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Old 05-09-2004, 09:21 PM   #1
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test levels

I bought a testing kit for my saltwater tank, 62 gallon. The copper tested 0.25, which showed alittle above normal. The high range ph, ammonia and nitrite was ideal. The nitrates looked like 160ppm and the test tells 40 ppm or lower. I have 2 clowns, a choc. chip starfish, mandarin goby, yellow tang, 3 blue damsels and a coral beauty angel. I am on well water and I add Prime and Seacure when I add new water to the tank. Should I switch to distilled water and if so still add the Seacure and Prime? Use something else? Is it possible the nitrate test was incorrect? Should I do it again and if so wait how long before doing it again? My tank is 4 months old. Should I get any scavenger type fish, crabs or snails? Would it help? How do you update your profile in this list? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-09-2004, 11:44 PM   #2
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Test your well water for nitrates with the same kit, assuming it is ok for FW.
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The nitrates looked like 160ppm and the test tells 40 ppm or lower.
I don't understand what you are trying to say here.

Quote:
Should I switch to distilled water and if so still add the Seacure and Prime?
IMO Its never a bad idea to use DI or RO water, usually RO is better, distilled water may still contain copper if copper piping was used in the distillation. With either, I don't think you need to add the prime or seacure. Your salt mix will add everything you need to the RO water.

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Should I get any scavenger type fish, crabs or snails? Would it help?
Adding anything like this is up to you...if you over feed, then some scavengers may help cleam up any leftovers (overfeeding can lead to high nitrates). A good cleanup crew of snails and hermits can help control any nuisance algaes you may have.
The nitrate test could be incorrect, you can retest anytime and it might not be a bad idea to take a sample of water to your LFS for testing if they offer this service, then you can compare results with them.
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Old 05-10-2004, 09:53 AM   #3
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re: test levels

I'll retest the water for the nitrates again. If it still comes out high I will have to find a lfs for testing. The one I purhcased my tank and everything all of a sudden went out of business. Would a water sample be good for a few hours in a jar? Thanks so much for your help.
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:18 AM   #4
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Should be fine a couple of hours. Depends on the params of how you keep it.

Crabs depend on what you plan on keeping in your tank. If you value your snail collection, you might lose a few to your crabs. It's good to have a good selection (various kinds) of snails for your tank. A cleaner shrimp would be good, again depending on what you plan on having in your tank.

You can change your profile at the home page. Your box is on the right with your links to you mailbox, bookmarks, profile, etc.

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Old 05-10-2004, 01:40 PM   #5
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I want a nice small community tank. Would like to add cleaner shrimp and/or a few crabs, sea horse, anenome or urchin, eventually. I haven't added anything like that lately because when I did the crab died within an hour or two and so did the small lobster and red star I had gotten. The choc chip star is doing fine. Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:18 PM   #6
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Welcome Diana! The above advice is sound, unfortunately, your last post has raised some concerns. Sea horses really do need species specific tank. I had originally wanted a couple sea-horses as well but when I started researching them discovered they are very sensitive to water parameters and need little to no water flow at all in the tank. This is the exact opposite for 90% of other SW creatures that need a decent amount of water movement in the tank (most recommend 10 times your tank volume in gallons per hour) Trust me, my wife was not pleased with this news. Her conditions were, "you can have a SW tank if you put a sea-horse in it"

also, the trouble with your crabs and lobster may have been how you acclimated them to the tank (you can read up on Acclimation in our Articles Section) invertibrates are very sensitive to Nitrates. So if your tests are actually accurate, that may have been the cause.

Also, research your chocolate chip star, they are predatory. Research your sea urchins before you buy one as well. They can grow fast and some can damage other things in your tank. Some are great tank inhabitants. Choose wisely

Don't let my cautions discourage you! this hobby requires a fair amount of research and a whole LOT of patience! [edit]and a spell checker!![/edit] We're here to help!
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Old 05-10-2004, 05:37 PM   #7
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Hi. I don't mind am I am definitely not discouraged. I appreciate all the help I can get. I don't get alot of time to do research which makes it alittle harder, between work and the other animals I have. I know sea horses are "sensitive" but not to the extent they are and if it turns out I can't have one in my tank I will be somewhat disappointed but life will go on. I have fairly good water movement in my tank. I did have two hermit crabs at one time but they started picking on the choc. chip star so i traded them them in and was going to get another starfish or something when I got the test levels good. I'll go and read the articles on acclimating invertibartes. The choc. chip star doesn't move around the tank a whole lot, it's like he has found a spot he likes and hasn't moved. I do the legs moving up and down so I know he is still alive. I have read where certain fish or stars are predatory and I don't want anything like that if possible. I would like my tank buddies to get along. I have bought 3 books on fish and am slowly making my was through them. I have tons of patience. I also have another question while I am on a roll. The place where I got my tank and all, after I got the yellow tang, he said to tie a piece of romaine lettuce to weigh it down and drop it in the tank and the fish will eat it. So I did and I am and they are eating it pretty good. Is it a good thing or okay to do that or is there something better to feed the fish? Could that possibly shoot the nitrates up?
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Old 05-11-2004, 12:31 AM   #8
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Romaine lettuce is fine for the fish, as long as its being eaten I doubt it could raise the nitrates. Just in case, I would rinse it good just in case there are any chemicals on it.
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Old 05-11-2004, 05:39 AM   #9
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An algae clip on the side of the tank will do well for the grazing interests of the fish.

I picked up a choc chip star (cc) when I got a used tank. I thought no harm, it's way to slow to catch anything in my tank. Stupid cc- actually I'm the stupid one. Now he's out in my 100 gallon with my lr waiting for my 55 to get ready and then I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him. He would be the last one I would keep around. I'm surprised yours isn't moving around more. I do like the fact that mine seems to get around the whole tank on a regular basis.

Be sure to make the chemical balance in your tank a priority- especially the nitrates.

If you don't have a lot of time for extra research, spend as much time on this site as you can. Ask lots of questions. Everyone likes to help. Be patient and this is a great hobby to be into.
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Old 05-11-2004, 05:57 AM   #10
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I use a plastic clip from lfs made for clipping algae. Romaine is fine, but I use dried seaweed from lfs. Seaweed selects. From ocean nutrition. www.oceannutrition.com I've never visited the website, but that is what it says on the boz of algae.
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