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Old 06-08-2007, 05:51 AM   #1
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Partial Water Change Process

How do I go about preparing the salt water for partial water changes? What kind of container do you suggest to use? Do you prepare the water in advance? 24 hours? Should I own a separate heater to get the temp. the same as in my tank?
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:07 AM   #2
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Hear is how we do them .
I have a bin especially for the water making.
1st place the ammount of water in your bin that you will need place a power head in and mix for 24 hours , on the 24 hour mark add your salt ,mix an addtional 24 hours , check PH, spg and temp to match your system as close as possible . I dont use a heater in ours but that is just me and most will recommend a heater ours is about 1-2 degrees diffrent than the tank.
I also bottle the extra up and place in storage for my weekly changes just drop an air stone or power head in 24 hours before a scheduled H20 change. In an emergency I add an air stone till I get to it (IE if it takes me 15 minutes to set up and change I airate it for 15 minutes its better than nothing at all) please if you have small children or pets make sure they can NOT access the water as they can drown in just a little water HTH
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:11 AM   #3
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Making it as easy as possible is going to ensure that you keep a good schedule. IMO pwc of 20% weekly should be done for the first 6 months to keep levels perfect, after that the tank becomes much more stable assuming you don't overstock/overfeed and can be reduced to every other week or even longer.

I have a 55 gal as well and use a 32 gal trashcan dedicated to pwc. I bought a Mag 9.5 pump (Mag 5 pump would work just as well) which I use to mix the SW thoroughly, heat the water (keeps it at 78), and finally use to pump the water back into the tank using 20ft of 1" clear tubing.

I mix 25 gal at a time so I have enough for 2-3 changes ready to go at any time. As Sadielynn mentioned getting your pwc water to match the main tanks ph/sg/temp is most critical and I also add any ca/alk buffers as needed during the mixing as well.

I also always mix my sg slightly higher then the main and add a little FW to reduce the sg to match the main more closely just before adding. Having to adjust by adding salt is more of a pain.

Lastly if you don't have a refractometer for measuring sg then I'd highly recommend one since the swing arm and floating hydrometers are notoriously known for being inaccurate.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:13 AM   #4
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I have a 32 G bucket with wheels, that I premix my water in. When I do a PWC, I fill up the bucket again, so I always have extra water. It is best to premix it for at least 24 hours.
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:37 PM   #5
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So this Mag 9.5 pump is considered a power head? And it heats the water as well? How does it work exactly? Does the 1" tubing fit nicely over some output valve?

How do you go about draining the water from your tank during a pwc? Any special equipment you use? Do you then just drain it into 5 gallon buckets?

I have it seems like a million questions.. lol
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:42 PM   #6
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Blackhores, click on Micah's (tecwzrd) bold links and you can see a pic. The mag heats the water due to the motor. The 1" tube fits on the output of the pump. I use a ph instead of a pump, it is a little bit cheaper. I siphon out the water from my tank into a bucket, take the water out back and dump it in my gravel. Add the new premixed water back to the tank's regular level.
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:57 PM   #7
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Thanks Roka. Is there a ph that you prefer? And if I made and keep water for 2-3 pwc do i just keep all the water in my 32 gallon trash can?
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:06 PM   #8
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I'm not exactly sure which ph I use for my pre-mixing (I have phs all over the place). You could go with a Hagen AquaClear Powerheads , I think I am usng the 70 to premix my water.
I keep my water, heater and ph running all the time, as soon as I do a PWC, I just make another batch. You want to keep them running so your pH and temp stay as close to your tank's as possible.
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:40 PM   #9
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I guess I do it the old fashion way. I just mix it up in 5 gallon buckets but I do make sure of at least 24-36 hrs before adding to the tank. I`m not as high tech as the other folks. LOL
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:36 PM   #10
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I'd advise just using the same powerhead for your SW mixing that you end up with for your tank. That way you have a spare in case the one(s) in your tank go out. I've got MaxiJets for both.
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