Water changes…the more, the merrier (within reason)In a recent meandering conversation I had with my freshwater-pond-keeping brother-in-law, the question of water change volume and frequency was raised—specifically whether it’s stressful to the livestock if you perform them too frequently or change out too much water at once. My take on the question is that when it comes to water changes, the more, the merrier (within reason). With that said, I do need to qualify this position with a few important caveats. Before I do, however, I should emphasize that this post is actually a thinly veiled attempt to get readers to join the conversation on the topic, so if you have any insights to share, please do so in the comment section below.Anyhow, getting back to my caveats: The parameters must match With our beloved reef organisms hailing from one of the most stable environments on earth, it’s critical to avoid subjecting them to precipitous fluctuations in water parameters. Frequent water changes won’t be a source of stress if you’re always careful to match the temperature, salinity, pH, alkalinity, etc. of your replacement water to that of your display tank.
In a few years, my reef will turn 50 years old. I believe I’ve avoided old tank syndrome by using the procedures outlined in this article.Old Tank Syndrome, or OTS, is something we have been hearing about since the hobby started, and I am not quite sure exactly what it means. Is it due to parameters, loss of diversity, lack of interest, diseases, metal accumulation, global warming, locusts, or all of the above? I think it is much simpler than “all of the above,” but some of those things are probably on the list of causes—especially locusts. It’s about bacteriaIn my opinion, OTS has to do with bacteria, or lack of it. Bacteria really run our tanks, and we are just there so the bacteria have something to make fun of. Without bacteria, our tanks would crash in less than a day.
Aquascaping with dry rock has a number of advantages and disadvantagesWhen aquascaping their tanks, marine aquarium hobbyists have the option of using live rock or dry rock (or some combination thereof) to create the foundational reef structure. Each of these options is completely workable but, as with every aspect of this hobby, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. So how to choose which approach might work best for you given your unique circumstances, budget, etc.? To aid in your decision making, let’s explore the pros and cons of each approach, beginning today with the use of dry rock. I’ll tackle the plusses and minuses of live rock aquascaping in a future post.Pros of dry rock aquascaping Dry rocks tend to be easier on the pocketbook. One reason is that they ship dry so you’re paying only for the weight of the rocks, not the added weight of water as with live rock, and there’s no need to shell out for expedited shipping. Also, the better-quality dry rocks on the market tend to be less dense than live rock, so you get a greater volume of rock for your aquascaping dollar.