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This debate will last through eternity! But it's 2020 and have things changed?

Are water changes a thing of the past or of the present?

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zachtos

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I assume you are referring to ICP testing.

In general, this is a great development for the hobby. There are some though that question the validity of ICP testing. Jack Kent from Brightwell is one who seems to be very vocal about the quality of the data you will get from those who offer ICP testing.
I did not know this. I use ATI labs, and have had good results. I only need 'trends' mostly. If I see flouride constantly dropping, then I keep adding more per month until I see a lab result with it neutral or on the rise. That method has worked VERY well for me. No, you don't need the levels perfect, but I try to match natural seawater to the best of my abillity.

This does remind me of hydroponics a lot. You create coral with nothing but a variety of salts and light.
IMG_20200907_163917001.jpg
 
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MnFish1

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very true. but a TON of the MYSTERY of reefkeeping has been removed with the advent of ICP testing. 15 years ago my old reef I had no clue what was going on. I am now sure that I was always deficient in MANY of my minerals, as certain corals seem to suck down different minerals. I can barely keep up with weekly specific trace dosing, so a 10-20% WC will not even come close to bumping those levels up, they'd be back to zero in a day for me. Probably just like my old tank.
Has it? Does ICP measure dissolved organics? No. Were the other things they are measuring ever a huge problem - IMHO - no.
 

MnFish1

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I agree a ton of information in this hobby is anecdotal. BUT, now we have concrete lab test that tell you exactly what is going on in your tank. $50ish per test, but well worth it for large expensive systems. I know for a fact I could never keep some of my minerals up with water changes, supplementation is mandatory, or the corals will starve for some elements.
no - the 50$ test you buy does not measure everything in yoru tank

1. It does not measure coral toxins.
2. It does not measure other dissolved organics
3. It only measures individual elements - there is no real clue what is being 'measured' - and from what I have seen - there are more posts asking 'why is my tin level high' - than ' wow - I have a normal result'
 

Tankkeepers

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Man I’m not 100% sure either anymore now thanks to you <LOL>
thats why I’m fishing not arguing.... I’m still thinking its two mathematically diametric but supportive goals: replenishment vs.dilution ....
In my mind smaller is better when it comes to element replacement but maybe 1 big change is better from a dilutive POV...
No way 7 10% changes dilutes as much as 1 70% .... thats like thinking 3 50% changes is better than a 100% change ... in scenarios one thats 50 of 50 of 50 so by day 3 you still are only the 87%, or will my math embarrass me?
I dunno, math anyone?
Smaller is better for replenishing trace elements if not dosing but larger is better for removal of nutrients and no 7 10% changes does not dilute as much as 1 70% change as you have to account for the gain between changes
 

Tankkeepers

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Look at it this way at 1 70% you are diluting 70 percent but at 7 10% each change becomes less and less first one is 10 % but then you fill up the 10 % and then remove 10% of the new 100% you have which is really only about a 9% dilution at this point(thats not perfect nor accurate but gives you an idea of what I'm trying to say)and that's after only the second if you go out farther it only gets to be a smaller number each time untill it stabalizes at a certain point higher then the less often 70% given they are done in the same time scedual so 7 10% in 1 month vs 1 70% in one month

the math is to complicated for me to try and post sry wish I could
 

Doctorgori

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Look at it this way at 1 70% you are diluting 70 percent but at 7 10% each change becomes less and less first one is 10 % but then you fill up the 10 % and then remove 10% of the new 100% you have which is really only about a 9% dilution at this point(thats not perfect nor accurate but gives you an idea of what I'm trying to say)and that's after only the second if you go out farther it only gets to be a smaller number each time untill it stabalizes at a certain point higher then the less often 70% given they are done in the same time scedual so 7 10% in 1 month vs 1 70% in one month

the math is to complicated for me to try and post sry wish I could
I could never make total sense of the 1% water change/day thing . But without knowing the exact math all I can say is it make some sense if replenishing is the goal... none whatsoever from a pollution solution
 

Tankkeepers

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My old no water change system was faily basic from a mechanical point of view 125 main to 55 fuge to 55 cryptic to 55 equitment red mangrove tank to 50 gallon tote dsb then back to main with a home made 10 gallon ato with traces added using all plasic parts from a toilet (thing in back cant think of name right now) took 1 year to get established with water changes 2 50% then ran for 8 years with 0 water changes this was before all the fancy testing we have now and only does not exist anymore cuz kid dumped chili powder into it killing everything in 2 min flat no protien skimmer or uv etc just pumps and lights and very carefully selected critters to make a closed eco system I did not feed it actual food only dosed micro and macro nutrients 125 was a lps sps mixed reef
 

Paul B

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. Paul B never does water changes, and others do them every week! Every tank is different.
Yes he does. I know him and he changes about 40 gallons in his 125 about 4 or 5 times a year. For the last two years he has been using NSW because he lives near the sea.
He also thinks to many water changes is detrimental if ASW is used. :p
 
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Tankkeepers

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I agree ever tank is diffrent as I have a 32biocube now I do 25 percent water changes on every week not enoff room to do a no change system in my opinion and after lossing almkst 10 years(6 mknths of reading alone before tank was ever implimented) of work dont have the want to make a new large system let alone how much it cost me to setup and in electric ever month lol
 

Lasse

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Hey @Lasse, what about salts that are batch tested? I buy Salinity salt, and it has the measurements of elements in each bucket. I never look to go that deep into each one, but know when I have gotten my Triton tests everything comes out fine. So I pay more for salt to think less:).

Or at least that is my thought anyway.
It depends on the size of the batches - let us take Strontium that should be around 8 mg/L of water. In a 20 Gallon bucket it means that it most be around 0.6 g If the batches is 100 buckets (272 Kg) - it needs 60 g evenly mixed in 272 Kg in a way that each of the buckets should contain 0.6 g . Maybe not impossible - but costly. If we instead talk about Iodine that should be present in 0.06 g/L - it means that in a 75 L bucket it should be 4.5 mg evenly mixed - or 45 mg evenly mixed in 272 Kg. ...... and not to talk about copper.......

@Lasse Hallå - here is a question - so would you say - then that a system that changes x percent of water with freshly mixed salt water would be equivalent? (Btw - I dont know how much water is changed in the aquarium - I thought you might know) - if its 100 percent per day - its a no brainer..
Haven' t seen you for a while - Great to see you active again and your total right - you should have the badget "Devils advocate" for sure

All compounds in the sea has been evenly mixed for millions of year - but I´m talking about trace elements in dry salt mixes - as I said before - it more or less impossible to mix a batch of dry synthetic salt and get an evenly mix in the batches.

Look at it this way at 1 70% you are diluting 70 percent but at 7 10% each change becomes less and less first one is 10 % but then you fill up the 10 % and then remove 10% of the new 100% you have which is really only about a 9% dilution at this point(thats not perfect nor accurate but gives you an idea of what I'm trying to say)and that's after only the second if you go out farther it only gets to be a smaller number each time untill it stabalizes at a certain point higher then the less often 70% given they are done in the same time scedual so 7 10% in 1 month vs 1 70% in one month

the math is to complicated for me to try and post sry wish I could
May this help

1602014697104.png


Sincerely Lasse
 

adobo

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I did not know this. I use ATI labs, and have had good results. I only need 'trends' mostly. If I see flouride constantly dropping, then I keep adding more per month until I see a lab result with it neutral or on the rise. That method has worked VERY well for me. No, you don't need the levels perfect, but I try to match natural seawater to the best of my abillity.

This does remind me of hydroponics a lot. You create coral with nothing but a variety of salts and light.
IMG_20200907_163917001.jpg
There are something like 3 or 4 labs that offer ICP testing. One of them is in Poland I think.

Jack Kent makes several arguments including:
- sending samples away where it takes the sample several days to arrive - all kinds of things could happen to the sample due to being subject to temperature changes, pressure changes, etc.
- you are at the mercy of how well the lab maintains their equipment
- you are also at the mercy of how well the technician follows the procedures

Even if the ICP lab and technician had a pristine sample, used a machine that is in proper working order and followed the proper procedures, the ICP test can only measure what it can measure. It doesn't measure things like carbon so no way to measure organics, as an example.

Better to watch the presentation yourself - Mr. Kent is definitely a stakeholder as a vendor of all kinds of things reef related so you need to factor that in. Having said that, he does raise interesting points:

 

Sallstrom

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no - the 50$ test you buy does not measure everything in yoru tank

1. It does not measure coral toxins.
2. It does not measure other dissolved organics
3. It only measures individual elements - there is no real clue what is being 'measured' - and from what I have seen - there are more posts asking 'why is my tin level high' - than ' wow - I have a normal result'
Hi!
I’ve seen a couple of post from you on this subject now and would like to say something :)
First, I’m so grateful for ICP tests. It has helped me fix things before any corals got harmed. So why not see the positive side too of this “new” tool we have in the hobby?

Then the discussion on water changes and that no water changes mean zero changed water ever. That’s not what it is about. It’s about not changing water if you are happy with your water. It’s about setting goals for your parameters and try to reach them. If one or more parameters are off so much it’s easier to do a large water change, then do a water change. It’s not a competition. We all just try to keep our fish and corals alive and happy.
If I do a dip against AEFW, I use tank water and replace it with newly mixed saltwater. But we don’t do regular water changes just to change water. I’m happy with our parameters and feel I’ve found a way to manage them to keep the corals and fish alive for many years.

About toxins and unknown organics, that is something that often comes up in this discussion. I don’t know what the answer is, other then the tanks I’m responsible for and go without regular water changes doesn’t seems to have a problem with that. Below is a “coral soup” with both soft and stony corals that’s been running for 1,5 years now. Without WC or GAC :D
BE630E8C-28A6-44B6-BAF7-7070CD5D312C.jpeg
 

zachtos

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This does remind me of hydroponics a lot. You create coral with nothing but sal
no clue what you mean
In hydroponics, you grow plants from LED, water and salts, no soil/substrate. This new technique of no water change reminds me of that husbandry, adding salts to replenish key nutrients, same concept.

Depending on the size of your reef, it makes financial sense to forgo water changes in exchange for periodic ICP testing and dosing. I save a few hundred dollars a year by using less DI resin, lower water bill, less salt, less energy (pre-heat/mix). I say cutoff for savings maybe around 240G+ in size. A 1000G reef would save big time. I think it's plenty safe if you run carbon, skim and maybe algae turf scrubber for exporting the organics you worry about. I have had no issue in 2 years and counting, but had tons of issues with my 240G SPS reef 15 years ago. Times have changed, more options exist.
 

Lasse

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My last graph was not as good as it should. This graph shows what happens in an aquarium that produce 0.3 ppm NO3 every day and there is a daily WC of 1 %

1602017080233.png


Sincerely Lasse
 

Lasse

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It doesn't measure things like carbon so no way to measure organics, as an example.
And..... Does regularly WC measure organics?

Triton N-DOC test measure just that and it is a complement to the ICP tests and it is for the moment the only test that measure both inorganic and organic carbon in the water column for the moment

For me the ICP tests is basic for my reef and its welfare. WC will not give the trace elements needed and many of them can be toxic if overdosed. And they will give me signals when its time for WC - if it will be needed. Today when we are very good in cultivating huge biomass of corals in small glass boxes - trace elements will be more and more important IMO. You can´t get them in the amount you want through WC - if you add in blindo - you ask for trouble. If you base your additives on calcium consumption and use combined solutions - you will sooner or later go wrong.

No regular WC has the same argues as that advocate the use of RO water for salt mixing - you know here your start point is and change your water after that. My ICP tests is my guideline in this.

Sincerely Lasse
 

Tankkeepers

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It depends on the size of the batches - let us take Strontium that should be around 8 mg/L of water. In a 20 Gallon bucket it means that it most be around 0.6 g If the batches is 100 buckets (272 Kg) - it needs 60 g evenly mixed in 272 Kg in a way that each of the buckets should contain 0.6 g . Maybe not impossible - but costly. If we instead talk about Iodine that should be present in 0.06 g/L - it means that in a 75 L bucket it should be 4.5 mg evenly mixed - or 45 mg evenly mixed in 272 Kg. ...... and not to talk about copper.......


Haven' t seen you for a while - Great to see you active again and your total right - you should have the badget "Devils advocate" for sure

All compounds in the sea has been evenly mixed for millions of year - but I´m talking about trace elements in dry salt mixes - as I said before - it more or less impossible to mix a batch of dry synthetic salt and get an evenly mix in the batches.


May this help

1602014697104.png


Sincerely Lasse
Thank you vary much for the graph as you see at the 7th 1 your are left with 4 at 10 % vs 3 at 70% not accountting for the added nutrients over time

Also great graph about 1% water changes
 

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