What are your some work smarter not harder tips?

Mindblock769

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Being only in the hobby for a couple months now and can see why people get out of the hobby because "they didn't have time anymore".

Maintaining a DT, coral QT, and fish QT seems to have become more of a job than a hobby. Not to mention a snail covered my ATO sensor in my coral QT flooding my office yesterday.

Share some of your tips n tricks to make reef life easier!
 

MaxTremors

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I enjoy working on my tank (water changes, cleaning, water testing, etc), so I don’t automate much. One thing that is really worth it though, is a dedicated water mixing station. My tank is currently on my kitchen island and we have two sinks in our kitchen, so I’ve set up a water mixing/changing station that’s basically right next to the tank. I have my RODI unit plumbed into the sink so that waste water goes into the drain (I know it wasteful I just don’t really have another use for it, the next time I buy a new filter I’ll look into wasting less water, but for now it goes into the drain), and the RODI unit doesn’t have to be disconnected to use the sink. I’m looking into adding float valves and such so that it automatically keeps my reservoir full, but haven’t implemented them yet. So the water station along with some tubing and a big pond pump make water changes a breeze. I can drain and refill 5 gallons in less than 5 minutes without having to lift any buckets or move any water containers. It makes keeping up in water changes super easy, the longest/hardest part (I know there’s a joke there somewhere) is adding salt to the water and making sure it’s the right temp/salinity. So that’s something I wish I had always had, lugging buckets back and forth is a PITA.
 

Auquanut

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Auto Top Off (ATO). Also, if your corals are consuming Alk and Cal faster than your water changes can keep up, I'd go with a dosing pump system vise manual dosing.
 

G Santana

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I stay on top of maintenance. Cleaning the glass every 3 days prevents that tough build up that you have to really work at removing.
Make your own food, your fish will love it and you will save a ton of money.
I syphon my BB every 2 weeks
I clean my skimmer every 3 days as well as changing filter socks every 2 days.
Mondays is test day, I run 7 tests first thing.

I log everything in my online aquarium log daily

I enjoy the routine and it keeps me in tune with any changes in my tank.
 

MrTPlush

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Ultra zero utility pump that sucks essentially to the bottom of the pump. Watching that thing suck 25 gallons on water changes out, then in, and then pump the dirty water down the drain. Worth every single penny, maybe my favorite purchase so far. No messing around trying to start a siphon etc.
 
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My first "Why didn't I do this earlier!?" epiphany was an ATO, second was going bare bottom, third was dosing (all-for-reef), and final (?) was refugium. Other than the occasion vacuuming, macro algae trimming, and weekly glass scrapping my tank is pretty much on auto-pilot...
 

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X-37B

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Best advice is to have a plan from the begining and stick to it.
Have your parameters set and focus on keeping them their.
I keep it simple.
Calcium reactor with no ph probe or controller. Large skimmer and 7" filter sock. Media reactor for gfo/carbon.
Tunze ato and large 275 gallon storage tank for ro/di.
Empty skimmer cup every few days and change filter sock.
Feed your fish and not the corals.
Check my build thread from day one through 28 months and counting.
I also have a 45 frag system.
 

Schraufabagel

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Mounting the rodi filters permanently and running 1/4 tubing with manual valves to ato reservoir and brute tanks.
What took so long.
If only! One of the many reasons I hate living in an apartment is because I can’t mount any of my fish stuff including my RODI filter
 

amoore311

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Keep it simple.

-max saturation kalk dosed via quality dosing pump. No 1 part… no 2 part…. Nothing but kalk and water changes until your system is pulling more than what kalk can replenish.

-run cotton floss in cups instead of socks. It’s cheap, biodegradeable, and a heck of a lot easier to toss and replace a handful of floss than do fishtank laundry.

-spend some money on your water change set up. A brute can, decent sized utility pump, and a nice coil of quality tubing is going to make water changes quick and easy.
 

FishyFishFish

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If you are dosing then use cheap containers and not expensive reservoirs.

The reason I say this is not for cost, but for simplicity. Last night I swapped over my Kalk. I simply swapped the bottle over with another pre-filled one. If it was an expensive reservoir then I might have had to take it out, clean it, refill and replace. This would be even worse if you had a fancy reservoir that has 3 additives in one unit. This is a massive time-saver.
 

amoore311

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If you are dosing then use cheap containers and not expensive reservoirs.

The reason I say this is not for cost, but for simplicity. Last night I swapped over my Kalk. I simply swapped the bottle over with another pre-filled one.
Nice one here. I myself use 1 Gallon Arizona Iced Tea Jugs for almost everything lol!
 

RichReef

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40 gallon Brute on wheels plumbed into the system. 1/4 tubing in siphoned from the DT, 1 inch out an overflow into the sump. I manual dose. It all goes into the Brute so everything is slow.

When it's time for a WC I just swap out the brute for a fresh one.

Pump out the old water that's plumbed into the house.

BTW. It's a basement sump so that makes it easier.
 

Jonas Bergkvist

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Keep it simple.

-max saturation kalk dosed via quality dosing pump. No 1 part… no 2 part…. Nothing but kalk and water changes until your system is pulling more than what kalk can replenish.

-run cotton floss in cups instead of socks. It’s cheap, biodegradeable, and a heck of a lot easier to toss and replace a handful of floss than do fishtank laundry.

-spend some money on your water change set up. A brute can, decent sized utility pump, and a nice coil of quality tubing is going to make water changes quick and easy.

Excuse my silly question but, what is a utility pump? I have a pretty good Tunze return pump that i use to fill my aquarium with new water. Is the pump you have and mine the same thing?

Do you have any recommendations for good quality tubing? Maybe silicone would be good(?) but i think it’s expensive.

My hose, or what ever it’s called is clear but now i think i may have to change it because it’s stiff and a bit crappy to work with.
 

billysprout

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40 gallon Brute on wheels plumbed into the system. 1/4 tubing in siphoned from the DT, 1 inch out an overflow into the sump. I manual dose. It all goes into the Brute so everything is slow.

When it's time for a WC I just swap out the brute for a fresh one.

Pump out the old water that's plumbed into the house.

BTW. It's a basement sump so that makes it easier.
this is absolutely genius. easy additional water volume and instant water changes O_O
 

TnFishwater98

Drink more fishwater there! And I still want more!
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Bump,
Let’s see some Pics of: Genius Duh that’s easier inspired setups.....
Looking to simplify
 

ReefRondo

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AWC via apex and DOS. Game changer for me. I think if this gear was cheaper more people would join the hobby. No buckets, no towels, no mess. Get up in the morning and water change done.
 

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