Easy water changes? Advice please

Discussion in 'Large Aquariums 180g - 399g' started by doodguy, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. doodguy

    doodguy Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a 340 gallon reef tank with 150 gallon sump, and until last week, when I needed to do water changes, I would open a drain off my over flow which would allow water to flow down a drain in my sink. I had a fresh water line connected to my RODI which then connected to a float valve in my sump. After I drained water, I would let the fresh RODI water refill sump until float valve shut it off. I also have a filter sock I would put salt in and let it dissolve keeping my salinity in check.

    I have been battling some algae issues and noticed my TDS was creeping up. I also noticed I was changing my filters and di resin every 3 weeks or so to keep TDS at 0 so some people recommended I make my refill water in large batches to reduce exhausting my RO Membrane.

    My solution for water changes was to buy the Tunze ATO system, drain my water as before and let the tunze pull from RODI water sitting in a brute trash can and refill my sump. Issue with this is the dang thing turns off after 10 minutes and if I do a 40 water change it takes more than 10 minutes to refill.

    Any ideas what I should do to solve this? Debating getting the JBJ ATO, possibly the Innovative Marine hydro fill. The JBJ seems to have a max 14 minute timer, the Marine Hydro fill what I'm reading does not so that may be my answer?

    Any suggestions/advice what to do here?

    Thank you
     
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  2. Retro Reefer

    Retro Reefer Been there done that.. R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    I would just mix my fresh salt water in a suitable container and use a large pump, manually turning it on/off to quickly refill your sump.. ATO’s are not meant to be used in that capacity and IMO trying to make fresh water by putting salt in a filter sock is probably not the best idea.
     
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  3. doodguy

    doodguy Member

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    I have heard that but what is the difference truly if i mix in sump or a different bucket then run it to sump?

    It goes into filter sock tui filter fine particles, then goes through a series of baffles in my 7 ft long sump before making its way up into the tank.
     
  4. Victoria M

    Victoria M Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    You need a Brute can that is food safe dedicated to making saltwater in for water changes.
    1. Night before planned water change, fill food safe Brute with ro di water.
    2. Drop a 1200 MJ pump or equivalent into container of water.
    3. Place appropriate amount of salt in water container. Run the pump over night to mix up and fully dissolve salt into water.
    Optional place smallish heater in container to match temperature.
    4. Check salinity, if not matched to display tank , add ro di water or add salt to match.
    5. Check salinity in an hour or so.
    6. Remove water from display tank as previously described, which is awesome btw.
    7. Pump water from new saltwater container to sump using MJ 1200 by placing half inch hose to MJ pump.
     
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  5. Victoria M

    Victoria M Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Ooh a 7 ft long sump sounds fun. Please post pictures if you can! lol.

    The sump water level is decreased by 40 gallons? and you make the water in the sump basically? If so ... I see why you think this should work BUT...
    There are biofilms that that form on all the surfaces of a mature tank system and quit likely are being damaged and dying off each time you change their environment so drastically first with the fresh water then with the salt and unless you left that newly made saltwater mix and stabilize in your sump prior to sending it to your display tank you are probably disturbing/damaging the life in your DT. Reefs need stability to thrive. Your current practise is not maintaing that stability.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  6. Retro Reefer

    Retro Reefer Been there done that.. R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    A few things to consider.. it’s always best to add salt to water not water to salt, you can get high/low PH values if salt isn’t mixed thoroughly and aerated, some salts need to be thoroughly mixed before adding to tank to prevent calcium precipitation.
     
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  7. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Yeah, anything that was live in your sump dies every water change.. I would imagine it takes away from the quality of the fresh water.

    My guess is you lose all microfauna (in that section of the sump) as it goes from fresh water to high salinity in certain areas while it mixes.

    Easy (but not the most cost effective) is an AWC using perestaltic dosing pumps like thr Neptune DOS or other dosers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  8. Victoria M

    Victoria M Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Well, I am not going to go so far as to say ALL the microfauna dies as 40 gallons to 150 gallons is not THAT crazy of a change, but I am certain it is killing some and stressing all life. Lack of stability is not conducive to a thriving system.
    And it dies seem like doodguy would like an AWC system.
     
  9. Mrx7899

    Mrx7899 Well-Known Member

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    If you have an apex you can use a dos for automatic water changes mix the saltwater in a different container. Tell your apex how many gallons you want to change and it will do it by itself. Thats how I do my water changes on my 250 gallon. I mix up 30 gallons in a brute trash can and my dos changes 3 gallons a day over a 10 day period.
     
  10. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Well he does this in a section of his sump. So his sump goes from:

    40g of normal salinity
    Emptied
    Salt gets added
    40g of RODI
    Then it mixes

    (If I understood correctly)

    This will kill much if not all beneficial microfauna. Bacteria may survive but will be impacted..

    If he is removing 40g from 150g all in one sump, then adding salt mix and rodi to the full 150g, I get that it wouldn't kill all of the microfauna, but it'll kill whatever microfauna the salt lands on. It doesn't dissolve instantly.
     
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  11. Burrito

    Burrito Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    my tank is nowhere near your size, 100G total water volume but setting my apex dos to do automatic water changes is the best thing i've ever done next to buying an ATO. i change out 15% a week or about 2 gallons a night. i make 30G of Rodi at a time into a brute trash can and then mix salt into it. when i can find some decent prices on a water tank i will switch to that and get another one for a constant supply of rodi water as well. if you are not using apex at all then i hear good things of the autoaqua awc system
     
  12. Victoria M

    Victoria M Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    To add onto your train of thought here...He stated he drained the 40 gallons from the over flow drain. I do not picture what you pictured in your head , but I do not get a clear picture of what his process actually is. I would like to see a pic of the sump. I also just have a thing for water processing systems. Don't judge. :) Anyway, I agree with your statement 100% and that is why I typed out a pretty complete water change process. To encourage the OP to follow a simple yet much more stable water change process. Atleast until he sets up what ever he sets up. Also @doodguy check out the threads on water change set ups. Happy Reefing.
     
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  13. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    No judgement here :)

    Whether you drain it from the overflow or the sump itself, the sump level decreases.

    Mixing new salt and rodi water in a container that also stores life in it (obviously no fish, but inverts, pods, algae, bacteria) is not a best practice and certainly cannot be good for the life that resides in the sump. Even if there is 100g of saltwater in there to start with.
     
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  14. Victoria M

    Victoria M Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yeah, I know that. That is not what the person is doing however. Either way, I gave them good advise on the best practice so not sure why I feel this whole thing has continued as if I am in need of education? You may not mean to come across that way, but it is starting to feel that way. I was trying to help a newer hobbyist. I will leave it at that.
     
  15. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I do not disagree.. You gave him an excellent approach to doing water changes and one I implored until a month back in fact.

    I definitely did not mean to make you feel like you were being educated; however, I did feel I needed to respond to your quote disagreeing with my response to mixing dry salt in the sump not being detrimental to the inhabitants of the sump. Either way, challenging each other isn't a bad thing, as long as it is constructive.

    I agree though, this conversation has ventured far enough off track :rolleyes:

    It sounded as if the OP wanted a less manual water change approach given he was utilizing an ATO for automated refilling. I recommended the AWC either via a Neptune DOS or calibrated BRS Dosers which would fit perfectly with @Victoria M 's recommendation and steps to mix and provide fresh saltwater.
     
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