Jump to content


Photo

** StevieT's How to Change Water Guide **


  • Please log in to reply
310 replies to this topic

#1
StevieT

StevieT

    ☼ StevieTree ☼

  • Premium Members
  • 29,437 posts
  • Joined 29 Jan 2007
  • Menomonee Falls, WI

StevieT's How to do a Weekly Water Change



This one is a little easier but still a good guide for the beginners that like pictures insead of text.

Weekly water changes are the main stay of your reefs health. It replaces trace elements including calcium. It removes nitrates and fish waste, it also makes your water look crisp and clear. I do a change every friday afternoon.

Step One: Gather Supplies

RO water, 5 Gallon bucket (clean) for mixing, Heater, Pump, and Thermometer

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image


Step Two: Filling

Fill bucket to desired % of change. I have a 34 gallon total tank and do around 4 gallons weekly

Posted Image

Step Three: Drop in pump

I am using an old protien skimmer pump, but anything will work for mixing.

Posted Image


Step Four: Suction heater

This is a 50W heater, a larger one will work faster

Posted Image


Step Five: Drop in thermometer Probe

As you can see my water starts off rather cold, in the winter it may start at 52* depending on the location I store the water at. It is very important that you bring your water up to match the tanks temperature.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Step Six: Add salt

I use Red Sea Coral Pro Salt, to get my SG to 1.025 I add 2.5 cups.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Cloudy!
Posted Image

Step Seven: Let it mix and heat up

Still Heating up
Posted Image

Step Eight: Ding, your water is done, Time to check the SG and temp

Water is completly mixed

Posted Image

Temp is up to match the tank

Posted Image

Check SG with a refractor, I keep my reef at 1.025

Posted Image
Posted Image

Step Nine: Cleaning out tank

It is a good idea to blow off your rock every week or every other week with a turkey baster. The rocks will acclumate a lot of junk over time and this is the only good way to get rid of it. Suspend the detritus in the water for it to be sucked up.

Posted Image

hit the photo limit, more to come!

Edited by StevieT, 23 April 2008 - 07:10 AM.


#2
dekand

dekand

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 411 posts
  • Joined 25 Jan 2008
  • Corinth, Texas
verry nice... high fiveaaa...

Posted Image


34g Solana - RIP 1/10/12


#3
adamskit

adamskit

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 99 posts
  • Joined 24 Feb 2007
Bump for StevieT's water change thread.

#4
StevieT

StevieT

    ☼ StevieTree ☼

  • Premium Members
  • 29,437 posts
  • Joined 29 Jan 2007
  • Menomonee Falls, WI
Step Ten: Scraping algae and Coralline

Every two to three weeks I need to clean my glass of hard green algae and coralline. I use a razor blade to remove this stuck on algae for pristine viewing.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Step Eleven: Remove water

Using a simple siphon to remove water from the tank, suspended detritus, and coralline/hard algae. You will need a second 5 gallon bucket to do this

Posted Image
Posted Image

Step Twelve: Add freshly mixed salt water back in


I usually try and do this as slowly as possible, avoiding directly hitting corals with the blast of water.

Posted Image

add water back to your previous water level so SG and surface skimming are the same

Step Thirteen: Finishing up

If you have a protein skimmer it is a good time to empty and clean out your cup. Remove any salt creep from lighting covers and tank glass. I wipe down the outside of the tank and stand with Windex for a nice sparkle shine!

Clean out your sponges, change out filter floss. Check equipment for wear. If you have two sponges, it is a good idea to clean the one that was in your tank, put the extra on in, then let the one your rinsed to dry out. This prevents nitrate buildup.

Your water will take a few hours to clear up but when it does it will look better than ever.

Posted Image

:happydance:


Edited by StevieT, 23 April 2008 - 08:49 AM.


#5
O-man21

O-man21

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 3,221 posts
  • Joined 25 Feb 2008
  • Des Moines, IA
Beautiful!

