03-04-2007, 09:34 AM
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Andre I'll say it like my LFS says it, "it's not a matter of if but when". I've heard stories of tanks runnign along fine for years and then suddenly "poof" they turn so sour you can't save them. Instantaneously over night so much ammonia will be released it wipes out the entire tank.
Here's a weird bit for those that don't but start, don't jump in head first to water changes. Build it up very slowly. Start by just doing small changes until you work up over a few months to larger changes. Do not disturb the substrate or rock work at first. You have so much contaminant that is built up, going in and disturbing it all will overload the system. You will need to bring it down slowly so you can remove the excess from the water, then a little from the rocks, then a little from the substrate. That'd be like trying to move a mountain by digging out the bottom first. Start at the peak and slowly chip away at it.
If you chose not to do water changes please have a giant skimmer and serious loads of flow. I mean at least a 30 times tank volume flow. A 100g tank ought to have a giant skimmer and at least 3,200GPH flow in the tank itslef. This will help prevent nutrient or detritus from settling into the substrate or rockwork and allow it to be suspended until the filter can remove it.
The choice is solely up to the hobbyist. I leave that to you to decide. I recommend it because simple water changes can prevent so many downfalls of the hobbby. They eliminate so much excess hardware from our sumps and filtration that the cost of hte salt mix is much less then the extras. A good schedule will eliminate any need for UV sterilizers, dosing, denitrator coils, Phos reactors, etc... while really putting the shine on the inhabitants of the tank itself.
Note to SPS growers. If you haven't heard yet it is possible to kill SPS corals with to much phosphate. Algae actually grows in the skeltal portion of the coral and irritates the flesh until the flesh suddenly disappears in a matter of hours. Once this starts, nothing can stop it. If you've ever had a frag or colony suddenly die off and leave a bright green or pink skeleton behind, now you know why.