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DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 05:07 PM
Hey guys and gals hope everyone is having a good day [emoji106]. So this topic is a little open for discussion cause I'm just wondering about water changes and the frequency if you have low nutrients and stable params.I'm doing this little thread cause of the research I've done and all that. Kinda let nature be nature. So I wanted to put this out for some feed back. Who here does water changes every week like clock work even though your big three are all in line and stable and the nutrients are not high? I do mine every Saturday with out fail and as of the last month my ALK, calc and magnesium all test around the same with very little fluctuation. So I am wondering if I could indeed get away with less frequent water changes? Knock on wood haven't had any algae blooms or any of the bad algae since starting my tank 3 months ago. I'm gonna put a pic of my tank so you guys can see.

Go easy on me cause I'm still new to the reef side of fish and I've had my Africans for over 8 years.

Look forward to talking to you guys [emoji3]
Davehttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180525/089fd3fd4fa22e4a934c4dc438e655d3.jpg

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josephxsxn
05/25/2018, 05:11 PM
I had a tank I didn't do water changes on for a long time (months), slowly things started going bad. After that I converted to weekly water changes again and things are booming. This is even with all 3 in alignment. ICP has shown us that there are many trace elements that we fail to replace without doing a water change.

I'll be sticking with weekly or monthly water changes depending on the tank. Weekly for my display, monthly for the frag tank.

DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 05:23 PM
I had a tank I didn't do water changes on for a long time (months), slowly things started going bad. After that I converted to weekly water changes again and things are booming. This is even with all 3 in alignment. ICP has shown us that there are many trace elements that we fail to replace without doing a water change.

I'll be sticking with weekly or monthly water changes depending on the tank. Weekly for my display, monthly for the frag tank.Ahh very good point [emoji846] I'm definitely going to keep doing what I have been, I just kinda wondered what people thought about it. I like to learn new things so I look forward to hearing responses.

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Frost_Hydra
05/25/2018, 06:35 PM
I don't do any water changes and Id say my tank is ok, not good, but ok. My main excuse besides being lazy is not having a RODI water filter. So if I were to do a water change I would need to buy a bunch gallon jugs of filtered water from somewhere, as using tap water by itself is just a bad idea. Just with natural filtration though, all my parameters are fine; as before of course, not perfect, just fine.

DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 06:46 PM
Yeah rodi was the best thing I bought when getting into the hobby. With cichlids its sink dump with prime and done. It's crazy how different saltwater is compared to fresh but the same principals apply. I am wondering once the tank gets more seasoned if you can lax on the changes a bit more. And all this obviously will change with what things you put in the water too.

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josephxsxn
05/25/2018, 07:29 PM
For what it's worth it took me until about 9-11 months of no water changes for things to get Harry. And I had signs before that; mostly corals stopped extending polyps for some types and then started to melt.

DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 07:39 PM
For what it's worth it took me until about 9-11 months of no water changes for things to get Harry. And I had signs before that; mostly corals stopped extending polyps for some types and then started to melt.Oh yeah that's no good. So far I can't think of any reason why I should stop the routine I have. All my coral are extending and slowly growing. As you can see from my pic I don't have much coral or fish. I'm keeping it simple [emoji106]. I'd love more fish but I know the limits of a 20g lol. I also reseached saltwater for about 2 years before I even gave this tank a shot. Last thing I want is for all my patience to end with a bunch of wasted money.

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RioReefr
05/25/2018, 08:04 PM
Perhaps a stupid analogy, but if you took an infant baby and gave him/her just whey protein/whole milk shake and a multi-vitamin then he/she would probably survive and grow. However, I am 99.9% certain this same person probably would never become an elite athlete.
Anyway, natural seawater is super-complicated containing something like 72 chemical elements. So let's say you can keep nitrates/phosphates in check and dose something like Seachem Reef Fusion 2-Part.

Reef Fusion 1
Ingredients: Calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, strontium chloride, rubidium chloride, sodium tetraborate, iron chloride, sodium molybdate, manganese sulfate

Reef Fusion 2
Ingredients: Mixture of carbonates and bicarbonates

As you can see, you are covering the main basis but there many other trace elements that may or may not be needed for optimal growth.

In addition to this, whenever I do a 15% water change my fish just look "happier". I am no marine biologist, but I do suspect that a water change is at least giving some favorable gas exchange: more oxygen IN and CO2 & N2 OUT.

Moreover, I personally can make a batch of salt mixed water, change out 15% and put back it back in literally in 1-hour. In the grand scheme of things, its not really much time in a 15-day period.
Then again, I do think of my animals (fish, inverts, and corals) as my PETS so I would like them to thrive not just survive.

DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 08:07 PM
Perhaps a stupid analogy, but if you took an infant baby and gave him/her just whey protein/whole milk shake and a multi-vitamin then he/she would probably survive and grow. However, I am 99.9% certain this same person probably would never become an elite athlete.
Anyway, natural seawater is super-complicated containing something like 72 chemical elements. So let's say you can keep nitrates/phosphates in check and dose something like Seachem Reef Fusion 2-Part.

Reef Fusion 1
Ingredients: Calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, strontium chloride, rubidium chloride, sodium tetraborate, iron chloride, sodium molybdate, manganese sulfate

Reef Fusion 2
Ingredients: Mixture of carbonates and bicarbonates

As you can see, you are covering the main basis but there many other trace elements that may or may not be needed for optimal growth.

In addition to this, whenever I do a 15% water change my fish just look "happier". I am no marine biologist, but I do suspect that a water change is at least giving some favorable gas exchange: more oxygen IN and CO2 & N2 OUT.

Moreover, I personally can make a batch of salt mixed water, change out 15% and put back it back in literally in 1-hour. In the grand scheme of things, its not really much time in a 15-day period.
Then again, I do think of my animals (fish, inverts, and corals) as my PETS so I would like them to thrive not just survive.+1 that was really well explained [emoji846]

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ajoe
05/25/2018, 08:10 PM
Correcting things when they go wrong in a reef tank secondary to infrequent water changes or poor nutrient export is 10x harder than water changes on a regular basis. It's a chore no doubt.

Drewbe147
05/25/2018, 08:11 PM
I do biweekly WCs not weekly. It’s roughly a 18% water change and my system seems to like it. I do the WC without fail no matter the parameters for the trace elements. My system is also fairly new. My opinion if you can make WCs easier they really arent a bother. Im almost done building my mixing station in the basement directly below the tank. Night before im due for my change I’ll turn on the RODI unit float valve cuts it off transfer to my mixing barrel via gravity then a external pump to mix my salt. Turn a few valves that same pump pumps it to the main floor into the tank. No buckets lifted no spills made. I have marks on the back of my tank for water levels drain to the level i want then pump in to the level i want. If its easy or able to be made easy like that I don’t see me stopping WCs when that in itself will fix most problems as well as prevent most problems. Just my opinion but as I said I’m still fairly new to the hobby.

DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 08:12 PM
Correcting things when they go wrong in a reef tank secondary to infrequent water changes or poor nutrient export is 10x harder than water changes on a regular basis. It's a chore no doubt.I'm lucky I only have to change 4 gallons on water so not too bad at all[emoji106]

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DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 08:15 PM
I do biweekly WCs not weekly. It’s roughly a 18% water change and my system seems to like it. I do the WC without fail no matter the parameters for the trace elements. My system is also fairly new. My opinion if you can make WCs easier they really arent a bother. Im almost done building my mixing station in the basement directly below the tank. Night before im due for my change I’ll turn on the RODI unit float valve cuts it off transfer to my mixing barrel via gravity then a external pump to mix my salt. Turn a few valves that same pump pumps it to the main floor into the tank. No buckets lifted no spills made. I have marks on the back of my tank for water levels drain to the level i want then pump in to the level i want. If its easy or able to be made easy like that I don’t see me stopping WCs when that in itself will fix most problems as well as prevent most problems. Just my opinion but as I said I’m still fairly new to the hobby.Man I would love to be able to make a water change like that. One day I think when I get a bigger tank. Still keeping an eye out for deals on something.

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Drewbe147
05/25/2018, 08:22 PM
Man I would love to be able to make a water change like that. One day I think when I get a bigger tank. Still keeping an eye out for deals on something.

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Yea I got my setup on a sweat deal from my LFS. They upgraded a customer of theirs with everything new for the most part and told them to take his old he didn’t want it. They had $0 into the setup so when I say an amazing deal it was AMAZING lol. Had to buy some stuff for it but it came with alot. Keep an eye out on Craigslist and forums and whatnot. There’s always people either getting out of the hobby or upgrading.

top shelf
05/25/2018, 08:24 PM
I do my 10% weekly every Saturday like clock work. I tried biweekly for a month but wasn't impressed with the outcome in the end. My phos and nitrate are rock steady at .03 po4 and .2 no3. My mag doesn't fluctuate much nor does my calc. Mabye 5 for mag and 10-20 for calcium. I am starting to add sps to my tank so I dose alk daily at about 3ml so alk stays fairly stabile within .5 of 8.3. Everything is looking good and happy so why ruin a good thing.

WVfishguy
05/25/2018, 08:26 PM
After 40+ years in the hobby, I'd have to say the "secret" to keeping critters in a glass box is water changes.

Water tests don't really tell the whole story. Even if test parameters are acceptable, you should still change the water.

I (or my employees) did 50 - 75% changes every other week on freshwater tanks (mostly African cichlids) and around 30 - 40% on marine tanks.

That may seem like a lot. But it paid off in the long run with very few instances of disease, cloudy water, etc. And the fish lived for a very, very long time. It was very handy for me to (almost) never replace fish, since I did not own a fish store.

I've had salt water fish live from when my clients' kids began school until the time they graduated high school. I almost never lost marine fish - it's amazing how long they can live. I had several freshwater fish like clown loaches live more than 30 years, large cichlids and catfish more than 20.

I finally sold my personal tank of Australian (and New Guinea) rainbowfish after 15 years simply because I got tired of seeing the same fish for 15 years. God know how long they lived after that. They showed no signs of old age when I sold them.

However - a customer who would only permit me to clean the tank every 3-4 months (when the water got murky and stank) also had a large tank of Rainbows. He finally got rid of the tank and gave me all his fish. I got a surprise when his fish began dying when they were less than five years old.

The moral of this admittedly long story is this; the more water changes, the better. Saltwater aquariums "cheat" somewhat through the use of filter socks, protein skimmers and light bioloads.

Many marine aquarists "get by" with few or no water changes. But when something changes - the introduction of new animals, power outage, stuck heater, etc. - everything goes south quickly.

I call this the "Everything was doing well until they all died" syndrome. Water changes provide the buffer needed to get through such events.

DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 08:32 PM
Yea I got my setup on a sweat deal from my LFS. They upgraded a customer of theirs with everything new for the most part and told them to take his old he didn’t want it. They had $0 into the setup so when I say an amazing deal it was AMAZING lol. Had to buy some stuff for it but it came with alot. Keep an eye out on Craigslist and forums and whatnot. There’s always people either getting out of the hobby or upgrading.That's great [emoji3] I have been..I found a good deal on a 75, stand and canopy but unfortunately money want there lol it's how it always works out... Deals when you're not ready to buy.

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DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 08:37 PM
After 40+ years in the hobby, I'd have to say the "secret" to keeping critters in a glass box is water changes.

Water tests don't really tell the whole story. Even if test parameters are acceptable, you should still change the water.

I (or my employees) did 50 - 75% changes every other week on freshwater tanks (mostly African cichlids) and around 30 - 40% on marine tanks.

That may seem like a lot. But it paid off in the long run with very few instances of disease, cloudy water, etc. And the fish lived for a very, very long time. It was very handy for me to (almost) never replace fish, since I did not own a fish store.

I've had salt water fish live from when my clients' kids began school until the time they graduated high school. I almost never lost marine fish - it's amazing how long they can live. I had several freshwater fish like clown loaches live more than 30 years, large cichlids and catfish more than 20.

I finally sold my personal tank of Australian (and New Guinea) rainbowfish after 15 years simply because I got tired of seeing the same fish for 15 years. God know how long they lived after that. They showed no signs of old age when I sold them.

However - a customer who would only permit me to clean the tank every 3-4 months (when the water got murky and stank) also had a large tank of Rainbows. He finally got rid of the tank and gave me all his fish. I got a surprise when his fish began dying when they were less than five years old.

The moral of this admittedly long story is this; the more water changes, the better. Saltwater aquariums "cheat" somewhat through the use of filter socks, protein skimmers and light bioloads.

Many marine aquarists "get by" with few or no water changes. But when something changes - the introduction of new animals, power outage, stuck heater, etc. - everything goes south quickly.

I call this the "Everything was doing well until they all died" syndrome. Water changes provide the buffer needed to get through such events.It is amazing how long they live when we take care of them. I have a few cichlids that are going to be 7ish years old. Water changes are most definitely well worth it.

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NO3
05/25/2018, 08:38 PM
In my experience....thus is a great frame of mind:

1) You feed your fish LESS than you think they need it

2) You do waterchanges MORE often than you think you need to

DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/25/2018, 08:39 PM
In my experience....thus is a great frame of mind:

1) You feed your fish LESS than you think they need it

2) You do waterchanges MORE often than you think you need to+1 to both

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mysticobra
05/25/2018, 10:29 PM
I have a 70 gallon reef.
Change 5 gallons a week for 30 years.
Easiest way to give everyone what they needed.. And every time I change my corals seem to just come out bigger and better. Wouldn't change my routine for nothin.
Be a use it works.
My opinion and mine only.
I don't add anything else but food for the few fish I have.
Richard.

ajoe
05/25/2018, 10:55 PM
In my experience....thus is a great frame of mind:

1) You feed your fish LESS than you think they need it

2) You do waterchanges MORE often than you think you need to

Well said. I think over feeding is the single biggest factor in most troubled "glass boxes". Many just cannot grasp the concept of just how small a fish belly really is. They like most animals will eat everything you provide them. It's not hunger it's nature.

E46er
05/26/2018, 01:56 PM
It is amazing how long they live when we take care of them. I have a few cichlids that are going to be 7ish years old. Water changes are most definitely well worth it.

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totally agree
I had some clownfish and an anemone they hosted in that were 12 years old and thriving a few other things in the tank that were pushing 10 years old , until the 1 year old 250 G tank blew out while I was out of country I lost everything.

HarrisonMG
05/26/2018, 02:15 PM
I don't have any rodi but do changes biweekly. 10-15 gal out of my 75.
I run NP pellets and a 210gal protein skimmer

I'd say if you ever have a problem, and you don't know why, the first thing you should do is a water change. Maybe 25 to 30 percent.
There are so many benefits to changes. I'd say if your going to do anything with your tank, do changes and don't overfeed.

Then you don't have to waste time scraping share if the glass, as long as your not near a window and keep lights on not too long.


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WVfishguy
05/28/2018, 12:05 AM
In my experience....thus is a great frame of mind:

1) You feed your fish LESS than you think they need it

2) You do waterchanges MORE often than you think you need to

This should be posted on a sign at all LFS.

Many years ago, a customer's wife was having health problems, and because he was spending so much time with her, he was not feeding his fish (African cichlids) what I thought was enough food.

His fish did not grow as fast as those who were fed more, BUT:
• His cichlids had better, deeper colors than my other customers' fish (at least 20 other cichlid tanks);
• His fish lived even longer;
• His cichlids bred more and at younger ages;
• His "underfed" fish were more robust and active than fish which were fed more.
• His cichlids grew just as large (but at a slower rate).

Needless to say, I had all my other customers feed much less food - eventually going to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule.

I've lost wrasses due to, what I believe, was overfeeding.

Overfeeding will kill many fish. But you really have to work at it to underfeed them.

Likewise, I've ALWAYS done more water changes than strictly necessary. It's good insurance against problems.

mysticobra
05/28/2018, 12:28 AM
This should be posted on a sign at all LFS.

Many years ago, a customer's wife was having health problems, and because he was spending so much time with her, he was not feeding his fish (African cichlids) what I thought was enough food.

His fish did not grow as fast as those who were fed more, BUT:
• His cichlids had better, deeper colors than my other customers' fish (at least 20 other cichlid tanks);
• His fish lived even longer;
• His cichlids bred more and at younger ages;
• His "underfed" fish were more robust and active than fish which were fed more.
• His cichlids grew just as large (but at a slower rate).

Needless to say, I had all my other customers feed much less food - eventually going to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule.

I've lost wrasses due to, what I believe, was overfeeding.

Overfeeding will kill many fish. But you really have to work at it to underfeed them.

Likewise, I've ALWAYS done more water changes than strictly necessary. It's good insurance against problems.
Agreed. Good habit to get into.
I think this is the most important thing I do that has made me successful in keeping a reef tank over the years.
Richard.

GroceryGetterS4
05/28/2018, 02:22 AM
I have a 90G mixed (60% sps, 40%lps) reef with LOTS of fish (too many), and I feed heavily every day (6 wrasse, 1 trigger, 1 blue tang and other misc fish). I do weekly 10, sometimes 15 gallon water changes. If I wait 2 weeks to do one, I notice a difference in my corals. I can't imagine how quickly my tank would completely crash if I did no/little water changes. My tank just always looks "better" the next day after a wc.

HarrisonMG
05/28/2018, 08:26 AM
WV,

Thank you for saying this! Everyone I meet in person says feed your fish the to for times a day.
I always have problem with overfeeding because when I do, a fish dies or algae blooms or something else. Most of the time it happens when my auto feeder let's out too much, but I really Mrs things up by hand sometimes.

I find that I can put even what looks like a little bit of food in the tank (my SW QT) and maybe one fish will pick at one tiny pellet.

So yeah I lost a gourami last week because I dumped way too much food in. I did a 40% water change and now everyone is fine again


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DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/28/2018, 08:39 AM
WV,

Thank you for saying this! Everyone I meet in person says feed your fish the to for times a day.
I always have problem with overfeeding because when I do, a fish dies or algae blooms or something else. Most of the time it happens when my auto feeder let's out too much, but I really Mrs things up by hand sometimes.

I find that I can put even what looks like a little bit of food in the tank (my SW QT) and maybe one fish will pick at one tiny pellet.

So yeah I lost a gourami last week because I dumped way too much food in. I did a 40% water change and now everyone is fine again


Sent from my iPhone using TapatalkIt is really hard to not wanna feed the animals like we would eat. You figure most of our animals are picking throughout the day anyways. I feed my two clowns every other day and my nutrients are super high because I don't feed every day. I also feed my cichlids every other day. I also don't over feed my reptiles but that's a little off topic as I don't have to worry about water quality lol
I haven't gone out of town since having my sw tank but when I leave for a week the cichlids are fine without eating for the week. I feed them right before I leave as we walk out of the house and feed them when I get home and do a nice water change. A little worried about vacation time with the saltwater tank though.

Dave

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DSFIRSTSLTWATER
05/28/2018, 08:40 AM
nutrients are super high

Ment to say low

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