Waterchanges

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by 459b, 8 Apr 2013.

Voter count: 131
?

How often and why do you do a waterchange

  1. Weekly

    55 vote(s)
    42.0%
  2. Monthly

    39 vote(s)
    29.8%
  3. Yearly

    2 vote(s)
    1.5%
  4. Never

    14 vote(s)
    10.7%
  5. To lower nitrates/phosphates

    32 vote(s)
    24.4%
  6. To replace trace elements

    36 vote(s)
    27.5%
  7. Cause im told too

    11 vote(s)
    8.4%
  8. Occasionally, maybe 2 or 3 times a year

    13 vote(s)
    9.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Possibly going to be a slightly controversial topic..but why do you need to do a waterchange?
    A large waterchange will lower nitrates/phosphates/etc, but what if my filtration is good enough and my parameters are always in check?
    Apparently waterchanges replenish trace elements, what if i dose trace elements?

    The key to success is stability. Isnt performing a waterchange going to cause sudden changes to all parameters?

    Ive added a poll, please answer honestly, keen to hear everyones take on this.
     
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  3. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

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    I've only done one 10% water change this year. The main reason I do do water changes is that it gives me an opportunity to siphon all the gunk out of my substrate.

    I keep nearly all softies so maintaining pristine water conditions is not that much of a priority.
     
  4. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    So is that water change, or simply replacing water cause of siphoning up the gunk?
     
  5. ZaxXx

    ZaxXx

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    700 liter tank... doing 50liters a week
    Natural Sea Water
    I dont syphon from my dt at all... only remove sump water and from over the dsb
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2013
  6. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    I set up a Bubble Magus dosing pump to do auto water changes. It changes about 2l per day on a 130l system. I suction gunk out of the sump once a month....or when I see it building up

    Ive chosen this route because it give better parameter stability so that I can move over to sps in the future. Im trying to get pristine water quality whilst being able to feed heavily.

    Its also less of a mission as I dont have to bugger around with buckets.........
     
  7. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I dont do waterchanges. Tank is stable and corals are all very happy. Only time i add new water to the tank is to replace the little bit that gets removed from syphoning detritus out of my sump.
    What percent change and frequency is efficient and is anything below/above that just a waste of time/money?
     
  8. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    My water changes are very infrequent, I do one probably every 2 or 3 months, although I would like to do more, because when I do a change and syphon out the old water into a white bucket, it has a very noticeable yellow tinge to it compared to newly mixed water, so I can only assume I am removing waste products that I can not test for that are building up and also making my water clearer.

    I don't change water to replace trace elements or remove nitrates/phosphates etc. this is all controlled by other means.

    Although in a smaller tank like a nano I would certainly do monthly water changes as my main control of nutrients and trace elements as there just isn't space for chaeto and reactors etc.
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2013
  9. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Interesting poll. Would like to see the outcome.
    I do 25% weekly & 50% once a quarter (occasionally) waterchanges to help replenish elements which are difficult to test for. (iodine, & other color enhancing elements etc).
    So basically i replenish trace elements + i have noted an immediate improvement on some of my LPS after a large waterchange.
    I always make sure my temp & salinity match that of my tank exactly before a large waterchange.

    I also do it to help remove any dissolved organics that my skimmer didn't catch. (like @viper357 mentioned, my water always have a light yellow color compared to the newly mixed water...)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    In my previous tanks I changed water weekly or at least once a month.

    New tank running massive skimmer, phos and carbon. Also running orca cubes in the amount that they suggest for heavy feeding. I also dose trace elements.

    My params are stable as can be and I have not had a single instance where I thought I should change water. Fish and corals (LPS & SPS) are thriving!
     
  11. crispin

    crispin

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    i still find water changes to be one of the aspects of husbandry i apply most concerntration too, and find im rearded for it. I try do 10% monthly or bi weekly but recently ive slipped due to a lack of salt and having long distances to travel to get salt. Ironically i am busy with a water change right now.

    I do it for a number of reasons, but removal of NO3 is one (although i have little measured NO3 and biological filtration seems to keep up fairly well....could be better) and replacement of Trace elements is another. I dose very little and find water changes keeps things on an even keel.

