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No Water Changes... The Eddie And Lilli Method

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I personally think that this no-water changes method sounds great, especially for longfinned HM males. I would like to know why Eddie and Lilli use it with success. -Do all the tanks have fully cycled, efficient filters? -Are they under or overstocked? -Does pH remain safe? -Ammonia is not a problem as the water is acidic? -Have there been any health issues using this method? -Is there any changing or replacing of water at all? -Does uneaten food get removed? -Are spawns made in this water? I might try it one day, but only on adult fish. I still want the super-fast growth rates I get with clean, regularly changed water. I was thinking of using one aspect of this method, and that is the acidic pH, which means that toxic ammonia remains non-toxic Ammonium. Acidic ph will be acheived through the use of peat in the power filter. Regular small water changes, perhaps just to siphon dirt from the bottom each day or every second day, will also take place, but not so much as to disturb the water quality dramatically. Bottled bettas will recieve daily 100% water changes, but with acidic, aged water. Any information, help, suggestions and advice would be appreciated. Cheers, Stefan :) :D

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I dont think there are any or many plants. The method basically involves rarely or never changing the water. Lilli might be able to provide more info.

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Edie* From what i understand: -Do all the tanks have fully cycled, efficient filters? Yup -Are they under or overstocked? That depends on what you consider over and under. Stocked 'well' is ok if there fed and not stressed -Does pH remain safe? No idea. Never bother testing ph. -Ammonia is not a problem as the water is acidic? see ^ -Have there been any health issues using this method? Nope. Seem to be happier. (If there was why would one do it?) -Is there any changing or replacing of water at all? Regualr top-ups With some small water changes weekly/fortnightly. -Does uneaten food get removed? Yes. Uneaten food builds 'yucky' stuff too quickly. However, leaving the 'poo' and other stuff in the water is fine. -Are spawns made in this water? Yes And adding plants gets rid of a fair bit of 'dangerous' stuff along with the filter.

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I really don't think they are suggesting no water changes. Doing anything like that needs to be considered with caution and is probably more to do with the quality of and issues with Sydney water. I think a lot of people in Sydney were finding that water changes were resulting in fin damage so they did less. I don't think they said they never do water changes. If the water in your location is good then water changes shouldn't adversely affect your fish as long as you use aged water. I change water regularly and rarely have any issues. I also have good results. Most breeders overseas advocate regular water changes as well -- some as often as every day. At the end of the day it is what works for you and is dependant on many variables. Pat.

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since when did a method get named after me? :)

ok here's the thing. I am chronically busy and chronically lazy and Sydney water is finrot-on-tap. And I had a LOT of bettas. All these factors resulted in me taking steps that had the happy side effect of minimising finrot and other infections.

Basically, all my breeder males were kept in 10L tanks with a sponge filter and some sort of plant - hornwart or java moss basically. Plus peat or IAL or banana leaf. They get topped up with old tank water when the water evaporates - that's all. I assume the pH is on the low side - I didn't actually check it. The tanks are possibly siphoned once a year, if they are lucky! There is no uneaten food. I feed minimally. They would get a few crumbs of pellet food once a day, sometimes twice a day, sometimes every 2 days. Always consumed within 30 seconds.

The juveniles were housed in 1L bottles that got a 90% water change using water from a stocked planted 4' tank about every 7 - 10 days. IAL, banana or peat was added to the bottles.

I have been keeping fish for a long time, so I know what to look for in terms of fish health, and I know the pros and cons of various methods of fish husbandry. if it appeared my fish were not coping with this method or seemed ill or unhappy I would not have continued it.

I have a betta at work whose fins rot off every time I add water to the tank, because it is dechlorinated tap water, not old/tank water.

Please don't think I am advocating no water changes, like aquababies or something. That is NOT the case.

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Lisa... I didn't know what else to call it. :) Thanks for posting. Another question: Does the water smell? I find that my water begins to smell when it looks mucky, even in a cycled tank.

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Pat... didn't see your post before. I just want to know how this "method" works and am considering using some aspects of it. I would actually prefer frequent water changes to rare WC, but I am keeping my options open if it doesn't work for me.

