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Old 09-05-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
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Please help me adjust water parameters

I just checked all the parameters on my 26G SW tank and I'm not sure what to do next.

I believe these were all normal:
temp 79
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
pH 8.2

These need some work:
nitrate 80 (should be under 40?)
spec. gravity 1.024 (should be 1.022?)
KH 23 dKH (should be 7-10?)

The water level in the tank is low right now and I need to do a water change. Should I add a gallon or two of distilled water first to bring the salinity down? How can I tell now much to add? Does the water you use to top off a tank also need to match the temp of the tank or is it a small enough quantity that it doesn't matter?

Also, I bought 5 gallons of pre-mixed SW last weekend from the LFS and it tests at 8.0 for pH and 1.025 for SG at the same temp as the tank. I need to use it in the next couple days before it goes bad (they said it was good for a week). Do I need to get the pH to 8.2 or is 8.0 close enough? Should I dillute it down to 1.022 with distilled water before using it? It's had an airstone and heater in it since yesterday so it should be ready for use.

Thanks for your help!!

Edit: forgot to mention, there are three clown fish in the tank plus a couple snails and possibly a horseshoe crab although I haven't seen him since he went in...
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by newbieNY View Post
I just checked all the parameters on my 26G SW tank and I'm not sure what to do next.

I believe these were all normal:
temp 79
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
pH 8.2

These need some work:
nitrate 80 (should be under 40?)
spec. gravity 1.024 (should be 1.022?)
KH 23 dKH (should be 7-10?)

The water level in the tank is low right now and I need to do a water change. Should I add a gallon or two of distilled water first to bring the salinity down? How can I tell now much to add? Does the water you use to top off a tank also need to match the temp of the tank or is it a small enough quantity that it doesn't matter?

Also, I bought 5 gallons of pre-mixed SW last weekend from the LFS and it tests at 8.0 for pH and 1.025 for SG at the same temp as the tank. I need to use it in the next couple days before it goes bad (they said it was good for a week). Do I need to get the pH to 8.2 or is 8.0 close enough? Should I dillute it down to 1.022 with distilled water before using it? It's had an airstone and heater in it since yesterday so it should be ready for use.

Thanks for your help!!

Edit: forgot to mention, there are three clown fish in the tank plus a couple snails and possibly a horseshoe crab although I haven't seen him since he went in...
Hmmm....

Ammonia, PH Nitrite are ok. Nitrate is very high. How long has this tank been set up? 3 clowns is not a good idea in such a small tank. 2 is fine.

You should always keep your tank topped off with FW (RO/DI is best). SW is not going to go "bad" after a week. I keep my reef tank at 1.025-1.026 SG so 1.024 is fine. My suggestion is top the tank off. Do a serious water change. Use all 5 gallons of the water you got from your LFS. Depending on the kind of filtration you have on your tank it may need a bit of cleaning. Meaning, if you have any sponges in the filtration they need to be rinsed. You may want to look into mixing your own SW so you can manage the SG yourself. An RO/DI unit is a great thing to have to make 100% pure FW. After you finish with the PWC test your water again and see what you get.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:34 PM   #3
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How long has this tank been set up? 3 clowns is not a good idea in such a small tank. 2 is fine.
I believe the tank is about two years old. I've only had it for a couple weeks. I am just trying to get all the parameters under control before I figure out how I want to stock it. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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An RO/DI unit is a great thing to have to make 100% pure FW.
I also have a question about RO/DI units. If you only use them every week or two, what do you do with them in between? Can they dry out in between or do they need to stay wet? Do you install them permanently under a sink, or do you just hook them up each time you want to use them? I've just been buying distilled water at the grocery store but I hate generating so many plastic bottles...
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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I also have a question about RO/DI units. If you only use them every week or two, what do you do with them in between? Can they dry out in between or do they need to stay wet? Do you install them permanently under a sink, or do you just hook them up each time you want to use them? I've just been buying distilled water at the grocery store but I hate generating so many plastic bottles...
I have mine hooked up permanently. I use mine pretty much every day. I use it for top off water as well as making new SW. I have about 250g of total water volume in my system and I evaporate about 3 gallons per day so I'm constantly refilling my FW top-off container.

The unit I have isn't really something you could use and then stick on a shelf. You will use it a lot more then you realize.
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbieNY View Post
I just checked all the parameters on my 26G SW tank and I'm not sure what to do next.

I believe these were all normal:
temp 79
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
pH 8.2

These need some work:
nitrate 80 (should be under 40?)
spec. gravity 1.024 (should be 1.022?)
KH 23 dKH (should be 7-10?)
I don't think 23dKH is possible at that pH. I would retest or take it somewhere to get tested.

I suggest you do lots of water changes. Nitrate at 80 is toxic to coral and not very healthy for fish. Buy alot more of those 5 gal buckets of sw if you don't make your own. I would change 5 gal every 2-3 days until you get those #'s down.
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:26 PM   #7
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I suggest you do lots of water changes. Nitrate at 80 is toxic to coral and not very healthy for fish. Buy alot more of those 5 gal buckets of sw if you don't make your own. I would change 5 gal every 2-3 days until you get those #'s down.
Sounds like good advice to me. Also your salinity is not bad. I would leave it where it is. I would also check for nitrates in your PWC water. You might be adding them to your tank.
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:00 AM   #8
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I agree with Mike...there is a good chance (buying pre-mixed) that the SW you are getting is tainted with NitrAtes.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:52 AM   #9
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I use my RODI unit once or twice a month. I have the Typhoon III from airwaterice.com, but similar units are available on eBay for less. I use a garden hose faucet adapter to connect it to my kitchen faucet. A faucet to garden hose adapter replaces the normal faucet aerator while it is connected.

Wow, I can't beleive they are selling my unit on eBay for $99.00 now. That is a great deal.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:06 PM   #10
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I don't think 23dKH is possible at that pH. I would retest or take it somewhere to get tested.

I suggest you do lots of water changes. Nitrate at 80 is toxic to coral and not very healthy for fish. Buy alot more of those 5 gal buckets of sw if you don't make your own. I would change 5 gal every 2-3 days until you get those #'s down.
I tested this morning and the nitrate is still 80 and the dKH is 22 (only one less than yesterday). I'll start making my own SW from distilled water and do a few PWCs to see if I can get the nitrates down but what do I do about the alkalinity? Is there any way to soften water in the tank?
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