal is the live plant. they use the nitrates for fertilizer and are not chemical in nature so do not leave residue to be dealt with in the tank. Plus they have a wonderful effect on the fish. Fish love them and they add to the beauty and serenity of the tank.

Rose
 

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Just one more suggestion to reduce the bio-load. Feed a little less. It is possible that you are overfeeding. At times I cut back to one feeding per day for my cichlids, or cut back on the amount I feed. I don't use chemical filtration, but do have filter media including coconut fiber charcoal.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't imagine plants will last long in an african ciclid tank. I think a refugium is in order in the future.

I only feed once a day as it is. I feel like I'm stunting their growth by cutting back on the portions more than I have. When I feed them everything is gobbled up in a couple minutes max.

I'm currently using seachem's purigen. I'm wondering if I should even bother with it or if I should just focus on large, frequent water changes.
 

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Are you using purigen to help keep your water clear or just as filter material? With cichlid tanks if they are heavily stocked they do better with more frequent smaller water changes. A lot of your major breeders will do small changes every other day. Keeps the fish healthier and the tank cleaner.

To answer the question on large water changes in planted tanks. Yes I do 50 to 75% water changes each week on mine. I also dose ferts. I'm not running co2 yet as I am just running medium light. I even dose nitrates to the tanks as there is so many plants in each tank I can't keep the nitrates up above zero. Water changes are good for the plants also. They do like fresh water.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was using it to keep my water clear. But the water clarity doesn't seem to be an issue now that I'm changing the water more often. I've kept using it just because I have it and I figured it was doing some good. But if there's no benefit then I'll remove it which will speed up my weekly maintenance.
 
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