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Old 04-21-2010, 08:16 AM   #11
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If the tank is one month old, has that much algae, there is no way it has positive ammonia and negative for nitrite from not having started the cycle. What brand of test kit are you using? Had you done a water change recently? Where do you get your water from? Did you do anything to kill algae and cause an ammonia spike?
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:03 PM   #12
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I'm using the API 5 in 1 test strip, and the API liquid one for ammonia.

I just did another test today, nitrate and nitrite readings are 0.5 and 20ppm, the color is really hard to tell, it's more like between 0 - 0.5 and 0-20. PH is 8.5.

I didn't take any ammo test today as i was rushing to go to work. But as for ammonia, I've been testing it every few days for the past few weeks, it never went above 0.25.

This is a reef + fish tank so I think there has to be some ammonia in it.

I have been doing partial water changes for 20% every 3-4 days for the past 2 weeks.

I buy the water from a LFS down the street from my house, I brought sample of their water and my tank water to another LFS which i buy fish from, they said the water is very good, and my water is cycled.

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Also is that an anenome at the bottom of the tank?
Yes that's an annemone .... for the clown.. is it bad for the corals?

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Did you do anything to kill algae and cause an ammonia spike?
I did not do anything to kill them, I just keep cleaning the tank glass with a sponge.

yesterday i changed my filters to filter floss + purigen + chemi pure elite, i'll see if the algae problem goes away. I was running sponge + carbon + ceramic rings before.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:33 PM   #13
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As long as your tank has an ammonia and/or nitrite reading other then 0, your tank is still cycling. Even if you had only fish and lr, you should have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.
Your tank is to new to support an anemone. Clowns don't need an anemone to survive in a tank. I have a plastic anemone for my clown to play with. He doesn't know the difference.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:47 PM   #14
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As long as your tank has an ammonia and/or nitrite reading other then 0, your tank is still cycling. Even if you had only fish and lr, you should have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.
Your tank is to new to support an anemone. Clowns don't need an anemone to survive in a tank. I have a plastic anemone for my clown to play with. He doesn't know the difference.
that's nice. i didn't know there's plastic ones ... lol. but my clown rarely go near the anemone.

what do you guys suggest that i should do in my situation? will the massive algae ruin my tank?
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:17 PM   #15
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A few comments/suggestions...

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Originally Posted by mike2016 View Post
I'm using the API 5 in 1 test strip, and the API liquid one for ammonia.
You really need to get liquid test kits for everything. In my experience, those 5-1 test strips are good for detecting "0.0" of things, but the minute you have a trace of what it is you're trying to watch for, they're really bad.

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I just did another test today, nitrate and nitrite readings are 0.5 and 20ppm, the color is really hard to tell, it's more like between 0 - 0.5 and 0-20. PH is 8.5.
As others have said, it sounds like the tank is still cycling. Any nitrIte readings other than zero definitely means its still cycling.

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This is a reef + fish tank so I think there has to be some ammonia in it.
A cycled tank, no matter what type, should normally not test positive for any ammonia. Unless something has died, and is decomposing, you really shouldn't be seeing any ammonia.

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I have been doing partial water changes for 20% every 3-4 days for the past 2 weeks.
This is a good thing since it appears you're still cycling, and have things living in it. Keeping the ammonia levels down will increase your odds that things survive, but will prolong the cycle.

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I buy the water from a LFS down the street from my house, I brought sample of their water and my tank water to another LFS which i buy fish from, they said the water is very good, and my water is cycled.
Probably just being picky, but the water isn't what's cycled... it's the tank. Very little bacteria lives in the water, but instead lives in the rocks and the sand. There really isn't such a thing as "cycled water." I think all the LFS was saying was that there wasn't any ammonia or nitrites in the water. They would have no way of knowing if the tank was cycled or not because they do not know the history of the water parameters. I can give a LFS water from a cycled tank, and water freshly made that has never even been in a tank, and it can look identical.

