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Old 03-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
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water changes - best methods/pratices

I want to thank everyone who has helped me so far, all the information has been very helpful in getting me started.

I finally added 2 clowfish to my 26g bow front. I have 20lbs of live rock and an aquaclear 70 for filtration. I am trying to figure out now what is the best methods for adding water/performing water changes. Trying to gauge how others store the water, or premix and store.

Here is my plan as of now, appreciate any ways to improve and if anyway possible reduce amount of work needed.

I plan to use tap water, premix with salt and use a decholorinator. I was planning to let the water sit for about 3 days before adding to the tank. I will most likely store about 5 gallons at a time (in a bucket), which would be a 20% water change. The day before, I planned to stick a water heater in to get the water ready so the temp change won't shock the fish/tank.

Any ideas on how to store, or improve this process would be greatly appreciated.


Thank You!

Jason
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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I'd strongly advise against using tapwater. There is more in your tapwater besides just the chlorine that will turn into algae fertilizer. The decholrinator will remove the chlorine and maybe some metals, but nothing else. Letting it sit for a few days as you described will do nothing additional for the water. You can use water from one of those machines at a grocery store (which is generally RODI water) as long as you test for nitrate and phosphate in it to make sure it is actually pure. Using a TDS meter would work as well. Sometimes the filters wear out in those machines and don't get changed as often as they should. Many LFS that specialize in saltwater sell RODI water or premixed saltwater as well. I'd still test that on occasion as well.

If you start with freshwater for the water change (as opposed to pre-mixed), you do want to add the salt, check specific gravity with a refractometer (more accurate) or hydrometer to adjust to 1.023 - 1.026. you want to keep it close to what you ahve in your display. Do allow time for the salt to dissolve completely and using a pump to circulate the water inthe bucket is a good idea to speed the process up. Do use a heater to get temperature close to what is in the display as well.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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Ugh. I was trying to stick with tap due to cost and extreme inconvenience of lugging around gallons of water. I do have a filter attached to my faucet that I would be using, I know that might not be as useful in this application. How about boiling the water first, then storing it for the week?
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
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Boiling it will only drive off the gases and do nothing for the other stuff unfortunately. In the long run, the least expensive option is to invest in an RODI unit and make water at home. You can find "portable" units for as low as $60 on Ebay. However, they are not as efficient as some other options and the filters may not last as long. The unit I use I bought from Pure Water Club. I think I paid $125 for it. If you have alocal reef club, someone might be selling an old or extra one. You might also check Craigslist.
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