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What method do you use to change water?

  • bucket and siphon

    Votes: 17 73.9%
  • python (diy or purchased)

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • automatic drain/ fill device

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • other (please post!)

    Votes: 2 8.7%

survey: how do you do water changes?

696 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  JennM
after the survay "are water changes nesesary?" i decided to make a poll. it conserns how you do your water changes.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
I use 2 32 gallon rubbermaid brute trash cans, a mag 7 with a hose and fitting and a 1" ID syphon/drain hose. I drain water from the main display into one of the trash cans while I pump the new water into the sump from the other trash can. Of course I've brought the new water to the temp and salinity of the tank and let it mix, using the mag 7, for at least 12 hours before doing the water change. It takes about 8-10 minutes to do a water change. Both Brute containers are on wheeled dollies so moving them is easy and I use the mag 7 to drain the old water out of the container and into the sink.
I probably go *at least* a year between water changes (partial water changes) on my approx. 130 gallon algal turf scrubber filtered system (which has been running well for 5 or 6 years now with a variety of LPS, SPS, and soft corals as well as macroalgae, etc. ). This system has gone 1.5 - 2 years or more with no water changes (and no obvious ill effects) on several occassions. I dose calcium hydroxide and C-balance, and I usually (but not always) have a bag of carbon in one of the overflow boxes to keep the water from yellowing (the carbon is usually changed no more than 2 or 3 times a year...usually the carbon gets forgotten until the water yellows and starts to bother me).

My multi-tank 400 gallon skimmerless, scrubberless system (deep sand beds and macroalgae harvest handle nutrient management) has been running for 2 years with just one 60 gallon water change a little less than a year ago (I removed the 60 gallons for another aquarist who was having problems with green water (!!!) to use for a 100% water change...the transfusion from my tank fixed his problems). SPS, LPS, and soft corals are doing well (though could be growing much better than they are at the moment if I was managing calcium levels better than I have been for the past year).

I'm not necessarily advocating such infequent water changes. I think there are probably good reasons why a bit more water changing than this could be valuable. Nonetheless, I have maintained very successful reef systems with hardly any water changing.

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OK, I feel pretty dumb.....I should have read the question more carefully! I thought the question was how often do I do water changes. I see the actual question was how do I do them.

I use buckets and siphons with my reef systems (though I use garden hoses and a Python-like venturi suction device for the much more frequent water changes on my freshwater tanks).
I use the same technique as Don, 2 brute trash cans on dollies and a mag 5. I do vacuum substrate and remove detritus that way.

On tanks I maintain I do 10 % or so every other week. On my own tanks :eek: I'm rather neglectful ;) I'm like the mechanic that drives an old beater of a car..... :rolleyes:

does this count the amount of water i spill onto the floor.:D just plain old bucket, siphon, and pump for me. takes about 10 mins.

i thought i should say how i do it after makeing the poll
i use a siphon w/ a gravel vac and change about 10% water 1x a week. , placeing the tube about a 1/2 inch above the sand, than i add back the apriate amount of pre mixed (about week old) sea water to make a consitant sp.grav. than if it is too high, i add deionizedd water

on my fw tanks, same process, except that there is no sp.grav to check. each tank takes about 10 minutes if it is strick water change and 20-30 if i have to clean out a filter. on all of my tanks (11) it takes 2 or so hours
oh on the intro, it should be "post", not "survay"
Siphon out as much as I can and pump new in. :) About twice a month.
I have been using a regular hose like Don, I have been thinking about getting more of an gravel cleaner to get more of the sand.



P.S. I think the larger the tanks, the larger the buckets
i use old hard plastic landury detergent buckets (no i dont use the bucket to refill my tanks). they hold about 3 gallons which is about 30 lbs fully loaded and that is my limit that i can manage w/o spilling. if the tank is larger, i do a second round. my point is that unless your arnold, bigger buckets are probably not a good idea.
Biggest buckets have wheels.

I'm getting quite adept at the 6 gallon salt bucket o'water clean and jerk :funny: but I never wanted that body builder look anyway :rolleyes:

For big tanks I use the Brute trash can from Rubbermaid with the expensive-but-worth-their-weight-in-gold dolly wheels. Then I just wheel the waste water to a nearby sink, toilet or other drainage facility and let the Mag 5 do the work.

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