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Recycling used saltwater

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    Posted: February 14 2014 at 4:00pm
Ok might be wasting my time with this topic but here goes.

The water that is removed with a water change would it be possible to reclaim this water and use for a later water change. This is what I'm thinking a tank with out lights or heater. Divided into two parts with circulation pumps. One half for taking out the bad  the other for putting the good back.
 Now to the questions:
  •  What is in the water that is removed?  I know that there would be phosphates, dissolved organics, ammonia,  nitrates and of course the Ca Alk Mg would be off... anything I'm missing?
  • Does the salt mixes we use go bad or breakdown over time?
 Thoughts?

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2014 at 4:12pm
Some people don't do water changes. I do them weekly and at 10%. So some opinions are that you can reuse the water. But if you're going to reuse the water why take it out of the tank in the first place?

Some of the reading I've done suggests that you do a water change to replace the micro-nutrients (I'm not sure at nutrients is the correct term here) or those trace elements that the coral and fish use. So, if that is correct, pulling the salt water out and processing it to get out the phosphates, etc doesn't put back in the trace elements you need. Ok, my $0.02 so let the party begin.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2014 at 4:54pm
I'm with Fat on this one.  My tank looks better when I give it a fresh batch of salt water (water change).  So those trace elements are vital.  I tried for a while just dosing Ca, Alk, Mg but found a much better looking tank with water changes and dosing.
40 gal w/ 20 sump
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote laroc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2014 at 6:24pm
Thanks guys. If collect enough $0.02 I will be a millionaire!
 
Yes I do the 10% weekly on my non sumped and 10% monthly on my sumped tanks. However it seems to throw the chemistry out of whack. I keep a log of my numbers.The numbers get goofy after a W/C.  Ca goes up ( think this is the salt though. Need test the new water). Mg gets high . In fact I cant remember the last time I dosed Mg. Alk is a constant.

What do you guys think about adding in trace elements. Instead of doing water changes? One of concerns would be there is no way to test for them ( at least that I know of).

I do add some trace element now about every two weeks and seems that they are super happy the next day.
Sounds like its time for an experiment Wink

 I do remember reading that Mark did  try to see how long he could go before doing a water change. Don't really remember the information ( haha just like high school).
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dion Richins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2014 at 7:47pm
There are a ton of trace elements you cant test for or supplement. Look at your salt mix and you will see what I'm saying. I do about a 30% wc every 2 weeks on my home tank and 50% once a month on my office tank.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ahanix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2014 at 8:07pm
This might not help for what you are looking for, but why not have a go with a pico tank? A lot of the pico reefers use their main tank to do a huge (50-100%) water change on the pico to keep it stable. That way you are recycling your water in some form.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Softplan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2014 at 8:51pm
I do a 10% every month to 6 weeks.  I also add in Kent Marine Essential Elements weekly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote laroc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2014 at 9:26pm
The famous Dion .They make test kits for everything. Crap.  Bought a skimmer off a guy Pleasant Grove. There was a magnificent stand in the garage. Short story you do amazing work!

Haha Ahanix all about the picos. Have a 3g and 10g sumped together and 8g peppermint tank.

Softplan how big is tank(s)?

Thanks again all.

Anyone running algae scrubber?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LaRue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2014 at 9:58pm
I run a turf scrubber aka algae scrubber

Edited by LaRue - February 15 2014 at 5:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wickedsnowman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2014 at 11:09pm
I have went a really long time several months without a water change and didn't see a problem. I try to do 10% every few weeks though because I am a believer that there are trace elements that you cant test for. However there is a lot of companies starting to make trace elements that you can dose. So in theory I guess if u had good enough filtration through skimming and macro etc. and dosed everything you need. I am sure you could get a tank to stay looking great. I think water changes are so easy though so if it is not broken no need to fix it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2014 at 8:05pm
Aloha,
I agree with much that has been said already. Sorry, I didn't intend to write a "dissertation", but I just got going and couldn't stop.Embarrassed
Originally posted by laroc laroc wrote:


  •  What is in the water that is removed?  I know that there would be phosphates, dissolved organics, ammonia,  nitrates and of course the Ca Alk Mg would be off... anything I'm missing?
  • Does the salt mixes we use go bad or breakdown over time?
Yours is a very common question. Over the years, many products and equipment have come into the hobby with the intention of doing just as you suggest. Most of them however are gone and forgotten. They didn't work.

Twenty years ago I(we) changed water because we needed to reduce the build up of pollution. The pollution was mostly the things you mentioned; the three Nitrogen compounds(Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate), Phosphates and other dissolved organic compounds.

Things are different today with what I see as three major advancements in knowledge and technology. 1) We learned how to set up a tank with a biological filtration process which completely decomposes the N pollution. 2) We also learned how algae growth absorbs N and PO4, as well as other dissolved organics. 3) After many designs that worked only marginally well, the development of the venturi driven skimmer changed everything.

Over the years, salt mixes improved to be better for coral growth. Gosh, in the day when I entered the hobby, keeping soft coral alive for a year was a real accomplishment. Stony coral was hardly even considered.

Everything has changed
Today we typically don't do regular water changes to reduce pollution. Instead, we do water changes to replace natural saltwater components that have been eaten/utilized by coral, clams, snails, algae, shrimp, bugs and worms. The salt in salt water does not change and essential elements found in salt water do not break down, but many of them just get depleted.

With the advancements of these last 20 years we have even discovered that water changes can be unnecessary during two critical situations.  1) After an unexpected tank mishap, well illuminated algae quickly reduces N pollution and Activated Carbon removes toxins, effectively eliminating the need for emergency water changes . 2) During tank set up the use of well illuminated algae practically eliminates the N cycle, so water changes are not needed for up to 3 months.

My final comment has to do with the components of salt water and what one very enterprising person did to make his own saltwater. It is the article in the current (Q1 2014) Reef Hobbyist Magazine titled A Flourishing Dutch Synthetic Reef
The magazine is free at many LFS. This is the cover.



Of course this post is just one man's opinion. Contrasting opinions are always welcomed.
Aloha,
Mark Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - February 15 2014 at 8:19pm
Reefkeeping Tips, & quick, easy setup tricks:
www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9244
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2014 at 8:27pm
Oh, I also use a major amount of algae to clean the water, IMO, even better than the typical algae scrubber. I have about 10 types of red and green Macroalgae you might want to see and even to take home. BTW, I'm also in Murray.

Aloha,
Mark Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Softplan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2014 at 9:59pm
My display is 90 gallons and my sump is 75. I run activated carbon abit every 2 months. In my sump I only have chaeto, but would lie to add different types soon. I also have a protein skimmer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dion Richins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 16 2014 at 4:09pm
Just a side note. While there are a lot of additives to replace trace chemicals, You cant test for them. I would really rather do water changes and know 'Im good than completely pray and dose.
I do dose with kent's trace chemicals. But as I said I change 70g every 2 to 3 weeks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote laroc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2014 at 3:31pm
Thanks again all.
Mark yes I would like to stop by. You also pm me last week and said you would like to come and see my tanks( they multiply like rabbits). Maybe we could set something up this weekend. I will give you a text .
W/C scheduled for this weekend. If it is not broke don't fix it right guys. Might have to redesign the sump since picked up a awesome skimmer  a couple weeks ago. It looks a blown big block. Tim Allen would be proud.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote christhjesus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 18 2016 at 9:16pm

Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:



My final comment has to do with the components of salt water and what one very enterprising person did to make his own saltwater. It is the article in the current (Q1 2014) Reef Hobbyist Magazine titled A Flourishing Dutch Synthetic Reef
The magazine is free at many LFS. This is the cover.



Of course this post is just one man's opinion. Contrasting opinions are always welcomed.
Aloha,
Mark Hug


Thanks for the link to these, I have a bunch of reading to do now.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pgravis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2016 at 12:38pm
while I don't follow the method myself (actually the exact opposite in that I run continual water changes of 2 gallons a day), you should take a look at the Triton method of reefing.   It advocates doing no water changes at all.   It uses macro to pull out the pollution and has high accuracy tests to tell you what to replace.   There are some great tanks following this method.   
See my house: www.eclecticvictorian.com
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