Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-12-2012, 12:54 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 1,348
Get a liquid test kit. I use API, but it's not the best. Heard good things about Salifert.
+1 to crister13, as Diatoms can indeed show up early in the cycle, at the end of it, or years down the road. Any introduction of silicates to the water, and enough nutrients, and they'll show up. Not an accurate indicator of cycling stage.
Shortcut on testing equipment? Well... you should get all of the following ASAP.
pH
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
Phosphate
Calcium
Carbonate Hardness

Eventually, you'll also want Copper, Magnesium, and anything else you can get your hands on. I would say absolute bare minimum would be the pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate. But really, this is no place to skimp.
As for salinity, that's true in many places, but specific gravity in the ocean rises and falls depending on a lot of factors. Most marine fish can tolerate a range fairly well. Corals are a lot more sensitive. I'd say 1.024-1.026 should be the goal.
__________________

__________________
Someone stop me! Please! But... not just yet...
55 Gal Tropical FW
55 Gal Mixed Reef
MacDracor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 01:55 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
Question Testing Equipment

On testing equipment is there any that I should consider to get digital? Stay with a Hydrometer or Refractometer? PH probe / monitor, Nitrate monitor . . . I don't mind the Hydrometer but plan to be in this for the long haul and want to make the correct investments instead of purchasing one and not using as much as I thought I would. Currently starting with this 25 gallon tank but plan to purchase a 50 or 60 gallon tank 8 to 10 months from now.

On my mind on almost each purchase is "will this work on my next tank" or what can I buy now to help out later . . . should I upsize this circulation pump or light . . . etc.

My plan is to get this set up and tuned in with a couple clowns, LR and Anemones, then start on a 50 or 60 gallon and once the 50 gallon tank is cycled turn everything over to that aquarium and use the 25 for a acclimation or quarantine (hopefully never needed) tank - a backup tank.

Any coments or advice appreciated as I have been reading and window shopping so much but not sure what to purchase. I went out on a limb and purchased a LED yesterday (since I can't buy much else while waiting for the tank to cycle) and I hope it is one of those purchases I don't regret.
__________________

__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 02:58 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Mrc8858's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 5,834
The only digital tester you might consider would be the phosphate because everything else you can get fairly accurate while just the slightest rise in phosphates will show signs very quickly as algae and for the LEDs if they are modular then it should be ok just add to it when you upgrade

Edit* and refractometer is a must especially on smaller tanks where even a little off on salt mixture is amplified
__________________
Mrc8858 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 04:08 AM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 1,348
Refractometers are more accurate than hydrometers, for sure. Now, if you have the budget for electronic probes to monitor your pH, Nitrates, and Phosphates 24/7 then by all means, do it! That will save you so much work, and potentially trouble.
I test my water weekly. usually, the results are pH stable, SG fluctuate by as much as 0.003, Nitrates dropped by 1 ppm (yay refugium!), Phosphates dropped by 0.01 (Estimated), Calcium dropped by 40 ppm. It's fairly steady at this point. I know what to expect from each test. But, in a small tank, a small change could happen much faster. What might be ok if I catch it in a week could decimate a tank half this size. So, if you have the budget for constant monitoring, I'd go for it.
__________________
Someone stop me! Please! But... not just yet...
55 Gal Tropical FW
55 Gal Mixed Reef
MacDracor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
Thanks again for the advise - they make Refractometers from $40 up to + $200 and same with digital probes. Does anyone reading this have digital probes on a 25 or 50 gallon tank and if so are you satisified or would you advise on another one. Same for Refractometers - any input on the use of the cheaper portable units over the more expensive ones? I have never used one so if (when) I do purchase I would like some experienced advise so it does not end up in a box on the shelf.
__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
carey's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Deltona, Florida
Posts: 20,962
Refractometers are all pretty much the same. I have this unit

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

As far as testing equipment, I use a digital device for phosphates and for the alkalinity. I found the calcium test to be way off and I returned it. lol

here are the checkers for those two things'

Hanna Instruments Checker Colorimeter
__________________
180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
carey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 03:53 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Gregcoyote's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Posts: 8,325
Refractometers are all pretty much the same. But invaluable.
RO/DI systems are also cheap and a must.
Phosphates are what I watch most carefully, along with salinity and PH. I also measure ORP.

For decades, I used test kits. Went with a Reefkeeper system with all the probes a few months ago. The best thing about this is that I can graph the performance of the reef on a daily or weekly basis. This has shown me the overall daily cycle of the tank as ph goes up ORP goes down. I have been able to adjust my algae scrubber and Kalkwasser reactor to reduce these fluctuations that I really wouldn't have seen without the graphing capability. For years I laughed at computerized systems like this.,.but now I am a believer. I even have the ph probe set to trigger fans over the tank when ph starts to go down. It works brilliantly.
__________________
Gregcoyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 06:47 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
Appreciate the advise and options - it gives me some short cuts to study and make the right purchase while waiting for my tank to cycle.
I think my Freshwater Tank cycled around the 5 week mark and I didn't add new members until week 6 or 7. I have been keeping a daily log on this salt water tank and I am curious as to when it will cycle and if the Bio-Spira, Live Sand and newly added fresh shrimp will help the cycle. I can't wait to interview & hire the clean-up crew!
__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 09:56 AM   #19
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
A couple questions. Ph level has been steady at 7.8 to 8 at best. Ammonia and nitrite 0. Nitrate held around 40ppm - for 9 days. I never did see a spike in ammonia or nitrite (I started the tank with bio spira) and did not test for the first week. I onLy used test strips until I purchased a API Test kit around day 15. I have had a brown out and did a 3 gallon water change. Nitrates were at 5ppm around 24 hrs after the wc. 48hrs after and nitrates are around 30ppm.
Do I do a pcw every couple days?
I am switching to ro/di water - do I need to use any water conditioner with ro/di?
Currently at day 35 - fish less cycle - LR only.
__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 11:03 AM   #20
Giant Clam Addict
Community Admin
 
Sniperhank's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Summerville, Pennsylvania
Posts: 18,543
If you are cycling I would not do any water changes. I would continue doing small doses of ammonia to continue to fuel the cycle until your ammonia/nitrites go away in 24 hours.

In terms of ro/di, you do not need to use conditioner with it. Are you buying the water or getting an ro/di unit? If you are getting a unit, I would suggest making as much of it as you can. I keep 3 5 gallon buckets and ~20 gallon jugs. Great for an emergency water change. My ro/di unit isn't the best, a 2 stage coralife, but it makes a gallon of water really quickly. I have well water so if I can get it moving well like this, you should have no trouble.

Anyway, dose to 4ppm of ammonia and post results in 24 hours. That will tell you exactly where you are in your cycle. It seems you are doing really well, that will just confirm it for you.
__________________

Sniperhank is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
salt, saltwater

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.