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Old 02-04-2005, 08:18 PM   #1
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help with the Salifert Silicate test PLEASE

I have been complaining on this forum about the brown algae (diatoms) taking over my tank lately.

I ordered the Salifert Silicate test and it came today. I tested my tank water and the results were 3ppm (as dark blue as you can get). From the instructions with the test, it sounds like that is bad! Here is what it says:

"Avoid using tap water or RO water which contains more than 2 ppm as dissolved silicon. In marine water the dissolved silicon contest should be below the detection limit of this test"

We ONLY use the salt water from the LFS. They make it there on the premises. No other water has ever gone in our tank.

So, I test the water directly from the store and got the SAME result. 3ppm silicate. Is it possible the store is selling salt water full of silicates or am I doing something wrong/ reading results incorrectly?

Other parameters:
Our parameters are all consistently great. (ammonia: 0, PH 8.3, Nitrite: 0 , Nitrates: 0, temp 80F, Salinity: 1.022. ).

Feeding once daily. 2 MaxiJet1200 power heads going. We run our lights about 11 hours a day.

DJ
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54G AGA Corner Tank
Eheim 2215 Canister Filter (w/ live rock rubble in it)
3 Maxijet 1200 Power Heads
Aqua C Remora Protein Skimmer
Acqua C Remora Pre-Skimmer
75 pounds Live Rock
30" 2x65w Coralife Lunar Aqualights
Diatom Filter
Turbo Twist UV

2 Percula Clowns, Diamond Golby, Flame Angel, Royal Gramma, Lawnmower Blenny, PPmint shrimp, 3 emerald crabs and a huge cleaning crew (snails and crabs)
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Old 02-04-2005, 08:37 PM   #2
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Just checked the phosphates with the Salifert Phosphate test. The result of our tank water was .25 ppm which reads "coral growth retarded".

The results of the store bought water out of the jug was even worse! 2ppm!

I called the LFS and told them the results of the tests of their water they are selling and they told me the silicates don't make a difference in diatoms and to add a phosphate buster for the phosphates.

I am extremely annoyed. What would you do?

DJ
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54G AGA Corner Tank
Eheim 2215 Canister Filter (w/ live rock rubble in it)
3 Maxijet 1200 Power Heads
Aqua C Remora Protein Skimmer
Acqua C Remora Pre-Skimmer
75 pounds Live Rock
30" 2x65w Coralife Lunar Aqualights
Diatom Filter
Turbo Twist UV

2 Percula Clowns, Diamond Golby, Flame Angel, Royal Gramma, Lawnmower Blenny, PPmint shrimp, 3 emerald crabs and a huge cleaning crew (snails and crabs)
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Old 02-04-2005, 08:58 PM   #3
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Another update:

My husband just got off the phone with the LFS. They said they are glad we called b/c it turns out their R/O unit is broken and we alerted them of it (we bought our most recent water for our last water change 5 days ago!) BUT, there is nothing they can do for us. (Actually, we have been having this problem for longer than that, so I would imagine their R/O unit has been busted for longer). They recommend a bunch of chemicals (cost $65) or a phosphate pad (cost $11). Neither of which they will give us any break on.

UGH!

DJ
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54G AGA Corner Tank
Eheim 2215 Canister Filter (w/ live rock rubble in it)
3 Maxijet 1200 Power Heads
Aqua C Remora Protein Skimmer
Acqua C Remora Pre-Skimmer
75 pounds Live Rock
30" 2x65w Coralife Lunar Aqualights
Diatom Filter
Turbo Twist UV

2 Percula Clowns, Diamond Golby, Flame Angel, Royal Gramma, Lawnmower Blenny, PPmint shrimp, 3 emerald crabs and a huge cleaning crew (snails and crabs)
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:27 PM   #4
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Before you add any chemicals to your tank, test and make sure you have what they want you to remove. No reason to add a bunch of stuff to get rid of phosphate if its not a problem. Just because you have algae doesn't mean its being caused by the common culprits. I personaly am having another small cyano outbreak, but my nitrate's are below 10, and have 0 phosphate, so it must be something else.

There is a good chance the fish store uses premixed tap water to sell, and likely to use in their tanks. It would be expensive to maintain a giant RO filter, so I know some choose not to. They have to scrub their tanks every day anyway, so its no great loss on their part. You would probably be better off investing in a home RO unit, not only for the long term savings, but it will keep you in control of your water.

I'm guessing since you have been having algae problems that you have been maintaining your canister filter?
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmpj2
I called the LFS and told them the results of the tests of their water they are selling and they told me the silicates don't make a difference in diatoms and to add a phosphate buster for the phosphates.
Phosphates have nothing to do with diatoms. Their one food source that keeps them going is silicates, plain and simple. Either your LFS has told a falsehood or they are unaware of it.

FWIW, most quality PO4 granular sponges will also remove silicates after the PO4 is removed. It just takes a few changes with fresh media. Just be sure you do not use an Aluminum oxide product.

As far as the RO water goes, it doesn't matter how good it is. Without the DI resin after the RO membrane, silicates and PO4 cannot be removed. The RO membrane by itself is incapable of it.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
I'm guessing since you have been having algae problems that you have been maintaining your canister filter?
The tank has been running 2 months and we have not done anything with the canister filter but run it constantly b/c the same LFS (where we also bught our whole set up) told us the filter should be cleaned every 6 months? Is this wrong too?

