StevieT

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

331 posts in this topic

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

 

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Step Two: Filling

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

 

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Step Three: Drop in pump

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

 

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Step Four: Suction heater

 

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

 

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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.

 

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Step Six: Add salt

 

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

 

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Cloudy!

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Step Seven: Let it mix and heat up

 

Still Heating up

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

Water is completly mixed

 

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Temp is up to match the tank

 

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

 

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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.

 

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hit the photo limit, more to come!

Edited by StevieT
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verry nice... high fiveaaa...

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Bump for StevieT's water change thread.

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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.

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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:happydance:

Edited by StevieT
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thanks for always being so helpful StevieT.

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youre the man now dogg!

 

ytmnd.png

 

nice post.

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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:

 

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Filled:

 

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Edited by StevieT
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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

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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
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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.

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great catch!!! thank you, change has been made

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back to the sand.. when i stir up my sand, i stir up this cloudy green crap. that cant be good can it?

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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.

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I vote for a sticky!

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Thank You!!

 

:)

 

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

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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.

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I vote for a sticky!

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

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Great thread StevieT ;)

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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.

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