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Frequency of Water Changes


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#51
Criley7

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I change 10 gallons of water every week in my 60 gallon tank.

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#52
Wizzy

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if you cant afford the cost of salt for a 200g tank you wont be able to afford anything to put in it. change 20 gallons every two weeks that's roughly $170 dollars a year in reef crystals salt. waterchange's can be automated by using a tank controller and float switches, and aqualifters or by using peristaltic pumps.

large established tanks can go with less frequent water changes but you will spend the same amount of time monitoring it.

sounds like you need to keep a nano to moderately sized tank and invest in a good tank controller and automate top offs. you can do small water changes when you have a chance. low bio load, a handful of tough corals that like dirty water like zoa's and rely on the tank controller to do the worrying for you. just avoid demanding lps and sps corals.

i have no problems leaving my tank for extended periods of time with my apex running it. it will text me if anything like temp, ph, power outages, salinity, etc get out of range.(or i can log into it and check perarimeters from anywhere in the world from my phone or internet computer). give a good buddy a key to the house and just have extra top-off water and premixed water around so a house sitter can help if need be.

simple instructions like fill green bucket with tank water using a small bucket or glass . when full pour orange bucket back into the tank. leave a post note on the tank.


All good points, but then why do Kgoldy's, Tinygiant's, etc tanks work?

I feel like a kalkwasser reactor and calcium reactor would help. If you could get a full bank of dosing pumps though, that would probably be best.

This is in addition what others have stated about the filtration regarding a large refugium and plenty of macro's.


I plan on having peristaltic pumps for dosing as well as a large refugium.

I change 10 gallons of water every week in my 60 gallon tank.


Thanks for the info :D


Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

#53
Smity

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All good points, but then why do Kgoldy's, Tinygiant's, etc tanks work?


Im not sure you would have to read through there builds and replicate what they have done I would think...

Is this a discussion of doing a water changes or not doing water changes at all?

I also agree with mrbigshot if you cant afford the salt to even do water changes how will you afford the tank, fish, rock, sand, lights, sump, and the intial salt to even get the tank started?

Jumping from a 2gallon pico to a 200+ gallon tank is a daunting task not only with funds but dedication to even getting it setup.

If I were you I would experiment going larger as in 20 gallon or even 40 gallon and seeing how it goes but to each his own.

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#54
Wizzy

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Im not sure you would have to read through there builds and replicate what they have done I would think...

Is this a discussion of doing a water changes or not doing water changes at all?

I also agree with mrbigshot if you cant afford the salt to even do water changes how will you afford the tank, fish, rock, sand, lights, sump, and the intial salt to even get the tank started?

Jumping from a 2gallon pico to a 200+ gallon tank is a daunting task not only with funds but dedication to even getting it setup.

If I were you I would experiment going larger as in 20 gallon or even 40 gallon and seeing how it goes but to each his own.

Good Luck


Thank you for the input and concern.

However, I feel completely confident setting up a 200+ gallon system financially and time-wise.

My question was whether I could maintain a 200+ gallon system with 10% water changes every 2-3 months while still keeping SPS, LPS, etc.

I also want to know whether a protein skimmer would be beneficial or not.


-Wizzy :happy:

#55
Formula462

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Well obviously if you are going to be super lazy on the maintenance a protein skimmer would be beneficial.

They are always beneficial in some way. Not necessary of course, although if you plan on not ever doing a water change, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have one. 10% water changes every 3 months is a literal drop in the bucket. Might as well not even do them and just dump a bunch of bottled magic in the tank. You know, just go full on lazyman. Good luck with the big tank!

#56
Deckoz2302

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Ha aha.....I <3 my bottle of magic

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#57
Amphiprion1

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Thank you for the input and concern.

However, I feel completely confident setting up a 200+ gallon system financially and time-wise.

My question was whether I could maintain a 200+ gallon system with 10% water changes every 2-3 months while still keeping SPS, LPS, etc.

I also want to know whether a protein skimmer would be beneficial or not.


-Wizzy :happy:


Assuming your plans haven't changed from previous threads on natural methods, I think your chances of achieving lower maintenance are diminished--certainly not nonexistent, though. Most of the systems I've seen (including some of my own) that require less maintenance are typically very old and/or employed diverse fauna. It's going to be very difficult to get the best of both worlds, but not impossible. Balancing import and export extremely carefully, as well as paying attention to and understanding long term changes in the system will be critical. Changes and eventual build-up that would normally be addressed manually or via the action of other organisms to some degree simply won't be in place or what would be done may just not be sufficient. Not an undertaking I'd like to attempt honestly :).

