Will switching to fish only reduce my maintenance?

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laguest

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I have a 75 gallon reef that has been doing very well for 3 years with a mix of LPS and softies.

This past year it has been tough to keep up on the 10% water changes so I went to every 2 weeks or sometimes as much as 4 with a 20% change. The quality of the tank has dropped off with more algae and corals not as happy. I am finding working on the tank to be more of an obligation and not something I enjoy right now. At the same time I hate not giving it my full attention. I was wondering if I reduce or completely removed all the corals and went to fish only could I run larger amounts of GFO and carbon to keep the water clean (algae down) and then do a 20% water change every 60 days or so to reduce my overhead. I think I may just have too many hobbies (drummer, house, VW bug, wife, family, etc) and I just can’t keep up.


Thanks
 
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Jedi1199

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Short answer is, Yes.

Fish tend to be MUCH more resilient to changes in water chemistry. One the the biggest challenges in reefing is maintaining consistency (hence all of the people dosing this and that to their tanks)

My 180 is a FOWLR system and I have never done a water change on it. I simply clean out the filter pads every week or so. I DO run a sump on that tank as well as an oversized skimmer. It is under lighted so I have not yet had any major algae issues.
 

BanjoBandito

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Oh yeah. Salinity fluctuations and most of the stuff us reefers care about (calcium, magnesium, trace elements, etc.) don't really matter to FOWLR systems - that is not to say you can "set it and forget it", but I kept FOWLR tanks in college specifically because I didn't have time/money/effort to invest in reefing at that time. The idea of buying a 300 dollar light seemed insane when I could put that investment into babes/beers. :cool:

But now you have to deal with fish diseases. Which can sometimes be as mysterious as coral problems!!! :(
 

Lost in the Sauce

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Honestly, if you can't commit biweekly to a water change that should tank no more than 20 minutes, you may not have enough time for a fowlr tank either.

There is a certain amount of commitment with every aspect. How you dedicated your free time can only be set by you.

Good luck whatever you choose.
 

Montiman

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The only thing I might add is the amount of maintenance depends greatly on the fish choice. I often find predator tanks more work than reef tanks simply because the fish are so messy and there is no substitute for vacuuming the gravel. Like wise sea horses or other delicate feeders can also be demanding.
 
Zoanthids

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Oh yeah. Salinity fluctuations and most of the stuff us reefers care about (calcium, magnesium, trace elements, etc.) don't really matter to FOWLR systems - that is not to say you can "set it and forget it", but I kept FOWLR tanks in college specifically because I didn't have time/money/effort to invest in reefing at that time. The idea of buying a 300 dollar light seemed insane when I could put that investment into babes/beers. :cool:

But now you have to deal with fish diseases. Which can sometimes be as mysterious as coral problems!!! :(
Lol, yep....I decided to add some Nems that ended up dying eventually, in order to impress the babes back in college, along with fish that should have been in a tank twice the size...Stupid kid lol...agree on the diseases, its always a factor, but I suppose if you've got em anyway....
 

Jedi1199

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Some good points made in the above comments.

I should clarify that while I don't do water changes on my 180... I DO have to dedicate a certain amount of time every week towards maintenance. The ATO reservoir does not fill itself, the glass doesn't clean itself.. The skimmer needs to be dumped and cleaned... I stir up the substrate every couple weeks. My triggerfish does a good job of stirring up the sand I smooth it out every once in a while to keep him busy... lol so As said, there is no "set it and forget it" option...

Now, an option that MAY work for you, if you can afford it, how about a professional aquarium keeping service? Like everything else in life, there is usually someone who will do the work you don't want, or have time to do.. IF you pay them for it... lol
 
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