FAQ #34: What does it take to maintain a 160 gallon reef tank like the BRS 160?

January 20th, 2017
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Today on BRStv, we have another episode of BRS 52 FAQ where we answer all of your frequently asked reefing questions from our popular 52 Weeks of Reefing series.

Today we're answering Kenneth M’s question “What is the maintenance schedule for the BRS160 like?"

Fantastic question Kenneth! With the BRS 160, there are a variety of daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly tasks that we perform to keep it running in tip-top shape. This starts with the aquarium’s chemistry parameters.
One of the more honest and truthful pieces of advice I’ve heard in my years as a reefer is that when you are keeping a reef tank, you are actually working towards keeping pristine water in a glass box. The corals and fish are just a reward of that ability. The components that allow us to gauge the quality of our tank’s water are known as parameters – and we monitor quite a few in the BRS 160.

One of the most important parameters in the reef tank is salinity since it’s level has a bearing on the concentrations of everything else that is part of your tank’s water. We measure before and after water changes, and also use the salinity probe on our Neptune Apex that will alert us of any fluctuations during the course of a week. It’s worth noting here that while the salinity probe is super nice to use, and works great to show fluctuations in the tank, I wouldn’t use it as your sole method of monitoring your salinity.

We monitor alkalinity daily with the dKh checker from Hanna, since it has such a large impact of the health and growth rate of our corals in the tank. With the checker it takes just over a minute to do, and It’s amazing how much more aware with the changes and subtleties you are in your tank when testing alk daily. If you’re not, and growth and overall health is a goal for you, I would recommend giving it a trial run yourself.

Additionally, we check calcium with the Red Sea Pro kit weekly, magnesium with the Red Sea Pro Kit monthly, and nitrate and phosphate if we notice a color shift in the tank, or abnormal algal growth.

Are you curious to know more about our 160 maintenance? Then follow along as we answer today's question, provide some helpful insight, and help make reefing just bit more fun and easy for you and your tank.

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