Monday, December 1, 2008

Better Get a Bucket

I perform a water change about every two weeks. I replace about 15 gallons per change, or about 20%. Nitrates are looking great at 0.5 ppm but the trace elements need to be replenished. I always use RO/DI water and have been using Reef Crystals since July. I used the last of my Reef Crystals on this last water change and will now be going back to Coralife salt until I finish off that salt. The Coralife for some reason comes in 3 separate plastic bags within the 5 gallon bucket. I'm wondering if they are afraid of the contents settling. The partially used open bag has turned into a big piece of rock salt. I'll have to let it dissolve next time a prepare water.

So, last time I performed a water change I noticed that the new water was noticeably clearer than the old water I drained out of the tank. Don't get me wrong, the water in the tank looks really clear. However, the new water when compared against the old looks clearer and bluer. Judge for yourself.

This picture was taken with the flash. The old water is on the right.

From Paul's Reef

This picture was taken without it. Just for fairness and confusion I took this picture from the opposite side of the buckets. Here the old water is obviously on the left.

From Paul's Reef

Based on the color and clarity difference alone it would seem to me that regular water changes are very important. The difference is probably not merely "wafer thin."

In other news, I added activated carbon this evening. I filled an old sock with it and rinsed it in RO/DI water. I added the sock to my overflow box so I can get the most water flowing through it. I must not have rinsed it well enough because my tank looks noticeably darker now. I never really stopped to think about how much slightly dirty water reduces the amount of light reaching your corals.