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Old 02-23-2011, 03:02 PM   #11
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if you have a nitrite spike everything is far from fine.You need a refractometer to check the water each week due to evaporation and water changes,are you topping up with RO/DI water and are you doing pwc??
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:20 PM   #12
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The levels aren't toxic, but they certainly aren't where they need to be.
Actually, they are toxic. Not to sound harsh or rude here, but you should understand that any levels of Nitrite or Ammonia present at all in the tank is toxic to the fish. Sure, higher levels present more of a threat, but still harmful nevertheless.

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they said everything was fine except the nitrite spike
So, you're right about your levels not being where they need to be, but yeah just wanted to let you know that Nitrite is toxic, too. Keep a close eye on those parameters and watch for Ammonia spikes as well.

Good luck!!
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:38 AM   #13
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Thank you for the help. Yes, I do know that nitrite is toxic...bad choice of words on my part. I had been watching the water levels very closely since adding the new inhabitants and contacted the LFS as soon as I saw the nitrite come up. They did have me do a partial water change, and they had me add some bio-spira. Everything is back to normal now.

The thing that scares me is that between me and the people at the store we couldn't figure out what I did wrong. I always de-chlorinate the top-off water (they said de-chlorinated tap water was fine). Also, my salinity level has been very stable. Cleaning agents don't come anywhere near the tank and I don't have air-fresheners in there. The only thing I can think of is that maybe I added too many inhabitants at once, although the store people didn't think so.

Thanks,

Rachael
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:57 AM   #14
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You shouldnt use tap water bad advice from your LFS use RO water tap water has phosphates along with other contaminates ask you LFS if he uses tap water probably not.
Do you have lots of live rock and a fine sand substrate that helps with the nitrification process also u can check your ph levels if they drop then you may have a oxygen level problem. Just some stuff to check
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:46 PM   #15
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You shouldnt use tap water bad advice from your LFS use RO water tap water has phosphates along with other contaminates ask you LFS if he uses tap water probably not.
Do you have lots of live rock and a fine sand substrate that helps with the nitrification process also u can check your ph levels if they drop then you may have a oxygen level problem. Just some stuff to check
I'm a bit confused on what water to use/not use. I've heard many different things from many different sources. In addition to what the LFS said, I had one person tell me to use distilled water, but I researched it and one of the sources said that distilled water doesn't have the right make-up to support a tank. So is RO/DI water the "perfect" water for a saltwater tank? Or can there be problems with it as well? I would invest in a RO/DI system if I thought it would help avoid water-related problems.

I started the tank with quite a bit of rock...some of it was live some of it was dry. I also used a good amount of live sand...the bulk of it is fairly fine with crushed coral/shells.

Thanks,

Rachael
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:11 PM   #16
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Ro and distilled are both perfect for salt aquariums for example store bought RO water has to be under 10 parts per million, distilled is 2 parts per million, and your average town and city waters are 300 parts per million. Good you have the live rock 1 pound per gallon of tank size is your minimum and sand about 1 inch deep is enough. I would deff buy an RO machine if u can afford it well worth the investment for drinking too hows the readings on your tank now?

Wait if you have crushed coral that can lead to high nitrates u want a super fine sand deffinatly not crushed coral!
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:24 PM   #17
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Thanks... I've been researching RO/DI equip today, not sure what to get just yet. I'll take any suggestions.

My levels are fine now. No nitrites showing up at all anymore on my test strips.

The sand I have is about 2" deep and was half regular sand, half live sand when I put it in. It's pretty fine. It's not entirely crushed coral...if that's what you mean. There's just some pieces in it. But the bulk is fine sand. So I'm hoping what I have is ok. I haven't really seen anything different offered in any of the stores I've been in.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:06 PM   #18
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Ok sounds like you got it figured out glad to hear as far as ROs i have a 50 gpd unit with 2 3gallon tanks but u can get bigger or just fill up 5 gallon bottles when u think of it. U just need a 4 stage RO machine with membrane,carbon filter,sediment filter, and a post filter. Usually can find them online for 100-150$. I dont have a deionization unit and honestly know nothing about them im sure someone else can tell u about them, but IMO u dont need one. I run a bottled water company so i do know ROs and distillers .
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