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Brisc0 03-11-2004 10:48 AM

I have 130 gallons and I like to change out about 10 gallons a week. The tank is going on four months old. I have about 15 corals (all frags and infants), one fish, and quite a few inverts. Things seem to be going well. I am not too certain how long I should be doing such large changes, but as I progress I will likely lessen the ammount of changes but not the frequency. Its all so new to me still that I enjoy my sunday routine of sucking 10 from the sump and pouring 10 more in.

michealprater 03-11-2004 11:28 AM

I am not sure what spending 500 dollars on fish after two weeks of have a tank setup has to do with water changes, but it certainly is a mistake. This hobby is definatly for the patient. :)

douggiestyle 03-11-2004 11:49 AM

Quote:

I am not sure what spending 500 dollars on fish after two weeks of have a tank setup has to do with water changes, but it certainly is a mistake. This hobby is definatly for the patient.
i was commenting on how we all do things differently. and what factors may apply. someone made a comment on how some people cant keep a goldfish alive while others do absolutely nothing to a reef tank and have success. and i mentioned on how luck may prevail in some instances. for example i was lucky enough to not have 500$ to spend on fish at one time. if so i would be in the same situation as my buddy.
why can some not do water changes while others need to? could it be because one adds trace elements or not? who knows? i dont know. it could be many different variables. but i think that science will someday figure it out. and we can help.
we do things like change water sometimes because of habit though it may not be needed. if somethings working why fix it right? so we continue to do what we do. i know that what i am doing is working so i will not change and risk loosing it all.

but it would be great to know for sure what the correct way is. an absolute. there should be one. and most of us are hoovering around it.

i would think that the people that do least and get the best results are the ones that are closest.

afilter 03-11-2004 11:58 AM

OK, I have a question for those of you actually doing water changes. When you conduct water changes you siphon the substrate to remove debris or do you just siphon it out and replace with new?

The reason I ask is I have been siphoning substrate(habit from FW days), but when only doing 5-10g at a time that is not a lot of volume to do a real good job. Additionally, with all the rock work is difficult to reach certain areas.

Thoughts?

Brisc0 03-11-2004 12:09 PM

I shut the system down, wait for sump to fill up. Fill two 5 gallon buckets from the sump, replace, kick the system on and im done in about 10 minutes. I don't vaccum my DSB

michealprater 03-11-2004 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by afilter
OK, I have a question for those of you actually doing water changes. When you conduct water changes you siphon the substrate to remove debris or do you just siphon it out and replace with new?

The reason I ask is I have been siphoning substrate(habit from FW days), but when only doing 5-10g at a time that is not a lot of volume to do a real good job. Additionally, with all the rock work is difficult to reach certain areas.

Thoughts?

What type of substrate do you have? If it is sand I would not siphon it. You could be release nitrates into you water, not to mention you are siphoning out all the benificial denitrifing bacteria that lives in you sand. I never do anything to my sand bed.

michealprater 03-11-2004 01:12 PM

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Let me also add, by saying I don't do water changes, I am not discouraging others from doing them. In fact, I think it is a must to do a 10% weekly change on any tank that is less than 2 years old.

Just wanted to reiterate this. :D

afilter 03-11-2004 01:43 PM

I have a crushed coral substrate. So, it sounds like I do not need to worry as much about siphoning substrate during water changes. Just get the noticable stuff and add new water?

michealprater 03-11-2004 01:49 PM

Siphoning crushed coral is fine.

douggiestyle 03-11-2004 02:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Let me also add, by saying I don't do water changes, I am not discouraging others from doing them. In fact, I think it is a must to do a 10% weekly change on any tank that is less than 2 years old.


Just wanted to reiterate this.
missed that. that is a very good point.

is there any evidence that you know of to back this up?

trust me there is nothing i would like more than to reduce the amount of work needed.


sorry if i got a few people riled up over my buddy and his 500$. that wasnt my intention.

