LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light?

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LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light?

Unread postby Kaushik » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:55 am

Dear Experts... I'm going to set up a 4 feet long Low Tech Tank very soon ......While discussing with Cor. Anand I got some useful keys regarding the maintenance of Low Tech Tanks..... Is it a fact that in Low Tech Tank higher light levels along with low CO2 levels make conditions much easier for algae to adapt to. Plants find it harder to adapt to high-light low CO2 conditions while algae can do much better in such situations? At the same time regular water changes effectively causing fluctuations in the CO2 levels in the Low Tech tank which provides a perfect environment for algae to start thriving in. So in short I should use low intensity light for my tank and do no water changes at all.. only top off for evaporated water ? I request the fellow members who are maintaining Low Tech Tank to share their experiences here ... Thanks


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Re: LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light

Unread postby saurabh_m » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:11 pm

Kaushikda,

I had been maintaining a low tech planted tank. Your point for minimum water change is correct, but I had been doing w/c thrice a week, which gave plants enough minerals and CO2. Algae will thrive in once a week w/c. But still I'm a bit skeptical with no water change at all.
Just see it like this. Our aquarium is like a closed room with no vents. In such a place whatever is inside remains inside. There is no method of removing it from the room, if we don't allow ventillation, after some time, the air, then the floor and then every other thing which might get polluted will get polluted.
Similar is the case with an aquarium. We do have and can afford best of filters with vastest media but still some chemicals, bio hazardous materials do remain in the tank and take a long time to fully decay. We do water change to remove such pollutants from the tank, if we do not do this, such material will keep on accumulating in the tank affecting the health of fauna.

I'm no expert, but just two cents.

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Saurabh Mathur

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Re: LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light

Unread postby Romi » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:35 pm

I agree with saurabh, kaushikda. a no-water-change tank is an anomaly just like a no-weather-change place or a no-wave ocean. even in underground caves where blind fish live in the aquifer, there is water change with the slow seepage downwards of rain water and gradual evaporation of water even in that confined space. ... no pond or lake is without water changes, whether the water flows in some way or flows out another or it rains ....

human beings want to believe in things like those closed containers that are sealed for years, I forgot the name. oh yes...EcoSphere Closed Aquatic Ecosystem... and experts like you only tell us that they are small torture chamber where the Opae ula die slowly, feeding on their own body tissues and getting smaller and smaller with time. .what a horrible reversal of life. death will come to all our fish or shrimp, but why should it come sooner because we seek less maintenance ?

Toxins must leave, whether we can see them or detect them with test kits, or not, they are there. I think nature makes no exceptions like this. Even we, when we stay shut up in closed offices, ACs whirring, it is a slow and tiring and unhealthy existence (that we know cannot compare to the outdoors, to fresh air)...'

I hope you will not mind my sad tone in talking of this, Kaushikda. :( I feel we all too often forget water changes or avoid them... seems to be to me, very bad karma.

Last but not least, I will add: the larger the tank, the more its inhabitants can tolerate fewer changes, just as they can tolerate more temperature changes.... speaking in strict percentages, you need to change less water than you would need to in a smaller tank, but in absolute volumes, there is still substantial water that needs to go out of the tank and be replaced. :oops:

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Re: LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light

Unread postby pinaki_pal » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:06 am

hi Kaushikda,
i have been maintaining a 4feet low tech for last 6 month...i change water once in month or once in one n half month....i checked the parameter n observed once cycled nh3 , no2 will b 0 and u'll have v less amount no3 ...as most of them r consumed by plants....i use dosing kno3,k2so4 n kh2po4..(definitely less amiunt in compare to hightech ) n micro.....there definitely will b need of water change as i noticed after one month water becomes a bit yellowish inspite of any hike in no3 or any other parameter.... i feel there is bio-material build up due to which this happens....pic of my set up can b found under my low tech journey thread.....



light should b limitting factor in this kind if set up as per my exp.....


