Discussion: Maintenance routine

Discussion in 'Weekly Reef discussions' started by mnmuskyman2011, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. mnmuskyman2011

    mnmuskyman2011 Senior Member
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    TCMAS Weekly Discussion

    We would like to get more reef related discussions going on the forum. We will post a weekly topic to get the discussion started then let you all take it from there. The rules are simple, keep on topic and keep it positive.

    This weeks topic: How often and how much do you change your water? Describe your maintenance routine?

    Also, feel free to post an idea for future topics as well.
     
    #1 mnmuskyman2011, Jul 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2015
  2. OP
    mnmuskyman2011

    mnmuskyman2011 Senior Member
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    I try to do 30 gallons every 2 weeks but I don't always do that. lol I check nitrates, nitrites and ammo once or twice a month or if something looks off with my corals.
     
    #2 mnmuskyman2011, Jul 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
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    mnmuskyman2011

    mnmuskyman2011 Senior Member
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  4. Gary

    Gary Started in '96
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    I change water every 2 weeks. I usually take the old water from my reef system and use it in my nano and fish only systems. The freshly mixed water goes into the reef. My reef system (DT and frag tank) holds 200 gallons. I change 25 gallons at a time so a little over 10% every 2 weeks.
     
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  5. marty9876

    marty9876 Banned
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    1% per day via automatic water change (AWC) setup. Draws out the front of the sump, returns into the pack of the sump. I'll siphon the main tank once or twice a year, once or twice a year I'll scrap out the sump and do a ~ 100+ gallon water change then.
     
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  6. jblue

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    I've been doing about 15 gallons ever 2-3 weeks on my 120 which is about 10% with the sump volume included. With biopellets this seems to be working alright, though I'm only running about 2/3 of the pellet volume I'd like d/t reactor size.

    That 1% auto water change is a really interesting idea. That must be great for trace elements!
     
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  7. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Tank Volume: 120gal display and 40Br sump.
    Water Change Frequency: Every week; ideally. This summer has been more like every two weeks.
    Water Change Volume: 22gallons.
    Salt Mix: Reef Crystals mixed into RO/DI water.

    I start my routine with mixing up fresh saltwater the night before the water change; correct temperature and salinity.
    I have a 44gal Brute RO/DI reservoir that has two small heaters and a Korallia 3 water pump that keeps the water at 77ยบ and constantly moving. Periodically I need to clean out the container as it builds up with a brown slime; Reef Crystals.

    I start with scraping algae off the glass identifying any spots in the aquascaping that needs a target cleaning.
    I also change my Vortech pumps to the Nutrient Transport Mode to help agitate to water.
    After about 30-60 minutes, I turn off all pumps and the skimmer and allow the reef to settle. This is a good time to take photos! Or mess with moving/attaching frags.
    I change out filter floss and carbon at this time, along with cleaning my skimmer.
    Once the reef has settled, I begin to remove water with a siphon I created out of pipe and hose into a 32gal Brute container on a dolly. If I need to target clean any detritus, I do so with a smaller flexible hose. Since my siphon is designed to remove 22 gallons, I can walk away and do something else for a few minutes. The old water is wheeled to the basement tub and dumped.
    I hook up a Mag7 water pump to the siphon hose and pipe and fill the 32gal container with the same amount of new saltwater that I just removed. I wheel the container to the aquarium, place the siphon back onto the display tank, plug the pump into a DJ strip and flip the switch; commence re-filling!
    Once the tank is re-filled, I wipe down the outside of the glass. The last step is to feed the fish; letting them know that I'm finished.
    An entire water change can be done in less than half an hour, but I usually get distracted when taking pictures and it takes a little longer.


    I also do a water change on my Fluval M60 at the same time; although much on a much smaller scale.
    I don't use the siphon or large water pump, but the procedure is the same.
     
    #7 jlanger, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
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  8. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    For many years water change was 1 bag of I/O weekly for 180+frag tank.

    After a 3+ month long acro recession ( never found a root cuase) which started in February most acros gone by end of June. I have just a couple of acros left, still have lots of sps and montis, LPS, zoas that never skipped a beat. But with most of the acros gone, I decided I wanted to try something different. I started zero water change about 3 months ago, I haven't had my Triton test done yet to know how what if anything is accumulating. I'm using hw trace for the last month and will do a Triton test after the first set of bottles ( 3 months supply is $60, plus at 2-4 test per year @50 each ). No real cost savings as annual costs adds up to about 10 boxes of Instant Ocean. More of a will it work becuase I want to try new things and see what happens. Of course can always go back if the first test is negative.

    Maintenance:

    Daily add supplements, food, general observation.

    Weekly add topoff/kalkwasser.

    Montly siphon gunk from substrate but will just go into a filter sock vs. during water change. Might scrape front every 2 weeks but generally only if someone is coming over, even after 2 weeks the glass is still pretty clear never enough to cause visability issues.

    Quarterly ( eventually semin annually ), plan to send off Triton test samples.



    Input:


    kalkwasser for alk/ca.

    DIY magnesium supplement as needed ( 7 cups magnesium chloride, 1 cup magnesium sulfate per 1 gallon of water ). Typically only 1-2 cups per month.

    Add 5ml of hw trace tip 1, 5ml trace tip 2, 5ml miratip. 5 drops of iron ( diy solution, 4 fergon pills dissolved in 100ml water ) daily. 4 drops of KZ Sponge power per day just until I use up the bottle, will not order again. I used to occasionally dose vanadium, molybdenum, manganese from early Triton test results but stopped until I get my first Triton test with hw products.

    Still lots of food 3 times daily. Amount will vary some depending on phosphate test results ( only test as needed if looks like it is off by observation which is maybe once a month), if phosphates accumulating I back off the feeding some ( but it's still alot compare to most tanks ).

    Nitrates never show detectable.


    Output:

    1/2 cup rox .8 carbon changed weekly, harvest approx 2.5 cups of squeezed and rinsed algae.


    Obviously not enough time to say if working or not working. I wouldn't declare victory until at least 18-24month mark without any element accumulation.
     
    #8 David Grigor, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
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  9. cypho

    cypho I contributed!
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    I am very hands-off.

    Every day, or as often as I can I feed the fish and take a quick look at the sump...I guess just to confirm it is still there...

    I do not currently have any automated dosing setup, so I test calcium and alk once a week and toss in a handful of calcium or baking soda if either is low. Due to my very imprecise (and arbitrary) measuring scheme, I check levels again the next day to make sure I did not make things worse. Once I setup kalkwasser or 2-part dosing, I'll probably cut ca/alk testing down to once every few months.

    Beyond that, I don't really do any maintenance. The only other water testing equipment I have is a refractometer and I have not used it since I filled the tank for the first time; I haven't done a water change since I setup the tank in March. I clean the filter sock when it starts to overflow (2-3 weeks) and harvest algae from the ATS when it starts looking overgrown (5-6 weeks). I clean the glass when I want to take a picture of something or before I have guests over.
     
    #9 cypho, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
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  10. a1t2o

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    I usually do a 20% water change every month or so. I have gone 6 months between water changes before, yeah I know that's bad.

    I use Aragamight with my auto top off, it doses low levels of ca, alk, mag, and trace. I use 2-part to make adjustments based on my tests, once a month or so and not when I'm doing a water change. I check my ATS every week or two.

    I like to feed my fish less often than most, once every 2-3 days sometimes 4.

    I've been busy lately first with my wife's pregnancy and then the baby so I have been more hands off/neglectful of my tank, but I'm starting to come back to it and get things on track again.
     
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  11. rkolo750

    rkolo750 I contributed!
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    Oh Boy,

    Personally, I do a water change on my tanks at home (all nano's or at least thats how I feel about them 6,12 and 38 gallon tanks) about every 3 months.......... yikes....... that sounds real bad as I am writing it. I just use RO for top off and mix some Kalk with the top off, its not scientific or regular. I never test for anything at home. I feel bad, but am ok with the health of everything in the tank and have had 0 losses. I do however sit and look in the tanks for around an hour each night..... so I have an idea of when something is headed out-of-bounds. Side note, when I first set these tanks up I used to do a 1 gallon water change 5 times a week............. once everything seemed like it was doing solid I slowly started cutting back.

    At school I have the kids do a 5 gallon water change every wednesday (tank is a 125). They feed on monday, wednesday and friday and test for Salinity Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate as well as phosphate. they then plug that data into a Google docs calender that that we graph. Nice teaching tool for nutrient cycling in bio/ecology as well as when kids complain in chemistry "when will we ever need to know all of these ions, who cares"

    My only tank crash took place at school, when I had a heater's thermostat malfunction and nuked everything in a 6 gallon tank.

    Hope nobodies eyes start burning when they see this...... as they say "do as I say, not as I do" lol ;)
     
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  12. Nickz

    Nickz Senior Member
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    I have been doing 35-50% water changes on my tanks monthly (120 and 45), unfortunately this was not enough on my 120(overstocked) so am up to 40% every two weeks currently to get it back under control. Once this is fixed it will likely be 25% every 2 weeks on that tank, not sure on my 75 yet, this one will be corals with a select few fish with jobs(currently 5 fish but plan on removing a couple once the next tank is set up)
     
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  13. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    Can you explain your thought process on why it wasn't enough ? What is accumulating or what is your observations that makes you think its not enough. If nutrients are accumulating, are you just going to stick to water changes to resolve or looking into equipment or different methodology to try to prevent ?
     
    #13 David Grigor, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  14. Nickz

    Nickz Senior Member
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    Nitrates are high, phosphates are a little higher than I want but still under 1ppm, was electrocuting the tank for 2 months before I realized it, haven't got the nitrates low enough yet from then( I also am over stocked in this tank).

    I have been playing with different lights on my ATS to find something that gives the results I want. Currently working on accumulating the cash to buy a decent ATS to replace the one I made ( the one I have will then go on my 75).

    This 120 is going to be replaced with a 220/180 just not sure which route to take yet. 220 is not drilled but I have hob overflow for it, it's either that or move my Fahaka puffer to the 220, and replace his 180 with a drilled one. I really do not want to move the 220 again to get it drilled.
     
    #14 Nickz, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  15. Fish4Me2

    Fish4Me2 I contributed!
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    I have an auto water change system. Roughly once every 3 weeks, I fill a 75 gallon tank with RO/DI, add salt, calcium and alk to match the display tank, and then start the auto change system running. I aim to change about 20 gallons per week on a ~240 gallon total volume system. As for other maintenance, I test Ca, Alk, PO4 at least weekly and adjust dosing if needed for stability. I clean the glass once a week and blow out the rocks every other week at that time. I siphon detritus out of the sump quarterly and also soak and clean all pumps quarterly. Finally I change filter socks 2-3 times per week and clean the skimmer cup 1-2x per week. So far, so good.
     

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