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Old 02-16-2010, 12:31 AM   #11
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In your first post you said "you mixed saltwater". Are you mixing it in your Aquarium or in a seperate bucket then adding it to your tank?
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:57 PM   #12
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I mixed it in the tank, brand new and had the power head running in with it for two days before i did anything else. After i was satisfied that it was circulated enough i drained about half of it out and added live rock and aragonite. When i was done with that i replaced some of what i drained out to top it off and started to cycle it.
To clarify, No i am not mixing it in the tank anymore. Just when i first got it and it had nothing in it.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Actually, no... it doesn't. Looks like the normal beginning of a cycle. If you had a good population of bacteria you wouldn't see any ammonia or nitrites.



I'd say the hydrometer is the culprit for the drop in salinity.

I wouldn't worry about the salinity right now. Looks like you're going to have a few weeks while the tank cycles and at the end you should do a massive water change to lower the nitrates. At that point, you can adjust your salinity as required.
But if i am getting a nitrate reading, doesnt that mean the right types of bacteria are present? I did not mean that the cycle was done.
Also, i took another salinity reading, it appears to have dropped again by about .0005 (totally a guess, it's just down ever so slightly every day on the hydrometer.

Day three
Ammonia: 1.0 or greater
Nitrite: >1
I've got the liquid test kit that changes color. As far as i can tell there has been no change in either. I figure i'll wait on the Nitrate tests until these two show signs of declination.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:15 PM   #14
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But if i am getting a nitrate reading, doesnt that mean the right types of bacteria are present?
Maybe... but you said you never took nitrate readings beforehand, so you don't know if your nitrate was really zero to start with. A jump from 0 to 20ppm nitrates in one day seems like an awful big jump. Not sure if you're using RO/DI water or tap water, but if using tap water your nitrates may have been that high to start with. You could test up some stored "fresh" saltwater if you have any, and probably get a feel for what your nitrates were to start with.

Regardless... I took your comment about having the right bacteria as an indication that you thought you were good to go.

You using a floating glass hydrometer, or a swing-arm? If swing arm, then as others have said, investing in a refractometer is a really good thing.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:30 PM   #15
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It's an instant oceean brand hydrometer. You poor water in the top and an arm floats up so far. So guess it's a swing arm. I'll for sure be investing in a refractometer before i get to the fish stage.

I am using distilled water and Instant Ocean Sea Salt. I suppose i just assumed that my nitrates would be zero. I did not know they could already have been present.

This leads me to another question. Does anyone know if wal-mart carries 5 gallon jugs of purified water? It would be easier for me to get one of those, than to get 5-1 gallon jugs of distilled water from Hy-Vee, since gallon jugs is all they had.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:53 PM   #16
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I guess you will just have to give Wal-Mart a call and ask them.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:29 PM   #17
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I was afraid of that
Wal mart is 20 miles. Hy-vee is 5 hah.
I could use my tap water. We're on a private well. But after seeing the tank with distilled water in it....it's so clear.....
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:43 PM   #18
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Your local grocery store may have a water filter out front that you can fill a 5 gallon jug for $1.50 or so. All of ours do.

When you mixed the water in your tank, there may have been a lot sitting on the bottom that did not get mixed in. Now you will always mix your salt in another bucket. do not use your well water. the clarity has nothing to do with it, the amount of algae you get from tap water does.
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