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Old 06-04-2005, 06:02 PM   #1
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Couple of possible problems/Looking for Refractometer

Well it had been a while since I have tested my water (Having made no changes for a while) so I desided to test today.

#1 the salt is about 1.026! I dont know if my hydrometer is accurate or not, I may need to take a test to the LFS and see how my meter compares. I lowered the SG to 1.024 last week, but now it is up again????

#2 I am looking for a refractometer if anyone has a used one or a new one for sale.

#3 My PH is higher. What causes PH to go high? Its about 8.3-8.4 or so. I know this isnt too bad, but I am wanting to know what caused it to go up?

#4 AMMONIA!!! I have like 1.0-1.2 or so of ammonia in the tank! No nitrites though, which is why this is confusing me. Why would there be ammonia and no nitrites?????

All the fish and stuff look fine, right now I am just going to go do a little waterchange to try and get that SG just a tad lower (not to mention it needs a waterchange anyway)

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Old 06-04-2005, 07:00 PM   #2
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Well in the meantime I just did a water change with regular FW (no salt in there)

That normally gets it like .001 (like from 1.030 to 1.029 for example).

Anyways, waiting for suggestions!
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Old 06-04-2005, 08:01 PM   #3
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1) SG of a tank can change for a few reasons,

a. if evaporated water isn't replaced often enough. as the water evaps away the salt is too heavy to go along with the water, and it just stays in the tank, less water with the same amount of salt = higher SG lvls, top off the tank with fresh water, and don't use salt for a top off.

b. you added to much salt, when doing a water change. following the directions of the salt company is usually a good idea, but a few times i have had tweak the mix, just to get it right

c. when water is at certain temps sg can raise and fall based on that. if you tested in the morning when the temp was 77degrees, and retest later in the day when the tank was at 80 degrees there would be a change, somewhere about .0006 ppm.

d. what hydrometer are you using? the one that floats on the top of the tank, (like they used to use on car batteries) or the one that has to filled and has a floating needle?
if your using the filled w/ needle design it is possible that air bubbles or deposits are interfering with your measurements it is always important to take care of measuring equipment, you need to rinse it with fresh water before and after each use, and once a month, soak it in a mild vinegar bath to remove deposits 30mins should be fine. Also during use make sure they are no air bubbles attached to the needle, those can through off your SG readings.

3) When you have a pH swing upwards, its a result of CO2 absorption by algal photosynthesis. it would be a good idea to harvest the algae from the tank, or increase circulation. an easy way to test if CO2 is to blame, take a cup or two from the tank, and test its ph, then aerate the water for a couple of hrs, and re check, if the pH has increased by a point or two, then your system is accumulating co2 and you need to increase circulation (to aid in oxygenation) or adding an air stone or two. but still 8.3 - 8.4 in my book is a' ok.

4) ammonia can be created by rotting plants, fish, food, overstocked aquarium and being routinely generated by the fish themselves. if the tank was successfully cycled, then you are probably overfeeding, or have the tank over stocked. Given the list in your signature. i feel you’re a little to close to being overstocked, hermits and snails don't generate as much ammo. as fish, they still generate some. There could also be some dissolved organics in the tank that are allowing the ammo. To raise, are you running a protein skimmer?
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Old 06-04-2005, 08:03 PM   #4
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You still have the coral beauty and the 2 percs? I have done as much as a 50% water change (which would bring the ammo down to around .5) with little effect on the fish if you match parameters. Alternately I would change 20% every 8-12 hours until your ammo is down under .2. It will take a lot of 20% changes to get you down to .2 though. Once I even did an 80% water change with little effect on the life in my tank.

You must have changed your feeding pattern or added new corals for the water parameters to be so drastically out of wack. Hopefully the lack of nitrites is a good indicator that it hasn't been this way for long.

Before you do anything retest the ammo. Make sure you're not freaking out over nothing.

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Old 06-04-2005, 11:49 PM   #5
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Well the instant I dropped the yellow thing into the water it started turning colors, It normally takes a while.

I did a change, Ill test it tomorrow (giving it good time for the salt to mix too).

If I have any probs Ill poist here.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:03 AM   #6
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Once I even did an 80% water change with little effect on the life in my tank.
I agree with Phyl, if you're that concerned about your ammonia I'd do a big water change. I tend to do 10-20% every 2 weeks then every 2 months I'd do a 50-75% water change, I've been doing this for ages and there has no adverse effects on any of the life.. If anything it seems to do a world of good!

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