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Old 01-24-2003, 06:18 PM   #1
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Saltwater chemistry

I'm still really confused about the supplements and such that are added to saltwater tanks for different things, so hopefully you all can help me get things to make more sense.

What do all these supplements do? I've read the bottles, talked to various LFS people and it's just really getting confusing.

I have a FOWLR tank now. I'd like to get the LR to develope more color. I've heard this color is caused by the coralline or the macroalgea. One person says add calcium, strontium/molybdenum, and a "superbuffer dKH" and another person says to use iodide.

Right now I have a Kent Calcium supplement, a Kent Strontium/Molbdenum supplement, and a Kent "Superbuffer dKH" supplement. I have a test kit for the 'KH' by a company that has a little 'Fish Doctor' for a logo.


Tank stats are -
specific gravity -> 1.022-1.023
pH -> 8.2
Ammonia -> .50 ppm (water change time)
Nitrites -> 0 ppm
Nitrates -> 0 ppm

The critters I have currently are three damsels, two red hermit crabs, and a chocolate starfish.

At some point I'd like to add some shrimp, an anomone, a coral beauty, and a couple clowns, and a boxfish or two.

thank you for the help.

-Reuben
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Old 01-24-2003, 06:34 PM   #2
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Ammonia -> .50 ppm (water change time)
An established tank should never have any measurable ammonia, could you please tell us more about your Tank size, bioload, maintenance procedures and tank filtration.

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I have a FOWLR tank now. I'd like to get the LR to develope more color.
Tell us more about the lighting on the tank. IMO, for a FOWLR, all that is necessary for good coralline growth is decent lighting, CA of 400 ppm - 450 ppm and ALK of 3.0 meq/l - 3.5 meq/l. All of this should be easily maintained with regular water changes.
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Old 01-24-2003, 07:31 PM   #3
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Hi Kevin,

My tank is 26 gallons, maintenance procedure is daily salinity checks, I check ammonia, nitrites, nitrates every other day, I change about 5 gallons every week, tank filtration is just a tetratec 150 and a Rio 400 powerhead. Bioload is about about 13 pounds of live rock, three damsels, two little hermit crabs, and a chocolate starfish.

Lighting is a 65 watt power compact light. Does the KH test test for calcium and alkaline?

Ammonia may or may not be .5ppm, I fill little vials up with water and add drops then compare the color in the vial against a color chart. So depending on lighting and my eyesight the ammonia will vary between 0 and .5. Hehe, I guess I should find a better kit.
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Old 01-24-2003, 07:45 PM   #4
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Bioload is about about 13 pounds of live rock, three damsels, two little hermit crabs, and a chocolate starfish.
How long has the tank been set up? How much and what kind of substrate do you have? I think your filtering capacity may be taxed right now, I would recommend adding several more lbs of cured LR, at least 10-15 more lbs, maybe more.

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Does the KH test test for calcium and alkaline?
The KH test kit should measure the hardness of the water, not calcium, you will need a seperate kit for that. What brand kits are you using?

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Lighting is a 65 watt power compact light.
I think this would be plenty in a 26 gallon tank to grow coralline, be patient, it takes time. My newest tank has been set up since July of 2002 and I am just starting to get alot of coralline growth.
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Old 01-27-2003, 04:38 PM   #5
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This weekend I took some water to the LFS for them to test, just as a double check for my peace of mind in that I'm reading the results right. All usual paramters are good pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are where they should be. So I guess the color that ammonia is returning is a little hard for me to compare to the chart.

Quote:
How long has the tank been set up? How much and what kind of substrate do you have? I think your filtering capacity may be taxed right now, I would recommend adding several more lbs of cured LR, at least 10-15 more lbs, maybe more.
The tanks been up now for about 6-8 weeks. I've got about 20 pounds of crushed coral substrate. I've been thinking of going to a sandbed, but I'm really nervous about lossing my so far stable water parameters.

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What brand kits are you using?
I'm using Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Master Test Kit.
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Old 01-27-2003, 10:21 PM   #6
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I don't think there is anything "wrong" with crushed coral, for me though I prefer the look of sand. I really think you might want to add some more cured LR, just to make sure you have enough biological filtration. I think it is quite possible that you have a measurable ammonia reading, skippy at the LFS, is not necessarily the best second opinion you can get. Although I have known LFS employees that I trusted, hopefully yours is a good one. I am not real crazy about Aquarium Pharm. test kits, if it were me, I'd get some Salifert kits or some Seachem kits.
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Old 01-27-2003, 11:23 PM   #7
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i agree with more rock. 1lb per gal min. are you using any filter in your tetratic? the test kit you have is what i use it will not give a exact color, remember that color. that is o ,for that kit. i don't even test any more for amon, my nitrate level tells me whats going on. 8)
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Old 01-28-2003, 12:33 PM   #8
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Thanks Kevin and Troutman.

Troutman, for the tetratec filter I'm using the two green slide in filters plus the block of open cell foam.

More live rock is cool, I guess it's time to set up a curing tub.

Thanks for the help and clarification.
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Old 01-29-2003, 11:16 PM   #9
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take out the filters. your reef does not need one. they only will raise your nitrate levels. carbon is the only thing that should be in there. and only when needed. 8) 8)
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Old 01-29-2003, 11:45 PM   #10
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You may only want to remove one filter at a time. Remove both at the same time may impact your systems bioload too quickly. Maybe remove one, then two weeks later remove the other.
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