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Old 10-24-2011, 05:19 PM   #71
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I am no expert in any stretch of the imagination but, I am going to do my to keep it simple and natural. My fear is that as soon as you start dosing chemicals for one thing you are throwing something else off. I have never been very good at juggling so whenever possible, I will rely on water changes.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:25 AM   #72
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I agree on the water changes. I know that some of the chemical filtration companies tell you that you can use their product and never have to do water changes for an extended period of time. I think they try to lure in people with those claims. I tend to think small, frequent water changes are super important regardless of what is used for filtration. I have been a little lax with our FW tanks since starting up the new SW tanks for our research, but I usually change out 1/4 of the water twice per week. I know some people hate the work of water changes; however, it only takes me 30 minutes twice a week for all 3 FW tanks.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:52 PM   #73
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Today's update. Cycle is going very well. 10 gallon is almost there and 30 gallon isn't far behind.

10 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia 0 (24 hours after dosing to 4ppm)
nitrite 2
nirate 80
salinity 1.030
temp 76 F

30 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
nitrite 5
nitrate 80
salinity 1.025
temp 80 F
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:57 PM   #74
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Getting close. When both ammonia and nitrite is 0 after 24 hours you are good to do you PWCs and start stocking.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:32 AM   #75
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The cycle is going great. Yes, getting close just still waiting for the nitrites to start dropping.

Here are today's test results and we have a couple of questions at the end.

10 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
nitrite 2
nitrate 160
SG 1.025
temp 76 F

30 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
nitrite 5
nitrate 160
SG 1.025
temp 82

This is the 3nd day in a row of 0 ammonia for the 10. Very exciting for us! We're just waiting for the nitrites to start dropping. We haven't seen any life at all in the 10, so not as concerned on the dosings and readings. We'll continue to add the 35 drops of Ace ammonia brings that brings the 10 gal. to 4ppm each day and just wait out full the cycle.

We did a small (4 gallon) water change on the 30 to help bring some of the nitrates down and dosed 1 drop per gal. of the Ace ammonia to keep feeding the beneficail bacteria.

D saw a small (1/4") white shrimp last night hanging out by some white base rock. Any idea what it might be?

I've been hearing clicking/snapping at night when the lights are off. Any idea on that?

Should the temp. on the 10 gal. be closer to 80? (I know not as important now, but want to make sure we're ready for fish/snails when the time comes.

Should we turn the temp down on the 30?

Is it ok to add a small amount of baking soda to bring the pH up to 8, or is 7.8 OK? Are there any other ways to bring the pH up a little? - maybe some crushed coral in the filter?

We're planning on ordering the lighting upgrade on Friday for the 30. The 10 only has incandescent, so we know it's not effecient - but also, the light stopped working. Are there LEDs that can screw into the socket? That would save a little $ over purchasing a new hood. Or would a basic T8 flourescent be better? - planning on just keeping it QT/FOWLR.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:59 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themartins View Post
D saw a small (1/4") white shrimp last night hanging out by some white base rock. Any idea what it might be?

Most likely a amphipod

I've been hearing clicking/snapping at night when the lights are off. Any idea on that?

Likely a mantis shrimp, you're going to want to remove it if you can, as it will be hard on both corals and shrimp. Some people do run a dedicated mantis tank however.

Should the temp. on the 10 gal. be closer to 80? (I know not as important now, but want to make sure we're ready for fish/snails when the time comes.

temp should be around 78 on both tanks

Should we turn the temp down on the 30?

Is it ok to add a small amount of baking soda to bring the pH up to 8, or is 7.8 OK? Are there any other ways to bring the pH up a little? - maybe some crushed coral in the filter?

pH of 7.8 is actually fine, you can add baking soda if you desire or crushed coral, but keep in mind this will most likely be a constant add.

We're planning on ordering the lighting upgrade on Friday for the 30. The 10 only has incandescent, so we know it's not effecient - but also, the light stopped working. Are there LEDs that can screw into the socket? That would save a little $ over purchasing a new hood. Or would a basic T8 flourescent be better? - planning on just keeping it QT/FOWLR.
A flourescent is better than an incandescent, and a t5 or t8 is better than both. However, on a quaratine tank light is not all that important. In your case you might want a little better lighting to show off the fish.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:16 PM   #77
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Thank you for answering our questions, also for the suggestion.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:08 PM   #78
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Any suggestions on how we can locate and remove the mantis shrimp?

Here are today's test results. We also ordered the Coralife t5 lunar fixture and a glass canopy.

10 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
nitrite 5
nitrate 160
SG 1.025
temp. 74 F (switching heaters today with one of the FW tanks)

30 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
nitrite 5
nitrate 40
SG 1.025
temp 82 F (turning down the heater)
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:58 AM   #79
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Last night we tried to trap the posslible mantis shrimp with a homemade bottle trap baited with a raw shrimp, but was unsuccessful.

Here are today's test results. I think the cycle is possibly stalled because the nitrite levels haven't moved. Do you have any suggestions on how to get the nitrite moving? Would a water change help?

10 gal. (2 bristle worms spotted last night)
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
nitrite 5 (is the cycle stalled?)
nitrate 160
SG 1.025
temp 84 F (turned heater down)

30 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
nitrite 5 (is the cycle stalled)
nitrate 40
SG 1.025
temp 81 (turned heater down again)
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:23 PM   #80
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Today's test results. The 10 gal. is almost there! We had a cool field trip this morning to the ocean and then a trip to our favorite LFS to look around. I know we're not quite ready for fish, so being patient for the cycle to be complete. Our LFS will special order things for us, so they're looking into if they can get in a mated pair of ocellaris clowns for us when we're ready.

10 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
nitrite .25
nitrate 80

30 gal.
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
nitrite 5+ off the charts (water change later to hopefully bring it into a readable range on the test)
nitrate 80

We had a fieldtrip to the ocean this morning to look in tide pools. We all had lots of fun and came home with a few empty shells for possible hermit crab shells. We saw 3 small Eastern starfish, a crab that burried himself in the sand, lots of periwinkles, hermit crabs, a 1/2 shelled clam that had stcuk itself onto a rock, worms, live sand dolars; and of course, lots of rocks, empty shells, bones, seaweed, driftwood, and other things that had washed up onto the land. A really cool field trip!
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