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Old 07-29-2006, 01:06 PM   #1
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Berlin filtration and PWC's - question

As long as pH stays stable, and other params are stable, is there as much of a need to do PWC's, except to replace trace minerals and such, in a berlin system?

I removed biowheels and turned off my HOB filter this week. Everything stayed stable.

At this time, I have no sponges or filters (except protein skimmer) anywhere in the system, except for one on the overflow, and I clean that regularly, once or even twice a day.

The water looks great - clearer than ever before.

I'm a little nervous about my next PWC though. That's always introduced a little ammonia in the system because of the chloromines. Not nearly as much since I've been using prime, but trace amounts are still surely there. I don't want to upset the system though, so I'll probably do very small changes at first.

RODI isn't in my budget. I usually use distilled water from the store for topping off.

How frequently do people using all natural filtration do PWC's, and how much? Does topping off introduce enough new water into the system to avoid frequent PWC?
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:51 PM   #2
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FWIW, I still do weekly water changes in my tank with no filtration besides protein skimmer and two powerheads. I do about 50% though. I find that I have better water quality now by using no filtration besides a skimmer.

I don't think you can avoid PWC's with this method. You are still going to have a waste buildup in your tank.

I am in the same boat as you in regards to RO/DI. I just can't use it because of the well on my house and the amount of wasted water.

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Old 07-29-2006, 05:53 PM   #3
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I knew there'd still be some involved, wasn't sure how much.

Most water changes so far I've done to eliminate Nitrates. If nitrates are under control via denitrifying bacteria, then I'm not sure what the "measure" should be to determine when, and how much to change.
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Old 07-29-2006, 08:32 PM   #4
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PWC are also to replenish trace elements. There are several reasons for them with 2 that we have mentioned in this thread
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Old 07-29-2006, 09:27 PM   #5
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I understand they're needed - I'm just not sure what measurement to gauge the need for a PWC, if nitrates are at zero, which has always been the "indicator" in the past... should I arbitrarily change 20% or 25% every couple weeks?
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Old 07-29-2006, 11:23 PM   #6
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Don't see why a PWC would induce an ammonia spike? A RO/DI can be had for $50-80 on ebay. Or you can get water from a grocery or some dept. stores. Unless your tap water is really bad, it could be used. FO or FOWLR seem to fare better in my experience.
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:02 AM   #7
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I do top-offs with water from the store. The big 2.5 gallon jugs are the perfect size for whem the return pump in my sump is just starting to suck air.

The ammonia spike is from chloromines in the water. Its normal, pretty much all municipal water is going to have that to eliminate bacteria from the water. When you treat it with amquel, prime, etc., some of the ammonia is release. I actually talked to a chemist at the water company about it, who owned a SW setup himself. The ammonia is barely detectable with Prime though.
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:09 PM   #8
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I guess I have never tested the water after a PWC but I have been doing SW for almost 11 years and PWC have never been bad. When I used tap water I just used dechlor. I used to used the grovery water but if you can get an RO/DI, it will be better. TDS on some of the grocery water is still high.
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Old 07-30-2006, 03:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoot
should I arbitrarily change 20% or 25% every couple weeks?
I change mine every week weather it needs it or not. Better safe than sorry. As I stated earlier it will replenish trace elements, buffer your tank and keep calcium where it needs to be.
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:58 PM   #10
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Melosu58, that's sort of the answer I was looking for.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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