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Old 01-01-2007, 02:22 AM   #1
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Testing testing 1, 2

As some of you know this is my first SW venture. I can read all day, but I don't start grasping concepts until I'm actually working with stuff hands on. Most of the material I've read is very confusing. This may sound dumb....is alkalinity the same as carbonate hardness? My reef test kit has calcium, carbonate hardness, and phosphates. Is there anything else I need to be testing? I understand the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH because of my FW experience, so that is not a problem. Do I need the tests in my reef kit before I have a reef in there? I was told that my LR requires the correct calcium levels (380-450). Once my tank cycles, what should I be testing for?
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:33 AM   #2
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1. Yes actually refers to alkalinity.

2 During a cycle, amonia, nitrite, nitrate to figure out cycle,PH is also important to stabilize.

3. Once tank is cycled you can test for PH, CA, ALK, MG(occasionaly) Very important to keep ALk in check...You will get a grasp for where your tank is at and testing will not be as frequent and will depend on what you are keeping. 380-450 is good for CA preferably >400

Who told you your LR contained CA?? I do not understand. Some things have buffering agents however your LR does not supply the CA for your aquarium.
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:33 AM   #3
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Yes, we measure alkalinity based on carbonate hardness in reef tanks.

Once your tank cycles, I would periodically monitor pH, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, calcium, alkalinity, and specific gravity. Phosphates are a good test to measure the age of your DI resins if you are using one and also if you are having algae issues. Otherwise I don't test for phosphates in my tank. Right now, I would only worry about ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate until your cycle finishes. The rest are pretty much worthless to use at the moment unless you want to know generally.

HTH
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:37 AM   #4
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Great addition, Devilshirts phosphates can be important expecially in a new tank. I do not test for them due to the fact that I test my RO/DI and I know I have a 0 TDS and I do not feed to much. A lot of phosphate levels can come from fish food and bad water.

So also using RO/DI from the start can save you a lot of headache.
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:48 AM   #5
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I did a pwc today, hoping to speed up the cycle a little by taking out some of the ammonia (it was at 8.0). My refill water is from a DI unit. I added some osmo prep and then the salt mix. That is how I plan to do all my pwc s.
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:51 AM   #6
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To tell you the truth, if you do not have animals in the tank, do not do PWC until the end.

This is in fact slowing the cycle...sorry
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:51 AM   #7
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Actually, you'll want to NOT do a water change until your cycle finishes. Doing a water change is sorta just dragging it on longer. The ammonia will come down on it's own, that is part of the cycling process. You will see ammonia get high, then nitrite get high as ammonia drops off, then eventually you will see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some nitrate. Then your cycle is finished. No need to do the extra work.
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:57 AM   #8
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Devil where is the love I just said that
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:59 AM   #9
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Ah hah Tom, we posted at the exact same times. Twice now. I think that's cue for me to go to bed. Don't worry. The love is everpresent.
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:01 AM   #10
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Ha Ha!!!! To much New Years booze
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