#6
scrapz

scrapz

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 236 posts
  • Joined 25 Feb 2008
  • banville <3 adin
thanks for always being so helpful StevieT.
Posted Image

#7
burtbollinger

burtbollinger

    TYBG

  • Members
  • 2,167 posts
  • Joined 29 Apr 2005
  • Water front
youre the man now dogg!

Posted Image

nice post.

#8
StevieT

StevieT

    ☼ StevieTree ☼

  • Premium Members
  • 29,437 posts
  • Joined 29 Jan 2007
  • Menomonee Falls, WI
thanks guys, enjoy!

Add on: For Auto Top Off users (ATO)

My ATO reservoir will last arond 7 days depending on evap. patterns. Drurning your water change check your ATO, it will need to be filled. Use only fresh RO water in your reservoir, never salt, and NEVER tap water B)


Empty:

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Filled:

Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by StevieT, 23 April 2008 - 07:42 AM.


#9
HankB

HankB

    We are here to serve man.

  • Members
  • 1,297 posts
  • Joined 09 Mar 2008
  • Far Far west Chicago 'burbs

5 Gallon bucket (clean) for mixing,


If you're aiming this at the total newb, is it worth mentioning what you use to clean the bucket? I'm pretty sure it is nothing, but I'm not completely sure.

Otherwise - nice work!

I' wondering how hard it was to get that picture of the refractometer.

-hank

#10
CollegeNano

CollegeNano

    Bar Review Misery

  • Members
  • 969 posts
  • Joined 19 Nov 2007
  • Durham, NC
Awesome guide. I would also advise turning off the tank pumps before siphoning the water out of your tank unless you wanna get blasted. Hope that wasn't already stated :)

Thanks!

age.png


#11
StevieT

StevieT

    ☼ StevieTree ☼

  • Premium Members
  • 29,437 posts
  • Joined 29 Jan 2007
  • Menomonee Falls, WI

Awesome guide. I would also advise turning off the tank pumps before siphoning the water out of your tank unless you wanna get blasted. Hope that wasn't already stated :)

Thanks!


good point. yes, TURN OFF ALL YOUR PUMPS NOOBS!!!! B)

all my power gets shut off, switches on the two pumps, i keep the skimmer going since it is always under water, I also shut off my powerstrip that hosts my koralia and ATO.

If you're aiming this at the total newb, is it worth mentioning what you use to clean the bucket? I'm pretty sure it is nothing, but I'm not completely sure.

Otherwise - nice work!

I' wondering how hard it was to get that picture of the refractometer.

-hank



nice,

I clean after I fill the tank with fresh tap water, then dry and scrub with a paper towel to prevent salt buildup in the bucket and detritus buildup in the siphon bucket.

thanks.

the picture really isn't that hard actually, i just stuck the lense in the hole and put it on macro mode. It does a pretty good job taking those pics. I aimed the refractor at the window so there was a lot of light, took a few adjustment so it wasn't too bright, but it turned out nice.

Edited by StevieT, 23 April 2008 - 08:24 AM.


#12
teajay33

teajay33

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 388 posts
  • Joined 01 Apr 2007
  • Lexington, SC
now would you need to stir up the live sand any during cleanings? i have heard that you do? just a question. im a noob at cleaning my tank. this thread is good tho, it gives me more insite. my problem isnt how to do it, but what to suck up haha.. thanks in advance.

TJ

evil fish, it probably made it's way down to hell where it belongs!


looks like a zombie vadge


#13
Oceanic 30g

Oceanic 30g

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,039 posts
  • Joined 25 Jul 2006
  • Harrisburg, PA
This is good.

I am going to start the "How Stevie can Look for a Job" thread

You spend way too much work time on this site.

