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Old 03-26-2004, 06:25 PM   #1
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Water Chemistry

So, since the bulkhead leaked...and all the rock is in the sump, it's kinda like a mini-tank. I re-adjusted the skimmer, it's not pulling out a very light brown foam...before it was still tiny white bubbles. I figured, eh, I'm bored and can't build the new stand today, so let's test the water. I've only had the rock (from liverocks.com) since wednesday morning.
So, after 2 days

Ammonia - Somewhere SLIGHTLY above 0...I'm guessing .1, as it is nowhere near .25
Nitrite - Somewhere between .05 and .1 -- not an exact match with either color
Nitrate - 2.5 -- pretty close color match.

Should I have these kinds of levels after only 2 days? I used RO/DI water, new (not BRAND new) cartridges in that. I thought it odd that I already had levels of 'trite and 'trate. So my guess is, the rock contained bacteria necessary to consume both ammonia and nitrate, but that the population of each was not enough to handle the load being thrown at it. Sound like a logical deduction? There is decay of life on the rock, as it now has the classic white-fuzz look in some places. I'm about to go blast that off with the turkey baster, but I wanted to post my numbers and see what everyone else thought. Maybe it's normal.
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125 gallon saltwater: 55gal sump, 4 Blue-Green Chromis, Purple Tang, True Perc, Firefish, Royal Gramma, 5 Ricordea, Bubble Coral, 15 Pulsing Xenia, Green Star Polyps, Deresa clam, Green-Tip Torch Coral (about 11 "heads"!), Orange Montipora Cap, Purple M. Digitata, Green Slimer Acro. Yongei, 3 Orange M. Digitata, Pink&Green Acro. Millepora
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Old 03-26-2004, 08:47 PM   #2
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So my guess is, the rock contained bacteria necessary to consume both ammonia and nitrate, but that the population of each was not enough to handle the load being thrown at it. Sound like a logical deduction?
You hit the nail on the head! There is bacteria on your LR now as the die off from your LR occurs and more ammonia is produced, more nitrifying bacteria will grow to consume it.
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Old 03-26-2004, 08:48 PM   #3
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Sounds **** good to me In such a small volume of water the concentration is very low. In your tank you would have much less percentage wise Do a water change and blast of the fouling, sounds like another LR.com success story
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Old 03-26-2004, 09:27 PM   #4
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Similar situation...

The old situation:
30gal tank contained: sand bed and 20lbs of base rock
20gal sump contained: sand bed and 10lbs of base rock

Removed all rock from the main tank. Added 1 inch of new LR.com live sand. Added 30 lbs of LR.com LR. So I figure I buried the bacteria I had on the sand surface and removed/replaced all the existing tank rock surface.

The sump bacteria held things together. I made no change to the sump. Since adding the new LR only 2 days ago, ammonia has climbed to just measurable, nitrite is up to about .1 (very similar results to yours). Basically, the sump is completely filtering the entire system while the bacteria repopulates the tank.
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:18 PM   #5
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My LR.com experience is a mixed one. I'll post that in a different section later.

I just heard 3 clicks, each about a second apart. First I've heard since I put in the rock, haven't heard it since (this was about an hour ago). I know there's one mature shrimp in there...no large claws, both are tiny...and a bunch of baby pistol shrimp. I'm HOPING I heard a pistol that had hidden out somewhere in the rock. There are 2 hairy brown crabs I saw that stayed in the rock...hopefully they pissed off a shrimp.

The skimmer is now pulling a thickening foam (still a very light brown) from the sump. I'm going to Home Depot and Ace tomorrow for lumber to build a new stand, and a new bulkhead, respectively. The current crap-o stand had no room for the sump, so it was off to the right on the floor, looking awful. With my homemade stand, it will be hidden under the tank, which is where I wanted it all along. With as many problems as I've run into with this tank, I'm afraid to hook up the lighting. I'll end up burning the house down.
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125 gallon saltwater: 55gal sump, 4 Blue-Green Chromis, Purple Tang, True Perc, Firefish, Royal Gramma, 5 Ricordea, Bubble Coral, 15 Pulsing Xenia, Green Star Polyps, Deresa clam, Green-Tip Torch Coral (about 11 "heads"!), Orange Montipora Cap, Purple M. Digitata, Green Slimer Acro. Yongei, 3 Orange M. Digitata, Pink&Green Acro. Millepora
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