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Old 01-11-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
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Best way to do a large water change?

I plan on switching out 50% of my water in my 40 breeder tank, and was wondering what the best way to do it was. Would it be better to drain 20 gallons and replace 20 gallons at one time? Or would it be better to drain 5 gallons then replace that 5 gallons and then another 5 gallons etc. etc.? It seems like if you don't do it all at once, then you are just replacing some of that clean water you just put back in the fish tank…?
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:24 PM   #2
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Do all 20. You want to take out all the bad water and replace it with nothing but good water.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:44 PM   #3
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+1 for all 20. But why so much? Do you have a spike in parameters?
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maridia View Post
Do all 20. You want to take out all the bad water and replace it with nothing but good water.

Second that, do it all at once. If you do small water changes back to back you actually end up with more dirty water left in the tank which defeats the purpose. Generally you want to do smaller water changes more frequently but if your water is really dirty then one larger one is better. Let's look more closely shall we, if your current water has levels around 1 ppm of nitrate and you do a 50% change it takes it down to .5ppm. If you do a 5gal change that's 8% and will drop your nitrate to .92 ppm. If you do this 4 times for a total of 50% or 20gal you will end up with a nitrate level of .716 ppm. So doing 4 seperate 5gallon changes basically cuts the effectiveness of a 20 gallon change almost in half compared to doing one 20 gallon change. From my experience stability is important in an aquarium and more specifically in reefs however removing dirty water and adding clean water in larger volume usually doesn't cause ill effects quite the opposite. Most of the time your tank inhabitants be it coral or fish will respond very positively to the large amount of clean water..
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