Automatic Water Changes... what's the best practice? How much should I change daily? Etc.

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I've got another thread going on best budget setups for an AWC, but I'm wondering what are the best practices for doing an automatic water change. How much should be changed out each day? What are some things I'll need to be sure I'm doing? Do I need to be sure the water is circulating (I'm planning to use the entire reservoir up each week)? Is it enough to do 10% weekly, or do I need to plan for more since it's a smaller water change (dilution effect, etc.)? Help me do this well.
 

Spanky05

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AZMSGT

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On my total 160g system I do .6g 4x a day. Basically 10ish percent.
I think it really depends on your set up. For me I have a high and low sensor for the AWC and during water changes the ATO is shut off. My ATO works off the same sensors.

So it depends on how you set up your system. I would find the system you want and how you plan to control ATO during water changes. Once you know that you can figure out how much and how often.
 
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Roosterjack

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if one doesn’t have easy drain accessibility, is this more trouble than it is worth? I can easily protect myself from waste water overflow but still have to change a bucket.
 

MartinWaite

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I know that my view goes against the views of a lot of people and I will now receive a bit of flack but water of a ducks back so to speak. Anyway here goes Water changes to me are a way of trying to hide something, they are a short term measure to try and rectify a problem with your tank. They are an old fashioned way of running a tank that is always never completely resolves the issue. In today's advancements in the hobby we should be keeping the water topped up and stable with the trace elements and major elements our systems use, with the number of companies that are selling these replacement elements this is the path we should be going even the electrics are starting to go that route. Focustronic's new Mastertronic, Powertronic, and Solartronic will take your test results and increase or decrease refugium lighting to suit nutrient control, can adjust the intensity of your leds for par readings, and of course automatically dose the big 3 and the minor elements within them (from Triton, ATI, or the others) . Then by doing regular ICP testing we can top up the minor elements we are using more off. Hit me now.
 

dwest

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I have been doing AWC on my 180 gallon mixed reef at 1% per day for over a year. The 20 ish years years before that i did them manually. I am really liking the AWC. In the past, my elegance coral would indicate if I needed to do a WC. Now, it always looks good.

I use a Spectrapure liter meter 3 system for ATO, 2 part, kalk feed, and now AWC.
 

90's reefer

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I know that my view goes against the views of a lot of people and I will now receive a bit of flack but water of a ducks back so to speak. Anyway here goes Water changes to me are a way of trying to hide something, they are a short term measure to try and rectify a problem with your tank. They are an old fashioned way of running a tank that is always never completely resolves the issue. In today's advancements in the hobby we should be keeping the water topped up and stable with the trace elements and major elements our systems use, with the number of companies that are selling these replacement elements this is the path we should be going even the electrics are starting to go that route. Focustronic's new Mastertronic, Powertronic, and Solartronic will take your test results and increase or decrease refugium lighting to suit nutrient control, can adjust the intensity of your leds for par readings, and of course automatically dose the big 3 and the minor elements within them (from Triton, ATI, or the others) . Then by doing regular ICP testing we can top up the minor elements we are using more off. Hit me now.
If I was to do it I would do 1% a day on my 120 but I dont have the space.
On another note: I gave up water changes after reading Glenn Fongs method 2 years ago.
I run a modified EZ method of his since
I use a carx with manmade media for the big 2. Dose strontium once a week to keep levels stable- esv-b.
Daily dose DSR trace.
Test big 3 but since running Carx only test for alk as ca and mag are always stable and in range.
Test strontium, potassium and iodide monthly.
Will do icp once a year to see where im at.
 
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NanoDJS

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I think AWC is almost self defeating , as are most water changes people perform , but I am from the oldschool method of "tuning" your water , I feel that adding new water all the time adds silicates , and other things I do not want. Also the imbalance that most people get in trace from doing all these water changes is evident in the posts with people saying they have like 1600 mag and 300 cal , imagine what the other # are , Triton is simply an extension of our oldschool " Berlin " method . heavy in / heavy out and no water changes almost ever. Dose and test ......repeat. The dilution effect of AWC makes it even more mind bending in my simple minded approach is ******* into the wind , and wasting salt. And when the system doing it fails or screws up UGH OH Batman . **** You all realize how much time money and energy you have wasted doing these **** Its perfect from a marketing standpoint. BUY MORE OBEY$$$$$$$$ youll never get to the top of the mountain if everytime you stumble on a rock, you start at the bottom again............
 
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90's reefer

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I think AWC is almost self defeating , as are most water changes people perform , but I am from the oldschool method of "tuning" your water , I feel that adding new water all the time adds silicates , and other things I do not want. Also the imbalance that most people get in trace from doing all these water changes is evident in the posts with people saying they have like 1600 mag and 300 cal , imagine what the other # are , Triton is simply an extension of our oldschool " Berlin " method . heavy in / heavy out and no water changes almost ever. Dose and test ......repeat. The dilution effect of AWC makes it even more mind bending in my simple minded approach is ******* into the wind , and wasting salt. And when the system doing it fails or screws up UGH OH Batman .
I agree its a waste of salt imo. Most people I know locally dont believe in the "no water change method" and think im nuts even when they see my tank but oh well.
Quick pic of my almost 8 month old 120.
20200209_121027.jpg
 

SPR1968

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If you set up an automatic system you can vary the water changes depending in tank parameters etc.

I have 2 separate systems linked into a fully automated water change system controlled by Apex and DOS with 2 units.

In my S650 which is nearly 4 years old I normally do around 5% per week, in small daily amounts, but I can change this by just changing the DOS schedule it’s just so easy. I’ve just changed it to 20% for a week which took seconds. My fresh saltwater container is 425 litres so if need be I could change that in one go. In my new system at 2000 litres I’m changing around 7% per week by small daily amounts.

The beauty of something like DOS, is you can change water in small or large amounts however you want

Ive carried buckets around for years, and then used DOS and I would advise anyone, if you have space and funds, to make an automatic water change system a priority when designing any reasonably sized reef system. It will make the hobby much more pleasurable
 

Devaji

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you know i have debated the very same thing. I am/will be setting up a red sea 650P in the new house and plan on AWC of about 1%+ per day.

I love the idea of no water change heavy in heavy out idea but not sure is can work for me. I know there are many ways to reef. if ICP testing was cheaper where I could do it every month so I could keep on top of everything I might try it. but AWC just seems the simpler way to go for me .
I plan to use ATS, under sized skimmer and AWC to support my tank.
 

Jamesmost

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Starting awc on my system next week
Liter Meter....
450 gallon total, gonna start at 10% per week..

Question is....
water in by return pump?
water out opposite side by drain?
 

dwest

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Starting awc on my system next week
Liter Meter....
450 gallon total, gonna start at 10% per week..

Question is....
water in by return pump?
water out opposite side by drain?
Sounds good. Although I don’t think it matters with liter meter 3. You’ll have about 10 minutes in between water in and water out. That would be plenty of time for the system to homogenize. Mine go in and out right next to each other.

i think you’re gonna be happy with your system.
 
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homer1475

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I know that my view goes against the views of a lot of people and I will now receive a bit of flack but water of a ducks back so to speak. Anyway here goes Water changes to me are a way of trying to hide something, they are a short term measure to try and rectify a problem with your tank. They are an old fashioned way of running a tank that is always never completely resolves the issue. In today's advancements in the hobby we should be keeping the water topped up and stable with the trace elements and major elements our systems use, with the number of companies that are selling these replacement elements this is the path we should be going even the electrics are starting to go that route. Focustronic's new Mastertronic, Powertronic, and Solartronic will take your test results and increase or decrease refugium lighting to suit nutrient control, can adjust the intensity of your leds for par readings, and of course automatically dose the big 3 and the minor elements within them (from Triton, ATI, or the others) . Then by doing regular ICP testing we can top up the minor elements we are using more off. Hit me now.
And I would argue that salt is cheaper then having to buy all those test kits and dosing products. We all hate testing, and now you want me to do even more tests? No thanks, I'll just keep doing my 10% weekly WC's.
 

Jamesmost

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I have a lm3 w/extra pump....
I calibrated it, set the # of liters on each pump...

That's as far as I got...

I
 

t5Nitro

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Starting awc on my system next week
Liter Meter....
450 gallon total, gonna start at 10% per week..

Question is....
water in by return pump?
water out opposite side by drain?
Sounds good. Although I don’t think it matters with liter meter 3. You’ll have about 10 minutes in between water in and water out. That would be plenty of time for the system to homogenize. Mine go in and out right next to each other.

i think you’re gonna be happy with your system.
Excited!! I have my LM3 AWC system ordered!
 

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