Revisiting the Triton Method

reefkeeper2

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#1
I just got my second water analysis back. Much better with heavy metals gone and everything else just about where I want it. Just a few exceptions like lithium and cobalt. From what I've read those come in our salt mixes. It was well worth the money. I kinda thought the Triton method was just a new gimmick and was going to stop there but then I saw this video on YouTube from MACNA 2015.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPs1WCdW4y4

I have to say it really made me think differently about the Triton Method and water changes. There were a few things mentioned that really made sense to me and got me thinking of perhaps changing my husbandry.

1. Salt mixes are inconsistent with different batches containing different contaminants. Even basic elements like calcium and magnesium can change dramatically. I already knew this but didn't think anything could be done about it.
2. You cannot dilute pollutants out of your system unless you do major and substantial water changes. I think anyone that has tried to lower their nitrate or phosphate levels this way has learned this lesson. Weekly 10% or 20% water changes are insignificant in removing unwanted pollutants.
3. Major and substantial water changes are stressful and harmful to your livestock. They should only be used in emergencies where you have no choice.

So after I thought about this, I asked myself why am I doing water changes? The only reason I can see is to add trace elements that are used up. So wouldn't my system be more stable if I just added trace elements and stopped the water changes altogether? I use about 200 gallons of salt mix every 4 to 6 weeks. If I followed the Triton Method in full, I would actually save money. Any thoughts?
 

s_kelley

Well-Known Member
Moderator
BRS Member
#2
So are you going to completely stop water changes, or keep doing small ones, with adding elements, and triton testing?
What else are you doing to dilute the pollutants, carbon, gfo, etc?
 

reefkeeper2

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#3
I haven't decided on anything yet. I used polyfilters to get rid of the heavy metals (lead) that were present. I don't use GFO but I do use carbon. It sort of seems like blasphemy to stop water changes completely, but if you watch the video he makes a good case.
 

s_kelley

Well-Known Member
Moderator
BRS Member
#4
That it does. Was just wondering what you were thinking. Your tank is always so healthy looking your doing something right!
 

daves-reef

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#5
I tried the triton water testing as part of my latest reefing rant. All water test kits stink.
I think it might have some value. It was good to see that no metals etc. in fact my results looked better than most others triton results I saw posted.

There is debate if the triton testing method is scientifically good for salt water testing. After I ordered my test. I ran across this article that calls into question reliability / accuracy of their testing method. http://www.reefsmagazine.com/mag.php...&articleId=159
 

dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
#7
If you grab a piece of fancy instrument and run a sample through it, you will get data no matter what. But if those data are accurate or even meaningful is entirely another matter.
 
#8
I just got my second water analysis back. Much better with heavy metals gone and everything else just about where I want it. Just a few exceptions like lithium and cobalt. From what I've read those come in our salt mixes. It was well worth the money. I kinda thought the Triton method was just a new gimmick and was going to stop there but then I saw this video on YouTube from MACNA 2015.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPs1WCdW4y4

I have to say it really made me think differently about the Triton Method and water changes. There were a few things mentioned that really made sense to me and got me thinking of perhaps changing my husbandry.

1. Salt mixes are inconsistent with different batches containing different contaminants. Even basic elements like calcium and magnesium can change dramatically. I already knew this but didn't think anything could be done about it.
2. You cannot dilute pollutants out of your system unless you do major and substantial water changes. I think anyone that has tried to lower their nitrate or phosphate levels this way has learned this lesson. Weekly 10% or 20% water changes are insignificant in removing unwanted pollutants.
3. Major and substantial water changes are stressful and harmful to your livestock. They should only be used in emergencies where you have no choice.

So after I thought about this, I asked myself why am I doing water changes? The only reason I can see is to add trace elements that are used up. So wouldn't my system be more stable if I just added trace elements and stopped the water changes altogether? I use about 200 gallons of salt mix every 4 to 6 weeks. If I followed the Triton Method in full, I would actually save money. Any thoughts?
There threads at the Reef Central SPS forum were they do not do WC for months and will risk to say more than a year. If my memory is correct.

