Old School Vs New School Aquarium Keep UP.
Im writting this thread because it has become a serious question now that i have cam across two old school fish keepers meaning they got into the hobby 20+ years ago and knowing they did things different back then then now im confused to what to stick with. This thread is about water changes the two people i talked to both keep over stocked african cichlid tanks and claim they only do water changes once a month and dont worry about it that much could someone explain this ? I was told to do weekly water changes to keep nitrates from reaching harmful levels and to replinish the nutrients that old water uses and new water brings to help aid the health and growth rate of the fish and help them thrive ? Did the hobby become more humane down the line or is it necessary for weekly water changes ? Dude told me that if you upkeep you filters often water changes are not as important as you would think. Everone please chime in with what you think on the subject and why thanks. If i can cut down on my 25g water changes twice a week i would gladly do it oh and i know it doesnt hurt to do them so frequently.
110g All Male Peacock/Hap Tank
I would be following this thread as I am curious to the reasoning behind their trend of thought also. If I had to guess I would think it would be due to the undeveloped knowledge of the hobby, back then, and the effects high dosages of nitrates play.
That being said, fish keeping was a different game two decades ago than what it is today and the fish that are being kept and farm breed are a prime example of that. With technology continuously evolving and methods being fine tuned, who knows what this hobby might be like in 20 years, or even 5.
Old timer fish keeping, lol
I've been keeping aquariums since around 1976. I used to have 20 different tanks in my bed room, from killifish to piranhas.
Started my first saltwater tank in the early '80's.
I totally agree with the weekly water changes. Using Prime helped keep my stock going. I do remember not using any de-chlor product back in the day with no consequence, but the tap water ain't the same today.
I've really learned alot about how to set-up and keep a reef tank from this site and I must say, It's been a real help with little loss.
Yes the old timers were cool but things have changed with the in-coming water over the years.
Keep with the times.
Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..
Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.
I, too, will follow with interest and hope that both old school members and new school chime in.
I'll give an example of old school. The owner of my LFS is a long time hobbiest. He has a 125 gallon tank filled with rainbows (turquois, boseman etc) congos, clown loaches, plecos and geophagus on display in his store. Huge numbers of stock. All rock work, and no live plants. I asked him what it takes to keep that tank clean. He changes 25% of the water once a month and has NEVER vacuumed the tank. He says it makes for a more natural habitat. I asked about nitrates and weren't they a problem. He says he never worries about nitrates unless they get over 80ppm. He is also a big believer in UGFs.
I have to tell you this is a stunning tank and the fish are active and look healthy - and he's kept it this way for years. But my jaw nearly hit the floor when he told me what his upkeep schedule is and that he's never vacuumed it.
So --- discuss...
Untill about 7 years ago I only did a monthly 30% water change myself. Than I started reading newer articles that sugested the weekly changes, so I started doing it that way. I have not noticed much difference but I've never kept fish in the last 25 years or so that produce a large bio-load.
Now back in the 70's I hardly ever changed the water because the old Innes book suggested that aged water was the best. Just siphon your water (sucking the debris out of the substate) through cheese cloth and put it back in the tank. Once the 80's came the two new Ladies that opened a LFS suggested the monthly water change so I started going that way.
We have come a long way.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. -Vince Lombardi
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ― John Wooden
Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
Old school,..... new school,...... call it waht you want. IMO it really doesn't matter. In my 17+ years of keeping tanks the most improtant thing that I have learn is to keep your water parameters in line for long term success.
If than means large weekly water changes then do it. If that means large water changes 4 times a week, then do it. if than means a large water change every second week then so be it. figure out what works for your tank and stick to it. Every tank is different. Rules of thumb are only meant to be a starting point to help you figure out what is good for your tank
I perfer over doing it with my water changes. I can get away with 50% water changes every two week, but I don't linke waiting that long. I like doing 75% weekly water changes to play it very safe. I am attached to my fish and i want to provide the best possible conditions that I can for them.
If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info
That's similar to what my schedule has become, only I change 80% of the water. I used to do weekly changes, but it's been monthly for a while now. I never vacuum the sand. I run 2 canisters on each tank - I guess they get everything because I don't ever see any waste. I clean my filters twice a year (June/December). I don't worry enough about nitrates to test for them, but on the rare occurrence that someone wants to know and I feel like it - prior to the water change they are 40-50. Only live plant is the java moss and some BBA.
