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Old 09-10-2014, 04:44 PM   #11
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Most recommend 10% a week, I hear what Sniperhank is saying.

Thats what I do and I also dose mag/cal/alk. Although my new 125 system is sooooo much more stable that my 50 I don't know if weekly is really necessary but its my routeen and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
Here at AA, we promote weekly water changes of 10% for a healthy tank as it not only removes the bad, but also replaces the good that was used up. I personally like a larger than average water changes once a month or every other to bring nitrates down further as there is some ramp up no matter what you do.
Some stick to 20% or bi-weekly water changes. But if you break things down to a weekly 10%, you end up removing a larger number of nitrates (as example) than you would from large bi-weekly changes.
I will be doing water change but am just not sure of the amount. If my tank can be very happy and health with less than 10% weekly I want to know that, How do we really know what our pets are happy with? Because we were told that's what they need? Apparently there are many folks that are having success using less water to accomplish the same results as those that do heavy changes. I don't know, but I am for sure intrigued by the possibility of not having to buy so much salt or using precious water as long as my pets stay healthy. I also truly believe in investigation and verification of norms. I think that's how we grow. Not everything we are taught in school 25 years ago, 50 in my case, panned out to be true. It's our hobby to explore and enjoy while keeping our animals well. But like I said,salt is not free. Less work does not mean being lazy or negligent.
It just ills me to see the water that we waist using our RODIs to do changes that may not be necessary.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:42 PM   #13
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The only way to know is to test your system. The amount of nitrate buildup every week will give you a guideline to how much water to change. You also have to consider alk, cal, and mg. If you aren't dosing and your levels are depleting, you'll have to do a water change to replenish them.

Nobody here can tell you how much water to change, we can only give our opinions and suggestions.

If you can find out how much nutrients build up in your tank over the period of a week, we can certainly help you out a little but more.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:03 PM   #14
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10% is probably fair for most, but so much depends on the tank size, filtration, inhabitants, etc. I think you've got to do what works for your tank and that will change as you add corals and/or fish.

I do monthly water changes of about 60 gallons on my 240g FOWLR and nitrates stay at zero. That is with three smallish fish (Blonde tang, Yellow tang, Rabbitfish and just recently a Longnose hawk and Lawnmower Blenny).

I do 15 gallon changes on my 60g reef every other week (mostly corals with a Chalk Bass and Ruby Red Dragonette). Again, nitrates stay zero, phos is usually close to zero and calcium is always fine).

I expect both tanks will need more as more fish are added, but this works for me now.


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Old 09-13-2014, 02:45 PM   #15
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Here's my thought on the whole water change concept:

First, for those who say you do water changes to remove excess nitrates, if that were true we would all have very high nitrate levels. In fact our tanks would stabalize at a point where the weekly addition of nitrates (i.e. food) is equal to the weekly removal. So if we did a 10% weekly water change, then we would only be removing 10% of the nitrates weekly. Or one could say we are leaving 90% of the nitrates behind. Based on that, water changes for nitrate removal is a complete waste of time. Water changes, like skimmers only deal with a percentage of the waste levels, and that percentage is NEVER 100%.

What does that mean?

There are 2 things we need to do to a system.

First, we need to remove all excess proteins that we add in the form of food, that fish convert to waste (minus the amount that becomes livestock biomass). We do this with quality protein skimmers, media reactors, algae turf scrubbers and macro algae. Things like skimmers and reactors can take out large percentages of waste, while algaes can remove it to 0 levels. the heavier stacked your system is, the better your waste removal systems need to be. Water changes will only take care of a small percentage of the waste problem, and relying solely on that will set you up for nitrate problems.

Second, we need to replenish the other things in the water. The most obvious is carbonates and calciums that are used up by all the corals and other invertabrates in the tank. There is also magnesium that is very important. But it doesn't end there as many other minerals are needed in a healthy aquarium. Water changes DO replace those last chemicals. But if your tank is heavily stocked, you may need to augment water changes to keep easily measured levels like Alk, Calc and Mag at preferred levels. And, if you want to limit water changes, as a few of our top notch posters and aquarists do, dosing is a very effective means of maintaining a stable system.

So with a quality nutrient removal system of skimmers, resins, reactors and algae, coupled with a measured and monitored dosing regiment, you certainly can maintain a stable aquarium with very little in the way of water changes. Is it cheaper than simply doing water changes, I don't know. But dosing pumps are not cheap.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:26 AM   #16
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With reef tank as long as you can maintain a good water parameter with happy live stock IMO water change is not a must. The Jaubert method or Monaco system is a low maintenance tank that water changes can be done in months. See link below.

Feature Article: Jaubert's Method, The 'Monaco System,' Defined And Refined — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

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Old 09-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #17
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With reef tank as long as you can maintain a good water parameter with happy live stock IMO water change is not a must. The Jaubert method or Monaco system is a low maintenance tank that water changes can be done in months. See link below.

Feature Article: Jaubert's Method, The 'Monaco System,' Defined And Refined — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

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Yeah but the person had better be VERY experienced and well versed in the science/biology involved or that type of system can go very bad.
Definitely not a system for a novice or intermediate level hobbyist.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:10 PM   #18
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I'm not recommending anything. I'm speaking in general with an example. In short water change depends on your filtration and bio load.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:05 AM   #19
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Nobody is proposing others change or do anything they are uncomfortable with. The purpose of my post was so others could see a different system that is used in our hobby. A wonderful thing about reef keeping all of our tanks differ in some way and it is cool IMO to discuss them.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:49 PM   #20
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Water Changes

IMO it is based on system volume and livestock load.

Smaller systems it is more economical to use water exchanges, larger systems it is more economical to dose and use methods of nutrient export. Testing is critical if you operate this way. But even in large systems, folks like Mr X still like water exchanges as it is always the simplest way to go. I do minimal water exchanges, but I have a whole room dedicated to nutrient export.


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