Water Changes


tbendl

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So there was a thread on facebook talking about water changes, how much and how often. Is this something that most people do? I only add water when the pond gets low, usually a few inches maybe 1x a month but I'm curious about the reasoning behind it.
 
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The first year I changed my water twice because I couldn't keep it from turning green. Now that I have installed a UV light and automatic water feeder I never touch it. I have no idea how much water is being fed or if any is being fed. Whatever is happening the water is clear and the plants and fish are doing fine. I also never test the water but that is for another thread in the future.
 
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tbendl

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I do the same JB and did the same when I started my pond last year mgmine. I just keep reading that there are people who swear that frequent water changes (up to 30%) is a must to reduce various issues. I was just curious about the reasoning behind it.
 
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I only do a water change in spring and fall. Other than that I just top off. I keep a very high plant density though and have never had issues even with my pond being overstocked with fish.
 
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My spring/fall changes are usually pretty big. I would say mine are 75%, but that is just because of where I placed my drain. I am sure most people will not recommend a water change that big, but I am a rebel like that. lol
 
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IMO, Water changes are necessary for the long term health of your fish. Although I have noticed that many members of this forum do not necessarily do them. Not really sure why? From what I have learned most all serious koi keepers do regular water changes (I personally don't have koi but would still like to keep my fish healthy)

By doing water changes you remove excess nitrates and/or heavy metals that build up if you are only topping off evaporated water. They help rid your pond water of organics that build up and may not have been taken care of by your filter. And the fresh water also replaces minerals that are necessary for your fish.

This is just basic fish care/maintenance that I learned from keeping aquariums but I feel it also applies to ponds. I mean no disrespect by this (to those who don't do water changes) but I'm not really sure why anyone would argue the point?
 

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By doing water changes you remove excess nitrates and/or heavy metals that build up if you are only topping off evaporated water.
This is why aquatic plantings are so important. With the proper balance of plants to fish, Nitrates will not build-up nor will heavy metals.

They help rid your pond water of organics that build up and may not have been taken care of by your filter.
With adequate surface area (SSA) and a functioning Carbon cycle this should, at most, only be an occasional and passing issue, like after a spawn.

And the fresh water also replaces minerals that are necessary for your fish.
This has always been an interesting belief. Notwithstanding that the minerals and trace elements that are required for fish nutrition are contained in most commercial fish food, one would need to know not only which minerals and/or trace elements needed replenishing and the amount needed for each one, but also the levels of each the source (replacement) water contained. Otherwise it is no more than a 'crap shoot'.

It is a proven fact that any abrupt change in an aquatic environment, such as water changes, will trigger acute stress in fish. Given, in most cases, the obvious limited value of water changes, this is stress that can be avoided
 

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Backflushing our bead filter and waterfall filter every week or two necessitates a water change of approx. 60 gallons, or one percent of our system volume. I don't believe this periodic flushing of concentrated, mechanically filtered organic/inorganic material causes acute stress in our fish. Granted, our water changes are minuscule for a 6000 gal. system, but without regular maintenance our vortex bead filter will become a four-foot-wide tank full of poop:
image.jpeg

I do agree, however, that anything beyond tiny, slowly replenished changes are unnecessary and possibly disruptive to the chain of life.
 
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Maria how much do you do (% wise) and how often?
Honestly I prefer to do smaller (approx 25%) weekly or every other week water changes but life doesn't always allow for that so it becomes monthly (at least during the spring thru the fall) and I tend to do 25% or more (up to 50%) if I feel it needs a large water change. I'm not in total agreement with the fact that a water change stresses fish, mine actually seem to enjoy it. I tend to think more on the lines of it being a healthy thing to do for the fish.

I can't help but think about fish in a pond without water changes are basically in a toilet that is never flushed :yuck:
 
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This is why aquatic plantings are so important. With the proper balance of plants to fish, Nitrates will not build-up nor will heavy metals.


With adequate surface area (SSA) and a functioning Carbon cycle this should, at most, only be an occasional and passing issue, like after a spawn.


This has always been an interesting belief. Notwithstanding that the minerals and trace elements that are required for fish nutrition are contained in most commercial fish food, one would need to know not only which minerals and/or trace elements needed replenishing and the amount needed for each one, but also the levels of each the source (replacement) water contained. Otherwise it is no more than a 'crap shoot'.

It is a proven fact that any abrupt change in an aquatic environment, such as water changes, will trigger acute stress in fish. Given, in most cases, the obvious limited value of water changes, this is stress that can be avoided
Poor water quality is one of the main factors in fish disease/health issues. How do you manage this without changing water? Please don't say by adding chemicals.
 

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Poor water quality is one of the main factors in fish disease/health issues. How do you manage this without changing water? Please don't say by adding chemicals.
Ample filtration (mechanical, bio and phyto), flow rate (twice capacity/hour), keeping feeding levels strictly supplemental to the pond's existing food chain, culturing of same food chain, and absolutely no chemicals or treatments including salt.
Never any issue with water quality, parasites or stress related illnesses.
This same regimen is followed in all of the pond's that I service with the same results.
Basically setting in place those same elements found in nature and letting Nature do the work which it has perfected over eons.
 
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We've never changed our water in now 5 years with this pond. Nature fills it up, or I do with the hose. We were told by an experienced pond guy (been building and servicing for 25+ years) that you want your pond water to "mature". In his experience the most stable ponds were those that were over three years old. Once you hit that sweet spot, things would just keep humming along. He had several ponds of his own that were over 20 years old so we figured he knew what he was talking about. We'll see if the same holds true for our pond.. only 15 years to go!
 
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