We are going to the fish store tomorrow. I guess we will start with the PO4 granular sponges. We are new at this. So, we should get a couple of these sponges and new media for the filter?

I also bought something called Salifert Phosphate Killer while I was ordering the 2 test kits from marinedepot.com. Anyone familiar with this product? Should we use it? If so, any hints as to how?

I guess my plan of just buying the store salt water is over and we will have to buy a R/O unit for the house. Suggestions on what to get? We are clueless.

TIA
DJ
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54G AGA Corner Tank
Eheim 2215 Canister Filter (w/ live rock rubble in it)
3 Maxijet 1200 Power Heads
Aqua C Remora Protein Skimmer
Acqua C Remora Pre-Skimmer
75 pounds Live Rock
30" 2x65w Coralife Lunar Aqualights
Diatom Filter
Turbo Twist UV

2 Percula Clowns, Diamond Golby, Flame Angel, Royal Gramma, Lawnmower Blenny, PPmint shrimp, 3 emerald crabs and a huge cleaning crew (snails and crabs)
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
I guess my plan of just buying the store salt water is over and we will have to buy a R/O unit for the house. Suggestions on what to get? We are clueless.
I haven't hooked mine up yet, but I bought one on eBay (another poster on this board recommended it - he reports no problems with it). Cost $100-$120. I was hoping to avoid this expense but I want things to go as smoothly as possbile. The learning curve for this hobby is high enough without the added frustration of water-caused problems.

Good luck. My turn will be coming in a few weeks when my tank completes the cycle and I put the LR in.
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 02-05-2005, 01:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmpj2
The tank has been running 2 months and we have not done anything with the canister filter but run it constantly b/c the same LFS (where we also bught our whole set up) told us the filter should be cleaned every 6 months? Is this wrong too?
The canister media should be rinsed weekly to prevent detritus accumulation which will hamper water quality. Best time to do so is when you change the water. Rinse the media from the canister in the water taken out of the tank. FW will kill bacteria and needed bugs, the SW rinse won't.

Quote:
We are going to the fish store tomorrow. I guess we will start with the PO4 granular sponges. We are new at this. So, we should get a couple of these sponges and new media for the filter?

I also bought something called Salifert Phosphate Killer while I was ordering the 2 test kits from marinedepot.com. Anyone familiar with this product? Should we use it? If so, any hints as to how?
You already have exactly what you need. The PO4 "killer" is a sponge product. It looks like small granuals much like CC. They're just called sponges because of their sorbant properties.

Place the PO4 granuals (¬Ĺ cup) directly in the canister as long as there is an enclosable area. If not place in a filter sock first and then the canister. Rinse lightly and let it run about a week and replace it again. Keep replacing it weekly until you do not detect the PO4 or silicates. This is a feric oxide product so it's safe to leave in for several months.

Quote:
I guess my plan of just buying the store salt water is over and we will have to buy a R/O unit for the house. Suggestions on what to get? We are clueless
Whichever you choose, be sure it is an RO/DI, not just an RO. <<This is the one>> I purchased from E-bay. Works great and no complaints.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 02-05-2005, 06:41 PM   #9
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You are not going to believe it.. you are just NOT! I think we probably win some type of an award for dumbest beginners.

My husband took the canister filter to the LFS this morning. One of the selling points in using this store is that you can lifetime maintenance on your canister and we have never done anything with it, and don't know how, so he took it down there for them to show him how/where to add the PO4 killer.

As I just mentioned we have never done anything with it. That includes opening the canister. We were told to bring it home and plug it in. Can you see where this is going? They opened the canister at the fish store and all the components inside were still in plastic bags, cardboard, etc!!!! We didn't know we had to unpack it all before plugging it in! So, in essence, we have not been running anything through our filter for 2 months! They said the only reason our poor fish are alive is because of our live rock.

Anyway, we put the P04 sponge in (sorry, didn't see your post Steve till he got home) and all media is now unpacked. Maybe our algae problem will subside.

DJ
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54G AGA Corner Tank
Eheim 2215 Canister Filter (w/ live rock rubble in it)
3 Maxijet 1200 Power Heads
Aqua C Remora Protein Skimmer
Acqua C Remora Pre-Skimmer
75 pounds Live Rock
30" 2x65w Coralife Lunar Aqualights
Diatom Filter
Turbo Twist UV

2 Percula Clowns, Diamond Golby, Flame Angel, Royal Gramma, Lawnmower Blenny, PPmint shrimp, 3 emerald crabs and a huge cleaning crew (snails and crabs)
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Old 02-05-2005, 08:18 PM   #10
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I would run not walk from that LFS and find another... It sounds like a bunch of crap to me about them not knowing ther ro/di unit was broken.. Heck I bet they dont even have one. Have you seen it or do they go in the back and fill the jugs for you?
The others have covered it .......
Diatom will go away on its own, its a natural part of the cycle.
Filter Clean at least once a month.
Buy a ro/di unit and you will be glad that you did and so will your fish and corals.
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