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Old 07-12-2004, 01:51 PM   #1
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Please weigh in with your two cents worth : Water changes!

Okay, i have heard anything from 25% once a month, 15 % a week, and some who suggest only replacing water lost to evaporation! What to do, what to do!! My tank currently has finished cycling, but is developing a slight film on top (my skimmer hasn't ben bought yet!) - Please feel free to give me suggestions to how much of a water change you do - hopefully if enough people post i will be able to just take an average!!!

Thanks for your help
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Old 07-12-2004, 02:12 PM   #2
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My view is, less but more often =) I do less than 10% once a week
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Old 07-12-2004, 04:10 PM   #3
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I feel it really depends on the filtration and location of your tank my water stays crystal clear and all perimeters are perfect with a monthly water change of 10%
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Old 07-12-2004, 04:19 PM   #4
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IMO, it really does depend on your tank itself. Tanks with a lot of critters or tanks with a lot of corals etc will use up a lot of the trace elements faster and thus need more water changes. If you have a FO or FOWLR (as I currently have) then you can probably get away with few an small water changes. I'll do 10% once a month (if that). unless you have a heavly stocked tank. If so then you likely will also have higher nitrates and will need to do more frequent/larger water changes to keep the nitrates in check. If you have a lot of corals or inverts then you'll need to either replace the trace elements they use with additives (And thus test for those elements as well) or again, do more frequent/larger water changes. It all depends on your tank.
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Old 07-12-2004, 04:21 PM   #5
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Thanks, I figured it would come down to the type/stocking level of the tank! Just looking for a ball-park figure!
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:42 PM   #6
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The "need" factor is only one aspect. And by that I mean, what do your corals need and what needs to be replaced. The waste export is the 2nd most common reason for water changes, but...think about it. If the cycle is doing its job, your not going to need to export nitrates and nitrites...the cycle will do it. What you will need to export are heavy metals that are deposited into the tank via impure water (top off) and possibly food or additives.

Look at it this way...picture the heavy metals as gravel. Your tank is a 5 gallon bucket. Initially you fill it up..(gravel and water) . Day one...gallon of evap, so a gallon of water/gravel back in. Same on day two. What will eventually happen? The gravel will make the water unihabitable for the fish...right?


As far as what percentage...what is your goal? It should be to keep the tank as stable as possible. This means that the parameters fluctuate as little as possible. Again, that means smaller water changes more often. If you do 5% a week, in the average month, you would have changed 20% of the water! Thats ideal and you didnt have a large impact on the corals and fish!
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:51 PM   #7
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I do 5% a week.
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Old 07-12-2004, 06:21 PM   #8
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Thank you for taking the time to give me some suggestions! Once again aa.com proves to be THE best place for aquarium needs
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Old 07-12-2004, 06:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquishyFish
The "need" factor is only one aspect. And by that I mean, what do your corals need and what needs to be replaced. The waste export is the 2nd most common reason for water changes, but...think about it. If the cycle is doing its job, your not going to need to export nitrates and nitrites...the cycle will do it. What you will need to export are heavy metals that are deposited into the tank via impure water (top off) and possibly food or additives.

Look at it this way...picture the heavy metals as gravel. Your tank is a 5 gallon bucket. Initially you fill it up..(gravel and water) . Day one...gallon of evap, so a gallon of water/gravel back in. Same on day two. What will eventually happen? The gravel will make the water unihabitable for the fish...right?


As far as what percentage...what is your goal? It should be to keep the tank as stable as possible. This means that the parameters fluctuate as little as possible. Again, that means smaller water changes more often. If you do 5% a week, in the average month, you would have changed 20% of the water! Thats ideal and you didnt have a large impact on the corals and fish!
I'm not sure how doing water changes would remove heavy metals.. why would heavy metals be floating around in the water column?

And if your goal is to export unwanted buildups then 5% just isn't going to make an impact.. you'd be better off doing the 20% once a month. I'm too lazy to go into the math behind dilutions but I'm sure everyone knows it by now.
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:33 PM   #10
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i am doing 10% every two weeks along with regular top offs
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