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it smells great - like dirt. I love the smell of a cycled tank.

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Just peat from a nursery, you need to boil it so it becomes waterlogged and sinks.

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There are tanks that run with no water changes just top ups. There's a lady that has a webpage about setting one up, Barbara something. It involves lots of layers of sand etc under the gravel and lots of plants and half as many fish as you'd normally have, and sometimes natural light. It's all a balancing act between output of fish and plant needs etc. Anyone know the site?

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it smells great - like dirt.  I love the smell of a cycled tank.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Me too, my 4ft has a lid missng, I smell it all the time :)

I admit, I do top ups every so often instead of WC's. This is not really a good idea for me. (I don't advocate it for Adelaidians) My water is HARD. So you can imagine when water is evaporating, the metals are not evaporating so the concentration of metals are is getting higher.

I think I can *just* get away with top ups on a hit and miss basis by topping up with RO water as this strips the water of most metals and this and that. If I was concerned, I could always add carbon to the tank, but that is another debate LOL.

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would peat have an effect on the concentration of metals? Eg would it acidify the water and dissolve them? That's not an issue I am familiar with.

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As far as the metals go no peat won't eliminate them or remove them, ro is the best option for this or a softener sponge. Yes the metals do build up with evaporation. Please note though that hard water is always a cause of metals in the water it is more of a case of calcium content in the water. Easiest way to check for hard water is to wash your hands using soap if the lather is frothy it is soft and if not much froth it is hard. But RO is the best otpion to remove anything from the water if you are concerned. What peat does is it acts like a natural softening agent asplant mattter breaks down it produces acids and tanins which soften the water it also contains essential elements which are needed by some fish egdiscus. When I was breeding killies and discus once the young were free swimming I would always add a small amount of calcium to the water as this would stop a lot of deformities which are caused by the lack of calcium. Please note though this is what worked for me. Other people have diffferent findings. Hope this helps somewhat.

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Briddo, what kind of calcium? normal human grade that you find in the health section of supermarkets? Can cuttle fish bone be used instead? i.e the soft part scraped off into a powder

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I've done a naughty where I didn't change the tank water for 1 month. I was very busy. Plus I have a ton of bird cages and a rabbit hutch to maintain, if I'm lucky I get my siblings to help me. All the tanks have pretty good filters, I've got a couple bottled bettas, I replace he waste from those bottles with the 3' tank water. Downside is if there is an infection that breaks out everything gets it :) . Thjankfully infection is rare and normally I catch it in time before it spreads. A single betta tank I found quite handy was a BigW $30 5.6L hex. It's got a built in filter in the lid and LED lights. I only have to change the water fortnightly. Although the current from the filter is a bit strong for a HM or DT, it suits Pk and CT better. The current can be dulled a little by over filling the tank. My 3' tank has tons of plants so usually I can get away with skipping a change in the cooler months. The majority of the time I do a 50% water change weekly on all the tanks, mainly to control algae and parasites which tend to show up when your a little lazy.

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So deionised water is ok to use? I work in a lab and am able to get milliQ water but wasn't sure if it was ok for the fishies so hadn't gotten any.

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ummm..... I haven't bothered to go to the second page of this post, but I read something very disturbing. . . . " . . . the acidic pH, which means that toxic ammonia remains non-toxic Ammonium . . ." that isn't exactly how it works!! An acidic pH won't stop toxic levels of ammonia building up! I'm late for a uni class so I will come back and edit this later (in traditional Starwing novel style) if people want . . . hmm, there is still that saltwater one i'm supposed to come back and detail too.... maybe i will do that tonight as well...

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Ammonia has a less toxic form (ionized ammonia - NH4+) and a more toxic form (un-ionized ammonia - NH3). At low pH more of the amonia is converted into ionized, while at higher pH more of the amonia is converted into un-ionized. So at low pH ammonia is less toxic, but it's still there and will still accumulate unless it's removed either physically through wate changes or biochemically via bacteria, plants etc.

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RO = reverse osmosis. Pressure is used to push water through a differentially permeable membrane that doesn't let molecules much bigger than water through.

Edited by PeterJ

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