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I did not do anything to kill them, I just keep cleaning the tank glass with a sponge.
Is this a sponge that is dedicated to your tank and not used anywhere else? And it was new before you used it in the tank? Just wanting to point out that you want to be really careful about cross contamination of things in your tank. Also that many sponges these days are coated/sprayed with various chemicals to retard bacteria growth, fungal growth, etc. You don't want this stuff in your tank.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:52 PM   #16
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thanks for the comments.

out of curiosity, i just tested ammonia for my tank water and new saltwater bought from LFS, they both appear to be the same color - light greenish yellow. for 0 reading it should be brown yellow. How can new water contain ammonia? I'm using the API test kit which contains a glass tube and 2 bottles of liquid, each test requires 8 drops from each bottle.

and the sponge i use for cleaning the tank, it is just for tank use only. I got it from the LFS too.

Any suggestion for filtration usage? I changed out the ceramic rings / carbon / sponge for filter floss+purigen + chemi pure elite as i said above, it should start working right away unlike ceramic / bio filters which take time for bacteria to build up, correct?
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike2016 View Post
out of curiosity, i just tested ammonia for my tank water and new saltwater bought from LFS, they both appear to be the same color - light greenish yellow. for 0 reading it should be brown yellow. How can new water contain ammonia?
This is NOT good. The water you use for PWC's should be free of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

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Originally Posted by mike2016 View Post
Any suggestion for filtration usage? I changed out the ceramic rings / carbon / sponge for filter floss+purigen + chemi pure elite as i said above, it should start working right away unlike ceramic / bio filters which take time for bacteria to build up, correct?
Not really - using chemicals and ammonia/nitrate/nitrite/phosphate/silicate removers only delay the cycle - you definatley need the bacteria (bio filter) to do this. There is no instant cycle option - and no way to safely keep fish without doing a cycle and creating your bio filter.

The only time you should be changing the media in your filter is when it gets too blocked to function (rinse it in tank water and NOT tap water, as the chlorine kills the bacteria). The ceramic rings, filter floss and Live Rock harbor the good bacteria to convert the ammonia into nitrite and then into nitrate. Carbon you can change over after a few months.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:09 PM   #18
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If your LFS will help you out, return the anemone and the clown.

Stop using all the chemicals. They will not help the long term issue. They might help your fish survive a cycle, but it will make the cycle take longer. Healthy live rock and sand will break down all of the compounds removed by those chemicals, and won't get used up and stop working if you forget to change it in time. Weekly partial water changes will do the rest, removing the end products of bacterial breakdown from the water.

Once you have the animals out, you can cut down on water changes during the cycle, and just feed the rocks and sand a little fish food each day, as much as you would if there was a fish, and wait this out. You need a healthy tank before you can have healthy fish. You can manually remove the algae if it bothers you, but it is actually helping matters, so I'd leave it be for a bit.

After the levels all settle out, so you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and noticeable nitrate, you can do a big water change and start talking about fish. Assuming you have 20 gallons or more, you can get a pair of clownfish, but leave the anemone out of this until your tank is at least a year old and you have done some research on the type of anemone you want to get.

I have used the cheap test strips for a cycle before. They do not read very accurately, but you pretty much just need a +/- for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate right now. When the strips run out, get a liquid test kit, preferably not the AP or Tetra one.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike2016 View Post
out of curiosity, i just tested ammonia for my tank water and new saltwater bought from LFS, they both appear to be the same color - light greenish yellow. for 0 reading it should be brown yellow. How can new water contain ammonia? I'm using the API test kit which contains a glass tube and 2 bottles of liquid, each test requires 8 drops from each bottle.
This is why I asked about what test kit you were using. I had an AP kit that was bad and showed .25 ammonia no matter what what was in the water.

You might buy a bottle of RO/DI filtered water and test that, and see if it's the kit, or if you're buying bad water from your LFS.

What size is this tank?
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:03 PM   #20
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the tank is 28g nano cube. i'll test the RO water that i have tonight and see what happens. I saw API test kits everywhere, every LFS has it, so i thought it should be good...
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