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Water change necessity?

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  • Water change necessity?

    So my ranks been up since March and it's finally looking like all my parameters are settling out (alk & CA) running around 9.3 and 450 respectively with about 1350 mag. On my old tank I always water changed religiously to keep my parameters in check. But on this tank I've never seen nitrates above 2.5 ppm and phosphates are undetectable with normal test kits. I've actually been in a situation where I find I'm overfeeding on purpose just to get some readings on nitrates. Is there a point in doing regular water changes if there's no chemical reason to do so?

  • #2
    I think water changes are necessary, especially on small systems. Not only do water changes help with diluting elevated nutrient levels, they also replace trace elements. Do you have mechanical filtration on your system? A small bio load? You might not see issues now but water changes will prevent problems over time.

    So bottom line, are they necessary? Maybe not monthly but eventually, yes. It's a closed system.
    Last edited by Hollback; 10-02-2017, 05:36 PM.


    • #3
      I agree with Hollback, water changes are necessary for long term success. A nice shotgun approach to cure what ails ya!


      • #4
        I've been changing every few weeks regardless but in reality the only reason I do is because of the trace element issue.


        • #5
          When I first started a tank, I did 10g every week for a 55. As I added tanks, I kept up that pace for probably 10 years. It's been about 30 years now and I've slowed to about 30% every 6 weeks or so unless I'm in a battle with something (cyanobacteria and bubble algae are the bane of my existence) If the corals seem to look a bit off, I'll do one sooner but otherwise I try to let the system tell me when.

          I think newer reefers should keep up with regular weekly or bi-weekly water changes just so they can stay on top of things as they are learning the ropes.

          I can't help that I get older, but you can't make me grow up!


          • #6
            I think it is clearly not 'necessary' as many have already proven going years without water changes, however most of them do so many other things to compensate for that. IE sending water to triton dosing .05ml of 20 different things. So it is up to you, how you deliver what the tank needs, but it is probably less thinking involved and less margin for error when you just do water changes than tinkering with trace elements yourself., but people definitely do it successfully.