The point is to have the time to do all the water testing, set up all the dosers and ....... Time time
 

charged45

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#9
Hi Paul,
Interesting video. How and where did you get your water tested? From the video I gather they test and let you know what needs attention. At that point you can buy what is needed?

Thanks
 

reefkeeper2

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#10
Here is where you can buy the water test by Triton.
http://uniquecorals.com/dry-goods/triton/triton-labs-reef-aquarium-water-test-single-test-vials-with-return-shipping.html

My water test showed I had high levels of lead. Who knows where that came from. So I got some polyfilters and ran them for a few weeks. The I did some research and looked into the results that other people where getting from Triton and what salt they were using. The salt that seemed best to me was Reef Crystals. So I switched to that salt. Then I waited a few months and sent in another sample. The lead was gone and the other parameters were better than before. So I can say that in the end the testing was helpful and I will probably send in samples in the future.
 

s_kelley

Well-Known Member
Moderator
BRS Member
#11
Glad u had good results Paul! Anyone using the full triton method? Testing and additives from them?
Just was reading and wondering if anyone in Brs used it
 

charged45

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#12
Thanks for the info Paul. I'm frustrated w/lack of growth w/my corals. My ALK, CA and MG levels are all in acceptable ranges. Nitrates a little high 20 PPM but not to bad. No algae growth as even the chaeto in my sump hasn't grown. I invested good $ in Pacific Sun LED's. Hoping the testing shows something. I have always used RC for salt. I have tested different batches and gotten different results.
 

reefkeeper2

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#14
Very helpful but is likely to be over the heads of a lot of ordinary hobbyists who are looking for a simpler answer. It seems to me that the data of that article shows that the Triton analysis would not be very accurate if your trying to monitor and adjust some of your trace elements. The precision they get is good, which tells me that the instrument is just not so good for some of the elements in salt water.The manganese levels are a good example. But what is not established, is how accurate does it have to be for a hobbyist to supplement a reef? The jury is still out on that and only time will tell. In my situation I needed to know if there was heavy metal contamination of my water, and as it turns out there was. I suspected it, but I thought it would be copper. Because of that info, I was able to take the correct action to help my tank. As for using the Triton method to run a reef, I think it's going to end up as just another option we get to choose in our hobby.
 

gurumasta

Senior Moron
BRS Member
#15
I'm bringing this back to life.

Is anybody skipping water changes and just using a fuge/ scrubber for nutrient export with dosing?

Is anybody specifically using the Triton testing and dosing products?
 

Chris A.

Formally toomanyfish
BRS Member
Officer
#16
I'm bringing this back to life.

Is anybody skipping water changes and just using a fuge/ scrubber for nutrient export with dosing?

Is anybody specifically using the Triton testing and dosing products?
I don't but will when I get a bigger tank. Price of salt and water gets pretty high with big volumes of water changes
 

Bendint

Nothing good happens fast
BRS Member
Officer
#17
I have a 120 with sump and fuge the tank is very well stocked I have a good amount of chaeto and add essential elements about every three to 4 weeks and cal mag and whatever when needed and barely no water changes absolutely no algae except the film that grows on glass I clean weekly all my Params are perfect


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dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
#18
I think water change is very important. I have seen several reef tanks that the keepers did no water change or very few water change. They all infested with leather coral, junk plays and Xenia alike.


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this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
#19
Water change is my most essential tool to get to where I am today.

Also, I'm sure you will use more of the chemicals in a bigger tank. For me, a $40 200gallons box of IO last me about 1.5 month. That's not a bad price to pay.
 

dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
#20
Yes. Water change actually cheaper than dumping all those snake oil in the tank.
Especially dosing trace elements while there is no test for them.



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