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Old 12-16-2004, 11:08 AM   #11
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Do you have a protein skimmer? They are good at keeping ammonia and nitrites down. Also, have you used any binders in your tank i.e. any ammonia remover products? Those products make ammonia less toxic but doe not remove them, and they usually make test kits give false readings. When doing water changes make sure the water and salt mixture has aged for at least 24hrs before adding it to the tank this will ensure the salt has fully dissolved(never add un-dissolved salt directly to your tank), Use a power head and heater to mix the salt and water. The power head will ensure mixture and the heater will keep the temp the same as your main tank. All are good practices once you get fish because salt water not aged 24hrs before adding to the tank can be harmful to the fish.
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:02 PM   #12
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RoboCop:

I have not purchased a protein skimmer yet but it looks as though I may have to. Still wondering what kind of readings you like for SG? Thanks....Steve
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:25 PM   #13
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What type of PH test are you using. For freshwater tanks the test comes with a highlevel PH and A low level ph. What you want to be testing is high level ph. The color cards are shades of purple to magenta.
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Old 12-16-2004, 03:50 PM   #14
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For most fish the SG should be between 1.020-1.025 with 1.022 being optimal
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Old 12-16-2004, 06:16 PM   #15
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Thanks Robo on that SG level info......I haven't tried any binders yet to control ammonia; would like to avoid that if possible.

Damien...the tester kit that I have been using is called the 5 tests in one and it is made by Jungle. The ph chart does not indicate high or low test just starting at 7.0 (medium orange color and going all the way up to 8.8 which is a medium/dark magenta. Well, wait a sec....I they do say 7.0 and 7.1 is too low and then 7.9 acceptable , 8.4 ideal and then 8.8 too high. The are strips and I think they are a little hard to read because the levels/colors on the strip after dipping do not seem to be real distinct.

I am going to add some more salt and get that up more into the mid range...just have a hunch that might help ph and amonia readings. Gues I better start looking for a protein skimmer....( do you keep the hang over the back still on when you are using a skimmer)....then should have a power head as well. Thanks
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Old 12-17-2004, 11:18 AM   #16
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Safe range is 1.020-1.025 so you are dead on the low end.....1.022 or 1.023 is a happy medium
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Old 12-17-2004, 12:08 PM   #17
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Consider taking a water sample to you LFS for comparison. Hard to believe you PH is that low.
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Old 12-18-2004, 12:46 PM   #18
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try buying a test kit that has test tubes and chemical reaction to the water being tested or have your lfs test your water for you. I would think oct. 13 would be long enough for the tank to cycle.
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Old 12-18-2004, 12:49 PM   #19
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oh yeah BTW, what time of day are you testing for PH? Its usually lower in the morning.
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Old 12-20-2004, 11:30 AM   #20
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year......

Got my SG in the range suggested.....
I will try that checking the PH late in the day and if still low I will take a sample to the LFS.

Just ordered skimmer and powerhead from PETCO on-line so hope that improves water conditions after they arrive.

I think I am going to look for the "test tube" water testing kits. The strips do not appear to give a real clear reading.....little color squares even had two colors sometimes.

Thanks again eveyone and will give you update in very early 2005.

Steve......
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