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Old 04-23-2006, 06:54 AM   #1
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Results Of First Ever Saltwater test .... ok now what?

Ok, I hope i am doing all of this right, reading tons of stuff on this site, thanks folks... live saver here... did my water test here are the results

High Range PH 7.8

Ammonia 4.0

NO3 Nitrate 0

NO2 Nitrate 5

Any suggestions?

What can I do now? Any live stock?

Peppermint Shrimp still doing great got all his color back... (but he must be lonely) :)

84.5lbs live rock and 20lbs of live sand 75gal tank

2 powerheads moving 600gph on either end of tank facing one another one swivals back and forth one does 360 degree

Bio wheel filter

Also on the filter only have the filter that came with it (blue stuff wrapped around what looks like coal pcs), it has another that says I can add into it and enclose it... what should I add to it?

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Old 04-23-2006, 09:53 AM   #2
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Are you just cycling your tank? Ammonia of 4.0 will kill just about anything you put in there. Ammonia level and Nitrites need to be 0 before you put anything in the tank. Nitrates you should try to keep under 10 but that depends on what you plan to keep in the tank. Your PH is also low. It should be 8.1 - 8.3. If this is a new tank you will need to let it cycle for a good 6 weeks before putting anything in the tank. I am by no means an expert, but it sounds like you still need to cycle the tank.

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Old 04-23-2006, 11:30 AM   #3
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Agreed. An ammonia reading of 4.0 will kill. It seems that you are just starting your cycle. You need watch the levels rise then fall to zero. First the ammonia will spike which appears to be happening. As it start to lower the nitrite will rise and spike followed by the nitrates. You want all three to get down to zero, or as FLguy said, nitrates on the low side. Under 40 for FOWLR but ideally under 10. Once the cycle completes you need to do a large (30%-50%) water change. Then make sure your the water parameters are stable for a week or more before you start to add livestock.

Don't worry about pH swings until the tank has cycled. It won't be stable until then. Also, pH will vary depending on the time of day you test. Always test at the same time each day (meaning same time of the light cycle).

You have weeks to go before the tank is cycled and ready for any livestock. Go slow, ask lots of questions and you'll end up with a successful tank.

Right now you should be thinking about what your tank to be. FOwLR or reef? What livestock you want to add, etc. With dual biowheels you probably will not get nitrates low enough for corals. You also don't list what you have for tank lighting.

Post your wish list of livestock for comments from the folks here.

Do yourself a favor now and get a smaller tank to be used as QT. You should read these articles too:
How to cycle your tank with out the use of fish
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Old 04-23-2006, 02:39 PM   #4
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Did you just have a basslet that died and started the cycle?
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:06 PM   #5
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Thanks.. I have been brought down to earth.. but I am glad I did not make an expensive mistake, my thought at first, just buy something to increase PH and lower Ammonia so I can see something for all this money I have spent.. but I am reading lots and lots.. I do not want to make any more mistakes (well I will but maybe not as bad of ones)

Yes the fish did die with in 12 hours of placing him in the tank, funny though the peppermint shrimp is doing fine, for 9 days now, still swaying back and forth sideways, but still shy of me when I turn on the lights and come close to see him and if I can see anything new on the rocks or the sand... ugg nothing yet..

I am only wanting a FOWLR .. I want my rock to grow something, I hope it does,

I only have a petsmart 48" light on top for now, one of those tube lights, it make my tank look cool as my water is so clear and nice..

I am still running all over the place for a skimmer and still hearing different things from different people about them...

Went 45 miles today to look at skimmers he only carried coralife needle type.. but they were 50.00 more than I could buy on ebay.. then he blew me away when I told him I have been and was about to bite the bullet on an excaliper skimmer, then he is saying they had nothing but problems with them.. so uggg again more research..

I am not rich.. but not expecting to spend 25.00 on a skimmer I want just the job to be done a little over kill maybe only for the safety of my future fish ... the ones I like and will put in this tank are NOT cheap.. and I mean each a min. of 75.00!! up to 200.00

What really gets me is everyone says No new life, yet this little bugger peppermint shrimp is fine, shoot I talk to him now.. ugg I need a life
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:27 PM   #6
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LOL, congrats, I believe the LR will take some time to start growing new stuff, mine took about 2-3 week, at least until I noticed anything new. I'm new also. I have a FOWLR and do not use a skimmer and, so far everything is great. I think if you have good water agitation and current, you may not need a skimmer. Mine is a 55G tank and I only have about 43Lbs of LR, right now (I will get some more this Friday, on my way back from Philly).
This is just my limited experience, about the skimmer (I think most of these folks with skimmers have reef only tanks, so that might save you some $$).
Anyway, Welcome!, read and learn, and other more experienced folks should be along shortly, to give you more sound advice....
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:20 PM   #7
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I wonder while I sit and just stare at this tank (man I am missing my favorite shows now!!)

Can u have too much water flow, meaning I have two pumps as stated above, but my sand does not move, I have placed them as described above, but and concerned with so much rock should I use more... My rock does have old junk on it, dead I am sure and it is moving slightly sure I could move the pumps to move the sand my main concern is I want no deadl spots like in the rear of the tank, most of my rock is right on the glass .. is the water dead still ? hmm not sure, I see stuff moving slowly, guess main reason for asking is I see these awesome tanks in stores, and the live coral and stuff is waving around just like you would see in the ocean .. can I over do it? or is my placement just not the best for the two pumps I have?
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:44 PM   #8
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I would suggest a skimmer for your tank. You can get by without one but it will require more PWC's and a smaller bioload/less fish. LR and a skimmer are the two best things for your tank. You can get base rock from reeferocks or hirocks and save considerable money on your setup. If I remember correctly 60 lbs is around $100 to your door. How large is your tank? 1.5-2 lbs or rock per gallon is ideal. As far as flow/current. FO minimum flow should be around 10 times your tank volume. If you plan on corals in the future you need 15-20 times your volume in flow.

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