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Old 10-17-2005, 04:21 AM   #1
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Wondering what the correct procedure is for water changes

I have a 29 gal tank. I have been changing 5 gals every couple of weeks. However, I am not sure what the correct procedure is. I am concerned I am doing it incorrectly. Would anyone care to elaborate on the correct procedure?

My current procedure.

A substrate cleaner is used to remove dabris and 5 gals of water. Then, I clean the tank glass with a sponge. After that I clean the protein skimmer and filter. I am using RO from LFS, and treat it with Seachem Prime mainly for the slime coat. I have been pouring the water into a large bowl and mixing in Instant Ocean to 1.023 which is where I try to keep my tank. Then, I place the bowl on top of my tank and run a drip line to the tank. It takes me 4 times to replenish the 5 gals of water. This takes about 8 hours from beginning to end.

Do I need to drip the water back in? I would prefer to make the water change quicker if I can. Any help would be appreciated

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Old 10-17-2005, 05:49 AM   #2
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You are really trying to be too careful. Get two identical 5 gallon buckets. Mix up around 5 gallons of saltwater mix in a bucket with a powerhead and a heater set to the same temp as your tank for about 24 hours prior to your water change. This will give the salt plenty of time to dissolve and to let the water warm up. Get another 5 gallon bucket to siphon the old water into. As much as you take out, that's how much you put in using the level in the old water bucket as a guide.
If you can, pour the new water into the tank slowly so you don't disturb things with a strong current. My wife will use a 1 gallon pitcher to put the new water in the tank because she can't pick up and pour from the 5 gallon bucket because of the weight and because she's short anyway.
You really don't need to use the Seachem Prime either. If the water in the tank is testing good, the fish will be OK without it.
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:28 AM   #3
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Yep, what no_floaters said. I've got a 29 gallon tank also. I mix the saltwater a day or two ahead of time in a rubbermaid container with a powerhead and a heater. Then, suck the water out, pour the new water in. Slowly, of course. Takes less than 30 minutes.
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:43 AM   #4
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Everything sounds fine, except you dont need to drip the new water in. Do as No Floaters said, just pour it in slowly to avoid a huge current.
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Old 10-17-2005, 12:42 PM   #5
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Just my O2, but I'd clean your filter and glass prior to removing the water. This will allow more DOCs and such to be removed rather than removing water, cleaning, and then filling with new water. I agree with others that you're overcomplicating it. Prepare the water (overnight is not necessary) a couple of hours ahead of time - mix it well with a long handled plastic utensil (reminds me of a Frank Zappa song) and add a little pH buffer, clean the glass, skimmer, etc., drain the amount of old water (sounds like you have crushed coral - might want to consider switching to sand) that you want to change, and pour the new water in. Dripping is definitely not necessary and not advisable since your power filters will probably be off during the change and bacteria will start to die in about 4 hours with no oxygen. Also, I'd recommend 10% weekly water changes. Helps keep things more balanced. Hope this helped some.

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Old 10-17-2005, 12:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KG
Prepare the water (overnight is not necessary) a couple of hours ahead of timeKG
I disagree with you KG. I think 1 day or atleast overnight is necessary to get the water to the proper temp. and to make sure the salt is fully dissolved.

imustbenuts, do you have a sump? I'm assuming not since you didn't mention it but besides the many benefits of a sump is the ability to do a water change without disturbing the main tank. I do a 15 gallon water change on my tank bi-weekly in about 15 - 20 minutes by just turning off the main pump and changing the water that is contained in the sump.
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Old 10-17-2005, 01:18 PM   #7
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one other thing to note is that you need to top off your tank water before you change the saltwater. if you dont, you will slowly change the salinity level with each water change.

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Old 10-17-2005, 01:35 PM   #8
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I have a 20g mark on my 120 that I use to empty my tank of the 20g of water change water (I set this after using the same out/same in procedure mentioned above). I do make sure to mix/heat/aerate my water for 24 hrs prior to putting it into my tank to ensure that the salt is all dissolved and stablized prior to my animals being exposed to it. I blow all detritus off of the rocks that I can and then I pump it out into the sink via powerhead. Then I move the water being mixed in the garbage can (purchased new for this purpose) back into the tank again with a powerhead. When all is said and done the water change has taken me about 8 minutes.

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Old 10-19-2005, 06:06 AM   #9
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That's the beauty of this country - we can agree to disagree. Have not seen one documented study though that supports such a claim. Also, depends on what you have in the tank.

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Old 10-19-2005, 09:25 AM   #10
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If that works for you KG, great. I still stand by the others...mixing new SW for 24-48hrs prior to using it is just good practice. the important things are that Ph, temp and SG match the main tank.
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