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Old 01-15-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
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ekean45's Avatar
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Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 133
Advice Needed - Nitrates and Water Changes

I have a 60 gallon (48”L X 13”W X 24”H) that recently completed cycling.

While it was cycling, I had a yellow tail damsel, 4 turbo snails, 2 emerald crabs, peppermint shrimp and and arrowhead crab.

During the cycling process, I used
  • Seachem Stability (daily)
  • Alpha (daily)
  • Iodine (for the inverts).
I've been doing this on a tight budget so I know I'm not using the best equipment possible. But here's what I have:
  • SeaClone 100 Protein Skimmer (off during cycling - just turned on)
  • AA Aquarium UV sterilizer – 24Watt (off during cycling - just turned on)
  • Marineland Emperor 400 BIO-Wheel Powerfilter
  • Fluval M200 heater.
The day it had finished cycling, test were as follows:
  • Salinity: 1.023
  • PH: 8.3
  • Amm: 0
  • Nitrite: 0
  • Nitrate: 40
I did a 20% water change and test results above were the same the following day except nitrates went to about 15. I then added a yellow prawn goby, pistol shrimp, and flame scallop. Day after, test results again were the same but nitrates are at 20. Seems like this should have been expected.

Does this seem that I am going in the right direction as far as what the test results should be reading?

I've been getting overload advice from a ton of different websites that a newly cycled tank saying nitrates should never go over 20 while some have said not to go over 40. What are your thoughts?

Again with the overload advice, my plans are to now do a 15-20% water change about every 1 1/2 to 2 weeks of the first year and then 20% once a month. Thoughts?

I'm going to wait about a year to add corals to make sure I can keep fish alive! I'll then go to a good LED light system.

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Old 01-15-2012, 10:23 AM   #2
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Sounds good so far. I would however stop dosing iodine or anything else. Your water changes should replenish any needed elements via the salt mix which has everything your inverts and corals will need.

180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:12 AM   #3
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Location: Toronto,Ontario
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agree with carey, although i wouldn't have added more stock for another month, just to help things stabilize
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