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neeceee2

Should I skip water changes?

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Is there a reason other than amonnia, nitrite, nitrate reduction for the water changes?

When i check my water the readings are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate @ 10 (barly see any color may be lower). I use testing strips. Tap water does not have a reaction at all. I am only doing 1 wc a week right now. The tank is 29 gallons, set up for a week, used media ans stuff from my old 10 gl. Was thw same water test then to. I have three small live lucky bamboo with the roots only in the water to help with nitrates. I have two filters the one from the 10 gal kit, and the one that came with the 29 gal kit. water is clear, no smell or alge. Only 2 fish maybe 3 - 4 inch body per fish. I was thinking of going to every other week as long as the water tested good. Reason being it would be less stress on the fish, Use less water, and a steadyer cycle i thought. I want to make sre not to hurt or endanger my fish though so maybe reduse the amount of water changed in sted of a complete skipping. I change 30 percent now. Maybe 10 percent would work. Just wondering what more experianced fish keepers thoughts were.

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No no no no. You still need to change 50% weekly, sorry.

It's not just the toxins that you can measure with your test kit, but keep in mind that the fish's waste also produces a ton of bacteria, and other things that we can't even test for.

You also will want to have the nitrates stay below 10ppm at all times.

Two fish in a 29 gallon tank is the proper stocking level, and for this it is still recommended to perform 50% water changes weekly. :)

EDIT:

Fish usually get used to a proper water change routine quickly. I perform huge water changes on my tanks every four days. I remove so much water that the fish cannot even upright their dorsal fin anymore - but this doesn't cause any stress to them. They are simply used to it :)

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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There are other good things WCs do beyond remove nitrate :) . They remove bad bacteria that may have built up in the water and dilute the hormonal excretions of fish (eg, the hypothetical growth inhibiting hormones, amongst other things). In addition there are other waste break down products from left over food, etc that are not ammonia and hence not part of the ammonia cycle that we cannot test for with standard kits. I would personally be doing a WC once a week. :) It's a fresh infusion of clean water that does them the world of good.

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It's not just the toxins that you can measure with your test kit, but keep in mind that the fish's waste also produces a ton of bacteria, and other things that we can't even test for.

They remove bad bacteria that may have built up in the water and dilute the hormonal excretions of fish (eg, the hypothetical growth inhibiting hormones, amongst other things). In addition there are other waste break down products from left over food, etc that are not ammonia and hence not part of the ammonia cycle that we cannot test for with standard kits

Can these be tested for with a common TDS test kit?

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It's not just the toxins that you can measure with your test kit, but keep in mind that the fish's waste also produces a ton of bacteria, and other things that we can't even test for.

They remove bad bacteria that may have built up in the water and dilute the hormonal excretions of fish (eg, the hypothetical growth inhibiting hormones, amongst other things). In addition there are other waste break down products from left over food, etc that are not ammonia and hence not part of the ammonia cycle that we cannot test for with standard kits

Can these be tested for with a common TDS test kit?

No, bacterial tests would require something along the line of lab culturing and microscopic analysis and identification of bacteria type and frequency. And I know of no labs that offer those services to the public.

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Great info and advise already given above :),

I just want to add that test strips are notoriously inaccurate, and would like to recommend you invest in the api master drop test kit ;)

And Welcome to koko's :)

Edited by shellbell4ever

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I agree that you should get the drop test kit. It is more accurate. And weekly WCs of at least 50 percent are a must if you want your fish to stay healthy and grow.

If you are finding that WCs are a burden, get a water changer if you don't already have one. It makes WCs super easy. I also do huge WCs, and my fish don't seem to stress. They like playing in the fresh incoming water, actually.

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I dont mind doing the wc. I use a gallon jug and use the water on some pitiful azealas out front. I am hoping it will perk them up. The reason i worry about them getting stressed is my moore likes to swim up to me and gets sucked in the jug. He might like it though. I just wanted to know if it removed anything other than nitrate. Thanks for the replies, I shall keep doing the once a week wc.

