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Old 08-28-2015, 11:13 PM   #1
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"Parameters "?

Hello I am newish to this hobby, and there are weeks that go great, and days I am frustrated and heartbroken.
I have seen throughout posts talk of "parameters " and light settings...
All I have and was told to use are these little paper test strips? There aren't any real numbers on them, just vague colors...
And as for the Lightning, I was just running the stock program out of the box...
There isn't another human anywhere close to me that I can "fish geek" out with...
Help!


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Old 08-28-2015, 11:20 PM   #2
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Strips suck for good fresh water test.
You are in for trouble IMO with marine and in lack of good guidance IMO.
API liquid test are good,many reefers demand even better.
Lighting is all on your stocking but for anything other then fish "out of the box lighting" will not work IMO.
You need to offer up more info on your tank.
Size,filter,stock,and your desire or wishes.
5 post?
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:28 PM   #3
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IMO= in my opinion?
I have a 30 gal salt water tank.
Started in February.
Live sand, live rock-
Just got a protein skimmer-
Some corals are good...
Fish seem to disappear-
Two shrimps- happy- ( one blood shrimp, one camel hump?)
Can't seem to keep an anemone... Tried 3- all go missing after looking quite happy for a while-

Lights, blue and white- thin bar thing, can't seem to remember the brand name

Corals, Zoas do fine, others are hit and miss-

I love nudebranches, but they do not seem to be a fan of the magnetic fan/ circulator I was told to add in....

I just don't want to kill anything else... I love my little tank and want it to be happy...



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Old 08-28-2015, 11:29 PM   #4
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And by the way, it seems that my sea cucumber is eating the legs off of my red starfish... Is this even possible!?!


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Old 08-28-2015, 11:38 PM   #5
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Well, it would appear your lighting isn't intense enough to keep creatures that need very intense lighting like anemone. Have the coral been in there for some time? If so, they should be in good shape as they are more low-moderate light corals.
When it comes to the starfish, was it ever exposed to air? If so it won't recover. These guys also need a very established tank to supply...whatever it is they eat since we aren't exactly sure. If a cucumber is eating it, it is dying and most likely won't survive. You could try to use a razor blade to cut that arm in hopes that any disintegration doesn't continue, but it is very unlikely this will help.
The cucumber might also be of concern. If stressed, they release toxins into the water around them. In our closed systems they simply can't be removed without lots of activated carbon and large amounts of water to dilute it. Deadly for livestock. If this thing dies, same issue.
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:46 PM   #6
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Holy cow-
It is tougher than I thought to get everything to all balance together...
Any recommendation for what type of parameter test kit to use for saltwater?


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Old 08-29-2015, 01:00 AM   #7
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For your nitrates, simple API will work.
When it comes to the calcium, mag, and alk people love Red Sea. I personally will die by my Hanna Checkers.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:51 PM   #8
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I don't claim to be an expert by any means. That being said, IF you need higher light output I would recommend one of the relatively cheap ($78 approx) Chinese LED lights that are sold under various names. For a 30 gal I would think one would suffice (they have a two foot spread per ... not sure of typical dimensions for a 30g).
165W LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Dimmable for Fish Reef Coral Marine Tank | eBay
This is a lot cheaper than any of the other options I found (went through this process recently) and so far I am pleased with the product.
As far as test kits, everyone has an opinion. I don't doubt red sea and hanna checkers are superior, but liquid test kits from API are dramatically cheaper and work well enough for someone starting out. If you started getting $100+ fish/corals then it may make more sense to pay twice as much for one of the better kits.
Anemones and stars are not the easiest critters to keep alive. I think you would have a better experience if you avoided them.
As for this fish... I'd get the liquid test kit to see where your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels are. I always thought inverts were more sensitive to crappy water parameters - so I would have thought they'd be the first to go if the water parameters were off.
I'm a bit of a newbie myself as far as sw goes. Had a fw tank for over 10 years and had a 30 gal sw tank like yours about 15 years ago. I do recall the one anemone I did attempt to keep lasted for about six months, then ballooned up to 2-3 times its size and croaked.
Keep at it. There are a lot of people here other than myself that are extremely knowledgeable and helpful that will help get you on the right path.
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