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Old 03-13-2008, 08:58 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Innovator View Post
Everyone has the right to know what elements and/or contaminants end up in their source water so "knowing" is irrelevent, but asking the right questions is. In case you are wondering, all I am stating is to be careful when making a general statement about metal toxicity in tap water when such genuine information is next to nil.
Knowing is everything. If people would go to their water dept (if you are going to use tap) and ask for a report then they would know what is in there. I was not wondering anything about what you said I was just saying. that metals like aluminum, alum, iron and other compounds containing nitrates and phosphates and floride and chlorine are added to tap. If you doubt it ask for a report from your water folks. Our report says our tap is not good for aquarium water.

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Old 03-13-2008, 10:19 PM   #32
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While I do very much appreciate the help from everyone. I am not expecting warfare over tap water. I am in need of understanding what I need to do and learn how to efficiently create a reef system that will allow me to enjoy this hobby.

That being said.

I hear a 25% water change and cleaning my substraite is in order. This makes sense to me. If this doesn't make sense to everyone please let me know why and teach me.

Currently, a change to sand is not monitarily feasable. No HD or anything of its kind has the kolorscape sand nor any of the sand that I can use. If anyone lives in the indianapolis, In area and know where I can get this sand pretty cheap then I am all for it.

Also, how do I get my PH up?

Thanks all again for your help.


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Old 03-13-2008, 11:08 PM   #33
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I won't get involved in the tap vs. RODI issue since I see nothing wrong that can be attributed to your water going into the tank.

If you can't switch to sand, then consider going bare bottom.. unless you have a burrowing creature in the tank (unlikely since CC isn't very burrowing friendly), it is a common thing for people to have. You can gradually remove the substrate with each water change, don't do it all at once.

Raising the PH.. Many ways. but first and foremost, consider that the aeration is adequate, Co2 is something that can cause the PH to drop (this is another reason not to use glass tops). Although I don't see an immediate problem with your PH, and consider this may be secondary since your skimmer was dumping dissolved organics back into the tank.. I'd wait on resolving this if you feel it is an issue that is continuing after the substrate is out.

one step at a time.
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:42 PM   #34
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one step at a time.
Yup. And in my opinion, the only thing you should focus on right now is getting the nitrates down. Way down.

If it were me, I'd do 20% water changes every 3 days until your nitrates are below 20. It's going to take 11 or 12 water changes at 25 gallons a piece to get there... or about a month by my suggested schedule. (That's assuming your source water is nitrate-free. If you're on a municipal water system, that's probably not true, but good enough for the time being. If you have a well, all bets are off. I'd test it first.)

I'm thinking if switching to sand is out because of funds, then dealing with buying 300 gallons worth of salt mix isn't going to go over well either. But if you want to keep corals, you definitely need to be below 20. In reality, you probably want to be below 10 or 5 for good success with corals, but that'll be easier to tackle once you get to 20.

I wouldn't worry about pH or phosphates until you get your nitrates straightened out. Reason for that is that with the amount of water you're going to change out over the next month, it'll be pretty much like starting completely over with new water. And I'm thinking your pH will be in the low 8s when it's all said and done.

Once you get your nitrates down to a somewhat reasonable level, then you can retest everything and figure out your next plan of attack.

One step at a time...
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:18 AM   #35
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Thanks guys. Ill do that. I need to talk to the MRS before spending the $$$ for a sand substrate. But I have funds for the water change.

Hey 1 other question water temp is 76.3F, opps I can consult the chart you provided a link to Kurt. Thanks

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Old 03-14-2008, 08:16 AM   #36
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While everyone works on your water quality issues, I am still going to ask again what types of corals you were trying to keep as I still think lighting is part of the problem.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:31 AM   #37
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If you can't find play sand, look for Paverstone crushed(pulverized) limestone. I've never used it, but I've read where many people have with no problems. It must be rinsed very good tho because it is very fine.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:12 AM   #38
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Okay, simple facts - 125 gallon tank, 175 lbs live rock, CC substrate, corals withering and not doing well, Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate at 200, pH at 7.8. specific gravity at 1.020, think I saw temp was low also, and you are using a wet/dry filter.

Get ready to learn something!

You cannot in all likely hood fix everything at once without loosing livestock. So let's take it one step at a time as cost effectively as possible. First mix up 20 gallons of saltwater, mix, let stand 24 hrs, it would be better if it were heated and kept moving with a PH.
pH, temp, nitrates and specific gravity all need help so try this.

Shiut down return pump. Open up wet/dry filter and remove your bioballs,
clean the sump out (filters, sponges, equipment, everything gets cleaned and checked to see it's working). Now find enough live rock rubble to place some in wet/dry where bioballs were. Set heaters to 79 -80 range.
Notice that was plural, using 2 heaters instead of one large one is the prefered method. Now gravel vac your entire CC substrate surface (Your rock will work do breakdown Am and reseed CC. Make sure your new mixed water is at 1.024 SG. Put it in.

Your nitrate level of 200 is way too high. Skimmer overflowing into tank, bioball production, CC gathering detritus, etc all increase this. The live rock rubble will break Am to NI and NI to NA just as the bioballs, but it will
also break down the nitrates that the bioballs will not.

Next week you will want to do another 20 gallon water change with water mixed up to 1.025. This way you are slowly changing the tank up to desired levels. You will need to keep doing weekly water changes until your SG is at 1.024 or 1.025 in the whole tank. Now once it is at that level with a temp of 79 - 80 we can work on your other parameters.

If once your entire system is running at 1.024 - 1.025 your pH should be higher than the 7.8 you are currently at. If it is still below 8.3 then we can add (Superbuffer dKh from Kent) and raise it the last bit. When you are trying to raise the ALk to raise pH you need a balanced Calcium to Alk level. Both tests are easily done with Hagen Test kits. Shoot for Ca level of 440 and Alk level of 180 - 200.

Once you have changed enough water to slowly reduce nitrates, bring up your SG, raise your pH, get your temp into 79 - 80 range, raise both Cal and Alk to correct levels, begin emptying skimmate from skimmer, and doing regular maintainance weekly and monthly - your tank will run better.

Now when you are able to afford it, start buying aragonite dry reef sand.
It is available if you search much sheaper than live sand. Once you have enough for a sandbrd depth of over 4 inches plan a day to replace all CC.
If you try to do it in sections you will disturb the lower levels of bacteria in the CC that should not be! Trust me on this. Once that is done your lighting is in question. If your current fixture is just 2 - 175 watt MH you need to think about adding some more light. But that will be dependant upon what corals you want.

Seriously try this plan, everyone trys to help, but from just your posts within this thread I picked up what I believe you need to do. As always read as much as you can, put your books by the bedstand if you have to and reread until you know that book by heart, then get another!
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:31 AM   #39
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I like that Dennis. precise and to the point. Sounds like great info to me. Esp the LR rubble instead of bioballs
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:55 AM   #40
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I am placing my substrate today. I planned on a thin layer of cc then aragonite then aragonite live sand. I don't want these problems Obmanta is having should I forgo the cc?

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