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Old 09-30-2009, 05:09 PM   #1
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First time water change.

It is that time where I think I need to do my first partial water change. I have never done one on a salt water tank, and I read where some have actually vacuumed the bottom, and some just siphoned water out. I have a little over 150lbs of live rock rock on a crushed coral bottom, so I am worried that vacuuming will be more fun then I can stand. So vacuum, or siphon..?
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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If you have CC I would suggest you vacuum the substrate. If it was sand then let your clean uo crew do the job. CC usually get food and waste trapped in it.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:43 PM   #3
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If you have CC I would suggest you vacuum the substrate. If it was sand then let your clean uo crew do the job. CC usually get food and waste trapped in it.
Mike, Do I really have to move all that rock out? Will it damage the corals? I have bristle worms, alot of them don't they clean up the stuff that's between the crushed coral bottom?
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:14 PM   #4
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So you do have a crushed coral bottom... Use a gravel vac on it then as you would pebble substrate in a fresh water aquarium.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:29 PM   #5
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So you do have a crushed coral bottom... Use a gravel vac on it then as you would pebble substrate in a fresh water aquarium.
If I don't move the live rock and vacuum under them will it cause a problem?
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:43 PM   #6
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I would not move your rock around at all. If you think about it no waste is really getting under there. All you are worried about is fish waste and uneaten food that falls in between your crushed coral. Just get close to the rocks and get that. What I would do is vacuum one side of your tank this time. Next time vacuum the other side and so on. How many gallons is your tank and how deep is your crushed coral bed?
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:51 PM   #7
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Your first problem is your CC substrate. These are also know as Nitrate Factories. Crushed coral makes for a lousy substrate. First it's very hard for your cleanup crew to get between them to clean it up. Second, because of this you will start to get nitrate buildup due to this.
Well, you should try to remove this in the near future or you will have nothing but trouble with it.
Okay, for now you will have to be very diligent and vacume as much as you can. You can't be moving all of your LR every time you vacume and that's where the problem lays. with Aragonite sand your CUC can get under and between those rocks and clean them out for you.....You see where the problem lays.
I would vacume the best that you can without moving your LR and try to remove the CC and replace it with the Aragonite sand in the near future.
Are you going to be using RO/DI water?
To the container of RO/DI water mix in your salt, stir and get it as close to 1.025 SG as you can. Use a power head to mix the water. Add a small heater to get the water up to the temp. of your DT. Let this stir and mix over night. Measure SG again and add more water if it's Higher then 1.025 or add more salt if it's below that.
Do your syphoning out of water and crud and replace with the water you made up the night before.
I hope you have a Refractometer or at least for now a Hydrometer...
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:25 PM   #8
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I do have a refractometer. I am interested in replacing the crushed coral with the sandy stuff, but I have a few questions for that.

First, how would I get all of that crushed coral out without killing my fish, and secondly, how would I add all of the sand without making the water too cloudy?

How many pounds of that sand should I get?

Should I take all of the Live Rock out and then try to catch all the fish and put them in a bucket while I scoop out all of the coral?

Lastly, will my snails loose traction in the sand?
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:27 PM   #9
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I would not move your rock around at all. If you think about it no waste is really getting under there. All you are worried about is fish waste and uneaten food that falls in between your crushed coral. Just get close to the rocks and get that. What I would do is vacuum one side of your tank this time. Next time vacuum the other side and so on. How many gallons is your tank and how deep is your crushed coral bed?
There is about 3/4 inch of crushed coral, and the tank is 125 gallons.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:35 PM   #10
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Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Natural White Reef Sand #0 - 20 lb. | Buffered Substrate | Gravel & Substrate | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com

Is this the sand that I should buy?
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