Noob Maintenance Schedule Questions

matai

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 5, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I've had my first reef tank going a little over 4 months now, here's the specs:

Standard 75g glass tank
Aquatop cf400uv Canister Filter
Reef Octopus Classic 100 HOB Protein Skimmer
~80lbs substrate
~70-80lbs live and dry rock

My questions are:
- Water changes; how often and how much?
- Canister filter; how often to clean it and how should it be cleaned?
- Protein skimmer; besides cleaning the cup thing, any other maintenance?

Thanks for you're help!
 
www.dinkinsaquaticgardens.com

OfficeReefer

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
514
Reaction score
437
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hello @matai and welcome to R2R!

I believe there are several opinions on this and it really depends on your preferences and internal bioload.

Water changes are generally recommended weekly to biweekly, 10-20% of water volume if not mistaken. Some do not change water at all on established tanks and dose instead.

Canister filters are not preferred by many but can work in a well designed purpose. I see this does have a UV, might be somewhat weak but should help keep algae down if its the only return into the system. If you can skim just prior to this, it might produce better results overall. With an HOB skimmer, this may not be an option. I would change the bio-pellets out inside and replace with known brands and characteristics for removal of nitrates, phosphates, etc.

As for the skimmer, this is likely to function but is likely not to be the best results. It would be best if there were a means to separate out to a separate sump area where this and other bio-export actions can occur. For now, I would ensure the skimmer is level and is not drawing too much air on this model. It should skim just over the edge of the cup and at times, one might need to change the cup more than once a day.

If you have some pictures to share or anything else, we'd love to help! Again, welcome to R2R!
 
OP
M

matai

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 5, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Thanks, that's good input. From a really practical perspective:

1. I calculated that I should have about 63 gallons of water in the tank. I keep 5 gallon jugs of water on hand. Should I do a 7 gallon water change every week, or 10 gallons every 10 days? Would 10 gallons a week be too much?

2. For the HOB Skimmer, the rectangular cup thing on the top, should that be dumped whenever there's water in there? Should I scrub it clean as well? Does anybody know of any guides for configuring this type of skimmer? The included instructions weren't helpful and I'm not sure if I have it set up all correctly.

3. I understand canister filters aren't preferred but it's what I have at least for now. What sort of maintenance should I do on it?

Thanks again
 
World Wide Corals

GARRIGA

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
1,194
Reaction score
899
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
South Florida
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
WC should be based on need based on parameters although some like to just perform based on a schedule and that would be different for every tank.

Canister filters I replace carbon when water yellows and clean sponges or other media when flow gets reduced. However, I'm of the camp that believes in less is more. Keep hands out as much as possible. Everyone's mileage will differ because all systems are different including how they are filtered and it's inhabitants.
 

Lost in the Sauce

BANGERANG!!!!
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
16,558
Reaction score
79,007
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
Location
Southern California
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I ran a 90g on a canister for six months. With a unit like that which may be slightly undersized, you'll need to dedicate a weekly cleaning schedule. The entire canister can be broken down, sponges cleaned and back together in about ten minutes.

Water changes on your system will really be dictated by bioload. With a lightly stocked tank, Not overfeeding, You may be able to keep your nutrients controlled with bi-weekly water changes. If not, go weekly.
 
OP
M

matai

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 5, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Also, is this all correct for a reef tank? Anything I'm missing?

ItemTarget
pHbetween 8.0 and 8.4
Ammonia NH3 (ppm)0
Nitrite NO2 (ppm)less than 0.2 ppm or 200 ppb
Nitrate NO3 (ppm)0.25 ppm, but not more than 5 ppm
Salinity (ppt)35
Salinity Gravity1.026
Phosphate0.02 to 0.05 ppm
Calcium380-450ppm
Temp79
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

GARRIGA

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
1,194
Reaction score
899
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
South Florida
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Carbon dosing goes a long way to prolonging water changes. My test tank past a year now without a WC and no sump, no skimmer, little mechanical filtration. Allowing the biological to break everything down.

My issue being my alkalinity doesn't change which means using kalk to raise ph is problematic. Air tight south Florida house with too many inhabitants causing equilibrium issues with CO2. One downside I've found with no WC and no corals or coraline algae to consume alk and calcium.

Will be running an ICP test to check on all elements and especially micros but also overfeed to keep nitrates and phosphates from bottoming out. Algae comes and goes. Mostly shows up when I experiment on removing carbon dosing but then abates rather quickly once I resume it. Have a plan for raising ph but this requires lowering alkalinity which has a temporary affect on my ph. Seems counter intuitive but this in my case the only downfall to reduced or no WC. Outside of possibly not being able to remove contaminants that can only be diluted via WC.
 

What is the best SPS starter coral?

  • Seriatopora (Bird's Nest Coral)

    Votes: 21 34.4%
  • Stylophora (Cat’s Paw Coral)

    Votes: 17 27.9%
  • Pocillopora (Cauliflower/Brush Coral)

    Votes: 8 13.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 15 24.6%
Aquatic Life TDS Pen Offer
Top