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Today on BRStv we are going to discuss a few ways to make water changes easier.
Hi I'm Ryan, host of BRStv, where each week we cover a new topic related to reefing. This
week we are going to show you a few ways to make water changes easier. But before all
that I think we need to hit on what makes them a pain in the first place.
First we have to wait for our RO system to produce enough water and heat up which can
easily take a day.
Second measuring the correct amount of salt is a pain. Many people end up adding some
salt, measuring, adding some more, measuring, coming back in 30 minutes, measuring again
and so on. This can be a giant time suck.
Third, actually removing the water and replacing it is a lot of work. It is important that
we replace the exact same amount of water, if we don't evaporation and top off water
will mess with the salinity of the tank.
There are a few ways we can solve most of these issues starting with producing and heating
the water. First if you have the space get two of the same size containers for making
saltwater and throw a three way valve on it. This way you always have the saltwater you
produced from your last batch on hand as well as a container of freshwater heated and ready
for salt. When one is empty simply turn the *** so it fills the other.
You can also save some energy by putting a timer on the container with the freshwater.
If you know there is basically no chance you will ever do a water change on anything other
than a Sunday, you can set the timer to heat and aerate the water on Saturday night and
turn off Sunday night which will cut the power consumption to about 15% of running it all
the time. I would however keep the one containing saltwater heated with some flow to prevent
The next thing you can do is select saltwater containers which are a similar size as the
water changes you want to do. This way you mark a line on the tank which is 35 gallons
coupled with container which holds 35 gallons which makes matching the volumes in and out
of the tank fairly easy to do.
This will also allow you to completely empty the fresh saltwater container. This can help
eliminate the whole process of adding small amounts of salt over and over trying to get
the right salinity. It's pretty easy if you are working with the same volume of freshwater
each time because it should use the same amount of salt each time as well eliminating that
testing and wasted time. Now this won't always be absolutely perfect every time but it will
get you very close.
As to removing the saltwater from the tank, everyone hates hauling buckets around and
cleaning up the mess you leave behind as they slosh all over the place. These water change
hoses that start the siphon by turning on the faucet are super convenient and all the
tank water goes directly down the drain.
If where you store your new saltwater is close enough it is absolutely worth while to get
a strong submersible pump and some tubing so you can just pump the water to your tank
rather than hall the buckets all over the place. Look for something big so it is quick
and easy. Since this pump will only be on for a few minutes a couple times a month try
finding something used. Local reef clubs typically have a sale forum filled with stuff like this.
Otherwise one of the larger Sicce pumps handle head pressure really well.
While setting some of this stuff up requires time and isn't free, other than equipment
failure, it has been my experience that poor water change schedules are one of the biggest
direct causes of tank teardowns largely because your beautiful tanks starts loosing random
corals, others are browning out and somewhere between 12-24 months algae completely takes
over the tank and becomes an eyesore in your home. If doing any of the things mentioned
today will help you maintain a better water change schedule it is absolutely worth the
time and cost.
One last note people are always asking where we get these nice large containers from. We
don't sell them because it would be too expensive to ship but you can typically find them cheapest
at a local farm supply store or searching for a large plumbing supply near you which
should have them. We use the Norwesco brand so you could call them and ask for a distributor
in your area as well.
If you have any tips on how you do your water changes it's time to share them down in the
comments area below, your fellow reefers will appreciate it. If this is your first time
with us we do this every week so subscribe and join in on the fun.
Thank you for watching BRStv.