Cichlidiot (cich·lid·i·ot)

Fishkeeping for the masses

  • cich·lid : Any of various tropical and subtropical freshwater fishes of the family Cichlidae, many of which are popular as aquarium fish
  • id·i·ot : A foolish or stupid person
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Fishkeeping Utopia

Posted by cichlidiot on December 26, 2006

I’m sure that all fishkeepers wished there was a way to eliminate the need for those back-breaking water changes. I sure have, because I have to ask my personal care attendant and our family driver to do it for me because of my disability. Since water changes aren’t really part of their job descriptions, I can’t very well add yet another aquarium that they need to service weekly.

That being said, I came across a thread at Aquarium Advice (one of the forums I usually lurk in) where the merits of a denitrifying filter were discussed. I followed a link to a company called North Coast Pets, which offers such a product. The first thing that struck me was this particular line: “Imagine… an aquarium that almost never needed water changes.” This caught my attention for two reasons. Firstly, if the implication is that such a device could eliminate the need for regular water changes, then it would definitely interest me, despite the hefty $600 price tag. Secondly, I seriously doubt the effectiveness of a product that makes such bold claims while going against conventional wisdom.

While I don’t have the resources to actually purchase one just for the sake of a controlled experiment, I’d sure love to hear from others who have used such a device. In the meantime, I’m pretty sure that partial water changes will still be part of my regular aquarium maintenance routine, at least until such time that scientific proof shows that these denitrifying filters actually work.


One Response to “Fishkeeping Utopia”

  1. I’m not too sure if this might be of help to anyone else, but I devised a simple, easy and economical plan to remove/replace the water in my tank. I got a cheap fully immersible powerhead/water pump — the type that is used for cannister filters and that only sells for PhP 300.00. You will also need a garden hose — preferably one that coils around one of those cute wheels that keep the garden hose neat and unbent. You might also need a coupler to fit one end of the garden hose snugly to the powerhead.

    To remove the dirty water in the tank, I attached the hose to the part where the powerhead pumps out the water. I submerged the powerhead in the tank, and used it to suck up the dirty water at the bottom of the tank. The other end of the hose spilled the dirty water out directly into a drain.

    To replace the water in the tank, I put a pail under a faucet and filled it up to the mark for the amount of water I needed to replace in the tank, and then I conditioned the water. I got the same powerhead (rinsed it first by the way) and submerged it into the pail of conditioned water. I then attached the other end of the water hose to the powerhead, and allowed the other end of the hose to spill the new water into the tank.

    The only laborious part is rolling up the garden hose again. After that, you’ve done your water change and your tank cleaning without the need for carrying any heavy pails of water around or tracking mud on the floor since all you’re moving around is the powerhead.

    The only caveat here is that the powerhead does release a small electrical charge into the aquarium water, and is not recommended for a breeding tank or one that houses very small fish.

    I’m open to other suggestions or comments. Feel free to correct me if I am doing something wrong by changing my water this way.

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