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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How often should a water change be performed? If everything is just right in terms of the testing that I do every other day for PH, Amonnia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and salt content is it necessary to still do a water change? I was told that at least 10% of my water needed to be changed at least once a month. I have a 55g FOWLR with only 5 fish ( 2 clown, 2 scissortail dartfish and 1 banggai cardinal) in there right now, but im looking to add more fish in about a week. I have had my tank set up for about 3 months now and I have already done one water change since I have had it set up. The fish are doing fantastic and I don't see a sense to mess with the water if everything is going well.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance
 

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If you are testing every 1-2 days and keeping a journal of your levels and what you are adding, you will get a very good feel for what your feeding levels are going to require. 10% is kinda a minimum thrown out there a lot, but most people err on the side of overstocking, so it's usually not enough.

Keep up with the level testing and record everything you do. The only other thing is to make sure waste (detritus) isn't building up, use a gravel vac (do a little research on techniques if you have a deep sand bed) and look at what it's pulling out. Knowing these two things will pretty much tell you how often and what volume your system requires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I will do some research on a gravel vac and see how that works, one of the fish that im going to add is a diamond goby as I hear that this fish does well in cleaning the bottom of a tank. I don't have live sand, but rather very fine crushed coral as my bottom instead of sand.
 

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diamonds eat a lot, I'd see if you can get them to find one that will accept frozen as well. He will do an excellent job sifting sand, but will oftentimes build with it too, which some don't like
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I dont believe that I will have an issue with it building as I can always make the necessary adjustments that I want with the crush coral that I have. I just believe that having that diamond goby will be more of a benefit than a negative. Does anybody think that a diamond goby and a yellow watchman goby can co-exist in a 55g FOWLR
 

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I think it depends mostly on what your trying to acheive....if your going for overall stability smaller more frequent water changes are optimal. If you want to deep clean your tank......do a 50% or larger. I personally feel that doing larger water changes are more beneficial....being that I have a small tank now.....So I do about 10-15 gallons every two weeks..which is right at half if not a little over half of my water. Just think of half life with nuclear wastes.....same concept with phosphates etc etc in your tank. If you do 50% water change of 100 gallons you changed 50 gallons....50 old 50 new....the next water change you change 50% then you are really only getting 25% of the original water and 75% of the new water...so to me I like larger ones because I feel like im not throwing away water. BUT differnt strokes for different folks.
 

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Water changes are based on your test readings. If you are showing 0ppm nitrates, ammonia, and phosphates, then a 10% water change is plenty. The 10% water change a week replenished vital minerals lost throughout the week. If test levels for Nitrate are high you may have to do a bigger water change or adjust feedings and mechanical filtration. Ideally, we want a self sufficient Eco system where we do no water changes, but that's not possible yet in this hobby.
 

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Water changes are not just about what you are replenishing but all of the things that you are removing that we don't/can't test for.

Even if you could perfectly supplement all the needed trace elements and process every bit of nitrate and phosphate, there would still be a buildup of detrimental chemical compounds.
 
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