SquishyFish 03-11-2004 02:31 PM

Everyone is talking about the waste issue, wich is definately something that needs to be addressed, but in a reef tank you have to supply the corals w/ the nutrients that they need. There are only two ways of doing this. Water changes and supplements. In a reef tank, this is as I'mportant as is removing the waste from the system.

Squishy

reefrunner69 03-11-2004 04:01 PM

If you have a reef and don't do water changes, you should test and add some traces as needed, there are many ways to export nutrients, water changes are but one. While I doubt I will ever be in the "I never do water changes" camp, I believe that through the use of GAC, protien skimming, occasional mechanical filtering and LOTS of water movement, effort on not importing the nutrients in the first place, that a large enough tank can have thriving corals with little or no water changes.

Quote:

is there any evidence that you know of to back this up?
Antecdotal, at best, but the more mature a tank is, the more stable it is and it takes abuse better than a new system. For example, My LFS set up a new system a few months ago for growing out nice corals fro fragging and then selling the frags back to the customers. They had some kalk get dumped in the system all at once rather than being dripped as is recommended. They lost all the corals in that tank. While this might also happen in an older tank, I have read many times of people dumping 1/2 to a gallon at a time in similar sized setups that were a few years old and experience no problems from it. Does this mean anything? Not really, but it leads me to believe that an older tank that is well cared for, will resist crashing alot more than a newer tank.

SquishyFish 03-11-2004 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefrunner69
effort on not importing the nutrients in the first place,

How can you not import the nutrients that will eventually need to be removed? These are put there from everything from the food we put into the water to the very salt that we use (granted that one should be minimal). What nutrients are "avoidable" in your opinion?

reefrunner69 03-11-2004 04:21 PM

Quote:

How can you not import the nutrients that will eventually need to be removed?
Sorry I can see how that would be unclear. Basically the key is effort, make certain that your using as pure a water possible for top off, don't overfeed, wash/soak foods in RO/DI water to remove as much phosphate from them and then drain off the water, don't add garbage to your tank (like most trace supplaments) if you don't know that it is necessary and exactly what it does. If your not doing waterchanges...don't add an all encompassing supplament for traces, add individual traces that you can test for and you know the system needs. Etc...As noted, you cannot avoid adding nutrients to your system, but with a little effort you can minimize this. For example, I got an RO/DI last week with a drinking water kit. The DI was bad and haven't recieved the new one yet. The water out of the drinking water faucet sits in a bladder tank until used, that water reads 16ppm TDS, the water coming out of the DI hose comes out at 11 ppm TDS. Not a huge difference, but if I weren't doing water changes, that 5 ppm TDS, would be enough for me to go to the effort to get my topoff water from the DI hose rather than the faucet. The faucet is easier though and since I do water changes, I am lazy and get it from the faucet.

SquishyFish 03-11-2004 04:24 PM

Okay..that makes more sense :wink:

michealprater 03-11-2004 05:13 PM

The only evidence I have is that what I said is exactly how I did it. I was religous about weekly water changes for the first two years. Then it cut down to monthly, then bi monthly, then every three months- six months. I add b-ionic, and on occation when it is needed, stronium and iodide. I use RO/Di water for all top offs. I have claupae in my tank and only feed twice a week in small portions, it is enought to keep the fish healthy.

douggiestyle 03-11-2004 06:35 PM

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Antecdotal, at best, but the more mature a tank is...
i would love to have the time and money to do some serious research. not just water changes but the whole reef aquarium husbandry thing.

Quote:

the more mature a tank is, the more stable it is and it takes abuse better
is this a dsb only thing or all tanks in general?

reefrunner69 03-11-2004 06:59 PM

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is this a dsb only thing or all tanks in general?
IMO, it's in general, I've never run a DSB in my tanks ;)

duaumun 03-11-2004 08:03 PM

Would never take that risk!!!!!!!!

douggiestyle 03-11-2004 08:20 PM

Quote:

IMO, it's in general, I've never run a DSB in my tanks
cool :D


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