What does the term "Good Water Quality" mean to you?

BRS

What does the term "Good Water Quality" mean to you?

  • Your aquarium water is in acceptable ranges measured by consumer level water tests

    Votes: 183 46.6%
  • Your aquarium water is in acceptable ranges measured by ICP type testing

    Votes: 59 15.0%
  • Your aquarium water is good based on how your corals are growing and look

    Votes: 229 58.3%
  • Your aquarium water is good based on how little nuisance algae is growing

    Votes: 68 17.3%
  • Your aquarium water is good based on how it looks to you

    Votes: 59 15.0%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 7 1.8%

  • Total voters
    393

eatyourpeas

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My tank is a temperate environment, I do WC once every two weeks, water is crystal clear and critters look happy. I do not have corals, and do not test often. I do get my water from the ocean, so I assume it is all good.
 

zoa what

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On vacation I visited a LFS in Pensacola FL and spoke at length with a highly educated Marine Biologist who cared from a warehouse of corals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars

Biggest thing I learner from her?:

Everything I should be doing in my reef tank should match as close as possible to what happens in nature!

Know your corals and what deoth they thrive at and emulate you close as you can:

* the Sun thru your lighting (bluer lights = deeper depths)

* lighting cycle of 6hr ramp up and 6hr ramp down

* water flow (deeper depths=low. Shallower depths = higher flow)

* water quality = match NSW
CALC (420),
ALK (8) ,
MAG (1200-1300).
NO3 (moderate at 5).
PO4 (nearly non existence at .05-.1)


.
 
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Bronx19

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Has anyone else completely stopped testing for anything but Kh? I used to have terrible trouble keeping parameters in the goldilocks zone running all the gear. Switched it off and its rock solid, water change every 4 weeks and test Kh every few days.
 

PhreeByrd

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Honestly, when people are new (or relatively so) to this hobby, many (maybe even most) tend to obsess over water parameters, test results, algae, and almost anything that even hints at a potential issue. I know I did. And while this is preferred over taking a devil-may-care attitude and being neglectful, it can make for a very stressful experience. And of course, newer tanks are much more susceptible to reactions from adverse conditions than are more mature tanks.
But your corals and fish don't care if your water's calcium level is 450 ppm or 380 ppm. They don't care if you have benign asterinas or bristle worms. They don't care if your salinity is 35 ppt or 33 ppt, or 34.724 ppt.
Regardless of what water test results tell you, your tank inhabitants will tell you if something is wrong. Obsessing over test numbers probably will not.
 

PhreeByrd

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Has anyone else completely stopped testing for anything but Kh? I used to have terrible trouble keeping parameters in the goldilocks zone running all the gear. Switched it off and its rock solid, water change every 4 weeks and test Kh every few days.
I rarely even test for alkalinity any more. I do monitor pH though, and I usually can tell by that number, the time of day, and the season of the year whether the alkalinity might be out-of-range.
 

Freenow54

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Recently, I have been more worried about the overall appearance of my tank. I've been dealing with a lot of algae. I have a devils hand leather, in particular, that has just looked awful - no polyp extensions, leaning/not standing up straight, shrunk appearance..etc.
I was trying to do weekly water changes to maintain the appearance but the algae would just take over again after 3days or so, even though parameters were good. I'm sure that the algae is an issue and a huge concern for some, BUT... I decided to just sit back and not panic so much about the algae. It's been two weeks since my last water change. Just regular feeding and topping off and, to my surprise, my zoas and leather look so happy and healthy and fish do too. Polyps are extended, no zoas are closed up, the size of the leather seems to not be so shriveled up anymore.
So I'm just going to ride it out for another two weeks or so before the next water change. I guess my tank prefers "dirty" water??
I had the same problem. Other corals were ok. As soon as I started using RO water not only are the leathers looking great , but they are actually splitting themselves. I don't mess with success. However I also found they react negatively for 2 days after a water change, maybe because they are not fighting for nourishment? I don't know
 

Freenow54

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I cant really answer that question. I am happy when I see clarity, and corals reacting which are key to me. Fish seem to tolerate bad conditions more especially clowns.I did on occasion notice what I can only describe as a funky smell when I wasn't doing water changes as frequently as I do now since I am retired, and have the time to spend
 

