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Old 11-18-2004, 10:23 AM   #1
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Is my tank ready?

Howdy...

Today is the 36th day in my tank cycling process. I used the raw shrimp method and it has completely dissolved now. I had it in a mesh bag.

Current readings are, Nitrite=0, Nitrate=40 (had been at 20 for a long stretch), PH=7.8, Alkalinity=40 and ammonia=0.25.

The ammonia reading has me a little concerned.

But, all in all, what do you think....am I getting close to being able to get my first fish?

Thanks....Steve
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:00 AM   #2
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Looks like you are close. I would double check that ammonia at your LFS, take them a sample for testing. There are some kits out there with a growing reputation for false positive readings. The color matching can be confusing.
May want to get that PH up a bit. If the ammonia turns out to be 0 (and I'll bet it will judging from the other readings), do a large (like 40%) water change. That should bring the PH up above 8.0, then you will be ready to for your first fish. Just make sure to use qt.
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Old 11-18-2004, 01:39 PM   #3
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Quartine Tank...?

Thanks a lot Kurt for answering my question "Is My Tank Ready"?

I understand everything you said to do except I don't understand the use of the QT right now. I thought they were for to put fish in that were sick. I don't have any fish at all in my tank yet, so you will need to explain to me about that. Thanks.

Oh, while I have your attention, when doing water changes can I use tap water then adding more salt solution or do I have to use water that has been standing. I ofcourse would be dechlorinating?

Steve.....
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Old 11-18-2004, 02:06 PM   #4
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Couple of quick notes - Your Ammonia reading may be "throw off" by the fact that you still have nitrates present in your system. If you do a big water change (maybe 10 gal or 15 gal on your 29gal tank) then recheck N03 it should be quite a bit lower. AFter that I'd double check nh3/nh4 and you may see it drop.

Another thing with the kits, if its the "match the color to the card" type then they almost never read true zero - verify this by testing some bottled or RO water sometime and see what it reads.

***Important regarding water changes*** do not add freshwater to your tank and then top off with salt solution (don't mix the salt in the tank itself). This is extremely stressfull to anything in there. Please please mix you saltwater in a bucket or clean/new trashcan and let it dissolve overnight. You can buy an extra powerhead and sit it in the trashcan to mix the water - or you can temporarily remove one of your powerheads from your tank.

I wouldn't sweat the PH too much if you are going FO. 7.8 isn't too bad and as quarryshark mentioned, adding new SW will likely raise it slightly.

Last but not least - To answer your original question - after the water change and a re-test you should be ready to go.

hope this helps.

Nate
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Old 11-18-2004, 02:15 PM   #5
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QT everything BEFORE it gets into your tank. If you don't QT your new fish, it could bring a disease into the tank that you can't easily get rid of. If you spot a disease on a fish in the QT, you can easily treat it there. most meds would mess up anything in the main tank (especially copper)
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Old 11-18-2004, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
I understand everything you said to do except I don't understand the use of the QT right now. I thought they were for to put fish in that were sick. I don't have any fish at all in my tank yet, so you will need to explain to me about that. Thanks
Jaiden said it all. qt for the new arrivals keeps diseases out of your main. Once they are in there, very hard to get rid of. The good news is since you system is about ready, I is a good time to set up a qt and get your first fish. A good qt period is 4 weeks.
Quote:
when doing water changes can I use tap water then adding more salt solution or do I have to use water that has been standing. I ofcourse would be dechlorinating?
Best to use RO water if you can. Most tap water contains many inpurities that you do not want in your system including PO4 which will add to the chance of future algae outbreaks. RO water is the way to go.
I keep a new garbage can in the garage of RO water. When I need to do a change I simply fill up a couple buckets of RO water, mix in the salt and airate it with an airstone for 24 hour before doing the change.
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Old 11-18-2004, 02:56 PM   #7
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ditto the comments on RO water and QT tanks (I forgot to answer that in my first post). If you don't have a filter, try the grocery store / wal-mart, etc.

If you don't have the resources to setup a QT tank yet (after all you just started your first main tank) then you can usually arrange with the LFS to QT them for you in house - just put down a deposit first and see if they will work with you. Some will / some won't but hopefully you have a good store in your area.
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Old 11-18-2004, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
If you don't have the resources to setup a QT tank yet (after all you just started your first main tank) then you can usually arrange with the LFS to QT them for you in house - just put down a deposit first and see if they will work with you. Some will / some won't but hopefully you have a good store in your area.
Nice idea, I like your LFS already.
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Old 11-18-2004, 03:48 PM   #9
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We're spoiled rotten here in Portland....

Lots of good folks around.
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