Proactive Steps (and time frames) For You And Your Tank

I talked earlier this week about how being cheap in the saltwater tank world never pays and spending a little money to do preventative maintenance can go a long, long way towards a healthy tank.

It’s the same premise for changing your vehicle’s oil (you do change it don’t you?) – before there is a problem, you change the oil to keep everything humming along smoothly.

For example, I harp on replacing lighting every 6 months. Perhaps your bulbs still have some usable life in them, but you won’t know until corals start bleaching out and dying off. The time you’ll have to wait for your corals to recover is a lot longer (and painful to watch) versus just ponying up some cash and changing out your bulbs.

There are plenty of other items in/around your tank that need regular replacing.

Take RO/DI filters for example. You won’t know they are shot until you start seeing issues in your tank – nuisance algae, diatom outbreaks, etc. By changing your filters regularly, then you won’t have an algae issue to battle. Cost of RO/DI filters? $25-$50 depending on your system.

Being proactive towards preventing issues will save you TONS of money and headaches in the long term. Sure RO/DI filters aren’t sexy or fun to look at, but algae outbreaks and dead corals are worse.

Below is a list of items to replace on your tank and how often you should replace them – just in time for your weekend tank maintenance (you are doing that – right?)

Replacement Timeframe
RO/DI filters 9 months – 1 yrs (the more water you make, go for 9 mo)
RO/DI membrane 1.5 yrs – 2 yrs
Lighting 6 months
Activated Carbon 2 weeks
GFO (granulated ferric oxide) monthy
tank water 5%/week OR 10% bi monthly (pick which works for you)
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