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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone I'm new to this site.

I have a 30G (established) salt tank and a new 70G+30G sump (starting).

My question is, are water changes necessary? I'm under the impression that water changes are to get out all the impurities such as nitrates, etc. My nitrates/Ph/salinity are under control so is there really a reason to do water changes?
My tank has fish + liverock + livesand + seaweed.

Also, my new 70G tank will be primarily a coral/anemone tank, but also have some reef safe livestock. Can I use just 'regular' InstantOcean seasalt to setup this new tank or should I really be using 'Reef Crystal' salt? Basically will I be harming the new corals by putting them into a 'regular' salt tank or will they just grow slower?

P.S. I check my nitrates every 5 days or so.
 

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On the FOWLR tank, same concept as the reef for water parameters. If you are putting food in the tank, then detrius has to come out. Your water may be testing ok, but detrius is collecting in the rock and sand and being broken down. Some things will be absorbed into the rock and sand, such as phosphates. Your water may test fine, but you'll suddenly have cyano and/or algae growing and not know why. it is from the bound phosphates leaching into the tank and being taken up by the algae. Eventually these "bound" nutrients will hit a point where they begin to leach more readily into the tank and you can have a crash.
Removing excess nutrients is one reason for water changes. In order for the water change to be truly effective, you need to blow out the rocks of detrius and siphon the substrate.
The second reason for water changes is to replace other compounds that are being used within the tank. Snail shells, pod shells, etc...a bunch of things that grow and you never see will pull beneficial compounds out of the water and these need to be replaced. This is why we test for Ca, Alk, Mag, etc.

Granted, a FOWLR can go longer than a reef without "noticeable" results, but should still be on a regular maintenance schedule to avoid any issues. Of course, the heavier the stocking, the more feedings going in, the more detrius is created and the more water needs to be changed.

I use IO in both the 175g reef and the 55g FOWLR.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have power heads pointed directly at the live rock. About a month ago I noticed a bunch of algae growing on the parts of the tank that don't get a lot of current so I put a bunch of snails in there and everything is VERY clean (looking anyway). I have a horseshoe crab and some other snails that 'turn up' the substrate, as well as a sandsifting Goby. I thought the seaweed would be removing most of the 'bad stuff' and I would just go in there and cut it back, removing some of it every so often.
 

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Macro algae is one method of removing some of the nutrients, but shouldn't replace good husbandry (water changes). The high flow can help keep the detrius out of the LR for the areas where it is high flow. The detrius will eventually settle somewhere though. You'll find that you'll have a few areas of your tank that always seem to have more algae than others, or get dirtier than others. These are the "settling areas" where your detrius collects.
 

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man its all word of mouth honestly my 90 g reef i change water every 5 days its a nutrient rich system so i constantly change the goods...my 28g nano mixed reef havent done a change in 4 months...honestly if you arent going to change water better not overfeed fish/coral and better do an extremly good syphoning of rock and substrate when you do decide to change water...may i ask is it a cost or motivation thing? because cost really isnt if you buy salt in bulk and water your own rodi water...also motivation you need to make a water change setup i recommend it to all..!gluck
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's neither of those things. I'm just trying to maintain the most natural setup possible. I'm trying to keep things organic instead of adding chemicals all the time, I'm not opposed to adding chemicals but if there's a natural approach I'd Mich rather do that; such as having snails and shrimp to clean out the algae instead of 'algae remover.' Wouldn't one or multiple sand sifting Goby fish make it less necessary to siphone the substrate, or at least prolong the time between cleanings?
 

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question: do you change your underwear everyday? think how stinky your underwear would be if you wore them for a month without changing them

i think you owe it to your inhabitants to change their water on a regular basis - after all you are keeping them held hostage against their will
 

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Our systems are closed systems, meaning anything we add has to go somewhere and when we add nutrients, they have to come out somehow. Gobies, snails, etc can modify the form of the nutrients. They may eat a piece of food, digest what they can, then excrete what is left. A bristleworm may get a piece of this, digest what it can, and excrete what is left. This process goes on all the way down to the bacteria level. Even then, there are left overs that need to be removed. Somewhere in the life cycle, nutrients that are added need to be removed again. this can happen via siphoning or manual removal when in a larger form (left over food, hair algae, etc), via a protein skimmer, or via manual removal during water changes.
I hate adding anything chemical related to my tanks and don't (other than the occasional buffer, if needed). This doesn't mean I don't change water on a regular basis. I want to be sure I get the nutrients out as quickly as possible and I want to be sure I refresh minerals, etc that are in the salt I add when they are taken up by the organisms in the tank.
 

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Our systems are closed systems, meaning anything we add has to go somewhere and when we add nutrients, they have to come out somehow. Gobies, snails, etc can modify the form of the nutrients. They may eat a piece of food, digest what they can, then excrete what is left. A bristleworm may get a piece of this, digest what it can, and excrete what is left. This process goes on all the way down to the bacteria level. Even then, there are left overs that need to be removed. Somewhere in the life cycle, nutrients that are added need to be removed again. this can happen via siphoning or manual removal when in a larger form (left over food, hair algae, etc), via a protein skimmer, or via manual removal during water changes.
I hate adding anything chemical related to my tanks and don't (other than the occasional buffer, if needed). This doesn't mean I don't change water on a regular basis. I want to be sure I get the nutrients out as quickly as possible and I want to be sure I refresh minerals, etc that are in the salt I add when they are taken up by the organisms in the tank.
*well said well said...look you have a piece of the ocean stuck between 4 pieces of glass not open to the other billions of gallons so just change the water...dont be lazy its cheap or you can always get a freash water tank and change it once a month...
 

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Our systems are closed systems, meaning anything we add has to go somewhere and when we add nutrients, they have to come out somehow. Gobies, snails, etc can modify the form of the nutrients. They may eat a piece of food, digest what they can, then excrete what is left. A bristleworm may get a piece of this, digest what it can, and excrete what is left. This process goes on all the way down to the bacteria level. Even then, there are left overs that need to be removed. Somewhere in the life cycle, nutrients that are added need to be removed again. this can happen via siphoning or manual removal when in a larger form (left over food, hair algae, etc), via a protein skimmer, or via manual removal during water changes.
I hate adding anything chemical related to my tanks and don't (other than the occasional buffer, if needed). This doesn't mean I don't change water on a regular basis. I want to be sure I get the nutrients out as quickly as possible and I want to be sure I refresh minerals, etc that are in the salt I add when they are taken up by the organisms in the tank.
sure you want to stick with that, that are tanks are a closed system???

:p j/k

but yup +1
 

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Reefer Madness
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There is no way that we can duplicate the total effects of the oceanic system in our tanks. Period.
 

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ah...Nate_Bro, Nate_Bro, Nate_Bro :rolleyes: ...I think everyone knew what I meant...I don't want to upset embkass with another "semantics" conversation :D

j/k embkass :lol:
 

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Welcome to TRT!!

:wavey:

water changes are strongly encouraged. are they necessary? no, but neither is flushing the toilet when you are done. how long can you live without flushing the toilet after you use it? at some point he wastes have to be removed.

what is not natural about siphoning out water and replacing it with new water? if you are trying to be all natural, then purchase NSW instead of a salt mix. this is as natural as you are ever going to get. natural going in and natural going out with just some gravity to help it out. :D

they are controlled systems. there is nothing closed about them if you look at the definition of a closed system. matter is always being exchanged. water evaporates, and gasses exchanges. just of these reasons alone the systems can not be closed.

G~
 

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Ok, Ok already...I used the wrong word. I admit it...**** "semantics" again :D ...Just shoot me already :2gunsfiring: sheesh :rotflmao:

LOL..."closed" would not be the right wording, but the point was that the system can't correct itself. Nate-Bro and Geoff are 100% correct. "controlled" is a better wording.
 
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