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Old 10-20-2010, 09:39 AM   #1
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PWC questions...

I'm getting ready for my first PWC and had a few questions. How long do you "age" your new mixture for the PWC? I've bought a 40g rubbermaid garbage tote and someone mentioned that it should be food grade however I see that quite a few people use these so I'm assuming it's aquarium safe? What equipment do you turn off? return pump, skimmer? I see some people siphon from their sump and some from their DT. I was going with the DT so that I can suck up the decay. Thanks...

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Old 10-20-2010, 11:39 AM   #2
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Also are the white home depot bucket/pails aquarium safe?

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Old 10-20-2010, 12:01 PM   #3
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You should let your salt water sit for 24 hours after you mix it. This helps to make sure the salt is completely dissolved and the PH is stable. Both the garbage tote and the home depot buckets are safe to mix your water in.

You can siphon from either place. I usually siphon from the DT to get rid on build up or algae. If you are just doing a quick small change it is easier to take it from the sump. When doing a water change you can leave the skimmer on usually but the return pump should be shut off. The water level will lower in the sump first when the pump is on and it can run dry if you do a larger water change then you have volume in your sumps return chaimber.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:14 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot Pat.

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Old 10-20-2010, 12:33 PM   #5
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If you got the Rubbermaid BRUTE 44g trash can, yes that's the one (I have 2). You can siphon from wherever you feel appropriate, sucking up waste is a good idea if your filter isn't taking it out. I usually siphon any loose waste out of a sump every couple months.

As far as aging the saltwater mix, you can 'technically' use it after about an hour (the label for Instant Ocean says "as soon as salt is fully dissolved") but I usually let mine mix (and aerate) overnight. Usually. This is more important in Reef systems, IMO. I find that the salinity usually stabilizes after a few hours, but I always like to wait longer to let everything FULLY dissolve and heat, then test salinity in the tank first, then the new water so I know it's closely matched (using a refractometer).

You will likely have to turn off your return pump, because when the DT level drops below the overflow line (depending on how much water you change) your return pump will start sucking air and that's bad. You can probably leave the skimmer running, it just won't skim when the sump water level drops down, but will return to normal operation when you re-fill the tank (and sump). I have a couple tanks in which I purposely do not unplug the skimmer during a PWC as I have found that they do not balance out right away after plugging in again - they overflow for about an hour, then settle down. Your may be OK with a power on/off, so just try it and find out (better to find out on purpose than by accident, like during an outage!!)

Edit: sorry for the repeated into...stepped away for a bit
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