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dasoxx

Daily water changes

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dasoxx

Hi All,

 

I’ve seen some conflicted opinions on this, but I’d love to understand the logic behind this. 

 

My LFS advised that he has been running very successful reef tank for a few years doing daily water changes. It’s about a 10g tank and he wakes up, takes a cup or two of water out and replaces it. He does this from the top of the tank rather than the bottom. 

 

If I’m running a 16g biocube that holds about 10.5g of actual water, I’d imagine that I could spread my weekly water changes out over the course of the week using this method. Are there any tales of success/failure using this method?  My LFS did say that he still does a 10% change from the bottom every couple of months. 

 

I’d love to hear thoughts from the community on this one. 

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Donny41

The only issue I see with this is that water changes aren't solely about swapping water, most people use water changes to blast rock and stir sand to keep detritus from building up and becoming an issue. I can see something like this working in a bare bottom tank where you can more easily remove detritus and debris, but in a tank with sand I'd be hesitant to only stir the bottom every few months. 

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Fisker

This could work, but I share the same concerns that are listed above.

 

That said, you could definitely do something similar, with one large cleaning every one or two weeks. If you're lightly stocked, I don't see this becoming a problem.

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dasoxx

Thanks for the help!  So it sounds like maintaining the tank with this method is possible as long as I keep regular water changes to every couple of weeks?  I just want to make sure I’m thinking about the immediate health of my tank as well as the future. 

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FISHnChix

The idea behind daily small water changes is to keep the Params more stable . Instead of having your alk and ca drop all week ,bc of coral consumption ,then shooting it all the way back up in one day with a big wc.c you can replace what your tank uses daily .  Doing so would create a more stable environment for the corals and not let your alk and ca drop as far ... like others said replacing elements is about half the reason for a water change but the other major part is to remove all the waste your tank creates . But yea if you do a good cleaning every two weeks you will be fine.. happy reefing..

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mcarroll

I did 5% per day for quite a while (there are videos of the two best methods for mixing I found as well)....I think almost 200 water changes.

 

Got mixing down to 5 minutes....and the whole process down to 10 minutes, including setup and cleanup.

 

(Don't let folks tell you that salt takes any longer than that to be ready for use....they're over-complicating it.)

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dasoxx
9 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

I did 5% per day for quite a while (there are videos of the two best methods for mixing I found as well)....I think almost 200 water changes.

 

Got mixing down to 5 minutes....and the whole process down to 10 minutes, including setup and cleanup.

 

(Don't let folks tell you that salt takes any longer than that to be ready for use....they're over-complicating it.)

Thanks for that!  Have you ever mixed and maintained in a sealed bucket (at room temperature) for a couple weeks so that you don't have to keep making new water?  I've met a few people that prefer doing batches once a month and do weekly water changes.  Some others just get water straight from the LFS and have enough for changes over the next month or so.  Is this dangerous in any way?  I'd imagine it wouldn't make much of a difference in a sealed plastic bucket.

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mcarroll

It was so fast to mix and use all at once and I didn't want to give up even more space to store saltwater, so no I didn't.

 

But you can store it, no problem.   Just seal it with a well-fitting lid to keep dirt/bugs/etc from getting in, and maybe keep it temperature controlled (in the house vs in the garage).

 

Not suggesting you go to this extent, but for perspective I've even stored USED saltwater in buckets for 2 years and it was fine for use after that...looked perfectly clear when it was opened, no smells, no sediment, no problems.

 

What you don't want to do is follow a lot of the conventional wisdom on mixing because invariably it involves a pump and usually a heater.  Either of those, left running in saltwater, will cause precipitation from the heating.

 

 

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mcarroll

This whole article on precipitation is good, but start reading it here.

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dasoxx
20 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

It was so fast to mix and use all at once and I didn't want to give up even more space to store saltwater, so no I didn't.

 

But you can store it, no problem.   Just seal it with a well-fitting lid to keep dirt/bugs/etc from getting in, and maybe keep it temperature controlled (in the house vs in the garage).

 

Not suggesting you go to this extent, but for perspective I've even stored USED saltwater in buckets for 2 years and it was fine for use after that...looked perfectly clear when it was opened, no smells, no sediment, no problems.

 

What you don't want to do is follow a lot of the conventional wisdom on mixing because invariably it involves a pump and usually a heater.  Either of those, left running in saltwater, will cause precipitation from the heating.

 

 

This is VERY helpful, thank you very much!  

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Lula_Mae
1 hour ago, dasoxx said:

Thanks for that!  Have you ever mixed and maintained in a sealed bucket (at room temperature) for a couple weeks so that you don't have to keep making new water?  I've met a few people that prefer doing batches once a month and do weekly water changes.  Some others just get water straight from the LFS and have enough for changes over the next month or so.  Is this dangerous in any way?  I'd imagine it wouldn't make much of a difference in a sealed plastic bucket.

It depends on the salt. Some have specific mixing directions and must be used within a short period of time, and can't be stored. 

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Clown79

Definitely depends on the salt 

 

Aquaforest probiotic and RSCP have specific mixing instructions and both can only be stored for 5 days. This is not rumor, this is straight from the company's.

