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Old 04-23-2012, 07:58 PM   #71
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Oh good point. Anyways, cycle is started up. I dosed with ammonia so I'll be checking the levels in thirty minutes (does half an hour ago). pH is 7.8 is that a good pH or should I raise/lower it? My test kit didn't come with normal pH range it only goes from 7.4 to 8.8 or something like that.

Also, while at the LFS i saw all these things like calcium test kits, kH stuff, and all these weird things. Are they important, or any other levels I need to keep in check?
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:51 AM   #72
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Reef or FOWLR? 1.022 is fine if you don't want corals.

Salt mix can vary from brand to brand, and even batch to batch. To say that adding 1/3 cup will be the right amount is an oversimplification at best. I don't even recall what brand was mentioned, if any. Check specific gravity with a hydrometer (cheap and not very accurate), or better yet, a calibrated refractometer (more expensive but more accurate). Make small adjustments as necessary, in your mixing bucket, until desired sg is reached.

7.8 is low. PH should be 8.2-8.4.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:13 AM   #73
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Ok I'm using Instant Ocean salt and an instant ocean hydrometer. I added a little more salt, just waiting for it to mix in so I can test salinity.

How do I raise pH?

Oh, and cycle is started up. I dosed 4 ppm ammonia and am awaiting nitrites.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:15 PM   #74
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Do you have a top on your tank? Lack of gas exchange can contribute to low pH. Right now I wouldn't worry about it too much. A cycling tank is going to give you wonky readings for pretty much everything.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:36 PM   #75
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Yeah, my tank has a lid. I like to keep it lit up and I hear that firefish are jumpers.

I'll raise the pH after the cycle but how would I do so once it's done?
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:07 AM   #76
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pH has gone up to 8.2. Yay!

Do I need a calcium test kit? Saw one in the LFS and was just wondering if it's any important.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:47 PM   #77
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Sorry another question about the cycling. It looks like I already have some nitrites. Quick, huh? There's only .25 but it's a start.

Anyways, the ammonia level has gone up a lot. Originally, it was only 2 ppm so I added a little more to bring it to 4, but today it was 8. I'm not sure if that's my fault or if it's natural since there are nitrites too. Thanks

Sorry I'm asking so many questions. :P
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:27 PM   #78
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When I dose ammonia i usually wait awhile after so that it's all blended in and then I test. You may have added the right amount at first. But either way, nitrites are a good sign. They should go up dramatically and then fall to 0 all by themselves, no water changes or anything.

As afar as the Ph I would let it roll as is...my 125g reef tank is naturally at 7.8 and everything does just fine., it's alot better than dosing your tank with chemicals constantly to attain the "perfect" ph.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:52 PM   #79
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I know I waited an hour after the first dose so it was 2, and after I dosed again I waited a whole day before testing. I heard ammonia was supposed to spike so I'm not sure whether to bring it down to four manually or not.

Going to get a calcium and alkalinity test kit sometime soon. Any suggestions on good levels?
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:55 PM   #80
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I wouldnt worry too much about those tests for awhile yet, at least til after you've had some corals for awhile. But for a reef tank, calcium should be 450+ and alkalinity between 8dkh and 10 dkh. I use salifert kits for the calcium, alkalinity, magnesium and phosphates, much much more accurate but a bit more $$.
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