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I dont mind doing the wc. I use a gallon jug and use the water on some pitiful azealas out front. I am hoping it will perk them up. The reason i worry about them getting stressed is my moore likes to swim up to me and gets sucked in the jug. He might like it though. I just wanted to know if it removed anything other than nitrate. Thanks for the replies, I shall keep doing the once a week wc.

Do you have gravel? If so, then you should definitely get a gravel vacuum. Otherwise waste caught in the gravel (you can't really see it unless you disturb the gravel) can cause terrible disease due to all the bacteria brooding in there.

If it's bare bottom, then just span the foot end of a fishnet stocking across the opening of the jug to prevent the fish from getting sucked in :)

Oh and if you get a gravel vacuum, do not leave it unattended. Always watch that no fish gets too close to the intake. If they get sucked into the gravel vacuum they can get hurt.

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I need pick up a siphon to clean the gravel. And a bucket. thanks for the idea of the stcking. will try that, dont know why he wants to get in there then want come out. LOL He is very playful.

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You need to get a water changer. This will change your life :D

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I thought the 'growth hormone' thing was a myth, so a goldfish REALLY won't grow larger then his tank??

They sell .01 Micron filters for home drinking water, what size are 'hormones' could we just filter them out? while still doing water changes to add nutrients?

Edited by Ridewithme38

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Here is a relatively recent discussion on evidence (or potentially lack thereof) for hormonal stunting. I think it is still a debatable topic, I am personally apt to believe that there is some truth to it, as goldies kept in small tanks are notoriously stunted. http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/98105-scientific-studies-in-regards-to-stunted-fish-and-organ-overgrowth/page__p__1179699__hl__+growth%20+hormone__fromsearch__1#entry1179699

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I thought the 'growth hormone' thing was a myth, so a goldfish REALLY won't grow larger then his tank??

They sell .01 Micron filters for home drinking water, what size are 'hormones' could we just filter them out? while still doing water changes to add nutrients?

I think the growth inhibition factor is more having to do with koi than with goldfish.

In the end, water changes are much simpler, easier, and dilutes out many more things, including other compounds, bacteria and other pathogens.

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I'm very skeptical of the growth hormone. The "a goldfish won't grow bigger than its bowl" claim has ignorant pet store story all over it. There are plenty of things that could stunt a fish in bowl or a tank, mainly poor water quality or perhaps the "they need only three pellets per day" claim.

Regardless, the way I see it is that fish are more dependant on us than other pets. They literally rely on us for the oxygen they breathe. So I try to make sure their water -- their lifelife -- is clean and fresh. And weekly water changes are about the minium standard in an otherwise good setup.

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Get a python it well change your world. I could not have four tanks without mine.

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Basically do a water change. Your goldfish will thank you :clapping:

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I agree with everyone else that you should replace 50% of your water a week, but I also have considerable agreement with your concern about maintaining the ecosystem and keeping a steady state environment for your fish. I have all of my ponds (some of which are the size of the indoor tanks many people here have) on a continuous water change system, in which I drip in clean water from a container and drip out overflow water at the other end of the pond. I am so pleased with the results of this system on the quality of the water and the health and apparent "contentment" of the fish, that I am trying to set up a similar system for my indoor tanks (without drilling holes in glass or running the risk of floods).

You can come close to a steady state by doing small daily water changes. If you vacuum your gravel and dump the dirty water from your filters you probably remove about 10% of the water, and it's the dirtiest water in the tank. Do this on a daily basis and you should maintain very good water quality.

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Interesting side note, on the growth hormones too, one supposed 'proof' was the huge organs in these stunted fish (the while, internal organs keep growing thing) which I initially believed after seeing it in dissected fish. However upon further thought and research it just seemed to be enlargement of certain organs, like the heart to pump more blood faster in an attempt to get more oxygen around the body in oxygen deprived environments, or the liver and kidneys in an attempt for the body to flush out all the toxins it was taking in from being submerged in such water, similar to how people with half a liver/kidney can compromise.

