Water change - how do you do it

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by neo, 20 May 2010.

  1. neo

    neo

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    How do you do water changes?
    I do it very manually and would like to know how you do water changes cause it's a lot of effort for me, mine goes like this:

    - fill my saltwater drum with RO and salt, usually friday when i get home.
    - drag the drum indoors cause it's to cold outside during the night.
    - put the pump/heater into drum and switch on
    - on sat afternoon/sunday morning i test SG and adjust if necessary.
    THEN
    - syphon my DT and vacuum substrate at same time into a bucket upto the level i've marked out.
    - fill DT with new water by using a bucket filled from saltwater drum.
    - rinse buckets/drum with RO afterwards, put everything away till next week.

    you go.....
     
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  3. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    I pretty much do the same thing but I never vacuum my substrate.
     
  4. robertkukla

    robertkukla

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    i do the same its just i empty out from sump because my tank is to high , and my sump takes 200lt so i can do it that way
     
  5. clinton stanford

    clinton stanford

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    iv got a 1000L flow bin.a 300w inverter and a pond pump that pumps about 800L in about 40min.
    then its off to the collection spot on the high tide.
    connect the inverter to the battery,plug in pump and attach the 25mm clear pipe to the pump,put the pump into the water and flick the switch.
    sit back and have a few cold:peroni:
    then get home,siphon 200L out of the DT.siphon 50L out of the first comp of the sump.
    put smaller pump into the flow bin.and pump it back into the tank

    here are some pics.

    [​IMG]

    the pump.

    [​IMG]

    the inverter and very inportant peice of equipmant:p

    [​IMG]

    Les and JustinM talking crap.

    [​IMG]

    Les saying...yah but we could do it like that!

    [​IMG]

    Les and myself having a cold one..its a hard mornings work you know!

    [​IMG]

    after about 40min we have about 800L of water.

    this gets done once a month sometimes twice.

    and thats how we do a water change:peroni:
     
  6. Adee

    Adee

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    Also without vacuuming the sand....I pretty much do the same.

    However I have taken much of the leg work out of the equation i.e. I plumbed my own water feed to my RO unit which is located under my DT. Also made a hole thru the wall and on the other side my top off drum and mixing drum is located. I have switches inside the house that switch on mixing pump and heater. The only part i have to do outside is dump the salt in the mixing drum....when its ready for the change I siphon 120L out of my DT (into the garden) and then pump the water from the outside mixing pump into my DT. The whole operation takes less than 15-20 minutes.
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Neil, almost the same as you.

    But, I put my drum on a barstool next to the tank the night before. Heater and pump goes inside.

    Switch of return pump and ATU
    I then syphon 60L from display out to 3 white 20L drums.

    And my drum got a valve on the bottom, I attached a flexible hose that empties into sump.

    Switch on return pump, open valve and let gravity do the rest.

    Switch on ATU
     
  8. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    I don't do water changes. I replace salt water that my skimmer removes.

    MY skimmer removes between 18 and 25 litres of water (salt water) per week, from my system. I just keep on replacing this.......

    I collect water from the 2 Oceans aquarium, using 25 liter plastic drums.

    I them use a drum a week to replace the water that was lost due to my skimmer. I prop up the drum that it's higher than my lowest sump tanks, and then just siphon the contents of the drum into this sump tank/s.....
     
  9. neo

    neo Thread Starter

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    thx, so my way is not that bad,
    @Riaan, forgot to switch-off the ATU the other day, after refilling couldnt understand why there is so much water in the sump, 5sec later i got it and had that sinking feeling.
     
  10. neo

    neo Thread Starter

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    with all these WC going on one would have thought the clever aquarium guys had some device on the market for this.
     
  11. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    To be honest it takes me 5 minutes to do a water change at most. With automated systems there is a lot that can go wrong.
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    well my filling part is "automated".

    I rather go for gravity doing its thing, than to rely on switches, floats and electronics. But I do want to be able to sit back and enjoy my beer at the same time. :)

    Only problem, is that if I drain 60L into only one drum, then I cannot move it. If I had a drain close by then no problem, just make a reverse syphon, that hangs down in display to 90% full mark. Stop return pump, and start the syphon. Will automatically stop when 10% is drained. Easy as that. And simple. No fancy equipment that can stuff things up.

