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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.