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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cbsaint01, Oct 2, 2016.
Here are the pics
Hi Turbo!!! This my nitrate reading this morning. I haven't done a water change closing on two months, and my corals are growing beautifully. Now I see more amphipods than before. I add 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of water everyday to keep up with evaporation. My question is, do I need to do water change since I'm adding approximately-50-60 gallons of water per month, and my tank is a 90 gallons? My calcium level is 460, salinity 1.025-1.026, so what do you think?
I'm not a hardcore no-water-change-needed guy anymore, that's a decision that it sort of based on circumstance. You have to do what seems to work best for your system.
One argument that swayed me strongly away from the no-water-change philosophy was when I attended a presentation by Bob Fenner a few years ago at one of our frag fests. Basically what it comes down to is chemical interactions; between corals mainly, but there is also an effect on other livestock. While is it true that you can run a system and perform no water changes and just keep levels in check by dosing properly, that also creates a situation where it is difficult to add anything to the system. The inhabitants become accustomed to the "soup" that they are in, and everything is fine for them. But the introduction of a new coral into that system can be difficult, because it becomes the "target" of everything in the system.
Doing even 10% PWCs once or twice a month helps to keep this chemical warfare somewhat in check, essentially diluting the effects. Then if you have a plan to add a bunch of corals in a month, you up the PWCs to 10-20% a week leading up to the introduction of those corals, and you'll have a much better retention rate.
The other thing you can do is QT the corals in fresh SW, then do weekly PWCs and pull the water from the DT and put that into the QT. This allows the coral to adjust to the "soup" without being under "active" attack. i.e. the new coral can "see" the chemical trails of the old corals, but the old corals cannot "see" the new coral. You can also pull the same amount from both tanks and dump the water into the opposite tank (since your QT water is pretty clean, this is OK for the DT) and then both will "see" each other and have a muted reaction as each other is not reacting constantly to each other.
Regarding the FW top off, that should not be considered any sort of water change - evap is generally only H2O, and not anything else. Think of evap as concentrating whatever is in your tank, and topoff is diluting it back to what it was before.
Another argument in favor of PWCs is ionic balance. Depending on what you dose, it may not maintain ionic balance. So you end up with a skew with your sodium and chloride ions for instance, and over time, this can make for a poor environment for some corals and other livestock. So, if you just dose BRS 2-part + mag, that's not a balanced ionic dosing method.
If you can maintain Alk, Cal & Mag without dosing by doing 10% bi-weekly water changes, you're overall much better doing that vs no water changes and dosing. You might be able to get away with less - but if you don't need to do PWCs due to nutrient levels, then you adjust your PWCs to make life simple and easy for level maintenance, and any extra water you change above and beyond that is according to the demands of your inhabitants and your preference for changing things up.
The coral species you keep has a lot to do with it also. Some just won't tolerate no-water-changes. Fish are generally OK with it...you wouldn't believe some of the conditions I've seen fish living in...I've got one documented case of fish living just fine in a SW tank with nitrates well over 500ppm (actually, over 1000ppm). That's "soup"...
I'm sort of seeing things differently in regards to water changes recently.
I see a 10% water change as a feel good activity. If there are harmful chemicals being added to the water by corals & perhaps algae, a 10% water change only removes 10% of those chemical, & they continue to build up. I believe a better way to remove any possible toxins is with activated carbon.
As far as ionic ballance goes, aquaforrest, triton, balling dosing, & calcium reactors do a good job of maintaining it. You can get a ICP analysis done on your tank water to check up on these elements & others, so that takes the guessing out of the equation a great deal.
Just my opinion.
Wow!!! thanks for the advice Bud.
This morning I went to check on the L4 because Friday I saw some hair algae and this what I found brown gunk. Is this the moment where I have to decrease on the light hours. I'm now set for 21 hrs. And should remove the brown or yellow algaes off the mat right!
That doesn't look like really bad brown/yellow. Rub & rinse & leave whatever stays attached behind. Should be mostly GHA left behind.
7 days cleaning
Nice growth for 7 days!!
Five days growth
Five day growth
Again 7 days growth
Emergency drainage at work, that was my cue to harvest.
Hi Bud!!! For the past three weeks my L4 is doing great. As you can see within 7 days it’s almost full and the drainage seems to be going at full blast. My question is, what to do if I go away for more than 7 days.? Do I cut on light hours to reduce the growth or...?.
I meant to say emergency drainage
What I would do is let it continue to grow past the 7 day point and check it every day. The think about the presence of the emergency/secondary drain is that it will kick in when you get enough 3D growth to pass over the divider at the bottom of the growth chamber, but that doesn't necessarily mean "emergency".
The thing to really watch is the water level in the growth chamber on the opposite side of the secondary drain. The water level will continue to climb as the 3D growth fills in, even when the side drain is running. That's because the side opposite the secondary drain does not have a "spillway" path. If you are at any risk of overflowing the unit, it's going to happen on that end opposite the secondary drain, where the U shaped cutout is (for cradling the slot pipe). For purposes of the rest of this post, I'll refer to that as the "left side", like in your pics.
However, it's generally not going to happen overnight. If you're getting consistent growth, then it's going to take several days to go from the point where the water on the left side will go from 1/2 way up to the U until it reaches the bottom of the U. Even if it's a few millimeters from it, it shouldn't start escaping. For reference, I caught mine last night with the water all the way up to the U and it wasn't dripping...and that's not the first time either. To some extent, the Velcro on the end of the slot pipe will seal that gap.
To add to that, even if it water does start to get around that Velcro, the drip would likely be pretty slow and it should follow the outer wall of the Growth Chamber down and pool in the base, then drip down into the sump. It is possible however that the End Cover Plate could wick some of that away and the drip could escape the base at the end. So you do definitely want to avoid allowing it to fill up completely. I've never had mine leak, knock on wood.
Here's what I would do - let it grow and check it daily. Remove the left End Cover Plate and snap a pic daily so you have a reference. As long as everything else in the tank stays consistent (feeding, no fish deaths, no mishaps with dosing, etc) then your rate of growth should be very predictable. Go for 14 days (or as many as you're comfortable with), changing nothing else.
That will give you comfort in any case, and let you know what your "danger" point is as it's related to growth causing an overflow/leak/drip.
If you have the ability to control the flow, dial it back just a tiny bit after you are nearly full up on the left and watch how the level changes. Try to adjust it so the level drops it about 1". Now repeat with the monitoring of the level for a few more days, leaving the lighting where it is.
When I go on vacation, I dial the flow back about 25% and dial the lighting back about 2 clock positions, and do a moderate harvest. I've never had an issue with overgrowth doing this, was gone for 10 days recently, when I returned I upped the flow and lighting and had about 8 more days before I had to harvest if I recall correctly.
Hope that helps!
Thanks Bud for the advice, I will try that.
Today is day 7 and the chambers are practically full. And the emergency drainage is strongly going. So I’m closely going to monitor for the water level near the drainage until it reaches near the u shape where the screen pipe sits to see how long it takes to get there.
I'd say you're at least 3 days from the water being 1/2 way up the end of the growth chamber.
Today is the 14th day of growth. The emergency drainage side never went any higher than an inch. There wasn’t any sign of castatrophy.