Page last updated 3/27/2017.
Starting in March 2015, I have gone to a near Zero Water Change Philosophy. Near Zero Water changes doesn't mean no maintenance. Still siphon and remove as much detritus as possible.
Main focus is exports to control nitrates/phosphates and replenish all major and Minor Elements through Supplements:
Observe: Observe corals and livestock for any potential problems.
Detritus: Not always daily but as often as possible, I use a turkey baster to blow of any detritus and other debris from the rock structures and zoanthid colonies.
Clean Glass: Usually Clean the front glass with the magnet when necessary. This is not normally a daily task but at least a quick swipe a couple times a week.
Daily Additives: Daily Addition of Supplements consists of 10 drops of Iron Suppliment ( Randy's DIY Recipe of 1 Feregon Pill dissolved in 50ml of ro/di water ), 3 Drops of Iodine ( Varies between Lugols or a Iodine seaweed pills for human consumption dissolved in ro/di ), 20Mil of HW Wiegandt Tracetip 1, Tracetip 2, Miratip ( round robin between them daily only doing 1 per day ).
Feeding: Feed the fish and corals. As often as 3 to 5 times a day.
Morning Feeding: Usually consists of on Feeding of Frozen Hikari Mysis that has been soaked in Selco and Kent Zoe Vitamins
Mid Morning: Usually consists of 1 sheet of Two Little Fishies Green or Purple Seaweed. I alternative between the two.
Evening: Some sort of pellet or flake food. The mandarin will eat the small pellet food so I tend to feed that most often. However, I do have several flake that have been given as promotional items for various events so I try to use that up.
Weekly ( 1 to 1.5 hours ):
Kalkwasser Topoff: Refill 29g Kalkwasser Resevoir as necessary ( usually ends up about every 10 days, I know right away when empty based on the pH reading from the Aquacontroller ). Add 2 cups of BulkReefSupply Kalkwasser. The rest is RO/DI. No mixing, just adding the ro/di to refill stirs it up enough. It is let to sit until time to refill. Covered with a glass top that is not air tight.
Depending on the season and Alkalinity levels add up to 3 cups of kalkwasser and 1000mil of Distilled white vinegar. Wintertime because its dryer in the house from the furnace I usually don't need vinegar, summertime is when its needed the most.
Algae Turf Scrubber: Harvest the algae from the algae turf scrubber. On average I get about 32oz cup of algae that have been rinsed and squeezed.
Substrate: I siphon the substrate using a long tubing into a filter sock located in the sump. This is so I can remove all the detritus and other debris from the substrate without removing any water. To reduce costs and convience I now make my own filter socks and treat them a disposable.
Back Glass: Scrape the back glass using a long handled kent scraper. My personal preference, I don't care for the back to get covered in coraline algae. I think it provides better contrast and looks better when kept clean.
Weekly Additives: 2 drop of Mangenese. No other weekly supplments.
Carbon Reactor: Carbon is required to keep the tint of the water clear and most importantly to keep water from having an odor.
Add 1 cup of BRS Rox .8 carbon and fill the remainder of the cartridge with filter floss. On occasion if seeing algae or bacteria buildup in show which typically occurs when phophate levels reach above .06ppm, I will add 1 to 2 tablespoons of GFO mixed in with the carbon to help lower. Adding GFO is not every week it is just a tool in the toolbox when needed.
Aptasia Control: I still perfer to mix up a very thick kalkwasser paste and using a syringe to completely cover the disk. It will form a paste over the entire area where the aptasia was located. Must keep all your powerheads off overnight only running return pump for oxygenation. It's the most effective but never erradicates completely. Some will pop back out after a week or so. When they get bad enough in hard to reach areas, I will disassembly my aquascaping to get to as many as possible.
Aptasia zapping. I've tried Copperband butterflies but it's hard to get one well acclimated and I have killed enought of them to stop trying. Pepperment shrimp are not an option becuase of wrasses in the tank. I've tried the 12v zappers with minimal success because the aptasia immediately hides back in the hole and you can't see to get to it.
Monthly Additives: Supplements ( See Additives Page for More details the supplements used. Dosages are adjusted accordingly after each Triton Test Results so the amounts do change slightly.
Strontium - 50ml
Vanadium - .25 ml
Moly - 1 capsule
Pottasium - 1/4 cup ( I know use Salifert Test and dose accordingly)
Zinc - .5ml
Nickel - No longer dose. Ran out of supplement and didn't see any need to continue.
Silicate - AKA Liquid Glass 5mil per month
Clean Sump: Approx. Quarterly may be less frequent depending on the buildup. This is where the near 0 water changes comes into play. Not worth the effort to try to save the salwater when doing sump maintenance. Completely drain the sump/frag tank to I can vacuum up all the debris. I can siphon the sump becasue it's sitting on the ground. I just drain with a powerhead and tubing to a floor drain then get the last remaining debris with a wet dry vac. Takes about 1 hour to complete the process.
Clean and Inspect Powerheads: Replace the Maxijet powerheads with Apex Wav pumps in Nov 2016.
Return Pump: Take the external return pump offline and clean the impeller of any calclum deposits.
Heaters: I closely inspect heaters for any condensation on the inside. Regardless if needs it or not I replace the Primary Heater every 2-3 years. Use the older as the secondary heater, backup/spare, or for misc. tasks.