#58
Deckoz2302

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Buildups can be taken care of by siphoning into a filter sock in your sump every couple weeks . Then remove the sock

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#59
Amphiprion1

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Buildups can be taken care of by siphoning into a filter sock in your sump every couple weeks . Then remove the sock


What about the level of nutrients freed into the water? It would typically necessitate a water change unless some other mechanism is in place to cushion the potential rise (which I have to do when, for instance, I dig up seagrass and free lots of porewater into the water column). What seems like a simple solution can turn into just one more task that has to be done. Then again, I've become somewhat lazy, so what may seem reasonable for some is not for me. If it were me, having to do this even every couple of weeks would get old quickly.

#60
Wizzy

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Well obviously if you are going to be super lazy on the maintenance a protein skimmer would be beneficial.

They are always beneficial in some way. Not necessary of course, although if you plan on not ever doing a water change, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have one. 10% water changes every 3 months is a literal drop in the bucket. Might as well not even do them and just dump a bunch of bottled magic in the tank. You know, just go full on lazyman. Good luck with the big tank!


Thanks for the info, however, WHY is a protein skimmer beneficial?

What does it remove from the water (don't just say DOC)?

Also, I would love to never have to do water changes, but I thought that doing them a few times a year would be beneficial.

Why isn't changing 10% of a system's water going to make a difference?

Assuming your plans haven't changed from previous threads on natural methods, I think your chances of achieving lower maintenance are diminished--certainly not nonexistent, though. Most of the systems I've seen (including some of my own) that require less maintenance are typically very old and/or employed diverse fauna. It's going to be very difficult to get the best of both worlds, but not impossible. Balancing import and export extremely carefully, as well as paying attention to and understanding long term changes in the system will be critical. Changes and eventual build-up that would normally be addressed manually or via the action of other organisms to some degree simply won't be in place or what would be done may just not be sufficient. Not an undertaking I'd like to attempt honestly :).


I just set up a 12 gallon nanocube, and actually am starting to feel better about possible having bristle worms and other species (they are in my 12 gallon).

However, I still don't understand why I couldn't choose a variety of snails, crabs, etc and have a healthy tank?

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

#61
Veng

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Doing a 10% every 3 months is better than doing nothing, but that doesn't mean it'll lead to a healthy tank.


If you compare the 30% monthly and the 10% every 3 months you find some interesting results. At 30% monthly, over the corse of a year you are exchanging 720 gallons of salt water. At 10% every 3 months you will be exchanging only 80 gallons of water or roughly 1/10th the exchange of the 30%.

We do water changes to replinish and remove stuff in the water. If you are only taking out 1/10th the bad stuff in a year, then the levels will rise till the water in your smaller water change, less frequent holds the same amount of bad stuff as the larger water change.

If your fish are producing 1ppm No4 in a month for example, your levels will have to rise to 3.3ppm till it reaches equilbrium. After it reaches that point, you'll remove 1ppm each month with your 30% water change. Equilbrium is the point where you take out the same amount as you generate.

However, if that same fish is producing 1ppm No4 in your tank per month and you are doing a 10% water change every 3 months, your equilibrium point isn't 3.3ppm, it's 30ppm. That's the difference, and it's a big one.

Now this isn't to say you can't do it, but you have to understand what you are doing. You have to find ways to replinish EVERYTHING you are using, and remove everything bad they are generating.

There's a good article on it here: http://reefkeeping.c...0/rhf/index.php

Edited by Veng, 13 March 2012 - 02:27 PM.

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#62
Wizzy

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Doing a 10% every 3 months is better than doing nothing, but that doesn't mean it'll lead to a healthy tank.


If you compare the 30% monthly and the 10% every 3 months you find some interesting results. At 30% monthly, over the corse of a year you are exchanging 720 gallons of salt water. At 10% every 3 months you will be exchanging only 80 gallons of water or roughly 1/10th the exchange of the 30%.

We do water changes to replinish and remove stuff in the water. If you are only taking out 1/10th the bad stuff in a year, then the levels will rise till the water in your smaller water change, less frequent holds the same amount of bad stuff as the larger water change.

If your fish are producing 1ppm No4 in a month for example, your levels will have to rise to 3.3ppm till it reaches equilbrium. After it reaches that point, you'll remove 1ppm each month with your 30% water change. Equilbrium is the point where you take out the same amount as you generate.

However, if that same fish is producing 1ppm No4 in your tank per month and you are doing a 10% water change every 3 months, your equilibrium point isn't 3.3ppm, it's 30ppm. That's the difference, and it's a big one.

Now this isn't to say you can't do it, but you have to understand what you are doing. You have to find ways to replinish EVERYTHING you are using, and remove everything bad they are generating.

There's a good article on it here: http://reefkeeping.c...0/rhf/index.php


I agree that water changes can lead to a healthy system.

However, how can you be certain that when you remove x% of a system's water that you are only taking out detrimental substances?

I was under the impression that you could be removing beneficial bacteria, microflora, etc.

I am also confused how you calculated that you would reach equilibrium at 3.3ppm of No4?

Thanks- Wizzy :happy: