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stylolvr
11/03/2009, 07:46 AM
I have a non-drilled 55 gallon mixed reef, with 2 HOB Penguin 350s and 2 Koralias (a #3 and a #4) for flow, and I don't run a skimmer. The tank was set up in September of last year (almost 14 months old) with a semi-deep sand bed (about 4"). I did a 10 gallon water change twice each month, and water quality was usually good, although my nitrates were usually in the 5-15ppm range, and the pH was a little on the low side. I started dosing 2-part in January, which solved the pH issue, and I noticed a drastic difference in the growth of my SPS.

Towards the beginning of the summer, finances started getting a bit tight, and the frequency of my water changes decreased to about 10 gallons every 4-6 weeks. There was a noticable increase in my nitrates, to more than 25ppm by the time I got to each water change. Corals started looking sad, and growth came to a near halt. All my Monti caps lost their white growth edges, and I lost some frags/colonies as well. It was a sad time, but there just wasn't $$$ for more salt for more frequent changes.

About 6 weeks ago, the financial strained loosened a bit, and I have since gone back to weekly changes of 15 gallons, during which I have been siphoning the sand bed down to about 1"-2". Today, I only did 10 as the water was back to near perfect (nitrates were unmeasurable) this morning. I will be sticking to the 10 gallon changes weekly, unless a need arises for more.

This is a true testament to the benefit of a good water change regimen. Even without a skimmer, my SPS are growing very well again, some of the browned corals are back to full color (or at least close to it), and my zoas have started spreading like crazy, even faster than originally. I don't want to start another 'Water Changes vs. No Water Changes' debate, but the evidence is pretty substantial.

Thanks for reading!

patsfan1130
11/03/2009, 08:02 AM
Amen to that! nothing better than a good ol' fashioned WC

leftcoastreefer
11/03/2009, 11:22 AM
There's no replacement, for displacement. Of water that is. I have a 37gal, 50 total volume mixed reef with a lot of sps, and I do weekly, sometimes twice a week 5 gallon wc's and I don't dose anything for alk or ph, just calcium and mag

ellio
11/03/2009, 12:15 PM
Have you ever tried a 5 gallon (10%) water change?

NKYdude
11/03/2009, 12:20 PM
yeah i just do 5g every sunday on my 55g. i think it helps w/ consistancy vs doing 10g every 2 weeks.

Reef Keeper
11/03/2009, 12:30 PM
I have a reef 125 gallon with overflow boxes. I used to do PWC 20 gallons once every two weeks. Then there was a period of time where I had to be out of town so I did 20 gallons/month. I notice the corals grow and look better if they are "disturbed" once a month rather than every two weeks. So now, it is once a month with daily RO/DI water top off. All of my readings are undetectable including Nitrate. All of my corals are thriving to the point I have to give away to friends and LFS. My live stock include one Powder Blue Tang, 4 Tomato clowns, 8 blue Damsels, one Mandarin fish, one Blenny, one Cardinal fish, one Fox face, one Flame Angle. Feeding is one cube once evey two days with bi weekly Nori sheet. RK

SWINGRRRR
11/03/2009, 12:34 PM
I do 1 gallon daily on a 135. Keeps everything stable and my tank is really turning around.

ChadTheSpike
11/03/2009, 01:38 PM
Amen to the water change, it never fails to amaze me the huge amount of effort and dollars that some spend on methods to reduce or eliminate water changes.

stylolvr
11/03/2009, 04:49 PM
Have you ever tried a 5 gallon (10%) water change?

I have thought about it, but without running a skimmer, I feel that at least 10 gallons every week will help keep the organics to a minimum. I imagine that a 5 gallon change vs. a 10 gallon change wouldn't be a terrible difference, but it keeps me sane knowing that what I am doing currently is giving me great results.

NKYdude, do you run a skimmer?

rynon
11/03/2009, 05:23 PM
How do you know it's the water changes that's helping and not the lack of nitrates? What if you were able to maintain a 0 reading for nitrates with out doing a water change? Do you think the lack of coral growth or their unhappiness was due to 0 water changes or moderately high nitrates?

Either way I'm glad things are going well for you! Just thought I'd throw some questions out there.

Mentat
11/03/2009, 06:11 PM
Congrats Stylolvr for surviving a $$ crunch. You did well with your aquarium and should stick with what is working for you. Thanks for sharing WC story with us.

porthios
11/03/2009, 06:13 PM
I don't want to start another 'Water Changes vs. No Water Changes' debate, but the evidence is pretty substantial.

horse-pucky..

all you did is demonstrate that nutrient management is a good idea. there are plenty of other ways to manage nutrients and many can be less expensive than wc's.

markandkristen
11/03/2009, 07:59 PM
I don't want to start another 'Water Changes vs. No Water Changes' debate, but the evidence is pretty substantial.

horse-pucky..

all you did is demonstrate that nutrient management is a good idea. there are plenty of other ways to manage nutrients and many can be less expensive than wc's.

yes i agree as well. i have did the water change method, and i have did the no waterchange for almost a year.
its as broad as it is long. i add stontium and vita chem for the trace elements as well as keeping up with my mag , cal and alk.
havent done a waterchange in i dont know when.
i did just move my tank and added 1/3 new water. but i dont usually do a w/c

however if you dont run a big skimmer then i can see why you would need to do what you do.

i think this is a area that will always be debated
"like which is better a cone skimmer or cylinder verses cost."
"tunze or vortech."
i have seen great tanks that have used both methods

stylolvr
11/04/2009, 05:15 AM
How do you know it's the water changes that's helping and not the lack of nitrates? What if you were able to maintain a 0 reading for nitrates with out doing a water change? Do you think the lack of coral growth or their unhappiness was due to 0 water changes or moderately high nitrates?

I think, with the budget I am on, that water changes are the only way to keep my nitrates at 0. All my other parameters were acceptable, and when the nitrates dropped, due to my WC regimen, everything got happy again. Lack of growth may have also partly been a lack of magnesium, trace elements, etc., but WCs seem to be the easiest, cheapest method to fix all of these potential issues. Without doing water changes, I would need to encorporate one or more of the other ways to keep nitrates at or near 0 (refugium, skimmer, etc.), but none of these options are in the budget currently. Maybe one day.....

Lack of growth may have also partly been a lack of magnesium, trace elements, etc., but WCs seem to be the easiest, cheapest method to fix all of these potential issues.

yes i agree as well. i have did the water change method, and i have did the no waterchange for almost a year.
its as broad as it is long. i add stontium and vita chem for the trace elements as well as keeping up with my mag , cal and alk.

I maintain trace element levels with the WCs, as the salt mix contains correct amounts. It makes me a bit nervous dosing elements that I can't accurately measure. I do dose 2-part for calcium and alk, although one day I would like to have a calcium reactor set up to eliminate this.

stylolvr
11/04/2009, 05:16 AM
[B]all you did is demonstrate that nutrient management is a good idea. there are plenty of other ways to manage nutrients and many can be less expensive than wc's.

Please elaborate! I would love to know of a cheaper method that WCs.

jbird69
11/04/2009, 08:40 AM
Please elaborate! I would love to know of a cheaper method that WCs.

Salt isnt cheap. Unless youre using NSW. Eventually, you will spend more money on salt than if you buy a decent skimmer. especially with a large system.

I do water changes but its not routine. Its more like "wow, i havent done a wc in a long time, probly should do one". My corals are clearly happier as my water matures.

sanababit
11/04/2009, 10:06 AM
Please elaborate! I would love to know of a cheaper method that WCs.

an algae scrubber, this thing eats, PO4, nitrate, metals, in your tank water, its cheaper than WC and it only needs to be cleaned once a week, i really dont do water changes and have a full blown sps tank, i am not saying that you should not do them dough, if they work for you then more power to you, i have done them myself with great results....

sana

thomasp123
11/04/2009, 11:01 AM
I do a 10% water change every weekend on a 75/95 system. That is I change 10g. I buy reef crystals 200g box for $45 that lasts about 20 weeks that comes to $2.25 per week. you cant get lunch for 1 day for that price. I say change the water that is a lot less expensive than a bubble king skimmer and no doubt better for the tank.

ziyaadb
11/04/2009, 12:00 PM
Dilution is the solution to pollution. I always believe that keep a tank that you can afford to do water changes on.

porthios
11/04/2009, 12:20 PM
I maintain trace element levels with the WCs, as the salt mix contains correct amounts.

there are a lot of assumptions in that statement..

I do a 10% water change every weekend on a 75/95 system. That is I change 10g. I buy reef crystals 200g box for $45 that lasts about 20 weeks that comes to $2.25 per week. you cant get lunch for 1 day for that price.

it's still more expensive than running a skimmer or pulling macro algae out of a fuge. eventually the increased recurring costs of wc's will exceed the initial costs of buying a skimmer and setting up a refugium.

i'm not saying anyone should stop doing their wc's. just that there are cheaper ways to manage nutrients. if i was running a 5 or 10g nano i'd definitely consider wc's as a sole method of nutrient management because it's easy, simple, clean and cheap. that won't scale well as you get to bigger systems. eventually, you'll look to decrease the frequency or size of the wc's by employing other nutrient management systems.

stylolvr has a nutrient and $ issue. thought i'd point out some alternatives is all..

thomasp123
11/04/2009, 12:33 PM
LOL This is a favorite argument. everything about this hobby costs money. A big skimmer costs a lot up front and then there is the electric bill which is probably on par with salt cost. The bottom line is water changes are work and people look for short cuts and try and throw as much money as they can at a problem to avoid some work. Every book I have ever read about keep any type of aquarium starts off with do regular water changes. So just do them. I have a skimmer too and a refugium and I take out a handful every week when I do my water change and I clean out the skimmer then as well. To keep a nice system requires some work. which is how this thread started.

porthios
11/04/2009, 12:56 PM
A big skimmer costs a lot up front and then there is the electric bill which is probably on par with salt cost.

again, depends on the system. a single wc with your salt would cost me $45. that's a lot of electricity :).

The bottom line is water changes are work and people look for short cuts and try and throw as much money as they can at a problem to avoid some work.

i don't see anyone throwing money at problems in this thread but clearly avoiding work is a good thing.

Every book I have ever read about keep any type of aquarium starts off with do regular water changes. So just do them.

keep reading.

I have a skimmer too and a refugium and I take out a handful every week when I do my water change and I clean out the skimmer then as well.

why do you run a skimmer and refugium?

yoggi58
11/04/2009, 01:09 PM
The last 6 years I learned this:

1. Best skimmer you can buy.
2. Test your water often.
3. Water changes when needed.
4. Happy tank.

My skimer cup is full every 2-3 days, I feed every other day, and my last water change was 2 months ago. My corals and fish are happy and growing. The important thing is that you do what your tank needs because some tanks run different from others. Some have lots of equiptment some are very simple. That reminds me, Its about time to change some water............:rolleye1:

Gary Majchrzak
11/04/2009, 01:17 PM
IME there are lots of things one can do to replenish depleted elements of seawater and lots of things one can do to keep nutrient levels down but nothing beats properly executed regular water changes. Nothing.

Over time parameters in a closed sytem can drift.
A water change is the "reboot".

Gary Majchrzak
11/04/2009, 01:25 PM
Even without a skimmer, my SPS are growing very well again, some of the browned corals are back to full color (or at least close to it), and my zoas have started spreading like crazy, even faster than originally. I don't want to start another 'Water Changes vs. No Water Changes' debate, but the evidence is pretty substantial. Thanks for reading!
you got it!
You saw Ken Feldman's skimmer efficiency test, right?
Long story short, skimmers don't remove 100% of DOC's from water.

You should have posted especially without a skimmer- not even without a skimmer.
Now... that being said , perhaps it's time you consider getting a skimmer to help you maintain your aquarium. A skimmer will certainly make your aquarium less dependent on water changes.

BeanMachine
11/04/2009, 01:26 PM
I have a reef 125 gallon with overflow boxes. I used to do PWC 20 gallons once every two weeks. Then there was a period of time where I had to be out of town so I did 20 gallons/month. I notice the corals grow and look better if they are "disturbed" once a month rather than every two weeks. So now, it is once a month with daily RO/DI water top off. All of my readings are undetectable including Nitrate. All of my corals are thriving to the point I have to give away to friends and LFS. My live stock include one Powder Blue Tang, 4 Tomato clowns, 8 blue Damsels, one Mandarin fish, one Blenny, one Cardinal fish, one Fox face, one Flame Angle. Feeding is one cube once evey two days with bi weekly Nori sheet. RK

Dang you have 4 Tomato Clowns in a 125?? Their all juvi's right? Really curious how they've gotten along without a Cage Fight going on.

1 cube every other day? That doesn't seem like enough for all those fish.

Not trying to knock your husbandry, just trying to improve mine.

thomasp123
11/04/2009, 01:39 PM
You seem to be the type that like to argue incessantly. But I can go another round. Stylolvr has a 55 which is totally do able for a water change. I have a 75/95 because I want to be able to control costs. Both salt and electricity. no comment on the concept of avoiding work as it speaks for its self. A skimmer removes dissolved organic materials as by precipitating them in the surface of the bubbles. The more bubbles the more area for this to happen. Foam fractionation has been around a lot longer than hobby tanks. The growth in a fuge removes nitrogen containing salts NH4+ N0- and NO2- as alga can fix carbon but not nitrogen. It also provides a place for pods and other natural fish foods to grow where the fish can't wipe them out. Lastly did you ever wonder why the new england aquarium is located right on boston harbor or why the monteray bay aquarium has a view of the pacific or why sea world is located less than 20 miles from the coast? think about it

L98-Z
11/04/2009, 01:50 PM
You seem to be the type that like to argue incessantly. But I can go another round. Stylolvr has a 55 which is totally do able for a water change. I have a 75/95 because I want to be able to control costs. Both salt and electricity. no comment on the concept of avoiding work as it speaks for its self. A skimmer removes dissolved organic materials as by precipitating them in the surface of the bubbles. The more bubbles the more area for this to happen. Foam fractionation has been around a lot longer than hobby tanks. The growth in a fuge removes nitrogen containing salts NH4+ N0- and NO2- as alga can fix carbon but not nitrogen. It also provides a place for pods and other natural fish foods to grow where the fish can't wipe them out. Lastly did you ever wonder why the new england aquarium is located right on boston harbor or why the monteray bay aquarium has a view of the pacific or why sea world is located less than 20 miles from the coast? think about it


I recently saw a thread about the Atlanta Aquarium... you bring up water changes at big aquariums, but they have skimmers as well.

I'm a firm believer that water changes are safe, reliable way to reduce nitrates. Doesn't mean there aren't other ways though. Having a somewhat large tank myself, I can under the desire to reduce water changes though.

porthios
11/04/2009, 02:57 PM
You seem to be the type that like to argue incessantly.

i enjoy getting past the 5min argument that water changes are probably a good idea for most reefkeepers but yes i tend to rail against dogmatic statements like..

So just do them

forgive me.

no comment on the concept of avoiding work as it speaks for its self

really? you're going to argue that a system requiring more maintenance is superior to one requiring less? i love to tinker with my tank as much as the next guy but surely the less required the better right?


gary -

Over time parameters in a closed sytem can drift.
A water change is the "reboot".

i KNOW you know this gary but this analogy shouldn't be taken too literally. it's helpful to explain husbandry to a new reefer but not entirely correct. a white lie if you will.

yes parameters and elemental concentrations drift but not always in the good->bad direction this analogy implies. ASW is not 'pristine' in terms of optimal concentrations for the animals we keep, nor is it even remotely close to NSW with regards to several of our precious trace elements.

replacing some portion of our tank water with fresh ASW is often a net win for our system but there's a little evil involved :)..

stylolvr
11/04/2009, 05:42 PM
Now... that being said , perhaps it's time you consider getting a skimmer to help you maintain your aquarium. A skimmer will certainly make your aquarium less dependent on water changes.

I am in the midst of a possible relocation, and if the family ends up moving, I will be selling this tank before the move (leaving some of my favorite pieces with a friend or two to get back later, of course!) and setting up a new one with some more bells and whistles once we get settled. The move would be accompanied by a nice salary increase which would allow for some nice bits of equipment, a skimmer being the first on the list. I plan on having a drilled system with a sump to make things a bit easier for my wife, as I will be away from home quite a bit (maybe months at a time). Luckily, she's the cool kind of wife that loves looking at the tank as much as I do!

For now, the water changes will be my way of keeping everything happy!

Gary Majchrzak
11/04/2009, 06:39 PM
IME skimming is especially important during long breaks between water exchanges and asking a wife to do a water change is a mistake!

Jason- I don't have reason to tell lies of any color. Plenty of aquarium corals have been in the hobby for over a decade now and they're well adapted to artificial seawater. I'll stand by the reboot suggestion.
Care to explain what evils might be involved?

porthios
11/05/2009, 12:48 AM
Care to explain what evils might be involved?

sure. pick any heavy metal that exists in toxic concentrations in ASW that is exported via skimming, macro uptake, coral uptake, etc. faster than it is replaced by the foods and other additive inputs of that metal. wc's with regards to this metal are evil as they would continually replenish towards the toxic concentrations present in the original ASW.

shimek's 'it's in the water' series and follow ups (even refutations (http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2004/feature.htm)) by other authors give several examples of metals to choose from.

Plenty of aquarium corals have been in the hobby for over a decade now and they're well adapted to artificial seawater

the fact that they've had to adapt at all and the horrid morbidity rate of wild coral introduced to our captive systems is a perfect argument AGAINST the capabilities of ASW to provide an optimum environment for the animals we keep.

we're happy when we're able to keep them alive. we even boast when they grow. if you're REALLY good, you can get them to reproduce, then write magazine articles and speak at MACNA! :)

yeah, yeah.. i know there are a lot more challenges to blame for our inabilities to repeat natures successes (food obviously) but surely you wouldn't argue that ASW's one of them.

i'm just trying to caution against the parroted beliefs that we see so often in threads like these, such as..

I maintain trace element levels with the WCs, as the salt mix contains correct amounts.
Dilution is the solution to pollution
everything about this hobby costs money

all of which are, at best, partial truths..

thomasp123
11/05/2009, 06:39 AM
well since there is no real practical alternative to ASW I guess we should all stop doing water changes and close down our tanks. I am guessing that Jason will be the first.

If you want to talk about parroted beliefs on this or any forum lets start with the minority that believe that water changes are unnecessary or that ASW is toxic. If that were really true there would be no forum because there would be no tanks in peoples homes.

There very well could be some trace toxic materials in ASW but that is one reason we run carbon or pura brand products (i use pura pads to grab such things) but it is way over the top to argue against water changes because the ASW is toxic.

Someone brought up this concept

I maintain trace element levels with the WCs, as the salt mix contains correct amounts

This was shot down and I want to bring it back up. There are many brands of salt on the market and it is in the best interest of the manufacture to make the best product they can in order to win market share. It is also true that our systems use some components in the sea water faster than others and so they become depleted. So it seems reasonable to do a water change to replenish those components. A lot more reasonable than to fear some unknown toxic materials.

can we please stop the Sarah Palin type arguments.

Randy Holmes-Farley
11/05/2009, 06:46 AM
yes parameters and elemental concentrations drift but not always in the good->bad direction this analogy implies. ASW is not 'pristine' in terms of optimal concentrations for the animals we keep, nor is it even remotely close to NSW with regards to several of our precious trace elements.

replacing some portion of our tank water with fresh ASW is often a net win for our system but there's a little evil involved

I agree that a more balanced representation is that it tugs the tank back toward the ASW (or NSW), but assuming the ASW is reasonable, many things will be tugged in the right direction.

A classic example is copper. For years, Ron Shimek blasted IO for copper and other metals (and he probably still does). He said I was killing my inverts using IO. He never once stopped to listen to me when I continually pointed out that despite his measurements of copper in IO, and his ideas on what that might do, that my careful measurements (more careful than his) showed more copper in my tank water than in the IO I was using. So EVERY water change with IO reduced the copper in the tank, despite the fact that he asserted that the IO was lethal in copper. And for that matter, inverts typically did fine in that tank. :)

Paul B
11/05/2009, 08:10 AM
I will not say that changing water is good or bad, I will let you guys all argue about that but I will say that if you have to change your water to control "nitrates" then something is wrong with your system. A properly run "matured" system should go on forever with no rise in nitrates no matter if you change water or not. Thats what the bacteria is for.
I change water for other reasons but my nitrates will remain near zero even though I only change 20% of my water 5 or 6 times a year. Yes I know that is too little but it has worked for almost 4 decades so it can't be too bad.
I occasionally add bacteria from the sea and some NSW. I know not everyone can not do that and I have always said this stuff should be available through mail.
Also I know about Dr. Rons take on excess metals, I wrote to him once about it and he did not get back to me. The copper reading in my reef is .05.
That is a little high for a reef but no big deal. A professional lab tested it last year. Some of that water has been in there since 1971. The water has never been 100% changed so I don't believe that theory about excess metals.
I even used copper many times in this tank before it was a reef and tap water for 20 years presumably some of that copper is still in there (there goes that theory that rock is no good after you add copper)
There have been LPS corals and clams liveing in there over ten years so I guess they don't know about the copper reading.
So change water if you like but figure out why your nitrates are rising.

Gary Majchrzak
11/05/2009, 11:38 AM
Care to explain what evils might be involved?
sure. pick any heavy metal that exists in toxic concentrations in ASW that is exported via skimming, macro uptake, coral uptake, etc. faster than it is replaced by the foods and other additive inputs of that metal. wc's with regards to this metal are evil as they would continually replenish towards the toxic concentrations present in the original ASW.

shimek's 'it's in the water' series and follow ups (even refutations (http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2004/feature.htm)) by other authors give several examples of metals to choose from.
a-HA.. THOSE evils!
There was a point in time several years ago when I was extremely concerned about the possibility of toxic metal concentrations in ASW... but no more... with the possible exception of Crystal Sea saltmix.

And a lot of us can remember what Dr. Ron's thoughts were on THAT saltmix.

porthios
11/05/2009, 12:53 PM
thanks randy. as usual, that's a far better summary of what i was trying to say than what i could come up with..

gary, i don't think we disagree. i'm just picking nits a bit. i specifically included a refutation because i'm aware of the challenges to his methods and conclusions.

thomas, you're assigning arguments to me that i haven't made. that doesn't seem fair. and do you think we could tone down the character attacks a little? just trying to have a discussion mate..

thomasp123
11/07/2009, 07:04 AM
To All

I apologize for getting a bit worked up but I am very sensitive to water change issues. I get upset when I find that many people start up tanks both fresh and salt and either get strange ideas about husbandry or just are lazy and end up killing everything. When I forst started on RC I got very mixed ideas about how to care for things and ended up just doing what seemed most like good common sense. Regular water changes fit that description to me, so I was glad to see the original post of this discussion. Then it turned into some type of fight against water changes. Next time I will simply have a drink and go watch my tank.

Gary Majchrzak
11/07/2009, 07:11 AM
I hope you're drinking something good....
perhaps a Sam Adams?

Ooops... another topic for debate! :beer:

Kreeger1
11/07/2009, 07:15 AM
I don't want to start another 'Water Changes vs. No Water Changes' debate, but the evidence is pretty substantial.

horse-pucky..

all you did is demonstrate that nutrient management is a good idea. there are plenty of other ways to manage nutrients and many can be less expensive than wc's.

Agree as well, All you found out was that your filtration method is not up to par for what you have in your tank is all.
Bi yearly water changes for me probably been on that for atleast 10-15 years or more.

Paul B
11/07/2009, 07:19 AM
I get upset when I find that many people start up tanks both fresh and salt and either get strange ideas about husbandry or just are lazy and end up killing everything.

Thomas, there was no actual fight on here. Some people get worked up when they feel their opinions are questioned. I for one probably have the strangest ideas about husbandry but I don't care one bit if someone, or even everyone disagrees with me.
It is a hobby and by defination, not very important, except maybe to us. And if we lost our hobby tomorrow the worst thing that would happen realistically is we would have more money and more free time.
This is a discussion and very little of it is fact, there are just too many variables.
There are many fantastic looking tanks on here and they all have different husbandry ideas but they all work.
I run a reverse UG filter, I am probably the only one and I feel that all other systems are useless, but being that is my opinion and there are so many nicer tanks than mine, who cares? I try not to push my RUGF on other people too much (I know I sometimes fail at that)
Anyway, a discussion is just that.
Have a great day
Paul

Gary Majchrzak
11/07/2009, 07:47 AM
so I figured it would be a good time to snap a quick pic of my aquarium (which I just did here!). No special prep for this shot (ie: cleaning the sandbed, tripod, camera etc.). When researching the possible benefits of regular water changes it would do well to reseach the credentials (and aquariums) of those giving advice.
My aquarium animals react quite positively to a water change.

Maybe they're into heavy metal!

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y270/gary334/Sep_09.jpg

dang frag in the sandbed grew too close to the glass this week and got knocked off by the cleaning magnet. What a shot spoiler!

tydtran
11/07/2009, 07:56 AM
Beautiful shot, Gary.

I really agree with you, that the proof of the success of a method is in the resulting tank. There should be a thread here where everyone whose interested can post a picture of their tank along with a brief summary of their tank maintenance practice, salt brand, equipment lists etc. That way, when someone chimes in with advice, you can see the practical result of what they have achieved and then judge the qualitiy of their advice.

thomasp123
11/07/2009, 08:02 AM
Gary nice Pic! here is a full shot of my mixed softie LPS tank.

