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Old 10-17-2011, 04:14 PM   #41
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We've been replacing evaporated water a couple of times per week with regular water. I'm wondering if maybe I'm not using the hydrometer properly.

I think maybe we need a new heater. We'll wait until it's cycled first, though.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:06 AM   #42
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That makes sense, that only the water and not the salt evaporate.

How much fresh water should we plan to add each day for the 10 and the 30?
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:23 AM   #43
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I really just depends on how humid the surrounding air is, how much air movement across the water surface and if you have an open top or not. You just want to make sure it stays close to full and check salinity often. You will notice that as the water evaporates the salinity will start to raise. In my 45 with an open top, I replace a gallon or so every three or four days.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:20 PM   #44
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Her's an update on how the cycling is going and also a couple of questions.

10 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia .5 ppm
nitrite .25
nitrate 10 ppm
salinity 1.029 Could this possibly running high because of the water temperature?

30 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia .5
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
salinity 1.025

Is this drop in pH due to the cycling process, or possibly due to adding fresh water?

Could the salinity possibly running high because of the water temperature running low?
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:41 PM   #45
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The water temp may very well give you a false reading on the salinity. If you can point your power heads a bit towards the surface of the water to get the surface tension on the water to break by getting a rippling affect it will help the ph. Also, if you take your readings shortly after the lights come on it will be lower than after the lights have been on most of the day.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:17 AM   #46
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Thank you for the great information and encouragement through this cycling process. We'll give an update on our readings a little later.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:23 AM   #47
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Here is today's update and a few more questions that we have.
10 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia .5 (We dosed with pure ACE ammonia @ 1 drop per gallon after test.)
nitrite .25
nitrate 5
salinity 1.027
temperature 76 F

30 gal.
pH 8.2
ammonia 1.5 (We dosed with 15 drops pure ammonia after the test.)
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
salinity 1.026
temperature 82 F

We decide to add some more pure ammonia in both aquariums this morning, since we haven't seen a large spike in the ammonia. We're keeping the lights off mostly through the cycle, hopefully to help reduce the amount of algae growth. We've also been testing the salinity early morning, before the sun comes up - so we're thinking that maybe that is why it's been testing high.

Should an ammonia spike of 2 or 3 ppm be enough to establish beneficial bacteria?

We're also starting to talk about and research what fish and invertebrates we'd like to add once it's cycled. Do you have any suggestions for hardy beginner fish or invertebrates?

Also, should we keep the 10 gal. as a QT to hold any purchases before adding them to the 30 gal.? The 10 gal only has incandescent lighting, so we know that it's not effecient and we won't be able to have corals in that one. Maybe sometime in the future it could become a sump or fuge for the 30 gal? If we were to do that what would we need?
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:16 PM   #48
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Some of the heartiest fish are Damsels but they are also a bit aggressive. In my opinion, it is hard to beat clown fish. You can get a run of the mill "Nemo" for about $15 each. Blue/Green Chromis are also fun because they are small and very active. Fun to watch. I also like my 6 Line Wrasse because he is always swimming in and out of the rocks. There are tons of others out there so look around. Just check them out before you buy anything. Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums is a very good resource for looking at fish. Lots of good info on requirements and behaviors.

Keep the 10 as a QT is a very good idea. If you happen to get a fish with ich or other disease, you will need to treat it. Most treatments are harmful to corals and CUC so keep a QT with neither of those is a good idea.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:32 PM   #49
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That sounds good, thank you. We'll research those and go from there.
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:46 AM   #50
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Hitchikers in the 30 gallon.

When we first set up the 30 gal. and put in the live rock we saw a small snail climbing up the glass wall of the tank, we haven't seen it since though. We figured that with the cycle and all, that we'd probably loose it. Last night, though, we saw some tiny bugs running all over the rock and a worm or something stick it's head or maybe an arm? up above the rock, you could see about an inch or so just kind of waving in the water. We also saw the head or an arm? come out and move along some of the rock. It looked like it had tiny rings on the part that we saw. We were surprised to see this life with the ammonia levels rising. Whatever it was is definately nocturnal. There are also a few tiny white worms, not moving, but clung to the side of the rock.
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