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Old 12-01-2003, 03:21 PM   #1
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Low PH Problem

I'm currently about 10 days into a new 38g salt tank. I'm using half RO and half DI water with 3" substrate 2 lbs LR and 1 Damsel. My readings are off the chart in all Categories.

My PH is 7.8. Why? It started at 8.2 like textbook. Is this part of the cycling?

All inputs greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-01-2003, 04:16 PM   #2
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My PH is 7.8. Why? It started at 8.2 like textbook. Is this part of the cycling?
Yep the cycling process will depress ph, you should not even concern yourself with ph until the tank has stopped cycling and stabalized. You should also remove the fish, a living organism is not required to cycle a tank.
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Old 12-01-2003, 04:24 PM   #3
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If a living organism is not require, is there a calculation for LS and LR to cycle a tank. I started a 12gal Nano with 2" LS, 2lbs. LR, and a Damsel as well and the tank was cycled in two weeks. The Damsel lived through all of it. Eventually he became food for my Red Tail Cat. I am starting a 100gal and don't want to add a damsel as well. I heard of the fresh dead shrimp thing too, just sounds a little messy and smelly to me. If I can cycle with just LR and LS that would be great. Time is not of the essence. How much LR should I use to cycle my tank and how long would it tank? I plan on having about 100lbs. in total.
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Old 12-01-2003, 04:47 PM   #4
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the calculation is usually 1lb per gallon. The cycle will start with uncured live rock. The die-off process of the plants dying will be the ammonia stage of your cycle and after that the bacteria move off the lr and into the ls making it live sand.
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Old 12-01-2003, 05:09 PM   #5
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If I am not going to put any live fish/SHRIMP, how much uncured LR do I need to cycle in a months time or so?
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Old 12-01-2003, 05:39 PM   #6
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If I am not going to put any live fish/SHRIMP, how much uncured LR do I need to cycle in a months time or so?
The rule of thumb for LR is about 1-1.5lb per gallon of water. So you could go ahead and buy 40-50 lbs of uncured LR and that would start your cycle off.

Or, to save money, you could buy about 10 lbs of LR and then buy "base" rock (i.e. dead rock). Over time, that base rock will turn into LR as the bacteria and coralline algae migrates to it. Base rock is much cheaper than LR, but it will take longer for that base rock to turn into LR.
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Old 12-01-2003, 06:56 PM   #7
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If I start with 40lbs of LR, how much life forms can I put in the tank and have a healthy tank before I need to add more LR? Is there a formula for the amount of LR needed for an amount of inverts and such.


If I go sumpless, but with a refugium, W/macros, sand or mud and LR,combined with a bunch of LR and 2" LS bed in main tank, will I be OK? Trying to avoid a sump if possible, but if absolutely necessary I will.
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Old 12-01-2003, 11:32 PM   #8
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If I start with 40lbs of LR, how much life forms can I put in the tank and have a healthy tank before I need to add more LR? Is there a formula for the amount of LR needed for an amount of inverts and such.
40 lbs of LR is sufficient for your size tank in order to be successful, although 10lbs more would be even better. You have to add fish slowly, though, in order to let the bacteria catch up to the waste demands each fish puts on the system. But in the end I would guess that a 38 gallon tank could hold 3-4 fish. Perhaps 5, max, if they were small fish (i.e. damsels).

I always like to have as much LR as I can so that I know my system is never "under filtered". For example, in my 40 gallon, I have over 60 lbs of LR.

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If I go sumpless, but with a refugium, W/macros, sand or mud and LR,combined with a bunch of LR and 2" LS bed in main tank, will I be OK? Trying to avoid a sump if possible, but if absolutely necessary I will.
You can't go wrong with a refugium. Great nitrate reducer among other things.
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Old 12-02-2003, 02:14 AM   #9
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I don't plan on have many fish at all, maybe 2 Gobys or something similar, mostly polyps, mushrooms, zoos and a few SPS corals. How much do these types of organisms impact their environment compared to your basic reef fish. I plan on having 120lbs of LR total when I'm done.
I guess I'm just looking for is an answer of do I have to have a sump if I have all of the above filtration, substrate, and refuge.
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Old 12-02-2003, 09:05 AM   #10
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How much do these types of organisms impact their environment compared to your basic reef fish.
The inverts put no noticeable load on a bio-filter. That is why you can pack a reef tank full of coral, snails, crabs, etc... It's the fish that cause problems with filtration.

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plan on having 120lbs of LR total when I'm done
This is a 38g tank we are talking about, correct? If so, this is overkill. I doubt you could even get 120lbs of LR into that size tank. 60lbs should be more than enough.

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I guess I'm just looking for is an answer of do I have to have a sump if I have all of the above filtration, substrate, and refuge.
Well, one never really *needs* a sump, but they do come in handy. I don't run a fuge, so I am really not the guy to comment if you should be running a sump along side of it. It would help to have the sump, that way you could put your heater, skimmer, any kind of chemical media, etc... into the sump instead of the fuge.

I'll let someone else who knows more about running fuge with sumps answer that question for you.
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