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss159/thomasp123_photo/DSC_0321touchedup.jpg

Tom

thomasp123
11/07/2009, 08:03 AM
opps try again

http://i571.photobucket.com/albums/ss159/thomasp123_photo/DSC_0321touchedup.jpg

thomasp123
11/07/2009, 08:04 AM
Someday I aspire to a nice sps tank

Paul B
11/07/2009, 08:19 AM
Gary, beautiful tank you have there

I think my tank was about 34 years old in this picture.
Water changes 5 or 6 times a year, about 10% NSW. No additives except two part home made calcium and occasionally Lugols Iodine.
RUGF


http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/DSC01323.jpg

This fireclown was about 15 here
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/DSC01322.jpg

Gary Majchrzak
11/07/2009, 08:46 AM
I've always admired your aquarium, Paul.
Not only your aquarium- but your longevity keeping a reef aquarium.
It's very obvious you're doing something right!

I'll bet you don't drink Busch ;)

Gary Majchrzak
11/07/2009, 08:55 AM
Paul- does the Idol bother any of those corals?

theJiggyfly
11/07/2009, 08:58 AM
I have a mixed reef heavy on the SPS side and its my experience no water change is better. I keep my parameters straight and all is very well. when I do water changes I notice my coral lacks luster for about a week before it starts to pop back. I also only run my skimmer 1 day every 2 weeks. It doesn't make since to run it full time if it isn't pulling. Its a great skimmer SWC 250 and it can pull everything out of my tank in about 5 hours.black funk skimmate. the best my corals have ever looked is when I was building my current tank. I kept everything in a trough for 4 months with no skimmer or water changes and thats the craziest color I have ever had. It looked like a zeo tank.

Randy Holmes-Farley
11/07/2009, 09:03 AM
when I do water changes I notice my coral lacks luster for about a week before it starts to pop back.

What did you use to make the salt water?

dancewithethan
11/07/2009, 09:12 AM
I have a mixed reef heavy on the SPS side and its my experience no water change is better. I keep my parameters straight and all is very well. when I do water changes I notice my coral lacks luster for about a week before it starts to pop back. I also only run my skimmer 1 day every 2 weeks. It doesn't make since to run it full time if it isn't pulling. Its a great skimmer SWC 250 and it can pull everything out of my tank in about 5 hours.black funk skimmate. the best my corals have ever looked is when I was building my current tank. I kept everything in a trough for 4 months with no skimmer or water changes and thats the craziest color I have ever had. It looked like a zeo tank.

Can you share some pics?

reef hobbiest
11/07/2009, 10:25 AM
Georgia Aquarium is about 400 miles from the ocean and they use IO not sure if they do WC but they have one big skimmer!

Gary Majchrzak
11/07/2009, 10:32 AM
I also only run my skimmer 1 day every 2 weeks. It doesn't make since to run it full time if it isn't pulling. Its a great skimmer SWC 250 and it can pull everything out of my tank in about 5 hours.
not true. Your skimmer is only pulling a small percentage of gunk from your system. Read:
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2009/1/aafeature2

jbird69
11/07/2009, 10:46 AM
I was noticing the same thing as thejiggyfly when I did water changes. Then I started being much more carefull with matching the exact perameter of the wc with my tank and this stopped happenning. My corals used to sluff snot after a water change if anything was off, and they would take a few days to get back to their full luster.

I dont change water that often, maybe 15% every 8 weeks. Sometimes longer. I have never let it go long enough to see a reaction from my livestock..I think 4 months was the longest I procrastinated.

PaulB Your post on the pervious page was brilliant!

Gary Majchrzak
11/07/2009, 11:20 AM
I was noticing the same thing as thejiggyfly when I did water changes. Then I started being much more carefull with matching the exact perameter of the wc with my tank and this stopped happenning. My corals used to sluff snot after a water change if anything was off, and they would take a few days to get back to their full luster.
I suspected this as well. My Euphyllia corals fairly explode right after a proper water change but a bad water change can send them shrivelling up.

FWIW it's fair to say that not all reef aquariums will show the benefits of a water change. For example- an aquarium over-run with Kenya Tree or Sinularia dura (cabbage coral. I use these two coral species merely because they exaggerate what I'm explaining. All corals are limited by environmental conditions). These two corals tend to thrive in (and create) an environment (via allelopathic compounds) that can stunt the growth of other corals.

