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Old 06-25-2013, 12:54 AM   #1
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How do you perform water changes?

I was just wondering how other people performed water changes. I don't think I'm doing a good job of it. There's drips everywhere and my fish seem freaked out (they hide for the remainder of the day)

So here's my routine. The night before, I make sure that my bucket (outside) has enough water and is the correct salinity and temperature. To do the water change, here's what I do

- Detach the powerhead from the aquarium and use them to blow clean the live rock
- Stop the return pump
- Lightly vacuum the gravel until 20% of the water is gone
- Use a bucket to bring a couple gallons at a time, from outside, into the tank (trail of drips)
- Pour bucket into fish tank, try not to splash too much
- Repeat until full.

I don't think my fish are too happy with me. Is there a better way of changing water? Thanks
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:16 AM   #2
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You do not have to blow the rocks or vacuum every pwc unless you have algae or accumulated detritus. Turn off return pump and the circulating pumps that are above your minimum level. After removing enough water use a power head with hose attachment to transfer new salt water to the sump. Connect the power head that is filling up the Sump to your ATO. Then run the return pump to start filling up the DT. Use the ball valve of return pump to slowly regulate the flow with minimum splash until you reach the normal level.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:53 PM   #3
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So I don't have to clean the rocks every time? I'm usually surprised how much poop there is on the rocks and in the crevices.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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If your fish freak out I would try doing it in the afternoon and turn lights off.i do this with mine clean them around 3 then I turn the light switch back on after time goes off
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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If you have a lot of "poop" left in your tank you might look to increase flow in your tank so it can get skimmed .
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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Yes, more flow would be good, but if you have detritus lying in the rock, it's best to try to remove it with each water change. I would not vacuum the sand though. I would use a pump to pump the water back in instead of dumping buckets in the display. How large of a tank is this?
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:14 PM   #7
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The display is 36G with a 10G sump. I was thinking about trying Jeff's advice; using a powerhead to transfer water to the sump and then use the return pump to push the water back into the DT. But my concern is that with a 20% WC, the output for the return is probably 2 inches above the waterline, so when I turn the pump on, it'll blast water back into the tank.

As for flow, I'm using an Eheim Compact 3000, it should be a pumping out 500gph, plus I have 2 Koralia 425's at opposite ends of the tank. Here's an old picture of the setup...
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:15 PM   #8
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although, now i think i probably should have put the overflow in the center of the tank, rather than the left side.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:11 PM   #9
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You need to have a ball valve for your return pump to trickle the water to DT. You can also put a sock filter or diffuse the water to the wall of tank. if you can also extend the nozzle under water just during pwc.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:05 AM   #10
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I always blow the rocks off when I do a water change ,like what has been said I turn my ball valve one the return to trickle water in to the tank then I add my new water to the skimmer chamber of my sump..I use the bucket routine also ,good thing my house is all tile in the common areas, So I just mop the drips up after
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