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Old 07-07-2003, 06:29 PM   #1
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Water Change... Yes? No?

My tank has been up for just over a month now. It was 'restarted" from a FO tank that had gone south during a hospital stay, so it wasn't completely brand new. I did add LR and additional DSB. I raised my tank form the dead on June 5th. I made a lot of effort and spent a lot of money to keep the tank as "maintenance free" as possible in case I got sick again. I have the Kent Marine BioRocker Deluxe, (DELUXE means it has a large denitrifier block in addition to the rocking filter and standard block), a UV sterilizer and other items that advertise that they "decrease the need for frequent water changes". My current water readings, taken today are:

Temp 79.5 F
pH 8.3
Ca 420
Nitrate 5
Nitrite .1
Ammonia 0
Phosphate .25

The tank has been near these readings for a couple of weeks now. My question is does this indicate my equipment working as advertised or is it too soon to tell? Should I do a water change even though the readings are near perfect? Should water changes be done as water conditions indicate or "because it's time to do one?

The only problem I've had was the loss of an Achilles Tang and the general consensus seems to be that was caused by stress. See "Dang Tang" post.

All opinions are welcome.

Thanks,
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Old 07-07-2003, 06:37 PM   #2
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Some do water changes every week, some 2 weeks, some monthly, some not at all. It is up to you really. I do a 25% wter change every 2 to 3 weeks ( lazy ), and things are fine... The main thing I do water changes for, is 1. to give the fish new water, 2. to help get rid of DOC, 3. The tank looks better to me after a water change.. Things come to life more it seems. If you think about it, in the wild the water is changed 4 times daily by tides. The water is never standing still so things can't collect as bad as in our tanks..

To reduce nitrates and phosphates, DOC and excess trace element build up, we probably should do a water change every 2 weeks for rule of thumb.. JMO
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Old 07-07-2003, 09:41 PM   #3
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Carl you have to give that denitrifier a bit of time to build up the proper bacterial levels. Water changes should be done based of parameter levels and bioload/feeding. If you have a heavy bio load or feed alot its hard to get away from doing them. I have been lucky with parameters and such have not doe a water change in several years.

Mike
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Old 07-08-2003, 12:11 AM   #4
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I agree with Mojo about the denitrifier. I do water changes on all my systems, but I have coral prop tanks that are heavily fed. It will take the denitrifier longer to get going than the rest of the bio filter. Since I haven't had any experience with the cell pore material, I can't say how well it works...it looks like a great idea. If your nitrates get to 10, I would change some water for sure. If you don't start seeing the nitrates level off in the next month or so, you may have to do periodic changes to keep things in balance.
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Old 07-09-2003, 07:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loganj
If your nitrates get to 10, I would change some water for sure.
My nitrate reading is practically zero now. I only listed it as 0.1 because the test had a very slight tinge of color
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Old 07-09-2003, 08:03 PM   #6
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Actually, you listed nitrItes at .1 and nitrAtes at 5. That's why I commented on changing some water if they got to 10. If, in fact, your nitrates are at 0 or .1, I think you are in good shape. I noticed that you are showing a PO4 reading of .25? Are you using RO water or tap water? If you're using tap, you might want to try one of the filter pads that remove phosphate. .25 is a low reading, but you don't want it to build up as it will cause algae problems. I will be very interested to know how the bio rocker system works out...hope you'll keep us posted about it.
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Old 07-09-2003, 08:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loganj
Actually, you listed nitrItes at .1 and nitrAtes at 5. That's why I commented on changing some water if they got to 10..
You are absolutely correct. I did that. Actually, both niTRATES and niTRITES were the lowest possible on the color scale. I just looked too fast when I made my statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loganj
Are you using RO water or tap water?
I am using tap water. However, I do have a filter bag of a subtance designed to remove phosphates from the water. It's name escapes me now. I've tried the filter pads before and did not have very good luck with them. Phosphates are also on the lowest possible reading at this point. They were higher, but the chemical I added bought the reading down to it's present level in about two weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loganj
I will be very interested to know how the bio rocker system works out...hope you'll keep us posted about it.
I certainly will. I'll give it a couple of more months and try to write a review on it. So far, it seems to be doing as advertised. My tank cycled very rapidly.
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Old 07-09-2003, 09:53 PM   #8
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Sounds to me like you're well on the way to a successful tank. I like to hear from people who have done the research and are committed to the hobby. Good luck with it and we'll be waiting for the product review...I'm sure it will be interesting.
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Old 07-09-2003, 10:42 PM   #9
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I hear the bio rocker is great! Hope it works out. I do a weekly 2 gallon change, and that works for me pretty well. I know of some who never do them
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Old 07-09-2003, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d9hp
I hear the bio rocker is great! Hope it works out. I do a weekly 2 gallon change, and that works for me pretty well. I know of some who never do them
So far, it has lived up to its hype, but then I've only had it in service for a little over a month. I'll let you know. I had this tank set up as a reef before, but I had to spend some time in the hospital. While I was there, my wife decided that I was more importand than the fish. The algae got about a foot deep and all but three of the fish died. To solve the algea problem, she took all of my LR out and let it bake in the sun. It did solve the algae problem. I saved some water, and I used some of the "sun cured rock" as a base under the 50 lbs of new LR I put in. The three fish, a watchman goby and 2 damsels, are still alive. Other than that, I started over. It nearly killed my wife that we lost everything. I personally think she made a good choice. I decided to spend the extra cash so that, should something like that ever happen again, all she would have to do is feed them and add a few gallons of water.

Thanks for the input,
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