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Old 07-16-2008, 01:15 AM   #1
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new salt water tank for me

Okay so ive always had a fw tank since i was a kid. always thought that the sw tanks were way too expensive. well now that i have money decided to start one.

30g tall
base rock from key west florida (did some dives there took home some souvenirs) about 35 pounds.
got some live sand 20lbs bag mixed with some sand that came with the tank
some live rock not a lot plan on getting more as soon as my sump/refugium comes in.
tank is heated at night. i put a comp style fan on the back of the hood i made to help with the air exchange. still working out the temp with the heater and all. it varies from 79.6 to 80.7 (is that okay?)

lights are on for 10 hours a day.
250w pc light acintic/12k day light ( i plan on having a reef not sure yet still doing a lot of reading on it)

rena xp2
hang on inside filter/skimmer (dont like it but it came with the tank) it has a rio3100 in it. ill keep the pump.

master salt water kit

water test show

0ppm- nitrite (was at .25 for 3 days)
.25ppm- ammonia (was at .50) for 3 days)
80ppm- nitrate (has been like this for 5 days)

i need to get more test kits.

Nitrate shot up when i put some crab food i had for my fw crabs.
In one day the tank was white the next day after the crab food. the tank is brown and some neon green? . not to sure if my tank is in its last stage of cycle. Its on the third week now. waiting for the nitrates and ammonia to go down planning on doing a pwc soon. not sure how much.

this is on the 2nd week day 7

this was the day after 3rd week

this was today

any advice would be greatly appreciated. not to sure what i want to do with it stock wise. oh yeah this is my first post on this forum.

sorry its a long one


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Old 07-16-2008, 09:47 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site!
Your temp is good. Anything above a 2 degree swing may cause problems.
You will want to add a ph for surface ripple. In SW the O2 exchange happens at the surface of the water, so good surface agitation is important.
How old is your test kit? Those readings seem a bit off, unless you took them after you added the crab food.
A cycle should go like this:
1. Spike in ammonia
2. Spike in nitrItes with the decline in ammonia
3. Spike in nitrAtes with a decline in nitrItes
4. Steady reeding of nitrAtes with ammonia and nitrItes at 0
The brown you are seeing looks to be a diatom bloom (perfectly normal) and will burn them selves out.
Since you have rock from the beach, I would get a copper test just to be safe. You should also seed your tank with some LR so the coraline will spread.
You may want to check your source water for ammonia and nitrAtes.
Once you cycle is finished, you can do a few 10-20% PWCs ro reduce nitrAtes or a 50% PWC to see where your nitrAtes are.

Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

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Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:55 PM   #3
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thanks for the fast reply
yeah i tested it 2 days after i added the food mybe thats why the nitrates are high. i think i have to go buy a new test kit the person i bought the tank from gave me the kit with it so i dont know for sure how old it is. i was going to get more live rock when i got my refugium in on friday. and some chaeto algae to absorb the nitrates
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:05 PM   #4
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Congrats on the new tank. Read our articles to be better informed on the process. Welcome to AA.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
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Not much to add. You have been given great advice already. Definately get some new test kits. API seems to get good good grades. I use salifert test kits, though I have a pH probe. Also use a refractometer to check SG. It's the only instrument I trust other than a lab grade, glass (breakable) hydrometer. The plastic swing arm ones are just not consistent. Oh, and....

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Old 07-16-2008, 08:44 PM   #6
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What did you add the fw crab food for? What are you using to cycle, or ar you relying on the lr?

Also, I'm thinking you don't need the lights on that long right now either.

Anyway, tell us more about the cycling method and when you started.

Also, nitrites at 0 (was at 25) and ammonia still up? Really need more info on your cycling.

And welcome to AA too!!!!

One more thing. Are you doing fish or reef/fish? As you add more rock, look for the more porous (sp?) stuff. Most of your pieces don't have nooks and crannies and crevices that are more desireable IMO.

If you're going for coral, I'd recommmend at least twice as much rock as you currently have - but not the solid stuff like a lot you have already. Just wan the rock to tke up space without weighing that much.

"Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here we might as well dance!"

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Old 07-16-2008, 11:43 PM   #7
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okay went to the lfs and the girl there tested my water and got these results

ammonia- 0ppm
alkalinity 200 ? not sure it should be that high or if she meant to write 20.

then we tested with my kit and got

ammonia- .25ppm
nitrite- 0ppm
ph- 8.2

so im pretty sure my kit is really old and messed up.

as far as the crab food its lobster and crab food. not just fw crab food.
i chose to do a fish less cycle and i dodnt have any fish food seeing my fish in my turtle tank eat the reptomin. so i decided to put the crab food in there.

started my tank about 3 1/2 weeks ago. first day live sand, rocks and water second day went and bought some live rock. ordered a refugium/sump gonna put more lr in there. then i went the the lfs and bought a packet of bio-spira let the tank run for a week then slowly added some crab food and then and explosion of the brown algae came.

if you need to know anything else just ask

keep im mind i have been keeping freshwater fish for over 13 years. even though its a **** of a lot easier then sw. i also have been reading all the threads for the past 3 weeks. so many my eyes hurt from reading.

thanks for the replies
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:10 AM   #8
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Are you using freshwater test kits? I think some of the kits work for either, but will have a different color chart depending on if its SW or FW.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:44 AM   #9
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no its a saltwater master kit by api
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:22 PM   #10
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What brand test kit did the lfs use?

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