Originally Posted by fishmommie
Ill post a video tonight, once the glares disappear.
I know sometimes it can seem like an aquarium ought to implode because of the way it's kept, but there's just more than one way to do it. That doesn't mean that each way is best for every situation, but often enough there's more than one way to accomplish the same goal. Because of how strongly the "right" way (large weekly water changes, under 20 nitrates) is advocated on forums, I wonder how many choose to keep quiet about such things. I'm not saying that large weekly water changes/under 20 nitrates isn't the best, because it probably is. I'm just saying that that doesn't make every other way bad. It's not so black and white. In fact, it's mostly all grey.
125 - big fish - BGK
125 - cichlid community - cichlids (red severums, chanchitos, bolivian rams, blue acara, chocolate), rainbows (yellow, turquoise, red and boesmani), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, pearl gouramis, golden wonder killis
90 - african community - Congo tetras, african knife, african butterflies, spotted ctenopoma, palmas bichir, african featherfin
10 - female pink convict
5 - betta/ADFs
QTs - 2x29, 20H, 20L
Im still talking to one of the guys asking him questions and he say his nitrates are at zero because he well over filters his tanks. To my knowledge the only tanks that are suppose to have zero nitates are discuss tanks because you basically have to do full tank water chabges and have no substate in them and heavy planted tanks. He tells me that i never let my water condition with weekly water changes and thats what may be causing high nitrates. I currently do two 25g water changes a week so every 3 to 4 days and the morning after i have no ammonia spikes or anything so im not sure what he claims by that.
110g All Male Peacock/Hap Tank
Well, here's a bit of old and some new of my fish-keeping days:
I started fish-keeping well over 50 years ago when I was just a kid.
Never heard of cycling a tank then, and added fish to planted tanks right away - sure, lost quite a few over the years, but it was surprising how many lived. In my teens, I had about 15 tanks, and bred many egg-layers, including tetras, barbs, danios, angels, gouramis & bettas... & sold the fry to LFS' for .05 or .10 each.
Sure I had my share of problems with algae, dieing plants, & many other issues, but overall I kept the tanks doing pretty well.
And heck, I knew nothing of fertilizing, or vacuuming substrate, didn't even own a test kit (can't even remember if there were any available when I first started out), and did wcs maybe once a month -maybe 10% - and my filters didn't get a whole lot of attention either.
But hey, the fish survived for the most part and procreated well.
Had to learn by trial & error, and by reading through the odd inexpensive fish book. And of course a subscription to TFH.
Fast forward many years after having been away from fish-keeping for a long time - I got back into .....guess what - discus-keeping.
WCs maybe once every 2 weeks - lost quite a few before deciding there must be another way. This was the early 80's.
Later started to do a whole lot of research - books, magazines, then the internet - forums later - wow - technology had changed/improved a thousandfold.
Later got back into discus, having learned that large, frequent wcs of fresh water were the key - and yes that worked, along with a few other things I picked up here & there.
Then along came UV sterilization, Seachem Purigen, and numerous other modern products and equipment to improve the hobby and make things much safer and easier. Still keep a couple of tanks today, mainly discus, and haven't lost a fish for a very long time.
But one question still keeps coming to mind that I have no answer for. It's: "Is there any huge difference today between the fishes of 30 or 40 years ago, say ( a lot more wild-caught then, than farm-bred & raised), and those mainly farm-raised today. Which ones are, or were, more adaptable to a variety of conditions ? Those years ago that had to survive through thick & thin, no matter the conditions --- or those that are babied today, & kept under seemingly the best of care & conditions ?" - I wonder.
Just a little food for thought.
Did the hobby become more humane, I don't know, but we became more knowledgeable of fishes needs and what should be done to meet those needs. I have also been in this hobby for most of my life, over 40 years now, and I have no problem adapting to new ideas and techniques if you can prove to me they are better for the fish, or easier on me and just as good for the fish. My question to your two friends is how long do their fish live?
Last edited by mommy1; 05-06-2013 at 02:03 AM.
When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.