View Full Version : Water changing schedule/Refugium

12-07-2014, 09:21 PM
I am planning on getting a 200 gallon and eventually having it as a reef. I want to get everything I need at the very beginning and make sure that it is done correctly.

Here is my problem. I live in the country. I have RO/DI water available. I have a septic system. So I cannot just pour water change water down the sing, or in the yard. I am going to have to truck it out. I have no problem with this, but I want to try and do everything I can to keep water changes to a minimum, while making sure the tank inhabitants are getting proper care and thriving.

I have been visiting with some LFS around me (meaning about 100 miles away). Everything I am reading while researching says that a refugium in my sump will help with nitrates and reduce the need for super frequent water changes. A few of the LFS say that they would not bother with the refugium as it would make little difference.

Would anyone care to give some advise?



12-07-2014, 09:58 PM
LOL, they are both right and they are both wrong. Now that I have cleared that up........ (just kidding)

Yes a refugium (when done right) will take care of a lot of the nitrates and phosphates that will be produced in your set-up. This, combined with a good quality skimmer and a lot of live rock will certainly go a lot way to help your water quality

As for waterchanges, you can't really get away from doing at least 10 to 20% weekly waterchanges. In a well balanced and mature reef tank, your main goal of completing a watershange is not to reduce your nitrates or phosphates, but to replenish the elements in the water that has been consumed by your corals and coraline algae.

If you live in the country, have you thought about dumping the used water on your lane ? That can help to keep a graveled drive way clear of weeds and won't damage the environment.

I can provide some more links if you would like, if you would like some of the details behind my suggestions

12-07-2014, 11:55 PM

Yes, please, I would be grateful for any links for direction.

My main worry is not that I don't do water changes (I do 20% on my fresh tanks now almost weekly), but that I don't get them done in a timely manner. I do travel and can be gone for about 4 days, sometimes a week or a little more, but typically not more than that.

My worry is that I do not get the water changed quickly enough, and the tank water quality goes up and down in a cycle. This is the primary reason why I chose a 200 gallon, just the extra "buffer" of water. I have a 55 and 110 gallon tank that I want to convert into my sump.

If I don't think I can keep the water just under pristine when I am gone, I don't want to put the livestock through hell.


12-08-2014, 12:07 AM
I also just re-read through my original post and the typos are killing me. lol. Sorry. :scry:

12-08-2014, 12:12 AM
I have had to skip the odd weekly water change here and there when I was traveling as well. I would make up for it the following week. As long as that is not the usually pattern, you should be OK If you stock lightly you will have a little additional wiggle room as well







Let me know if there is some more info you are looking for

12-08-2014, 12:41 AM

I sure hope you had those links where you could copy and paste and did not spend a lot of time hunting them down. It is appreciated, though. I will start reading them tomorrow.

I have a lot of questions mainly due to the fact that I want to have all the hardware for the tank in use from day one, including dosing pumps, an over-sized skimmer, and a controller to name just a few. It is quite overwhelming when just starting out. My poor little fresh water tank seems so easy to care for now.

12-08-2014, 12:57 AM
All those links are from our SW blog here

If done right, a reef tank is no more work than a FW planted tank. You just have to do your research first