    Only problem is my clown fish that had previously came to close to drain pipe and it ended up in my waste drum. I wonder who was the most surprised finding him there, me or the clown? Well he made it.
     
  13. neo

    neo Thread Starter

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    for me the problem is the buckets that need to be moved around, if i'm not there my wife must do it and for this i want to automate some part of it so that at least no buckets are involved.
     
  14. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Same as jacquesb ... My skimmer is now connected to a 30Ltr bucket emptying the cup into there so have to keep topping up with about 30 ltrs per week with salt water or the SG starts to go too low and also have those 1000 ltr bins but have to collect water from uShaka every now and then and travel home 350kms with it where I have 2 more storage bins where I draw my buckets of water per week...
     
  15. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    It takes me less than 2 minutes to carry the 25 liter drum to my sump tanks, open the cap, start the siphon (by sucking on a pipe ;)) - then I just leave it to drain out completely..... no more effort. Once a week? Not bad I would say.....
     
  16. JD167

    JD167

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    I have a 130L drum that is way to heavy to move around. After nearly breaking my back trying to move it around, I bought 4 wheels(2 that can swivel) from Builders Warehouse and using some counter top offcut I made a trolley that I place the drum on. Makes moving it around much easier.

    Depending on the amount of water I need for my water change, I would switch on the RO unit at night and have about 100L the next morning. When I get home that afternoon I would switch on a 12,000L/h pump I have to spin and heat up the water. No heaters needed with that thing. Add salt and spin for a couple of hours until water is ready. I then switch off the pump and leave it till the next evening. The pump gets switched on again to warm up and spin the water for about an hour. I then push the 130L drum next to the tank.

    The return pump as well as all powerheads in the DT all get switched off. I have a 70L rubbish bin that I siphon old water to. If I'm doing a 100L I would siphon old water to the black rubbish bin as well as 1 or 2 old salt drums and keep them to one side in case I need more water later.

    Using a powerhead and pipe I pump water into the first chamber of the sump. At the same time switch return pump on again and wait for it to finish. The old water gets put on the trolley and pushed back to the garage or outside. Job done.
     
  17. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Great read indeed!

    I have a question. I collect NSW and the SG is always 1.030.
    I then mix in RO until I get my SG at 1.022. Is this the correct thing to do?

    Stop my return pump to the tank.
    Start a siphon from DT to empty 2 x 25L containers.
    Start to pump new water into sump.

    I don't have a heater that warm up the new water before putting it in the DT.
    Is this a bad thing?
     
  18. amalick

    amalick

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    Im not so sure that I agree with you that full automatiion with "fancy equipment" is a bad idea. Firstly the equipment doesnt have to be fancy. Secondly its all about how its planned and executed. Think about it like the safety features on a modern car, Strictly adhering to the speed limit, good brakes and airbags will make the consequences of any accident such that they are not life threatening.

    So here are some of the tricks for full automation even with relays and float switches etc.. (BTW I agree that gravity is always a good friend as well)

    1) Dont use float switches to monitor water levels, rather use equal size containers that overflow into their feed source to measure volumes for water exchanges

    2) Never place the pump that pumps out old water at such a level that it drains more than 10% of your total water volume out or allow other pumps in your system to run dry.

    3) Never have your fresh salt water reservoir store more than 10%-15% of your total system water volume.

    If all these meaures are applied together then the worst that could happen is that you burn out you waste water pump or fresh salt water pump, but you tank remains in tact within acceptable salinity parameters or water levels.

    You can follow my thread on this to see what i'm taking about at a more detailed level.

    Automatic Water Changer - Marine Aquariums of South Africa
     
  19. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Hey bud. Don't you have problems? Because we always hear that we "have" to do 10% weekly water changes otherwise bad things will happen...
     
  20. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    How are you measuring the salinity. The seas salinity is pretty much constant between 1.024 and 1.027. I'm pretty sure your hydrometer is wrong or not calibrated. So in fact you are probably using water at 1.014 for your water changes.
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2010
  21. DudleyD

    DudleyD

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    Now thats the way to do it!! I think here in KZN it would take us about a case of Hansa's to collect 800L!!![​IMG]
     
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