Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 10-27-2012, 02:03 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
nicolea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 138
getting frustrated w water chem

so for anyone who bothers to take the time to help me, i thank you in advance!
im still a little unclear on what to do at this point.

heres my history: 36 gallon up and running w argonite and live rock for about 2 weeks now. Put a raw shrimp in to cycle; had an ammonia spike to 8 with the shrimp only being in for max 4-5 days. took shrimp out and 24hrs later my ammonia was already back down to 0-0.25. IS THIS NORMAL?
Also I am having trouble with the colors on the API Test Kit; which Ill get back to. As for the readings today i think im at: pH 7.8 ITES 1.0 ATES 40 AMMONIA .50 --- Does
anyone recommend a better testing kit? the colors are very hard to tell whats going on.
/
With the ammonia going down so quickly; im concerned the tank didnt cycle properly. Should I dose the tank with pure ammonia from a hardware store?
Or should I try the bottled bacteria and run it that way ?

Ive used a pH upper to get my pH up bc its been 7.8 for awhile. i tried moving the power head w no change. Im thinking this testing kit sucks.

Im kind of lost at this point bc i dont know if the tank had its spikes and if im just waiting for the ites and ates and ammonia to zero out. PLZ HELP

heres a pic of the colors from yesterday that i was kind of unsure of what the readings were.

I know my ammonia has to be at 0 as well as nitrites; pH 8.0-8.2? what should my nitrates be at?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-1224129826.jpg
Views:	45
Size:	44.7 KB
ID:	127831   Click image for larger version

Name:	image-2934808609.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	61.6 KB
ID:	127832  

Click image for larger version

Name:	image-1082912784.jpg
Views:	46
Size:	41.0 KB
ID:	127834  
__________________

__________________
nicolea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 277
I have found that the best way to read the colors is to use a very bright white light (like sun light) and hold the tube against the white part of the card. I also have problems telling exactly what color it matches. I also have tested plain Ro Di water with the ammonia so I can use that to compare it to the tank water. If the ro water and tank water match then it should be no ammonia. it looks like you are still going thru your cycle since you still have nitrites. Once the nitrites zero out do a large water change to get the nitrates down. Usually the only way to get the nitrates down is water changes unless you do vodka dosing or have a deep sand bed etc
__________________

__________________
furrymurray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
nicolea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by furrymurray
I have found that the best way to read the colors is to use a very bright white light (like sun light) and hold the tube against the white part of the card. I also have problems telling exactly what color it matches. I also have tested plain Ro Di water with the ammonia so I can use that to compare it to the tank water. If the ro water and tank water match then it should be no ammonia. it looks like you are still going thru your cycle since you still have nitrites. Once the nitrites zero out do a large water change to get the nitrates down. Usually the only way to get the nitrates down is water changes unless you do vodka dosing or have a deep sand bed etc
Vodka dose??
Should I start doing some water changes?

Was that ammonia normal to go down so quickly?
__________________
nicolea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Daniel Fishy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Jupiter Fla
Posts: 1,178
Everything is going well just have patience and everything will turn out fine.api ammonia is hard to tell don't over examine it looks fine, wait till nitrites read zero then do a water change, nitrates will rise and go down with wc.
__________________
Daniel Fishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 277
Since you have live rock it has the benefecial bacteria on it. And it can cause the ammonia to drop quickly. Some people say they never even get a ammonia or nitrite spike. Just the nitrates. Its going good. Not much longer and you will be cycled
__________________
furrymurray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 05:32 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 277
Oh and i would wait until you are finished cycling before your water changes. I dont do vodka dosing but you can dose your tank with vodka to get your nitrates down. I dont feel like I am experienced enough to even try it yet.
__________________
furrymurray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 11:49 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
nicolea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 138
Soooo I did about a 25-30% water change last night. My readings were looking better before I went to bed. Here's what I got this morning....

Trates: 0- API test kit: 20 API test strips
Trites: 0
Ammonia: 0
PH : 8.4
Salinity: 1.023-1.024

Does this mean I'm cycled?
---already had spikes in the first 3.
__________________
nicolea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 11:58 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 277
Did your nitrites get to zero before the water change? If they didnt you might have removed the nitrites before the beneficial bacteria had a chance to build up. If it was me, i would add some shrimp or other form of ammonia and double check before adding livestock.
__________________
furrymurray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 01:00 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Phranque's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Miamisburg, OH
Posts: 1,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by furrymurray View Post
Did your nitrites get to zero before the water change? If they didnt you might have removed the nitrites before the beneficial bacteria had a chance to build up. If it was me, i would add some shrimp or other form of ammonia and double check before adding livestock.
Agree... you kinda shot yourself in the foot by removing the shrimp. Yes, ammonia can drop that fast once the bacteria begin to build, but now you don't truly know because you removed the source.....
I would add another one and test daily. If you are truly cycled, then the only thing that will rise are your nitrates since the bacteria is present to process the ammo & nitrites. I would certainly do this before adding anything to the tank, just to be sure..... If it turns out you are cycled, then pull your shrimp, do a couple of large pwc's to get the nitrates way down, and begin adding your livestock. If it happens that you are not cycled, don't try to force the issue with bottled bacteria, don't remove the shrimp, and don't do any water changes. Keep testing daily, and nature will take it's course.

As far as your pH.... DO NOT ADD BUFFERS to adjust. Yes, 7.8 is on the low side, but cerainly not low enough to stall your cycle, and stability is the single most important thing. And, are you using RODI water?

Forget you ever heard the words "Vodka dosing"..... This is used by the most experienced reefers to eke out the very last bit of nitrates from their water column for the most demanding of corals. If done incorrectly, it can cause 10 times more problems then it helps...... 99.5% of reef keepers do not need to mess with this. Regular water changes will maintain low enough nitrates for just about any corals you'll keep as a beginner/intermediate reefer.

EDIT: I didn't see it mentioned, but if they're not, make sure your lights are completely off during your cycle. If they're on, you can get some very nasty algae/bacterial blooms very quickly with all those nutrients present.......
__________________
Phranque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 01:44 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Phranque's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Miamisburg, OH
Posts: 1,443
I forgot to address your test kits in the above post.... API is plenty good enough to get you through your cycle, and maintain a FOWLR if that's your route, since nitrates are really the only thing you need to worry about, and you don't need to be sub-1ppm sensitive....
If you plan on keeping corals, however, you will need much more sensitive testing kits. The minimum tests you will want are for nitrates, phosphates, calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. The Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro set gives you the calc, alk, and mag tests, and are a great bit of kit for the money. The Red Sea Algae Control set gives you much more sensitive nitrate and phosphate tests, but I would not recommend them..... discerning between the subtle shades of colors can be a real PITA. For these two tests, I'd recommend the digital Hanna checkers. They are a bit more expensive, but these are two properties of the reef tank that must be monitored carefully & accurately, as they are the areas that present reefers with the most problems in controlling things like algae & bacterial blooms. I still run the Red Sea kits and manage OK, but the Hannas are on the very top of my list.....
__________________

__________________
Phranque is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.