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So I had an idea pop into my head today, has anyone ever tried to do a slow continuous water change?

The premise would be you have 2 equally size containers one filled with a fresh mix of saltwater and one empty. Then using a dosing pump or something similar import the new water as you take out tank water at the same time.

Any downside to doing this?
 

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I think it would be very important to have high quality dosing pump that can be calibrated to match exactly. I think a controller it float valves would be a good thing to have in place. Don't want the fill water filling the display faster then the one pulling waste water. I know people using the apex Neptune DOS are doing automatic water changes. I haven't read up a whole lot on it.
 

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The proper way to do it is to have a period of time where your ATO is switched off by a timer, and you would have an overflow in your sump that would drain to a reservoir the same size as the clean salt water reservoir. You would turn the ATO pump off because the overflow in the sump would need to be higher than the water sits in normal operation and lots of ATO's have alarms to prevent overfilling which will get annoying real quick. No dealing with pump calibration this way you just need to figure out a way to elevate the sump or place the drain reservoir below ground level somewhat so that the volume isn't compromised.
 

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I do the opposite of that.... I put new water in first (my sump can take an extra 5-8 gallons and then open a valve till it returns to the right hight.... I don't have to turn anything off that way (except skimmer) and the fish don't know the difference. Makes it really easy
 

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10 gallons would
Be a 2% difference from 15% to 13.3%.... Still above 10% and very convenient. :). I'm sure you could look at mineral removal and adding percentages and what not but I don't think it would be enough of a difference to change.... Especially since I run it with all the extra water for about 10 minutes to ensure all the water has cycled out of the sump.
 

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Make sure you're still siphoning your sandbeds and blowing out rocks! Once you've taken care of NO3 in your cycle (mature biofilters should be able to keep the water column free of NH3/NO2/NO3), you only really need to worry about P. That's algae's biggest food and very little of it will be found in the water column. It will mostly be in your sandbed/rocks/organic sources
 

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make sure you're still siphoning your sandbeds and blowing out rocks! Once you've taken care of no3 in your cycle (mature biofilters should be able to keep the water column free of nh3/no2/no3), you only really need to worry about p. That's algae's biggest food and very little of it will be found in the water column. It will mostly be in your sandbed/rocks/organic sources
+999999999999999
 

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Make sure you're still siphoning your sandbeds and blowing out rocks! Once you've taken care of NO3 in your cycle (mature biofilters should be able to keep the water column free of NH3/NO2/NO3), you only really need to worry about P. That's algae's biggest food and very little of it will be found in the water column. It will mostly be in your sandbed/rocks/organic sources
I have to agree with this. We need water changes because we need to get rid of all of the stuff that is rotting in our tank, not just to get rid of old water, but physically remove the particles.

Now, if your system was set up with a centrifuge, and you were able to pick up 90% of the detritus and deposit it into the centrifuge, then efficient and possibly automated water changes could work pretty well and you would only need to actually siphon a few pockets of detritus every couple months.
 
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