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Old 04-28-2005, 09:03 AM   #1
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Did I just make a mistake?

Hi folks:

Specs:
90Gal SW tank
7 damsels cycling tank (down from 15 initially)
Set up tank with local tap water

OK, after 6 days of running just the W/D filter on my new SW tank, the LFS guy came by and turned on the UV sterilizer and my protein skimmer. After he left, I added a little Seachem Prime to the tank, because I read that you should add it to help with dechlorination of tap water. Did I just make a colossal mistake? Should I not be adding anything to the water until the tank has completely cycled? I noticed after I added the Prime to the tank that now the water looks somewhat cloudy, but I can't tell if the cloudiness is from tiny bubbles (maybe from turning the protein skimmer on?) or the addition of the Prime to the tank water.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Shannon

P.S. I've ordered a RO/DI filter, and I plan on using RO/DI water from this point on with the tank. I don't need to use dechlorinator on RO/DI water, correct?
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:18 AM   #2
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Correct no need for dechlorinator on RO water. The filter itself will take that out. Is your skimmer outputting alot of micro bubbles? If so you may need to adjust it. Was it putting out these bubbles prior to adding the prime? Additional details about yoru skimmer and how its setup would be good also.

The prime shouldnt cloud the tank. I would have hoped you would have dechlorinated the tank prior to adding the fish. Can you tell us what yoru ammonia and nitrite levels are?
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Is your skimmer outputting alot of micro bubbles? Was it putting out these bubbles prior to adding the prime?
Good question. I honestly didn't notice the bubbles until after adding the Prime, but I wasn't paying that much attention when the LFS guy plugged in the Protein Skimmer. I'm thinking (should I say hoping?) that what I am looking at is bubbles from the skimmer, and nothing else.

Quote:
The prime shouldnt cloud the tank. I would have hoped you would have dechlorinated the tank prior to adding the fish.
The tank was set up for me by the LFS guy, and I KNOW he didn't add any dechlorinator to the tap water, just salt. Was it a mistake for me to add the dechlorinator while the tank is cycling, or is that what I should be doing every time I top off the tank during the cycling period?

Quote:
Can you tell us what yoru ammonia and nitrite levels are?
I'm at work now, and can't remember the levels, but when I get home I will test and post my ammonia and nitrite levels.
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:07 PM   #4
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Ran home for lunch and tested my water. Here are the results:

pH = 7.7
NH3/NH4 = 1.25mg/l OR 1.5mg/l (I'm not really sure which one, too close to tell)
NO2= 0.3mg/l
NO3=12.5mg/l
KH = 8
CO2= 4
SPG = 1.018

What do you think?
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:10 AM   #5
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Sounds like the skimmer is dumping microbubbles in the tank. Also your PH is low. Do you have a glass top on the tank? Is there any surface agitation? Make sure your lfs guy knows about the ph level...
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32 gallon hex, 34 lbs lr, Prizm protein skimmer, fluval 104, 1 maxi jet 750, 1 maxi jet 1200 ph, current 40w 50/50 pc, 1 NO powerglo 19watt, 1 daylight NO 65w (equiv), two damsels, 1 green brittlestar, 1 peppermint shrimp, turbo snails, red legged hermit crabs, kenyan tree coral, leather coral, pumping xenia, mushroom coral, green star polyps, orange button polyps
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Sounds like the skimmer is dumping microbubbles in the tank.
Yes, it does appear that the protein skimmer is dumping microbubbles in the tank. I've topped off the water a bit, and this has helped considerably.

Quote:
Also your PH is low.
Since this is a fish only tank (no live rock, faux coral), what would be the appropriate pH level? For that matter, what are the appropriate levels in a fish only tank for the following:
pH
KH
CO2
SPG
NO3
I know that ammonia and nitrites should be at 0 once the tank has completed cycling. I have Kent Marine Superbuffer dKH. Should I add some to the tank?

Quote:
Do you have a glass top on the tank? Is there any surface agitation?
Yes, I do have glass lids on the tank, and a canopy with glass lids on it. I can't really remove these because my cat will find a way to get into the tank. There is some surface agitation going on via some sort of tubing, but perhaps it is not enough?

Thanks so much to everyone who has taken the time to help. I truly appreciate it!
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Old 04-29-2005, 12:03 PM   #7
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while cycling are u supposed to turn ur protein skimmer on?
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Old 04-29-2005, 12:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Oceanicsublimat
while cycling are u supposed to turn ur protein skimmer on?
Depends on the level of organics in the tank and what is being used to cycle the tank. Many will incorrectly tell you that a skimmer should never be used but it's a matter of circumstances and set up. If a "shrimp cycle and precured or dry rock, the skimmer is not needed. If freshly harvested rock, definately use the skimmer, otherwise why bother getting life encrusted rock in the first place...

Cheers
Steve
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Old 04-29-2005, 12:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannono
what are the appropriate levels in a fish only tank for the following:
pH
KH>> 1.5-3 mEq/l NSW values
CO2>> Don't waste the money on this
SPG>> 1.023-25 SG or 35 ppt if using a refractometer
NO3>> Under 20 ppm is best. While fish will tolerate higher NO3 readings, it can still lead to many types of bacterial issues. Parasites don't just "happen" so it is not an issue. They are either present or they're not. Best means of preventing that is to QT all new arrivals.
Quote:
Yes, I do have glass lids on the tank, and a canopy with glass lids on it. I can't really remove these because my cat will find a way to get into the tank.
This is your primary issue. Trapped CO2 will inhibit proper pH levels. No amount of surface aggitation can overcome a build up of CO2, you need to allow the tank to breathe. Once the areation problem is solved, brisk surface aggitation will improve the pH. Don't forget this is a cycling tank and wonky chemsitry is part and parcel of the process.

The best means of blocking things from getting in the tank as well as keeping things in is "eggcrate" material. You can find it in your local HD's lighting dept. Looks like this...

Cheers
Steve
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Old 04-30-2005, 09:38 AM   #10
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The best means of blocking things from getting in the tank as well as keeping things in is "eggcrate" material.
Will this eggcrate material support the weight of a 14 pound cat? And I am assuming you set your light strip on top of this stuff, correct? A lot of people here seem to advocate removing their glass tops, but by doing this you are leaving your light strip lying on top of the tank, with nothing between it and the water. Is this a safe thing to do?
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