 

 

Always read the instructions on the back of the container as every salt is different.

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Stickboy15

What kind of corals do you keep, are you dosing?

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fulltang

I'm planning on doing daily water changes using red sea blue bucket and the autoaqua awc/ato. Probably going to do bigger bi weekly water changes for nutrient export. 

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dasoxx

I didn't realize the salt was a factor here!  I'll have to check and make sure that isn't an issue for mine specifically.  I am not currently keeping any corals, but I am planning to introduce some hammers in the near future followed by zoas, frogspawn and some TBD softies.

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mcarroll

Do your research first, but if you're left with any doubt, you can't go wrong by sticking with Instant Ocean products.  Either will work well, but RC is better if you're keeping stony coral and not auto-dosing.  The elevated levels are there to be a reserve of alk/ca/mg until the next manual dose.

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Clown79
4 hours ago, dasoxx said:

I didn't realize the salt was a factor here!  I'll have to check and make sure that isn't an issue for mine specifically.  I am not currently keeping any corals, but I am planning to introduce some hammers in the near future followed by zoas, frogspawn and some TBD softies.

Each salt is different. 

 

Different ingredients, different params, different mixing/storage requirements, some have batch controls while others don't.

 

When in doubt, always contact the company, that gives you a definitive answer.

 

When I started using rscp I read all sorts of conflicting info regarding mixing and storage.

 

I contacted red sea and got the proper mixing and storage requirements. 

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dasoxx
13 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Each salt is different. 

 

Different ingredients, different params, different mixing/storage requirements, some have batch controls while others don't.

 

When in doubt, always contact the company, that gives you a definitive answer.

 

When I started using rscp I read all sorts of conflicting info regarding mixing and storage.

 

I contacted red sea and got the proper mixing and storage requirements. 

Right now I live right down the street from my LFS.  I don't have an RO machine and didn't really intend on buying one in the near future as I only have the one tank for now (and it's a small one at that).  RO water is 50 cents a gallon and premixed saltwater is $1 a gallon so I was planning to just grab premixed water from the LFS in a 5 gallon sealed bucket as needed for now.  That's why I'm curious about the storage, etc.  He uses instant ocean, but I'll make a point to have a chat with him about exactly what he does when mixing and maybe even call instant ocean for details around storage.  

 

I'm just looking to keep my tank as consistent and easy to maintain as possible in these early stages.  Once I get a feel for my tank and start to identify issues and additional needs, I plan to adjust accordingly, buy my own equipment and mix my own water as needed.

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Clown79
59 minutes ago, dasoxx said:

Right now I live right down the street from my LFS.  I don't have an RO machine and didn't really intend on buying one in the near future as I only have the one tank for now (and it's a small one at that).  RO water is 50 cents a gallon and premixed saltwater is $1 a gallon so I was planning to just grab premixed water from the LFS in a 5 gallon sealed bucket as needed for now.  That's why I'm curious about the storage, etc.  He uses instant ocean, but I'll make a point to have a chat with him about exactly what he does when mixing and maybe even call instant ocean for details around storage.  

 

I'm just looking to keep my tank as consistent and easy to maintain as possible in these early stages.  Once I get a feel for my tank and start to identify issues and additional needs, I plan to adjust accordingly, buy my own equipment and mix my own water as needed.

Instant ocean can be stored for a long time. There are also no special mixing instructions.

 

The 1 important thing is to check the quality of lfs water. They can call it RODI and it may only be RO(not what you want to use), it may have high tds in it from not changing the filters as they need to be.

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dasoxx
2 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Instant ocean can be stored for a long time. There are also no special mixing instructions.

 

The 1 important thing is to check the quality of lfs water. They can call it RODI and it may only be RO(not what you want to use), it may have high tds in it from not changing the filters as they need to be.

I'll test the next batch the make sure what I'm using as a regular change is solid.  Thanks for the tip!

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Stickboy15

I would not use pre made saltwater. Get a aquatic life twist in rod system 100gpd and make your own saltwater. Only you know what's going into your water even if its good lfs id still make my own water. Its part of the hobby.

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Lula_Mae
5 hours ago, Stickboy15 said:

I would not use pre made saltwater. Get a aquatic life twist in rod system 100gpd and make your own saltwater. Only you know what's going into your water even if its good lfs id still make my own water. Its part of the hobby.

There's a few brands of RO/DI systems that are good (Spectrapure and BRS for example) but not everyone is able to hook up an RODI system.  I only just got one a year or so ago after 9 years in the hobby.  I used distilled for a long time.

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Clown79
On 1/9/2019 at 10:46 PM, Lula_Mae said:

There's a few brands of RO/DI systems that are good (Spectrapure and BRS for example) but not everyone is able to hook up an RODI system.  I only just got one a year or so ago after 9 years in the hobby.  I used distilled for a long time.

I just got one last year and hook it up to my faucet. 

Before that, I used distilled too. 

I only switched because I have 3 tanks now otherwise distilled was great.

 

Everyone has to decide what's best for their situation, preferably not tap😊

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