5 Weeks In

Discussion in 'New To Reefing' started by mathewaki, Aug 25, 2016.

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  1. mathewaki

    mathewaki Member

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    This is my first marine tank and I jumped the gun and couldn't resist putting Live stock in the tank......I put 2 clown fish in the tank....(1 Died unfortunately).

    I still have 1 clown fish in the tank and about 10 different Zoa corals.

    I just done a 25 Litre water change (NSW) Tank is 170 Litres including sump.

    I just tested my parameters as follows:

    Ammonia.......0
    Nitrite............0 to 0.5 (retest using salifert and red sea kit nitrite is definitely 0).
    Nitrate...........20
    PH.................7.6 to 7.8
    Salinity..........1.024

    Using red sea test kit. The Nitrite and PH colours on the card are a little hard to make out the difference...

    Am I correct in just continuing on until the end of September with weekly 25 Litre water changes (about 15% tank volume) and just not add anything else to the tank?

    Again thanks to everyone for the help
  2. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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    Those results are ok.
    No need to worry at all.

    Next to monitor Kh and forget about ph

    Keep an eye on salinity.

    Do you have a protein skimmer?
    If not get plenty of surface agitation for air gas exchange and set temperature for 25.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
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  3. IJG3145

    IJG3145 Member

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    Based on your numbers and the fact the tanks is only 5 weeks old, I think it is still cycling OR you are overfeeding bigtime. Don't add anything living until your parameters are stable for a few weeks.

    Your PH is on the low side and your nitrates high. If you can detect any nitrites then your tank is not cycled. Not do not use PH buffers to bring PH up, they are awful products.

    To get PH under control you need to understand the chemistry and be able to test for Alkilinity (dKH) & Calcium (Ca).

    Reef Tank Chemistry – Calcium and Alkalinity

    NOTHING good ever happens fast in a marine tank.
    Good luck :)
  4. mathewaki

    mathewaki Member

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    @IJG3145 Thanks for your response.

    I am not over feeding as the clown fish only went in the tank 3 days ago. I have put a tiny bit of food like 3 or 4 granules each night.

    I used the Red Sea mature reef kit to cycle the tank....according to my tests the tank should be cycled and the LFS also confirmed cycle is done.

    There are no nitrites in my tank, I read the test wrong....the red sea kits colour are a little tricky to see the difference between 0 and 0.5 in the light I was in at the time...I retested in the morning using salifert and red sea again in better light and the nitrites are 100% 0.

    As for the PH I was told this would increase to the desired levels gradually over time? or do I need to start adding Alkilinity and calcium?

    Thanks again
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  5. mathewaki

    mathewaki Member

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    @slin1977 OK it's hard as I keep getting conflicting advice....either the tanks OK or it's not.....very confusing.

    I have been keeping an eye on Salinity every day when I do random checks and it's always around the 1.024 mark.

    I tested for KH last night and my results where 11Dkh again I have been told it can't be that high but I tested 3 times and always go 11Dkh using the red sea test kit.

    I do have a skimmer JNS C01.

    also got wave maker creating both flow and surface agitation.

    Temperature....I think I need a new heater as my temp fluctuates 1 to 2 degrees during the day normally between 26 and 27 degrees....


    Thanks for your response
  6. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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    Excellent, you are off to a good start.
    For a five week tank I would expect nitrate to be 20 -30 ppm
    It will go down pretty quickly from here on in.
    Don't worry about it.
    I wish I had 20ppm nitrate. My tank reduces 25ppm to 0 in less than 24 hours.

    What else do you want to know?
  7. mathewaki

    mathewaki Member

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    OK thanks @slin1977

    So my goal is to reduce Nitrates? Do I do this via water changes and is a weekly 15% change enough or is there more I need to be doing?

    Also regarding the Calcium and Alkalinity what should I be doing with these?....also will PH get to it's desired levels?

    Sorry to be a pain
  8. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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    Nitrates can be controlled with filtration, live rock, bio balls , carbon dosing , water change etc etc . Aim for 5ppm

    I have not tested calcium in two years.
    I have a unopened test kit in case I get curious , I don't worry about calcium.
    Same goes for ph, open your house during the day and get plenty of fresh air through, that's why I mentioned skimmer, for gas exchange . Don't test ph. Forget about that too.

    Let's talk alkalinity, it's going to be the biggest factor you need to watch.
    With zoas you won't use any , with stony coral/clams you will.

    Calibrate your kh test against a known value or compare with your LFS .
    Shoot for between 6.5 to 8.5 dKh

    Phosphate would be next on your list to consider, furthermore magnesium to maintain calcium and alkalinity in balance.
  9. mathewaki

    mathewaki Member

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    OK @slin1977

    So if my dkh is 11 now is that to high? or as the number of corals increase in the tank this number will drop? am I correct?
  10. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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    If it's NSW you using check your calibration of your test kit. NSW should be about 8.3

    The number will drop as the bi carbonate gets used up with growth of stony coral.
  11. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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  12. mathewaki

    mathewaki Member

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    I used the Red sea coral salt to get the tank started and have been using NSW for the last 2 water changes. @slin1977
  13. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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    Yap that's what I used years ago and it gave me 11 dkh as well
  14. mathewaki

    mathewaki Member

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    OK great so I'm guessing it will go down after a few more NSW water changes....thanks for the link
  15. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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    I now use Red Sea blue bucket.
    Mixes at 8 dkh
  16. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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    Yap but over a long time with nsw dilution.
  17. mathewaki

    mathewaki Member

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    I am still trying to see what works best for me me NSW or should I go back to the red sea salt
  18. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    That's really your call - what's easiest for you?
  19. ReeferRob

    ReeferRob Solidarité

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    I use the Red Sea blue bucket as well with one scoop of coral till I get rid of the coral salt. I've often wondered what Americans would pay for NSW collected near the GBR? I mean hell, they pay $6 for 5 gallons of Instant Ocean Reef Crystals as it is.

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