    I also like to remove the slight yellow tinge oldish water gets and I always blow as much detritus out of LR as I can before the water change, and periodically rinse LR in an old bucket to remove detritus.

    I know water changes are being placed on the shelf next to 'old school' methodlogies but ive seen many a tank in recent years that would benifit from this husbandry being applied more dilligently. I firmly believe it still has a strong place to play in the maintaining of a reef tank.
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Something important to take into account. The reefers experience is a key factor. Can you see if something is wrong with your tank without testing your water parameters?

    When I started out, I took over a tank that never had water changes, was started out with tap water. And phosphate readings a deep dark blue. Started doing the 10% per week. With RO water instead of tap water. Very early invested in my own RO unit and salt mixing setup. Continued the 10% water changes per week, but I also fixed the filtration capabilities. Added a DSB, cheato and algae scrubber. After 4 months my phosphate readings came down to almost nothing.

    Today, I do not take parameter tests. System is healthy, I do overfeed, I'm away (again) and tank is under tank sitters care, to maintain itself he only feeds the fish. I do not have algae in my main system. Wish I had some for my snails.

    My quarantine holding... Well that's another story... I got algae cover sides and cayno on the bottom. Do have a TS1 skimmer that works, plus a lot of bio-balls. I do not feed it at the moment as I got nothing in holding. But still the algae grows as if I'm put fertilizer in the tank. Actually I do not mind, as I now have more than enough food to get a Lawnmower Blennie. The holding system is 180L (2*90 standard 3 foot tanks). I do "massive" water changes when I do have something in there. I drain 20L and even up to 50L a week and refill from my main system. New salt mix goes to main system.

    So my main system gets new salt water when I got something in quarantine holding.
     
  13. brentv

    brentv

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    Maybe doing a pricing comparison too would be a good idea
    Taking into consideration new fileration methods like Orca Cubes:

    Salt mix at 10% water volume say once a month to get new minerals and supplements and removing detritus

    VS

    Buying a doser and supplements, calcium reactor, kalkstirrer etc?


    Could have an interesting conclusion:whistling:
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2013
  14. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    I don't do water changes. If one does it to remove nitrates and phosphates, it's a losing battle. I use the cubes which have kept my nutrients almost undetectable. I dose trace elements daily via my dosing pumps, in small quantities through out the day. I believe the water changes disrupt your stability in your tank. I judge coral health by the way my inmates look.
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2013
  15. Seabass

    Seabass

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    I was doing 60lt bi-weekly (12%), done to just get some new clean water in. Would check temp and salinity before adding to sump. Not done for NO3 or PO4 control.

    A new method, change 30lt a week. So will be done primarily to siphon sump of detritus.
     
  16. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Which make do you dose for trace elements @carlosdeandrade?
    My question is just always, how much do you dose & how do you know your not over/underdosing? There isnt anything you can reference to as you cant test for trace elements.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  17. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    When I have it on stock I use orca reef Xtrax, follow directions on bottle. Other wise I dose, iodide, K, Fe, Selenium and Boron. Always dose less that was is recommended. I never test I, and K, tests are inaccurate, so only really test for Fe, but that is also easy without testing, always check for to much hair algae growth, always go from how my corals are responding. You can see if you know what you looking for.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  18. seank

    seank

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    Waterchanges is for people with too much time on their hands...... Kidding.
    Cannot remember when last I changed. If it aint broken it need no fixing.....
    I also do not syphon, to me detritus is food for other organisms......
    I do blow the rocks etc once every couple of months with a strong flow pump but change filtersocks and filtermedia on a bi weekly basis......
     
  19. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    I also have some reef xtrax but havent used it as i still occasionally dose red sea reef colors, but the selenium & boron i have never dosed.
    Fortunately, with my waterchange regeme, it keeps all my trace elements in in check. (at least the ones i can check for)
    Thanks for the info carlos.
     
  20. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

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    When I do this I normally siphon out about 50l of water so I would view it as a water change.
     
  21. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    You could ask the same about the quantity of trtace elements you get from doing a water change.
     
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