That said, koi can be stunted by hormones being produced and distributed into the water. I would not be surprised if there was a similar thing in goldfish, as pond raised fish (from fry) always seem so much larger and more robust then tank raised one, even if they have comparable parameters. Generally, more water = bigger fish for some reason. It may be a combination of factors, and a hypothetical growth hormone is possibly one as there are other fish who employ such things out there, as well as some (limited) research into a similar thing in goldies.

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The hypothesis that goldfish produce a substance that inhibits the growth of other goldfish was supposedly first proposed in the 1930s. I can't get the original papers, but apparently the hypothesis was created to explain growth data presented by a German researcher who measured the size of goldfish grown in large ponds stocked at various densities. The fish stocked at lower densities grew faster. But, if I recall correctly, the highest stocking density was 1 fish per 135 gallons.

This hypothesis was apparently revisited in the 1950s (again, I haven't seen the papers, just references in later scientific papers), probably because biochemists were now really good at isolating and identifying chemical substances. But none of them could find the "crowding factor." The last publication I have been able to find relating to this was in the late 1970s, an abstract only (no paper) in which a group said they had partially purified the crowding factor in goldfish. An abstract without a paper means this was presented at a scientific meeting, where people can report "preliminary results." The fact that no paper was ever written indicates the preliminary results were not confirmed.

To date, as far as I can tell there are no scientific papers supporting the existence of a specific substance that is produced by a fish and inhibits the growth of that species of fish -- not in goldfish, not in koi, not in any other species. I am not the only one here who has searched. I thought I had something when an article from a koi site gave a list of authors and a title that looked almost like a scientific reference. There was no publication information given. I searched the authors and the title long and hard. I even tracked down some of the authors to their professional web site, and none of them listed a paper, abstract, or talk on the subject.

There is no question that higher stocking levels decrease growth rates. Some of this may be caused by substances (plural) produced produced by the fish -- waste products. Crowded fish experience more competition for food. People here have described aggressive behavior that appeared to be related to stress induced by crowding. So if you consider known factors -- waste accumulation, food competition, stress -- there is no need to invoke a hypothetical substance that has the remarkable ability to disappear whenever a scientist tries to identify it.

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Personally, I think stress and its consequences are enough to explain the stunted growth. While such an inhibitory molecule could still exist, you would think that they would have cloned it by now, should it exist.

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Actually, Alex, such a substance would have commercial value from two points of view. Fish farmers would hope one could isolate the crowding factor and find something to inactivate it. Producers of feeder fish would want to treat fish with it to keep them small longer. Research that has commercial value gets funded and scientists always need funding.

There is a paper (Stone, McNulty, & Park (2003) North American Journal of Aquaculture 65:82-90) reporting the results of trying to stunt goldfish to keep them feeder-size longer. (Sorry, people, I know that's offensive to many, but knowing what's bad for fish helps us to take care of them.) They tried to use stocking level, but increasing levels from 1.5 to 3 to 4.5 fish/gallon increased the number of sick and dead fish without slowing growth enough. What worked best to keep the fish feeder size for maximum period was to feed at 1% of body weight. At that feeding level the fish remained healthy and grew at the same slow rate at all stocking rates tested. Using the lowest stocking level gave them the largest number of marketable fish.

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I would agree there is commercial value to academic interest in such a substance. I'm well aware of how hard it is to identify such a molecule. Nevertheless, it is rather curious that so little advancement has been made.

What I am saying earlier is that regardless of the existence of a growth inhibitory molecule, there are other factors, name stress, that could also give rise to the observed stunting.

Edited by dnalex

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Oxygen is another factor. Higher stocking levels will reduce oxygen levels, and growth rate is higher with more oxygen available.

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