#14
StevieT

StevieT

    ☼ StevieTree ☼

  • Premium Members
  • 29,437 posts
  • Joined 29 Jan 2007
  • Menomonee Falls, WI
on the sand:

The reason I left that out is because it is up for much debate. At times, I will blow the top layer with the turkey baster, then suck up the junk. Your sand should break down most waste on its own. I have stuck the sipon in there but it does collect sand as well and there lies the problem. I was thinking of shoving some filter floss up in the siphon, to see if it would still suck but prevent sand from coming through.

There is some discusion out there about releasing too much junk when stirring up an old sand bed and crashing the tank.

This is good.

I am going to start the "How Stevie can Look for a Job" thread

You spend way too much work time on this site.



B) this was a three week project for me, tanking pictures, writing up text. I just released it today

Edited by StevieT, 23 April 2008 - 08:43 AM.


#15
Tromni

Tromni

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 24 posts
  • Joined 20 Mar 2008
Very awesome guide!

My only recommendation would be to change the title of Step 12:

Was: Step Twelve: Add fresh water back in

Now: Step Twelve: Add freshly mixed salt water back in

Just in case someone reads it and reaches for the RO water. That'd make for one nasty tank crash.

#16
StevieT

StevieT

    ☼ StevieTree ☼

  • Premium Members
  • 29,437 posts
  • Joined 29 Jan 2007
  • Menomonee Falls, WI
great catch!!! thank you, change has been made

#17
teajay33

teajay33

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 388 posts
  • Joined 01 Apr 2007
  • Lexington, SC
back to the sand.. when i stir up my sand, i stir up this cloudy green crap. that cant be good can it?

evil fish, it probably made it's way down to hell where it belongs!


looks like a zombie vadge


#18
StevieT

StevieT

    ☼ StevieTree ☼

  • Premium Members
  • 29,437 posts
  • Joined 29 Jan 2007
  • Menomonee Falls, WI
Green usualy = algae. If I stir up the sand I get a browish grey like color of junk. How long ago have you cycled? I still could be algae from that.

#19
Carlo Gambino

Carlo Gambino

    Carlo Gambino

  • Members
  • 89 posts
  • Joined 12 May 2006
  • Phx, AZ
Nice StevieT, Very nice.

#20
bdare

bdare

    Master Baiter

  • Members
  • 2,348 posts
  • Joined 05 Mar 2006
  • Rockwall, TX
I vote for a sticky!

#21
ap123

ap123

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,955 posts
  • Joined 18 Apr 2008
Thank You!!

:)

And yes, can we have this stickied so I'll be able to find it once I have my tank?

#22
teajay33

teajay33

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 388 posts
  • Joined 01 Apr 2007
  • Lexington, SC

Green usualy = algae. If I stir up the sand I get a browish grey like color of junk. How long ago have you cycled? I still could be algae from that.



a year and a half. its like grainy. like green sand. i doubt i can get a pic of it, but i'll try and post later if possible.

evil fish, it probably made it's way down to hell where it belongs!


looks like a zombie vadge


#23
jennifro

jennifro

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 295 posts
  • Joined 26 Feb 2008
  • Bellevue, Wa

I vote for a sticky!

+1! A sticky would be great! You rock StevieT!!!

#24
Cam198

Cam198

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 812 posts
  • Joined 08 Dec 2007
  • Kane County, Illinois
Great thread StevieT ;)

Tanksig-1.jpgTankSig.jpg


#25
Nick's Reef

Nick's Reef

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 4,168 posts
  • Joined 21 Oct 2007
  • Jupiter,Fl
Stevie you're the best!!!!!! :D I have a few things that I do differently tho, I keep my return pump on and remove the lock-line and just stick the hose in the bulkhead so I don't get all that nasty sw in my mouth. Alos if you've got an aio you could just dump the water in the back chambers (must have return pump on or major overflow) so it doesn't creat a mess in the tank by stiring up the sand. i must say tho that this stirs up a ton of detrius but it then gets pumped into the tank and gets caught in the filter floss.