Daniel Reef
11/07/2009, 01:24 PM
I don't know alot about the WC/No WC debate, but it would stand to reason that had the OP purchased a nice, used skimmer awhile back and became used to the slight increase in electricity costs, when the financial issues arose and he could not longer afford salt for WC, then he would at least have a skimmer to tide him over for those few months without causing too much problems to his corals. JMHO.

sassyfrassy
11/07/2009, 05:31 PM
Hi everyone
I'm reading, reading, reading trying to learn everything I can because like everyone else, I care about the living organisms I get. Pardon me for even making a comment considering I have -0- reef experience. The most I ever had was mushrooms - didn't have the lights for anything else. I love RC, but reading all the differing opinions can get confusing. But the 75g I had w/LR & CC, fish & mushrooms housed a pair of blennies that spawned several times and the fry hatched out, but were too tiny for me to keep alive. I was fortunate enough to live on the NC coast and we'd go out about 3 miles on an incoming tide and collect NSW for my tank. The guys at Duke Marine Lab said that was probably why my blennies spawned. I also stirred the sand at the inlet (cleanest area) and collected copods, etc. and collected ghost shrimp off the pilings and threw into my tank, and in spring & summer caught tiny baby fish to feed to my fish. I didn't have a skimmer, I had trickle filter and never had problems with algae. I did about 10-15g water change using NSW about once a month to 6 weeks in summer, and far less often in winter. Used ASW in the winter when too nasty to go out in the boat. The point I'm trying to make is I had great fun with that tank - put all kinds of things I caught into it (octopus, seahorse, nudibrack, pipe fish, cling fish, shrimp, scallops...) probably did a million things wrong, but never had a fish die. Sometimes we just get lucky I guess. There is no doubt that the NSW was the secret to my success! BUT MOST OF US DON'T HAVE THAT OPTION. ASW does NOT compare w/NSW, but it's the best we can do, so why argue about it? Have you ever been to the coast and seen the waves - all those bubbles. After a storm the beach is covered with BROWN FOAM - sorta like the stuff in the skimmer cup! The ocean along with all the bacteria and masses of water has it's own skimming mechanism going on. So to me, it makes sense to have a skimmer - especially in a new tank. However, in an OLD, long established tank (20-40 years) I can see how the bacteria would be built up to the point that a lot of things would be taken care of - but most of us have never had a tank reach that longevity, and I don't argue with success!!! Point being what works is based on a lot of variables - and what works in a new tank may not be needed in an old established tank, what works in a 65g may not work in a 300g, and what works with 2lb. LR per gallon might not work with only 1LB LR per gallon. That's why arguing to me is pointless and being dogmatic about anything in this business is probably foolish - it's changing all the time, we're gaining new knowledge all the time, etc. I love RC and all the info from ALL of you - it is valuable. And in setting up my new 65g, I've taken a little bit from everyone, and feel my tank will be the better for it!

blennymower
11/07/2009, 06:38 PM
I don't know, but it seems that Skimmers and macro-algae CAN'T remove every dissolved organics inside our tanks, which is why regular water changes are beneficial. I agree with paul that WCs are not needed to reduce nitrates and phosphates. I have a refugium packed with caulerpa and I have never battled either of the two nutrients.

I'm going to start using activated carbon, to help remove the organics that my skimmer can't. There are so many factors that cause organics to be introduced to our tank that it seems to me that it is impossible to remove them with a couple of methods other than WCs.

I have experienced good results from WCs.

Paul B
11/07/2009, 07:31 PM
does the Idol bother any of those corals?

The Idol never bothered anythiong in the tank.

Jbird, Thanks, I have to look back and see what I wrote so brilliantly.

Gary Majchrzak
11/07/2009, 07:34 PM
Paul- I can't recall.... do you ever use NSW in your aquarium?

some of you might be interested in a related thread I started in our local club forum:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1735828

as always, intelligent discussion is welcome!

Paul B
11/07/2009, 07:38 PM
My tank is about 10% NSW. Sometimes I collect more, sometimes less. The stuff is heavy or I would use nothing else.
I also collect bacteria from the sea

Gary Majchrzak
11/07/2009, 07:44 PM
count your blessings!

I live by Lake Ontario :p

porthios
11/08/2009, 06:55 PM
pictures improve nearly every thread. new tank so mostly frags still..

left side
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x10/p0rthi0s/img_0606.jpg

right side
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x10/p0rthi0s/img_0589.jpg

and a fun pre-harvest pic :)
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x10/p0rthi0s/sargassum1.jpg