Triton Method Reef Tanks - Eliminating water changes in your saltwater aquarium - BRStv Reef FAQs
Keeping a healthy reef tank with regular water changes creates a significant demand for your personal time. Add in water testing, dosing and filter maintenance and your reef tank can quickly turn into a dreaded chore.
The facts are, most aquariums depend on water changes to survive and nobody likes hauling around heavy buckets of water to perform them. In fact, outside of failing equipment, the number one cause of tank failure is the lack of necessary routine maintenance because of the burden and demand for time.
The Triton Method of reefkeeping makes it possible reduce your tanks reliance on water changes and, therefore, the demand on your personal time. We can confidently say this is possible because of what we learned through the BRS160 video series in which we used the Triton Method to drastically reduce the tanks dependance on water changes.
How The Triton Method works
Water changes are necessary to prevent the toxic build of nutrients and remove general contaminants from your aquarium. It is also an effective method of replenishing minor and trace elements your corals need.
The Triton Method takes a different approach to accomplish the same thing. The owner describes the Triton method as a three prong approach to maintaining healthy biology in a reef tank, including light, filtration and chemistry.
Instead of water changes, a large, well lit refugium is used for nutrient removal and high-quality carbon is engaged to remove general contaminants. To maintain water chemistry, the Triton Core7 Base Elements are dosed into the aquarium adding all of the necessary elements. The Core7 additives are one of the only dosing solutions to include additional elements to specifically replenish what your refugium consumes as it grows.
You monitor the effects of the Triton Method filtration and dosing with regular ICP water testing which will give you an accurate snapshot of your entire water chemistry including desirable elements and any possible contaminants.
Along with the Triton Lab ICP test results, Triton gives you detailed instructions on how to keep your tank’s water chemistry as close to natural seawater as possible via their robust web interface. This eliminates the mystery around your tank’s health, helps you detect problems early and ensures your only adding what our tank needs. Best of all, the hassle of manually performing water changes is drastically reduced.
What’s the catch?
There is no question that the Triton method can reduce your tank’s reliance on water changes. Instead of blindly performing water changes on a very regular basis, the Triton method instructs you to only do water changes when the data shows it is necessary.
So this means when the test says do the water changes, you have to do them for it to work. If you ignore the testing data, don’t be surprised when you start to experience mortalities.
We realize that the thought of reducing or eliminating water changes is quite attractive. This is really just a side effect of a comprehensive approach to quality filtration and effective water chemistry maintenance which is what the Triton Method is really all about.
Create a system that works for you
Instead of focusing on eliminating water changes, it may be easier for some of you to find ways of making water changes easier so they are not so demanding on your personal time.
Modern technology has helped us to effectively create automatic water change systems. At BRS, we use the Neptune Systems DOS for our auto water changes but there are a variety of options out there. In the end, auto water changes vs. testing and dosing individual elements end up to be pretty similar in cost.
Creating a hybrid system of your own can be a very successful approach. Using the Triton Method Core7 additives, a large refugium full of macroalgae along with an auto water change set-up and monitoring everything with ICP testing.
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