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Old 03-17-2009, 02:16 AM   #1
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Unhappy More on the free live tank. . .going down!

I posted a few days ago about the 40 gal tank I picked up on freecycle. . .as I said, I wasn't expecting a live tank when I went to pick it up. The leather corals look like they're doing okay, but I'm really worried about the water readings over the past couple of days:

Ammonia 0.25
Nitrate 2.5
Ph 8.2
Hydrometer reading 1.021

Ammonia, Nitrates, and nitrites were at zero for the first couple of days, and have remained at the above levels for the last two.

When the tank was moved, about 3/4 of the water was removed and the filter remained intact (bio balls), the whole move and re-setup took less than an hour.

I did a 20 percent water change & changed the filter pad today due to the Nitrite reading. . .was this the right thing to do? I read somewhere to do 20% water changes daily until the nitrites fall? I'm using Red Sea salt for the water changes (came with the setup).

Any advice appreciated!


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Old 03-17-2009, 07:15 AM   #2
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Posts: 43
I guess the amm and nitrite readings are due to the move. Some of the inhabitants of the live rock will begin to die off after even a brief exposure to the air, sponges in particular. Disturbing the sand bed could also lead to a small cycle.

When you say 'replaced the filter pad', what sort was it. If it was purely a cotton pad for polishing the water, then yep , that was fine.

Keep up the water changes, you could also add some carbon to the filter, and maybe some purigen or polyfilter to help remove organics.

If you have live rock (as opposed to ocean rock) I would lose the bioballs as they have no way of dealing with nitrates. Do it slowly though, taking a few out at a time (perhaps with each pwc)to allow the live rock to adapt.

Whats the turnover of the powerheads (lph), adding another can help cycle the rock quicker as it will feed the water past the rock more often. Also, in a 40g tank you prob need a minimum of 20x turnover per hour split between 2 or three powerheads (I used to run tunze nanostreams), so look at around 3600lph as a start. Dot the powerheads around to proveide a varied flow pattern and some surface aggitation.

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Old 03-17-2009, 07:20 AM   #3
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Forgot to say. Does the tank run a skimmer? addin a skimmer may help reduce organic pollutants and sort things out quicker. The leathers should be fine in the long run. You may find they'll sulk and close up for a while. It takes them a few days to react, then a few days to come round (sometimes a couple of weeks).
IMO the SG is a little low, if you want to maintain corals. I'd aim for 1.025. Leathers would probably be fine at 1.021 though.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:36 PM   #4
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Here are some pics. . .maybe it will help with any answers.

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live, tan

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