Freenow54

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Weekly water changes of 30%? I haven’t changed that much in 6 months.
Because I am retired and have the time to prove all of the advice given. I had a huge algae problem a long time ago, which try's to crop up all the time. I just stay ahead of it. However back then before I joined this group everyone said water change water change water change. This approach did not make a difference. However not using DI RO at the time. I would love to know how to prevent it, haven't figured that out yet. I have a new tank that I am in the process of building. At this point the lights are off, except in the sump for my green lantern algae ( kato ). No algae in the main tank, so at the moment I believe lighting is the main cause of growth. I have blocked all spillage of light into other parts of the sump. No algae grows anywhere but where the cheto is
 

sghera64

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If quality is defined by the consumer/customer, then I'd say all the tank inhabitants (good ones anyway) have the most say followed by the reef keeper. That said, quality is then best gauged by how well our inverts, fish, biofauna - - including all beneficial bacteria, algae and plants are doing. If algae growing on the surfaces (including front viewing pane) are pleasing my Kole Tang, then I would say he gives the water quality two-fins up! I guess my vote for "bad water quality" because I want to see my fish through his dinner plate makes less sense.

I see the vote results are in line with the above.

On the matter of "numbers" and measurable and quantifiable parameters. Those are good surrogates for water quality SO LONG AS we have properly correlated their acceptable ranges - - and combinations - - to good water quality. We also have to admit what we can measure is not all that matters and those other factors may effect our current understanding of "acceptable ranges". One example we've learned is high light intensity, spectrum and water movement can impact what is acceptable on alkalinity.

What we can measure today is likely still small to what really happens in our captive reefs and the ocean which they "somewhat" model. The oceans experience swings we cannot emulate. The oceans have a biodiversity we will never emulate. Who know what role temperature, CO2 and various enzyme and bacterial diversity have on our reef? Our tank inhabitants do. The only problem is when they are not looking good, we don't necessarily know why so it is natural to reach for analytical tools and numbers for some meaningful clues. But they are just clues - - not conclusions.
 

zalick

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Fish, Corals and other invertebrates are thriving.

No. There are a lot of organics that we can't measure chemically or ICP testing. In other words (IMO), just because an ICP or chemical test is in 'good range', does not necessarily prove 'good quality water'. That said, if, lets say a nitrate level is 200, that would bad quality water. Another example, lets say one coral is releasing toxins into the water - causing damage to neighbors. That is also not necessarily 'good quality' water
This is what I’ve always suspected too. So often we hear “what are your parameters” and “maintain good water quality” with the implication that if parameters are in range it’s good. But we definitely see tanks with issues despite stable measurable “parameters”.

I’m really curious, outside of stable parameters, what exactly is poor water quality. Specifically what are these organic etc. And what is the best method to control them? Skimming? Water changes w or w/o vacuuming?

my water is crystal clear from a color perspective but sometimes it has particulates floating around and other times not. Sometimes my corals look upset despite parameters within normal ranges. I’ve wondered what more I could due to improve “water quality”.
 

MnFish1

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This is what I’ve always suspected too. So often we hear “what are your parameters” and “maintain good water quality” with the implication that if parameters are in range it’s good. But we definitely see tanks with issues despite stable measurable “parameters”.

I’m really curious, outside of stable parameters, what exactly is poor water quality. Specifically what are these organic etc. And what is the best method to control them? Skimming? Water changes w or w/o vacuuming?

my water is crystal clear from a color perspective but sometimes it has particulates floating around and other times not. Sometimes my corals look upset despite parameters within normal ranges. I’ve wondered what more I could due to improve “water quality”.
Carbon, Skimmer, I personally do water changes, and use an oxydator. Poor water to me is a tank where the inhabitants aren't thriving
 
BRS

Do you care whether or not you have wave action in your reef tank?

  • YES

    Votes: 154 43.8%
  • SOMEWHAT

    Votes: 90 25.6%
  • NO

    Votes: 104 29.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 4 1.1%
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