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Old 10-30-2003, 10:16 PM   #1
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Chemistry is off

So the roomies and I aquired a 200 gal very nice salt water tank in the beginning of the week for free. (long story)

Needless to say, none of us have taken care of a saltwater tank and we are pretty much lost.

In the transport, we were able to save about 85% of the water, but still had to put in about 30 gal. (We were told the proper procedure to do this and were also given the little filtering device to put in good water). So at this point. The water looks great, the live rock inside is once again growing stuff, but the chemistry is off.

I took a water sample down to the local fish place and they told me that the amonia is a little too high, the nitrites are in the stress level, and the nitrates are above the scale.

There were very happy fish in the tank just 4 days ago, so why are my Nitrates and Nitrites now high? The roomie seems to think that the tank is naturally going to balance out... Is that the case, or is there something a little more drastic that we need to do?

Please post any information that you have and any suggestions that would be helpful.

Thanks and Gig'em

Robert
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:29 PM   #2
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There were very happy fish in the tank just 4 days ago, so why are my Nitrates and Nitrites now high?
The move probably caused it. You all probably stirred up the substrate and rocks which released all kinds of stuff into the water column. Assuming the tank was properly cycled before the move, the ammonia and nitrite levels should fall rather quickly. You could do a water change or two in order to bring them down manually, but you will need the proper test kits. These would be pH, ammonia, and nitrate to start with. You would also need a hydrometer as well.

The only way to get the nitrate level down to a reasonable level (<40ppm) is to do water changes as well.

You really need to get some test kits, asap.

Is this a reef tank or just a fish only tank? The reason I ask is that if it is a reef tank, you will have to do some quick learning in order to save any corals in the tank. Not saying you can't, it just would be an uphill battle for sure.

I guess you also inherited all the equipment with the tank as well, correct? This would include lighting, protein skimmer, sump (if one), etc...
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:41 PM   #3
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Yeah... it came with all the necessities you mentioned and more.

The lady that gave us the tank always called it live rock. Thats all that is in there right now. Unfortunately, the fish that were in the tank didn't like the temporary tank all too well and so... live rock is what we have.

We've managed to get a few water testing strips from the LFS that will last us temporarily and I guess if the water chemistry hasn't began correcting itself soon we'll begin the process of water replacement.

Gig'em

Robert
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