Continuos wc instead of dosing?Posted:
April 23 2017 at 1:17am
I run a continuous water change but it's nowhere near enough to keep my water parameters up where they need to be on its own. I still have to dose Alk, Ca & Mg continuously to keep those parameters stable.
Ultimately though whether or not it will work for you depends on the demands of your system. For the first 4 months or so I didn't need to dose anything additional, the water change alone was enough, but as I added more corals and the corals grew bigger demand skyrocketed and I had to start dosing. I really do like the combination of the two to keep everything stable and low maintenance on my system.
As Adam mentioned, my system is setup a little differently. You can run a continuous water change where the amount taken out is exactly the same as the amount put in but you'll have to make sure that all pumps are calibrated correctly and for good measure you should regularly test that calibration. If not you'll end up with an imbalance which will eventually throw your salinity out of whack as you top off more or less than needed depending on the discrepancy between the pumps. The DOS system has a very easy way to run the calibrations and adjusts accordingly, it's really slick. I chose not to go with the DOS only because of the noise level on those pumps, they are crazy noisy and depending on the volume of your water changes they could be running quite frequently.
I have my water change running every hour and change about 4 gallons a day. I've also integrated my auto-top off into my water change system so I'm constantly taking a measured amount of water out and then use the salinity probe on my Apex to determine if I need to add more freshwater or saltwater. And the amount I add is based on a series of float switches. I still manually check my salinity every week and do regular maintenance checks on the float switches to make sure everything is solid. Ultimately I exchanged maintenance and calibration on the pumps for maintenance and calibration on my float switches and probes. I think it just depends on how you want to run it and what type of maintenance you prefer (and will keep up with).