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Old 08-01-2004, 11:23 AM   #1
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Time for a water change

I was just wondering if there is any appropriate way to do a water change. A way that makes a little bit easier. How many times do you have to do a water change, and how much of one? I have heard mixed opinions from 10% to 20 %. I am confused...

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Old 08-01-2004, 12:02 PM   #2
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It really depends who you talk to. Water changes are important for adding trace elements back into the water that are depleted with time. Some people do a larger (20-25%) water change every couple of months and others do more frequent (10%) every couple of weeks. It really depends on how big your tank is and what your water parameters are. Larger tanks are more stable and require less changes. Smaller tanks flucuate more and are most times over-stocked so they require more frequnt changes. How big is your tank and what are your current water parameters?

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Old 08-01-2004, 02:37 PM   #3
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What I normally do is mix my water the day before I am going to do a water change. Make sure that the ph, sg, and all the other stuff is right, and then just leave it for the night.

Then I clean the glass and the return line to the tank, this puts stuff into the water as well as filter, that I am going to change anyway the next day.

When I get to the water change I start by siphoning out 2 five gallon buckets worth of water, making certain to clean the substrate and areas where alot of stuff gathers. Then I take the filters out of wet dry and rinse them good in the tank water. I tend to replace the prefilter about every 2-3rd time.

Then I take the salt water from the night before and add it back into the tank. There are alot of ways to do this, I choose to siphon it into the sump and let the pump push it back into the tank, mostly cause it is easier then any other way I have tried.

Finally I will do any other tank maintence that needs to be done and clean the glass and check therm and skimmer.

All in all it takes me about an hour or so, and I change 10 gallons every 3-4 weeks in a 72 gallon tank.

I am sure others do things different, but with my hectic schedule this works the best for me.

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Old 08-02-2004, 11:06 AM   #4
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Since my tank is new, I'm being a little more liberal with water changing habits. I'm doing weekly 10gal water changes on a 40gallon tank (so 25% every 7 days). This is partially to make sure it's stable inside, and partially because the tank was setup with tap water (which was good except that it's already well buffered, so it caused alk/Ca issues in the tank)...and now i'm changing to 100% R/O water (which has indeed already fixed my alk/Ca issues!) I mix my water up 48 hours in advance, mosty because after 24 hours I check SG, and if it's off, I have 24 hours to adjust it.

Since I"ve only got 10gallons to replace, I have a clean, 1gallon plastic pitcher (purchased for this purpose) and I just bail 10gallons back in.

Since every tank is unique, you have to tailor your changes to its needs. in a cycled tank, every 7 days should be frequent enough. the pros here can go several weeks without a change, and even then it's a small water change.
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Old 08-02-2004, 11:11 AM   #5
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it all comes down to whether or not you have a fish only tank or corals and inverts. Coral and inverts need great water quality with Nitrates lower than 5PPM to prosper and fish can hold up to 30PPM. In my fish only tank, I do a 30% water change monthly and I do a 15% water change monthly on my reef, but have a Nitrate filter in my reef to make sure they stay at 0PPM.
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Old 08-02-2004, 01:13 PM   #6
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I have a 125 gallon tank. I change 20% (40 gallons) every other month. Every 3 weeks I change out 15 gallons. This seems to work really good for me.


125 Gal-35 Gal Wet/Dry-Tetra-Tec PF500 HOB Filter
(3) AuquaClear 301 Powerheads-600 GPH Circulating Pump
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change, water change

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