What exactly is "dirty water?"

Discussion in 'Coral' started by DEATH BY SNU SNU, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. I'm researching how to make my softies thrive and the term that keeps popping up is "They like dirty water." What is dirty water? Does that mean turn off my skimmer? Feed more heavily? Any input is appreciated thanks.
  2. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    I take it to mean allowing your nitrate and phosphate to drift up higher than you otherwise would by feeding more with less nutrient export. Any changes should be slow though.

    I personally would not turn off my skimmer because it aerates the water, helps keep pH up, and because the skimmate is so gross I can’t stand the idea of it remaining in my tank :)

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  3. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    "dirty water" I believe is taken the wrong way, it typically means there's lots of "stuff" in the water column for animals to feed off of, it does not mean super high nitrates/phosphates that just often is a side effect of having "dirty water" unless you skim heavily amongst other things. Now all corals like "dirty water" in the sense that they love to feed, I mean that's what coral polyps are, just big nasty tentacle mouths, but softies can tolerate the elevated nitrates/phosphates more than stony corals which is why they are said to "like it".
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  4. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    My zoas have been growing well in an ULNS, but I understood the idea of "dirty water" that euphyllias and softies would grow more quickly or "thrive" in water with higher levels of nutrients compared to ultra low levels. So not only would they tolerate it better, but they would actually grow better. But I have not seen any evidence to this, pseudo-scientific nor anecdotal.

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  5. Thanks for everyone's input!! Much appreciated and valued!

    So I'm going to take this input to mean that I should keep my skimmer on?
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Keep skimmer, keep doing water changes. Nothing special needed.
    Just feed your fish a bit more often.

    I added a flake feeder. Feeds a little bit 4 times a day.
    Fish are happy, corals are happy.
    Just use a high quality flake, that is low in phosphates and ash.

    Keep phosphates down!
    You will get Cyano if you are not careful.

    Watch your Alk.
    The Alk/Ca usage will trend toward Alk, so you will have to adjust dosers.
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  7. Kremis

    Kremis Supporting Member

    I turned off my skimmer a month ago for fluconazole for a week, and realized that all my corals were doing better than they ever have been so I kept it off. 1 month later everything still going great. If things start to go south I can always just turn skimmer back on. I do %40 WC every week, and siphon the sand (garden eel tank) and change out sponge filters in the filtration area. That tank is mostly soft coral dominated, with some LPS like a chalice, but mostly things like toadstools, gorgonians, GSP, cloves, nepthea etc. and a red monti cap and purple stylo.
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  8. I think the 40% water change is what is saving you..... I don't do near enough water changes as I'm supposed to.. maybe 10% every two weeks
  9. Kremis

    Kremis Supporting Member

    yeah i also dont dose that tank so the WC is what is keeping alk and calc in check

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