the Do's and don't's of daily water changes\swap outs

Discussion in 'Chemical Filtration / Low Nutrient Systems - LNS' started by mytank, 14 Oct 2012.

  1. mytank

    mytank

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    So I thought I would write this to help people thinking of doing a “daily water change” or rather daily water swap out. So firstly why did I do this, I set this up as I travel a lot and I thought that it would be a nice way of automating things to help with the water changes. I also checked out Scotts system from Aquarium Depo who do the same thing.
    In theory it was supposed to give me daily refresh of trace elements and keep the nutrients in check. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case (in the case of nutrients). I was doing 1 liter an hour out of the sump and 1 liter back from a fresh 500l drum. In total I was doing 24l a day and 168l a week and 720l a month.
    Let me explain my setup. I have a x4 profilux doser. One pump responsible for removing water on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sunday and one pump responsible for removing water Tues, Thurs, Sat ( I cross purposed the pumps to reduce wear and also have some redundancy). I then had two pumps responsible for topping up the water on the same schedules as above.
    Outside I have three drums
    1x 150l RO drum, serviced by a 6 membrane 4l of resin RO unit that would do 150l in about 2 hours.
    1x 150l Mixing drum – this drum was responsible for doing the mixing of the water.
    1x 500l fresh salt water drum where the peri pumps would pull water from.
    In theory this was a perfect system, but over about 6 months I have found the following things which make it not worth it in my opinion:
    1. Fluctuations: they happen all the time, temperature (if your drums are outside could be temp, evaporation [yes it happens even in a sealed drum ..]) this effects the parameters that you don’t want to screw with: Salinity and temp. Temp not so much as it’s a little water the killer as I learnt was the Salinity. I constantly had salinity fluctuations which in turn effected my PH and everything else went wonky. I recently lost some prized SPS due to a salinity slip (on my behalf) and the SPS just RTN’ed.
    2. Maintenance: One would think that having this automatic water change would reduce the amount of time you doing maintenance well no. I was constantly filling up RO water, Mixing water, moving water into the mix, testing all the water. Then once I month I was forced to drain the drums and clean everything. You have no idea how much buildup and k@k builds up in a 720l cycle….
    3. I thought this would help with nutrient export. I am sure to a degree it does but in my stage of super high nutrients and no bio cubes, it did NOTING to reduce the nutrients.
    So I have chucked the idea and moved to well not automated but I have to press on or two buttons, 160l a week water change once off. I have noticed that my corals actually like this method more. My tank is looking fantastic and the polyps are out more :)
    For those of you considering the auto water changes or daily water swap out – Not worth it, trust me I tried.
     
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  3. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    I agree in principle.... Ever considered doing a 24L water change daily, but instead on a slow continuos refill, dump the clean water in a matter of minutes...
    Think tidal influx.....
     
  4. mytank

    mytank Thread Starter

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    I could do that but the issue is the peri pumps.

    The manufacture manual says don't run them for more than 15mins at a time.

    The calibrated amount says 48ml per min. Which means 48 x 15 = 720mls in one run of the peri pump. Even if I ran all four removing and my other four adding it's still 2.8l in 15min out and 2.8l in 15min in....
     
  5. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Wasn't referring to dosing pumps..... Use noraml old powerheads..... or even better, the incoming powerhead plumbed to a dump bucket!!!!
     
  6. mytank

    mytank Thread Starter

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    Why on the powerhead> not on the return line?
     
  7. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    What I meant, is the new water being pumped into a dump bucket which fills and then discharges new, clean, supersaturated with oxygen & (slightly) colder water in a matter of seconds...
     
  8. nepellew

    nepellew

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    tag
     
  9. Dillan

    Dillan

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