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Old 10-06-2011, 10:36 AM   #1
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Who should i believe?

I'm cycling my 30 gallon sw with a
Shrimp and it's been a little less than 2 weeks. I got my water tested yesterday at the lfs and the guy said it's looking good so far except my ph is low. He tried to
Sell me a bottle of buffer but I did not have my wallet on me so I went home to get it but just before I left I decided to get some advice from here and a lot of people Told me not to buy buffer and buy my own test kit so once again I went back to the store and instead of buying the buffer I asked for a test kit and he asked me why I didn't want the buffer so I told me what I had read and he completely disagreed with it. So I'm not sure what I should do.
Also members on here told me not to do a pwc till my cycle is done but the guy at the store recommended a 25% change....what should I do? Please help.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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dont go with what people just tell you! Do what makes sense, what research makes sense, and what is the logical thing to do!

First, What exactly are your levels?!?! what does "looking good" mean?
If you dont know, than THAT is your answer! You NEED TO knwo your levels for now and future referances! EVERYTING you will do, whatever will happen to your tank, you NEED TO KNOW your levels!
So, #1: go get the test kit for Ammonia, Nitraite, Nitrate, pH... later on you will need phos, Calcium, and dKH

Please read up what cycling means and what it does!

Ammonia changes into Nitrites and than to Nitrates
When u dose Ammonia (eg ur dead shrimp) you dont want to do a water change... in general you do not do water changes during ur cycle (later on it is a MUST), unless (!!!) you cant read ur levels anymore... and you dont do big changes, just 10-20%

considering the buffer: you need to raise your pH, BUT buffers increase ur dKH too... you need to know ur alkalinity before you just add random chemicals to your tank

Cycling lowers pH because Hydrogen ions get released into the water from the Ammonia (NH3 changes to NO3). The higher the H+ the lower the pH... thats what pH meassures: Hydrogen
Make sure you have good water movement on the sureface of your tank, that helps with the gas exchange to stabilize your pH
Also, dont check pH in the AM, check it in the late PM.
Do you have ur lights on?

You need a test kit period
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:58 AM   #3
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I did get a new test kit yesterday so I guess I don't have to settle for "looks good" reply anymore.
And yes I turn on the lights in the morning and turn them off before bed.
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:08 PM   #4
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Good advice up above, agree with most of what was already said. While you need to know actual levels as was stated above, there are many people who get their water tested regularly at a reliable LFS. Often time the LFS will have nicer and more accurate test kits than the new reefer buys. However, as was stated, they should be giving you actual levels, not "looks good."

As for the water changes, it totally depends on if you are doing a hard and fast cycle or a slow and soft cycle. One cycles the tank quickly and is hard on any existing micro or macrofauna on that expensive LR you purchased (no water changes), the other cycles the tank much slower, but assures a greater survival rate on the critters on/in the LR you paid so much for (regular water changes during the cycle). As stated above doing some reading on cycling and the nitrogen cycle, will help you have a little better idea.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:05 PM   #5
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Limit your lighting to 8-10 hrs daily. So, what are your readings now that you have a test kit? Especially interested in the ammonia,nitrite, and nitrate. I wouldn't worry about the Ph for now at all.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:43 PM   #6
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In my opinion, do your own test but check them against a good LFS who gives you levels once in awhile. YOu need to get to know them to see if they are giving you good advice or just trying to get you to buy product that you will have to keep buying over and over again. As for water change, do you make your own RO/DI water and in turn Salt Water or do you buy it? If you are buying it, is he telling you to do PWC just so they can sell you more water??? I have run into both kinds of LFS here in my area. Some I trust completely and others not at all.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:54 PM   #7
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This is how the tests are looking like after a week and half after starting the tank.


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Sorry iPhone quality photo, the ammonia looks like 0 or very close, nitrite is 0 and nitrate looks like 5 idk? And ph is looking like 7.8-8.0. What do you guys think?
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdnelson99
In my opinion, do your own test but check them against a good LFS who gives you levels once in awhile. YOu need to get to know them to see if they are giving you good advice or just trying to get you to buy product that you will have to keep buying over and over again. As for water change, do you make your own RO/DI water and in turn Salt Water or do you buy it? If you are buying it, is he telling you to do PWC just so they can sell you more water??? I have run into both kinds of LFS here in my area. Some I trust completely and others not at all.
I buy ro water and yes he did recommend a pwc so idk if he's making a sale or I really need one.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yash View Post
I went back to the store and instead of buying the buffer I asked for a test kit and he asked me why I didn't want the buffer so I told me what I had read and he completely disagreed with it.
Sounds like he's disappointed that he's got himself a customer who's smarter than he is...... wise of you to do further research before returning to the store......
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:16 PM   #10
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The ammonia looks like between .25 and .50 from here. Definitely not zero. There should be no green hue at all.
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