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Old 09-12-2008, 05:01 PM   #11
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I can comment on the Zoa "opening" question since I have had the same post. When I first got my Zoa's they would only open when the lights were on. Now after about 4weeks of having them, they stay open most of the night. Guess it just took time for them to adjust.

Man, and after a few weeks what I thought was "open" really wasn't... they are huge now. Really pretty!
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:57 PM   #12
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should have went on here and asked about the damsel before listening to the stupid LFS!!!!
Your LFS is trying to make some money. At least you know that now. I would suggest finding another LFS if you can. OK lesson learned. As mentioned above read our article on cycling. What are your water parameters right now?
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:08 PM   #13
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ok I figured that. I just got back from another LFS. As I said before the other LFS said my water was good. I took it to this one..they also said it was good! So I baught a test tube testing kit for nitrates, nitrites, and PH. They told me my PH was a little high though. My results were, nitrates are about 5 but close to the 10 mark. My nitrites are a ONE!!!! How is this!?!? They told me at 2 places it was ok? But I saw myself on the strip test that it was ok. Also like I said before I have some small zoas in there, a damsel and a conch snail...all doing great. Have been for a while now too. Also the PH was a 8.6, but the kit only went to 8.6. Could this mean it is higher? What the heck is going on and how do i get myself out of this hole!!! Thanks so much for the help guys.

Ben
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:12 PM   #14
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heres the pic of the brand of testers.......are they crap or something?
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Old 09-13-2008, 01:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bwilcox1208 View Post
...But I saw myself on the strip test that it was ok. ...
There's the answer to your own question. Test strips are notoriously hit and miss. Any LFS, in my opinion, that is determining whether your tank is ready for livestock by using test strips doesn't deserve your business... let alone anyone else's.

You've made the first steps to getting yourself out of the hole... getting test kits and doing your own tests. However, I note your pH test kit is for freshwater. Are there two color charts that came with it? I think the chemicals used for freshwater and saltwater are the same, it's just that the color chart is different. If you don't specifically have a saltwater color chart, then I'd wouldn't trust that pH reading too much.

Nitrites at 1.0 - that makes sense. As several have mentioned, you're most likely in the beginning or middle of a normal cycle. It could take a bit for livestock to show signs of stress from the cycle, so just because they're alive now doesn't mean the cycle isn't happening. Trust your test kits. (Plus... zoanthids are pretty darn tough to kill. Except in my tank. )

Personally... if it was me... I'd...

1. Take the damsel back to for a refund/credit if you can.
2. Put 30-40 lbs of live rock in the tank
3. Buy a refractometer and ditch the hydrometer
4. Get a test kit for ammonia

... and then let the tank cycle on its own without fish, and with all your live rock in there to start with. After the ammonia and nitrite levels are at 0.0, THEN add livestock - but only at a rate of 1 fish per month.

And hopefully there's another LFS near you that is truly interested in helping you set up a successful tank.
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Old 09-13-2008, 01:32 AM   #16
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Ok thanks a lot for the help. Yeah the PH test kit is also for the saltwater. i took the damsel out today, so that should be good. added some more live rock. i still only have about 10-15 lbs in there. is my ph too high still? also if the tank has been cycling with LR shouldnt the nitrites be a little lower like a .25 or something? and is a 5-10 nitrate suffecient, or does it need to be higher?

thank you again
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:12 PM   #17
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I wouldn't worry about pH until your cycle is over. It will swing all over during the cycle. It should settle down after your water changes at the end of the cycle.

Nitrites will vary depending on how much ammonia was there. If you had high amounts of ammonia, you'll have high amounts of nitrites. Whether you cycled with live rock or fish or a cocktail shrimp, the amount of nitrites is really unpredictable.

5-10ppm nitrates sounds about right for nearing the end of a cycle. There is no "sufficient" amount. Your tank doesn't need nitrates to cycle - it's just the byproduct. Once the cycle is over, you'll want to do water changes to get those nitrates as close to 0.0 as you can.
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:59 AM   #18
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Hi Ben,

When I first started I did A lot of reading before I bought anything. Seems like you went out and started buying stuff to put in your tank before even getting a test kit. What I learned from getting "advice" from LFS is that they tend to give you "advice" that makes them more money. Try not to rush into things. (i know its hard, my tank just finished cycling and its really hard to hold back lol)

I walked into a BigAls and they told me I "need" this and that and I "have" to have this and that. What they tell you may be something that works, but often there are better and cheaper choices.

Being a beginner myself... Here are some links that might help you

Saltwater Aquarium and Saltwater Fish Beginner's Guide - Aquarium Guide
(a lot of links to very useful info)

Hope this helps with all your cycling questions... Ph may change during what time of day cuz of the lighting.

Newbies, a little something on cycling/breaking in a new reef tank. - Reef Sanctuary

Nitrogen Cycle

(some stuff on cycling)

I wouldn't add anything else until you are sure you are done cycling. Every time you add something it does a mini cycle.

If you are unsure of advice from LFS always come back here and ask. The guys (and gals) are amazing and very nice.

HTH
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:17 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by want2findnemo View Post
Hi Ben,

When I first started I did A lot of reading before I bought anything. Seems like you went out and started buying stuff to put in your tank before even getting a test kit. What I learned from getting "advice" from LFS is that they tend to give you "advice" that makes them more money. Try not to rush into things. (i know its hard, my tank just finished cycling and its really hard to hold back lol)

I walked into a BigAls and they told me I "need" this and that and I "have" to have this and that. What they tell you may be something that works, but often there are better and cheaper choices.

Being a beginner myself... Here are some links that might help you

Saltwater Aquarium and Saltwater Fish Beginner's Guide - Aquarium Guide
(a lot of links to very useful info)

Hope this helps with all your cycling questions... Ph may change during what time of day cuz of the lighting.

Newbies, a little something on cycling/breaking in a new reef tank. - Reef Sanctuary

Nitrogen Cycle

(some stuff on cycling)

I wouldn't add anything else until you are sure you are done cycling. Every time you add something it does a mini cycle.

If you are unsure of advice from LFS always come back here and ask. The guys (and gals) are amazing and very nice.

HTH
hey thanks for the advice. Haha no i didnt just go out and buy things and throw it in. I had test kits but they were defective. I just went out and baught a master test kit from aquarium pharmicuticals. very good. my tank is perfect now. readings are great. I got this filtered ocean water and it made everything just right! Been testing it for a few days now and its all reading good! Thanks for the links anyways.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:44 AM   #20
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I had test kits but they were defective.
oh.. =\

heh just trying to help
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