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Old 01-28-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
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Determining Water Change Schedule

How do I determine the amount of water change I should do and when to do them?
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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I do 15 gallons a week on my freshwater. The first time I did a water change I used buckets and put a mark of tape on the back side so i Knew where 15g was. Now im using a "python" much easier.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
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Water changes are needed, in an established tank with normal conditions, when nitrates surpass the disired level. You can test nitrates often to get a feel for how long you can go between water changes or opt for a 30 to 50 percent change weekly.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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Yeah with saltwater. Would highly suggest weekly and at least 20%
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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Yeah with saltwater. Would highly suggest weekly and at least 20%


I'm going for 120g FOWLR with 40g sump for chaeto and skimmer. My only occupant would be a porcupine puffer.

I think I'll just go by nitrate readings like Mrduna01 recommended.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:04 PM   #6
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I do water changes after I feed my anemones and certain corals like ducan and dendros. I feed twice a week so once a week I will change out between one and two gallons on my 55 then a 5 gallon. I do this to make sure I keep any extra food out of the tank. I find smaller more often water changes are better for my tanks. It takes me 10 minutes from start to finish just to change the water which isn't bad. I might not get the glass all scraped off and the rocks blown off that day but that take a minute or two a couple of times a week. I do have a tank that I change 10% once a week there is no extra feeding because there are only 2 fish in the tank with softies.

I see you have puffers and I believe they are rather messy eaters. You probably don't have a cuc for very long to eat the leftovers. You might do better with a couple of smaller water changes than one large one.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:05 PM   #7
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Yeah, that's pretty much the case for any tank. With a reef, of course, it gets in to more specific parameters like calcium, magnesium, etc... but with FOWLR, treat it just like you do with your fw/bw tanks.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:00 AM   #8
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You might do better with a couple of smaller water changes than one large one.
The purpose of the smaller changes is to take out solid waste, correct?

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but with FOWLR, treat it just like you do with your fw/bw tanks.
For FW/BW tanks, I do water changes every week, regardless of nitrate levels, because its easy and DOCs are taken out of the system.

I thought that a SW tank we could reduce water changes to once every 2-4 weeks since a skimmer reduce DOCs.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:31 AM   #9
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I believe you can go for weeks without changes, providing you test regularly and supplement trace elements as they become depleted.

If you have good nutrient export (macro algaes to consume nitrates/phosphates) and dose as required why do you need to change the water? Simple detritus removal is the only reason I can see. Besides if you have good random flow and no dead spots there shouldnt be a deal of that anyway.

I could test my water now and there would be undetectable nutrients and my alk would be 9.5 - 9.7, mag 1300 -1340 and cal around 420 and I haven't changed water since new years day. I tend to do 20% once a month.

I first got this idea from watching one of new York steelo's vids and I believe he had gone 80 yes 80 days without a change and I'm sure some of you will be aware of how nice his tanks are.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:49 AM   #10
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What is your tank size?
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