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55 gallon

This is a discussion on 55 gallon within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by willieturnip Depends what water you take out of the tank, how much flow you have in the tank and where the ...

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Old 12-21-2009, 10:11 AM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by willieturnip View Post
Depends what water you take out of the tank, how much flow you have in the tank and where the flow is directed if you ask me. Most of the dissolved proteins (70-80% if memory serves) in the tank build a film on the surface with slower flow up top, so if you manually "skim" the surface with water changes you can effectively remove a huge amount of waste when compared to regular water changes.

Take that with a pinch of salt though and I would almost always recommend a protein skimmer. I'm just saying that tanks can thrive skimmer-less.
I agree that tanks can survive skimmer-less, but I would use Activated Carbon in place of the skimmer. You are correct that a good portion of the organics find their way to the top of the suface of the water. This is why reef-ready tanks are more effective at protein skimming. They skim the water from the surface, and a good sump will have the skimmer right next to the inlet.

I still do not suggest water changes as a method of waste removal in a marine tank. Water changes, as I use them, are used primarily to replace ions and elements that keep your Calcium and Alkalinity in balance.
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:02 PM   #22
 
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I just want to clear up that Water Changes and Protein Skimmers do not do the same thing. In fact, I use the two for very different reasons altogether.

I use my Protein Skimmer to remove dissolved organic compounds from the water column. This cannot truly be acheived at the same level by water changes. The skimmer is working 24 hours a day and hopefully having all the water in the tank run through it. Even a large Water Change of 30% would only remove 30% of the pollutants (Which I don't reccommend; large water changes can shock the inhabitants of the tank, at the very least stress them out). The only thing that I would substitute for a Protein Skimmer on a small tank would be a bag of activated carbon (I use both on my 150).

I use Water Changes to replace trace minerals and keep my water at desirable Cal and Alk levels. I have found that changing 10% of the water a week (along with dosing) helps keep my Calcium between 400-450 ppm, and my Alkalinity between 8-12 dKH. I don't even consider the water changes as a way to remove pollutants, as my Nitrates are almost never detectable, and 'Trites and Ammonia are always zero (as a result of Live Rock and Live Sand Bed).
i defiantly agree with this post. on my tank i have now i do water changes about 20 percent a week. i have found out that just by doing this water change it helps keep everything in balance. even if you are running a protein skimmer you can use water changes to balance out ABOUT anything.
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:32 PM   #23
 
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I love these conversations. One thing I am finding is that Wake and I approach this hobby almost identical. There is not much difference at all in how we care for our tanks, except that Wake changes water more than I do. I tend to lean on supplements and testing.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:27 AM   #24
 
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I love these conversations. One thing I am finding is that Wake and I approach this hobby almost identical. There is not much difference at all in how we care for our tanks, except that Wake changes water more than I do. I tend to lean on supplements and testing.
Water changes alone don't keep my alkalinity and calcium in check. I have noticed since I started regular water changes again that my test results are more stable, and I dose once a week instead of two or three times. This could all be in my head, because after my 46 bow was established, I gave up on weekly water changes and did small monthly changes. I still feel this is a better way to keep trace elements in check without testing...

Last edited by wake49; 12-22-2009 at 06:34 AM..
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:29 AM   #25
 
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Water changes alone don't keep my alkalinity and calcium in check. I have noticed since I started regular water changes again that my test results are more stable, and I dose once a week instead of two or three times. This could all be in my head, because after my 46 bow was established, I gave up on weekly water changes and did small monthly changes. I still feel this is a better way to keep trace elements in check without testing...
great post.
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