Preparing for huge water change.

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by Vincerama2, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Well, huge for me. I've decided that I need to reset the tank with some large water changes. It's a 180 with 29 sump, but there's rock and sand so who knows what the real water volume is. But I figure 40 gallons is between 20-25 percent.

    So I bought myself a 44 gallon Brute trashcan (which costs, oddly $44, and the 22 gallon brute costs $22...)
    and have started to fill it with RO water, one 5 gallon jug at a time. I also bought 30 feet of tubing and put it in the garage so I can just pump the new water into the tank. If they had a 50g at Home Depot I'd have bought it, but whatever.

    I'm guessing I can fill to maybe 40 gallons. Then I have to figure a way of extracting around 40 gallons from the tank (I was not going to buy another brute). If I extract too little, that's fine, but if I take out too much the tank will not be full and the sump/return won't work.

    I had thought that maybe I should empty 40 gallons INTO the brute, then mark the level on both the tank (with reuturn off) and the brute so I can do a proper water change, then pump the water back into the tank. But decide d it's a PITA, so I'm going to have to resort to math to figure out how many inches I need to drop the tank level to get it. OR I will empty the tank 5 gallons at a time in a known 5 gallon marked bucket. When I'm done 8 buckets, I'll mark the tank for the next time and do it that way. Then the next time I'll siphon directly into the kitchen sink instead of into buckets.

    For people with large tanks ... what a PITA a water change is!

    I only wished my "Python" water change hose would work with my kitchen faucet, but it doesn't connect.

    5 gallon water changes are not cutting it.
  2. Your tank is bigger than mine, but I don;t find the water changes particularly difficult. My tanks a 120 and I change 25 gallons a week. The water change part of it takes me about 20 minutes max. I simply turn off skimmer, all but one pump and both heaters. I drain 25 gallons out -- one at a time into 5 gallon jugs. This allows me to take my time and vacuum sand and rocks. Then I dump 25 gallons in.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  3. dswong01

    dswong01 Supporting Member

    I would get a 20 gallon tank or something similar in gallons container and drain into that to accurately take out right amount used water
  4. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    As a large tank owner, can I make your life easier?

    Invest in a second 44 gallon brute. Invest in the roll cart for both. Fill and mix one container. Add a float valve to auto shut off when it is full. When you drain the tank, put the empty brute next to the newly made water, and drain until they are the exact same level. Then pump back in the new stuff. The brutes will stack when you are done, even with the rollers. I have 4 of these for my water changes. Couldn't be easier. You will forget the extra cost once you realize the ease.
  5. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    That was my original plan. Auto shutoff would be irrelevant, the mixing container is in the garage so I have to bring it RO water by the bucket anyway. Emptying container, I guess I could do for simplicity. I'm trying to be cheap but also, it means an extra step of emptying into that container then up into the sink to drain. I was planning to drain from tank to sink directly (kitchen is right next to dinning room where tank is).

    I'll keep that in mind, but I was thinking that once I figure out the main tank level to drain too, I don't actually need the second brute. I could be a bastard and return it (clean) to Home Depot I suppose.

    Prince Shah likes this.
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well part of your problem of why it's such a pain in the butt is because you're hauling buckets of water to your mixing vessel. If your RO unit was next to your mixing vessel you would pump directly to that, and then use the float switch/valve as a safety check. Nothing says an RO unit needs to be under a sink, you can tap into any part of the water supply (not hot pipes).

    That said, if you really want to be cheap, do the math. Find out how far from the top water level 40 gallons is, measure it off (6'x2'x2' tank?) it's about 5 1/3 inches (a little bit more if you count inside dimensions) but unless you stacked rock to the top, chances are you are good to go with that, slap a piece of tape there to know when to stop siphoning. Now if you have an underestimate then measure how much water is left in your mixing vessel, if you overestimated how much water to drain, then have an extra 5g of RO water on standby to mix a quick bit of fresh saltwater to make up the difference. Then change your height calculation based on if you had an under/over estimate, and write it down somewhere for next time.
    coral4me likes this.
  7. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Yep, I was avoiding the math. If I were back in Canada, then the metric system makes it much easier to do V= LxWxD and solve for D. But here, I have to multiply how many furlongs wide my tank is and multiply by the lenghts of the King of England's nose, divided by penny-farthings. :p

    And yes, I have rocks stacked to the top and two half-ovalish overflows to deal with. I didn't want to bring calculus into it, what with the King's nose measurements and all. But yeah, it's a good guestimate, and I'll guess low.

    many ways to do it.

    Yeah, my RO could be optimized, but I'm space limited. I could, in fact just run the RO line to the garage and may do that.

    I'm trying not to draw too much attention to what I'm doing. :p

  8. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Lol, why does it matter where you are!?! You can't do math in metric because you are in the US!?!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Invest in some water towers if you have the room. I have two 110 gallon towers. 1 fresh RO/ 1 saltwater). It takes me 20 minutes to do a 100 gallon water change.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  10. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I think we need to be able to like stuff more than once.
    gimmito likes this.
  11. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Salt water tanks aren't cheap, I get where you're coming from but look at whatever you need to do as not only a way to make it easy to maintain a nice tank, but also a piece of equipment that you need like a pump etc...
    Why? Because you need it! You have proven this over time w your old maintenance routine, get on it and make it happen. Do it right!
    Running an RO line to the garage sounds like the way to go for you.
    Newjack and Vhuang168 like this.
  12. iani

    iani Guest

    Aren't you glad I kind of forced it upon you? haha
    gimmito likes this.
  13. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    1" to drain
    3/4" on large sicce to fill
  14. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    a joke!
  15. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    What's this about water towers?

  16. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I know it was. Sarcasm doesn't translate

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I've got my eye on a couple norwesco reservoirs. One fw one sw and a DOS for auto water changes.
  18. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Saw one online retailer selling the rotomold version and the awesome thing is the 100g verison didnt require freight shipping, unfortunately I dont remember the site. freight shipping is what usually turns the price from reasonable to "I can find another (cheaper) option".

    But the reality is for a large tank they do make for a really useful, almost necessary, addon for your tank. Just like you dont need an ro unit as you can get water from the store it is a whole lot more convenient. I love my 100g one i got with others to maximize items for freight and really wish I kept 2, as I have a brute for freshwater and the 100g container for saltwater, found that to be easier than the other way, but having 100g of fresh and 100g of salt would be the best of both worlds
  19. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I'm wondering if I could sell a 100g reservoir as "earthquake prep"...

  20. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

Share This Page