I have a very automated system...except for water changes. I love to watch and hand feed my inhabitants, but never seem to find the time for the water changes. I must confess to only doing a 15 gal
change in a 96 Gal
system only about once every 3 to 4 months. I never measure any nitrate buildup or see unhealthiness, so I can't make myself do the task. The tank is filtered by 110 lbs LR
, a small mechanical filter, 2 powerheads, a prism skimmer, and an "ecosystem" type caulerpa algae scrubber (16gals of 96gal system). I have a 6" regal blue tang, a 4" yellow tang, 2 ocellaris clowns, a 3"coral beauty, and a single 2" green chromis. Also it has several soft corals, 2 hard corals and many inverts. It has been running very successfully for over two years now.
However, recently, an outbreak of red fuzzy algae is quickly spreading. I did a water change upon first noticing this (with a manual cleanup attempt) and then did another 2 weeks later to try and stop the spread. It seems to have no affect and I still measure no nitrate build up. It concerns me and I'm not sure if it's related to infrequent water changes. Its a subject under the "identification" forum.