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Old 06-02-2010, 06:54 PM   #1
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Exclamation Nitrite Levels Safe to add starter fish??

hey guys im new to the saltwater tank hobby and am currently cycling my tank. My ammonia reads 0, and my nitrite reads .3mg/l which is the lowest level on my testing kit. Is it safe to add a couple of starter fish? I was thinking a pair of yellowtail blue damsels since they are cheap? Is this a good choice? Any other reccomendations?? Thanks guys
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:04 PM   #2
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Wait for your nitrites get to 0 and you start to see some nirates. I would not put any Damsels in your tank. Damsels can get real nasty and it would be hard to add other fish later on. Wait and get the good fish that you want. By the way what size tank do you have
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:12 PM   #3
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40 gallons, what fish would you reccomend for starters
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Wait for your nitrites get to 0 and you start to see some nirates. I would not put any Damsels in your tank. Damsels can get real nasty and it would be hard to add other fish later on. Wait and get the good fish that you want. By the way what size tank do you have
i completely agree. "starter fish" become PITA fish in a short time.
just wait until the cycle is finished and add the fish you want.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:14 PM   #5
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i completely agree. "starter fish" become PITA fish in a short time.
just wait until the cycle is finished and add the fish you want.
Could not have said it any better. Good advice.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
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Ok thanks guys also I have one more question. I have been having a hard time maintaining my pH. I have been having to add buffer in it every day. If I dont, the pH falls to 7.7 without fail. My KH is very good about 14. But the pH has been giving me trouble for about a week and a half. Anyone have any ideas of what is causing this? I have a powerhead that blows out aerated water so i think i am getting enough aeration. Any ideas?
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:06 PM   #7
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Don't let your Power Head shoot out bubbles that will only give you a bad salt creep. Just point it to the surface. Don't worry about your PH as swings are very common with new tanks. Stop with the buffers as this will only make matters worst because you are not letting your tank find its equilbrium.
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:06 PM   #8
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You're still cycling the tank, so your pH will be all over the place. The more biological activity is going on inside your tank, the more the pH will want to drop. And during the cycle, you have LOTS of stuff going on!

Don't bother messing with pH during the cycle. After the cycle is over and you do a big water change to eliminate the built-up nitrates, your pH should stabilize and become more reasonable.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:24 PM   #9
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Thanks guys that was good information from both of yall. about the powerhead, you said to not let it blow bubbles? will i be getting enough gas exchange in my tank if i do not let it blow bubbles since i have a glass hood. i also do not have an aerator, just the powerhead so would you reccomend getting an aerator to aerate the water instead of the powerhead
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:33 PM   #10
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Remove the glass hood. Oxygenation takes place at the water surface. Air bubbles only help when the break the surface causing a bit of surface agitation. You want a powerhead (or 2 or more) that point a bit towards the surface so that you don;t have a flat surface,, but rather a rippled surface.

Keeping a glass top prevents the gas exchange which can lower your pH.

When your cycle is complete you want to do a large partial water change (30% - 50%). Then leave the tank alone for another week. At that point check all the water parameters:
PH
Temp
Ammonia
NitrIte
NItrAte
Calcium
Alk
Magnesium
SG (Specific Gravity / Salinity)
Measured with a refactometer (swing arms are notoriously unreliable)
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