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Old 12-30-2014, 07:46 AM   #1
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Saltwater daily/weekly maintenance questions.

Hi! I'm thinking about starting a saltwater tank, and was hoping you all could help answer some questions I have. First, what's a typical routine for daily/weekly maintenance. Such as pwc, topping off.....I want to understand what I'm getting myself into ahead of time. I know saltwater is more time consuming than freshwater, but don't know exactly how much more. Any help is appreciated..


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Old 12-30-2014, 08:37 AM   #2
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I don't think it's that time consuming to be honest. I have to top my tank off every 6 days. In terms of water change I do 15% per fortnight. I prepare my new water overnight which takes a few minutes to prepare


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Old 12-30-2014, 10:19 AM   #3
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But how often do you tear your sump down for cleaning/maintenance? I read somewhere that a saltwater tank had to be topped off everyday...I'm
Only going to do a 36 gallon, but need to know more about all the maintenance involved before I jump into it. I have 4 freshwater tanks now, and I do weekly water changes and tear down my canisters 2-3 times a year....it's not difficult to keep freshwater, but I've heard that saltwater tanks are much more difficult, but I want to know more.. and what's involved...


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Old 12-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #4
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I have a 29 gal and spend maybe 1 hour per week actually doing work on the tank. A swipe every day or 2 with the mag float, empty the skimmer cup every 3 or 4 days, change floss every other day. I do a 5 gal PWC every week to 10 days, depending on work schedule. I dose a 2 part daily. I feed daily.

Most of these things take a minute or 2 at the most, PWC taking the most time. Between mixing the new water, syphoning of old, removal of chaeto and all the other little thing that go along with it, including the inevitable cleaning up of spills, for me takes 30 or 40 minutes.

Considering the time I sit and look at my tank plus the time I spend on here and talking to other hobbyists, divided by the "work" I put into it plus the cash cost, I still think I come out ahead.

*EDIT* My tank is a biobcube, AIO, so my sump is a simple chamber. I just reach in, remove the chaeto, tear it in half, try to remove the pods for one half then toss pods and half back, and other half to the garbage. My hood is fully enclosed, to be honest, I top off when it makes noise, less than 2 quarts twice a week.

Also canister filters aren't often used in reef tanks, some use them in FO, but I have no experience with them.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:49 AM   #5
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Ok so, what is the 2 part dose daily? I do t know what that means, and chaeto? You replace the floss as in buying new? Or clean and replace floss? You said your sump wa simple? What all do you have in it? I have a 55 gallon sump I built for my 300 freshwater, we put different bays in with ceramic rings, bio balls, carbon, and a filter pad.


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Old 12-30-2014, 11:12 AM   #6
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OK 2 part dosing is just an additive. It is a calsium/trace element bottle, then a buffer solution. Just add Xml of part A, wait 5 minutes, add Xml of part B and done.

*taken from liveaquaria* Chaetomorpha Algae, also known as Spaghetti Algae or Green Hair Algae, is an excellent macro algae for refugiums. Each cell grows end to end, creating long, stiff strands. It grows in filamentous clumps, resembling a ball of fishing line. Cheatomorpha is a fast growing, hardy algae that is normally grown in a refugium where it absorbs nitrate and phosphate out of the water as it grows. Additionally this algae is a great habitat for microfauna such as copepods and amphipods to reside and populate.
Chaetomorpha Algae removes both phosphates and nitrates from the water. To increase the amount of nutrients this algae exports, use moderate to high lighting and keep it in an area of high water flow. It should ideally be tumbled in an algae filter.

By floss I mean cheap poly floss from walmart. Used in crafts, I use it as a coarse prefilter. Tossed before it becomes a nitrate factory.

If you look up oceanic biocubes, you'll see there are 3 compartments in the back. When purchased new, the center of these 3 is filled with bioballs. These are thrown away by almost everyone, as they trap detritus allowing it to rot. So for me it is like this: water overflows into #1 where there is a skimmer and in winter a heater. Also the pump for a phos ban reactor. Water overflows the top, through floss into #2 where there is a chunk of live rock and the chaeto (this is the refugium). The flow exits the bottom of 2 into #3 where there is a bag of chemipure elite the reactor return and the return pump.

Hope I cleared everything up, if not, well I'll try again
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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So you can add the 2 part directly to tank?

The floss, is it polyester fiber filling?

I have to read some more on the reactors....but what size sump would a 36 gallon bow front tank need do you think?


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Old 12-30-2014, 12:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busymom23 View Post
I have a 55 gallon sump I built for my 300 freshwater, we put different bays in with ceramic rings, bio balls, carbon, and a filter pad.


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you already know most of what you have to.
The same principles apply to both types.
The transition will be much easier than you think. If you are planning on just fish, no big difference.
If going with corals then you need to start concerning yourself with additives and more precise testing equipment.

Ideally you shouldn't need to break down and clean everything, but if you do, it's really no worse than doing the same for fresh.

as far as topping off goes, that can be mitigated by having the tank and sump covered as much as possible, beyond that there are Automatic Top Off units that could handle it.

Do a little more research, but you are already 90% there in knowledge to get started successfully.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busymom23 View Post
So you can add the 2 part directly to tank?

The floss, is it polyester fiber filling?

I have to read some more on the reactors....but what size sump would a 36 gallon bow front tank need do you think?


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Yes, to a high flow area. I do mine into 3rd chamber.

Yes, just buy the cheap stuff.

BRS has a youtube video about reactors, several I think.

Sump is one of those "bigger is always better" things.
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