They say experience is the best teacher. I'm sure everyone has come across or developed ways to make a maintenance process easier, faster - or just less of a hassle. Or a simply DIY solution to problems that can plague most any Marine Aquarist (I have a distaste for being referred to as a "reefer".)
I thought it might be of value to create a place where we can collect all those "pearls of wisdom" so that others might benefit. I'll start off with a couple to get the ball rolling...
Heat Can Be Your Friend
When cleaning pumps, probes or virtually anything covered in calcium or mineral deposits - You can dramatically decrease the time it takes for vinegar to dissolve the calcium deposits by warming it (I simply stick it in the microwave.) The same holds true when mixing 2-parts solutions. While Calcium (Calcium Chloride) dissolves readily, Alk (Sodium Carbonate or Soda Ash) and Magnesium (Magnesium Chloride and Magnesium Sulfate) can be tougher to mix and prone to clumping. Once again, simply warm the water and the material will dissolve mush faster.
Ziploc Silence Method
I developed an easy method to quiet a noisy overflow. Simply "drape" an appropriate size Ziploc bag immediately behind it. (usually secured with a couple zip ties.) The causes the water to run between the overflow and and the Ziploc bag in total silence... It also is self adjusting and requires little if any maintenance.
That photo was taken 1/2010 and it's been running perfectly since. It doesn't have to be a Ziploc bag, it's just what I had handy. You could use any type of inert, thin plastic sheet. There's no risk of overflow as the plastic is placed inside the overflow and only affixed at the top. It moves in response to changes in water flow. At all flow rates, my overflow is now completely silent. There is no sound of moving water whatsoever
OK - You get the idea. Lets see your solutions to everyday challenges