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Old 09-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
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Switching to Reef Crystals...

Right now, I'm using "plain" IO salt, but am going to switch to their reef salt in anticipation of adding corals to my currently FOWLR tank. Obviously, I can't drain the tank and switch out all of the water at once, but what is the best way to spread out the change? Should I do 20% a day for a week, 20% a week for a month, or less than that, but spread out over a longer period of time?
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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You can start with the water changes, but the main difference between IO and RC would be in terms of the calcium, Alkalinity, and magnesium. Do you know what these are at now, before you add corals? The main thing you want to avoid is a big bounce in any of those. Work to get the magnesium stable around 1250 to 1400, then the calcium (shoot for 400), then the alkalinity between 8 and 11. Once you've got that locked in, light and flow are the only things you need to really tweak as far as coral placement.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #3
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You can start with the water changes, but the main difference between IO and RC would be in terms of the calcium, Alkalinity, and magnesium. Do you know what these are at now, before you add corals? The main thing you want to avoid is a big bounce in any of those. Work to get the magnesium stable around 1250 to 1400, then the calcium (shoot for 400), then the alkalinity between 8 and 11. Once you've got that locked in, light and flow are the only things you need to really tweak as far as coral placement.
+1 to all dat!
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:06 PM   #4
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Id do 3 50% water changes. Thatll put you at roughly 87.5% total water replacement. At that point your pwcs will pick up the other 12.5% in the following couple months.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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You can start with the water changes, but the main difference between IO and RC would be in terms of the calcium, Alkalinity, and magnesium. Do you know what these are at now, before you add corals? The main thing you want to avoid is a big bounce in any of those. Work to get the magnesium stable around 1250 to 1400, then the calcium (shoot for 400), then the alkalinity between 8 and 11. Once you've got that locked in, light and flow are the only things you need to really tweak as far as coral placement.

I agree.

Someone posted that you should do 50% changes. that is madness. Switching salts should be done slowly over a longer period of time. IMO and how I have done this in the past is a gal at a time. in your case a nano would go fairly quick. Do a gallon every other day for a few weeks. That will be all you need. You might even find that water changes are eaiser and faster this way.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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You can start with the water changes, but the main difference between IO and RC would be in terms of the calcium, Alkalinity, and magnesium. Do you know what these are at now, before you add corals? The main thing you want to avoid is a big bounce in any of those. Work to get the magnesium stable around 1250 to 1400, then the calcium (shoot for 400), then the alkalinity between 8 and 11. Once you've got that locked in, light and flow are the only things you need to really tweak as far as coral placement.
I test calcium and KH now, I need to pick up a mag test. So basically, once those are stable, just do my routine PWC to keep them nominal with the new salt? Or, should I dose slowly to bring them up in anticipation of introducing the salt?

I don't want to risk 50% changes. That's too big a swing (potentially) for me. I suppose I could re-drip acclimate my livestock (not much right now) over the course of 8 hrs or so, but what a PITA that would be.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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I agree.

Someone posted that you should do 50% changes. that is madness. Switching salts should be done slowly over a longer period of time. IMO and how I have done this in the past is a gal at a time. in your case a nano would go fairly quick. Do a gallon every other day for a few weeks. That will be all you need. You might even find that water changes are eaiser and faster this way.

I like that plan, and it's totally do-able
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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Id do 3 50% water changes. Thatll put you at roughly 87.5% total water replacement. At that point your pwcs will pick up the other 12.5% in the following couple months.
This is right. If you listen to some of these others then your gonna need some more buckets of salt because your gonna go through about 150 $ worth of salt. This is the proper way
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:43 PM   #9
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This is right. If you listen to some of these others then your gonna need some more buckets of salt because your gonna go through about 150 $ worth of salt. This is the proper way

Its a 20 gal tank. 50% is insane and Its asking for trouble.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:45 PM   #10
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Its a 20 gal tank. 50% is insane and Its asking for trouble.
No its not insane at all. Its actually a pretty good idea
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