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Re: LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light

Unread postby Kaushik » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:55 pm

Its a fruitful discussion from the experience holders ... Thanks to Sauravjee, Romijee and Pinakijee
Actually my intention to set up a Low tech is to ensure Slower plant growth with no prunning or re-scaping only bimonthly dosing of Dupla .. Thereby what I know from the discussion that I've to keep patience in order to get a hassle free technique for growing aquatic plants. :) No problem lets see how the Diana Walstad method works for a lazy-man.
"If you salute your duty, you need not salute anybody. But if you pollute your duty,you have to salute everybody.“
We have a choice. Do what pleases us and then face the consequences or else abide by our duty and stand tall
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Re: LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light

Unread postby pinaki_pal » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:10 pm

m a lazy man 2....n this is one of d reason to opt for low tech in my case as well.....happy kow tech making...



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Pinaki

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Re: LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light

Unread postby Romi » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:26 am

Kaushik wrote:Its a fruitful discussion from the experience holders ... Thanks to Sauravjee, Romijee and Pinakijee
Actually my intention to set up a Low tech is to ensure Slower plant growth with no prunning or re-scaping only bimonthly dosing of Dupla .. Thereby what I know from the discussion that I've to keep patience in order to get a hassle free technique for growing aquatic plants. :) No problem lets see how the Diana Walstad method works for a lazy-man.



Diana Walstad is an amazing woman, such an expert and so totally down to earth. Please make sure to include some Tropical Hornwort (C submersum) if you try her method. It helps balance things out so much faster, Dada.... I once got her book from Piratebay. Wish I still had it...

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Re: LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light

Unread postby Kaushik » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:21 am

Yes Romijee totally agreed with you.. I also have the 2nd edition of Ecology of the Planted Aquarium which I often read . The concept of the aquarium as its own ecosystem really excites me, and I had never really realised to what extent this is true until I read this book. and as a biology student, the scientific aspect of it was really interesting.
Please make sure to include some Tropical Hornwort (C submersum) if you try her method. It helps balance things out so much faster,

I've already floated Hornwort and now looking for Pennywort another robust plant as mentioned by Walstad.
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We have a choice. Do what pleases us and then face the consequences or else abide by our duty and stand tall
-A P J Abdul Kalam

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Re: LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light

Unread postby Dhruv » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:20 pm

Kaushik wrote:Dear Experts... I'm going to set up a 4 feet long Low Tech Tank very soon ......While discussing with Cor. Anand I got some useful keys regarding the maintenance of Low Tech Tanks..... Is it a fact that in Low Tech Tank higher light levels along with low CO2 levels make conditions much easier for algae to adapt to. Plants find it harder to adapt to high-light low CO2 conditions while algae can do much better in such situations? At the same time regular water changes effectively causing fluctuations in the CO2 levels in the Low Tech tank which provides a perfect environment for algae to start thriving in. So in short I should use low intensity light for my tank and do no water changes at all.. only top off for evaporated water ? I request the fellow members who are maintaining Low Tech Tank to share their experiences here ... Thanks



Im no expert, but here are my 2 cents on your post.

I have been doing low tech setups for a while now (no fancy filters or pressurized CO2) and IMHO, they are as easy or tough to maintain as hi tech setups... The primary difference in my opinion between the 2 is the growth rate besides the cash spent. Hi tech setups have phenomenal growth rate, while in a low tech setup, the plants just kind of sit there and throw out a new leaf every now and then.

As far as plants go (including algae), you need three things to have life sustained in any manner:
1) Light
2) Nutrient
3) CO2

Think of these in a tripod kind of way: If all three are the same length, then you get a balanced tank with no issues with algae, fish health or plant health. If the legs are not in proportion to each other, the whole system will collapse.
So going back to your query: Low intensity light means lower nutrients to be added which means there is less of a demand for CO2. Basically you dont need to add ferts to your tank, the fish and the fish food should give it enough nutrient value.

As far as water changes go.... please dont skip this. Basic school science tells us that water evaporates leaving salts behind. If you just keep topping up evaporation loss, in due course of time your tank water will have an ionic composition that is shot to hell. And this goes beyond Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates...

So my humble suggestion to you is to just do a weekly water change, and nothing else... control the photoperiod to limit algae growth and if you do see algae, reduce the fish load of the tank... the key is Sybiosis.

I might be wrong on this but see if it works for you.... this has worked for me...

All the best...

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Re: LowTechTank doesn't need water changes even higher light

Unread postby Romi » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:41 pm

Dhruv, that tripod analogy was brilliant. Exactly right. :ugeek: