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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?

  • PAST

    Votes: 96 12.0%
  • PRESENT

    Votes: 675 84.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 30 3.7%

  • Total voters
    801
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KenRexford

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If there is any debate, then I am against water changes for one simple reason. Every water change uses water beyond auto top off levels and sends old water with all the additional additives down the drain. That seems not very environmentally conscientious. If I can reduce my water consumption and reduce my salt and other chemical pollution, while still maintaining a viable and enjoyable reef tank without water changes, then I help the cause of good husbandry of the earth.
 

NanoReefLovers

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1. YES water changes are beneficial or NO water changes are not beneficial to a reef aquarium?

2. YES water changes are necessary or NO water changes are not necessary for long term health of a reef aquarium?

3. Do you perform regular water changes on your reef aquarium?
[/QUOTE]

1. Yes. Alway have been beneficial and ALWAYS will be!!!

2. Yes. Ido believe they are necessary. No matter what mechanical filtration you have to remove or dosing you have to add. Nothing will beat the breath of fresh...er...water.

3. I do 10 gallons or 14% every Friday. (Sometimes on Thursday if I know I will be busy). I would love to one day have an AWC but at this time I cannot due to where the aquarium is set up. I think water changes are essential for a long term healthy tank.

Update:

I just reread my answer and it comes across as opinionated, and it is, but I don’t want it to come across as pig headed. Therefore I thought I would add a bit more as to why, for me, water changes are essential to a healthy aquarium.

I need to use a terrestrial example, my mother in law. My mother in law is a chain smoker who lives alone. Because she smokes in her house and so much we got some air purifier units for her. We also added about 20 different, easy to keep, house plants, such as ferns to help clean the air. She is fairly home bound now but orders delivery food and had groceries delivered to her house. The front door opens many times a day. lastly we had to have a vent fan installed over her TV chair to pull out some of the smoke.

To me all of these examples represent mechanical biological and chemical filtration and they all help...to a degree. Still the house is full of smoke.

On the other hand is “water changes”; It is my job to go there every other Sunday to take care of some tasks she cannot do. When I get there the fitting I do is open the doors and windows wide. I turn on a box fan and place it in a window and vent the house well. The house still smells of smoke BUT it is much easier to breath in the house.

I know this is not the exact same thing but it does a fair job of depicting why I think water changes are so important in our tanks. I don’t want my aquarium residents to have to live in filth, no matter how filtered that filth is.

This is MHO and you can feel free to disagree with me. But please remember this:

Wether you do water changes or not, ENJOY THE HOBBY!!
 
Last edited:

MnFish1

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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
Here is a calculator to do the math. lets assume the starting nitrate is 100 - and you do a 70% water change - and that over a month the nitrate increases by 30. Using a 70% water change up front - at the end of the month the Nitrate would be 60ppm.

Doing 7 10 percent water changes - at the end of the month the nitrate would be approx = 64. So there is not much difference. And this accounts for the accumulation as well.

Note depending on the numbers you use - you can get almost any result - BUT in the end with any regimen - there tends to be a level that the nitrate stabilizes (assuming that the increase of nitrate between water changes remains constant). But your example does show the point - though most people arent doing anywhere near 70% water changes. The issue here is - are regular water changes lets say 5 % per week more beneficial than None - or rare water changes

 

MnFish1

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If there is any debate, then I am against water changes for one simple reason. Every water change uses water beyond auto top off levels and sends old water with all the additional additives down the drain. That seems not very environmentally conscientious. If I can reduce my water consumption and reduce my salt and other chemical pollution, while still maintaining a viable and enjoyable reef tank without water changes, then I help the cause of good husbandry of the earth.
I dont want to debate - but in reality - trace elements come in plastic bottles, using water - they take energy to make/produce, those using perhaps the triton method - have a refugium, lights (energy) to grow the algae - and many still have to use extra water - in addition to ATO to keep salinity at a proper level.... Do you really think this is any more 'environmentally conscientious than 10 % water changes every couple weeks? I suppose the case could be made that if everyone household were dumping 20 gallons of seawater down the sewer every day - freshwater streams could have a problem - The solution - put the waste water into the toilet - rather than dumping it outside.

BTW - using your logic wouldn't the most environmentally conscientious thing be to not have a reef tank of any size?
 

MnFish1

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@Sallstrom @Lasse - I have no problem with ICP tests - and using them to guide what trace elements one puts in their tank. I think both of your tanks look great. @Sallstrom said - that his tank is evidence that water changes are 'not necessary' - but then can I make the opposite argument - I have never sent an ICP test, don't dose trace elements - and my tank looks great too (IMHO) lol Therefor ICP tests and trace elements are not needed? @Lasse - I think that adding 'food' of a varied type LIKELY adds enough trace elements - doing regular water changes ensures that they do not rise high enough to cause problems (my opinion) - I guess my point was merely - either method can create tanks that look great - thats why as Revhtree said at the beginning - its an endless debate
 
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Sallstrom

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@Sallstrom @Lasse - I have no problem with ICP tests - and using them to guide what trace elements one puts in their tank. I think both of your tanks look great. @Sallstrom said - that his tank is evidence that water changes are 'not necessary' - but then can I make the opposite argument - I have never sent an ICP test, don't dose trace elements - and my tank looks great too (IMHO) lol Therefor ICP tests and trace elements are not needed? @Lasse - I think that adding 'food' of a varied type LIKELY adds enough trace elements - doing regular water changes ensures that they do not rise high enough to cause problems (my opinion) - I guess my point was merely - either method can create tanks that look great - thats why as Revhtree said at the beginning - its an endless debate
Sure! That is evidence that just that tank works great with water changes under your care! That's the beauty of it all. There are so many ways to get a tank to thrive. No way is "the best" for all. IMO it's more up to the aquarist then the "method" :D Or to find a method that fits the type of aquarist you are. Test until you find the right way for you.
 

UkiahTheTurtle

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Here is a calculator to do the math. lets assume the starting nitrate is 100 - and you do a 70% water change - and that over a month the nitrate increases by 30. Using a 70% water change up front - at the end of the month the Nitrate would be 60ppm.

Doing 7 10 percent water changes - at the end of the month the nitrate would be approx = 64. So there is not much difference. And this accounts for the accumulation as well.

Note depending on the numbers you use - you can get almost any result - BUT in the end with any regimen - there tends to be a level that the nitrate stabilizes (assuming that the increase of nitrate between water changes remains constant). But your example does show the point - though most people arent doing anywhere near 70% water changes. The issue here is - are regular water changes lets say 5 % per week more beneficial than None - or rare water changes

Uhh they look kind of happy but my clownfish always look like they are grinning
 

Tankkeepers

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Here is a calculator to do the math. lets assume the starting nitrate is 100 - and you do a 70% water change - and that over a month the nitrate increases by 30. Using a 70% water change up front - at the end of the month the Nitrate would be 60ppm.

Doing 7 10 percent water changes - at the end of the month the nitrate would be approx = 64. So there is not much difference. And this accounts for the accumulation as well.

Note depending on the numbers you use - you can get almost any result - BUT in the end with any regimen - there tends to be a level that the nitrate stabilizes (assuming that the increase of nitrate between water changes remains constant). But your example does show the point - though most people arent doing anywhere near 70% water changes. The issue here is - are regular water changes lets say 5 % per week more beneficial than None - or rare water changes

Good math but that's a 4ppm increase every month and that's where the larger really comes in the long term short term is fine to show quick figures but after 12 months of this thats a 48 ppm overall not good this hobbie is all about long term stability and having such a large amount overall that has to be gotten rid of can lead to problems down the road like gha that wont go away etc
 

Loverman Smith

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

Do water changes, don't do water changes? The debate will last F O R E V E R!!



So why not continue it today! :p Well things change, methods change, people change, systems change and what is 2020 telling us, besides it's a crazy year, about changing out your water in your saltwater reef aquarium?

This paragraph from @Randy Holmes-Farley makes it as clear as mud but is so truthful! HA!



So in light of this brand new discussion topic of water changes let's dig in and talk about it! It's 2020 and has your feelings changed about water changes?

1. YES water changes are beneficial or NO water changes are not beneficial to a reef aquarium?

Let's go a step further....

2. YES water changes are necessary or NO water changes are not necessary for long term health of a reef aquarium?

3. Do you perform regular water changes on your reef aquarium?


water-changes-reef-tank.jpg

[/QUOTE
 
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Loverman Smith

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Depending on tank size , I'm thinking a good water changing system would be a better investment than a skimmer . Zeeks , what do you think about that ?
 

MnFish1

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This does remind me of hydroponics a lot. You create coral with nothing but sal

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.
Good math but that's a 4ppm increase every month and that's where the larger really comes in the long term short term is fine to show quick figures but after 12 months of this thats a 48 ppm overall not good this hobbie is all about long term stability and having such a large amount overall that has to be gotten rid of can lead to problems down the road like gha that wont go away etc
I think you misread the calculator/my meaning. The way to use it - is to put in your tank volume, then pick the water change volume that is required to bring your nitrate to whatever your acceptable level is. If you, for example - put in 100 gallon tank, 20 gallon water changes for 50 periods (whether 1 or 2 weeks or whatever) - and the Nitrate increases by 5 ppm each period - your nitrate will keep increasing - until about Period 7 - from then on - until Period 50 - it will slowly rise to 20 - and remain there. It doesnt 'keep going up'
 

Have you ever used a spoon, hose and rubber band together to remove algae?

  • YES

    Votes: 9 3.8%
  • NO

    Votes: 118 50.0%
  • What the heck? (see the thread)

    Votes: 109 46.2%

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