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Old 02-21-2009, 05:32 PM   #1
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CHEM LEVELS -establishing tank questions

I have a new tank, established for about 6-8 weeks now. Live rock with artificial coral - (a $ issue - will add real coral over time - and its pretty colorful, and came from an established tank) and like 6 damsels.

My chem levels have stabilized to what I think is healthy? Someone please tell me if it is or not. Ammonia .25ppm, nitrIte 0.15ppm and nitrAte 5-25ppm.

They improved so much since when I first got it. I had what i think was a diatom bloom, brown crap growing on the bottom, crushed coral and glass - normal I know. Its gone away considerably. Almost gone. 10% weekly RO water changes, increasing powerhead flow, cutting down on feeding, and cutting down on lighting did wonders, as well as some bottom feeders, 2 hermit crabs and a few snails. I think I should add some more.

One question, theres some spotty purple stuff growing all over the rock and noticibly on the fake coral. This is the good coralline algae right? I also see the fish start picking at the algae on the live rock and growing on this fake coral. Good right?

I wanna add a real fish now. I think I want to add a yellow tang. Good idea? Are the chem levels ok? I have a blood shrimp in there too and I guess its not a hardy fish and was able to live thru the conditions I had when the water was getting better.

Oh yea, I put off getting a protein skimmer. I think I WILL get one, will it make the water levels even better? Cut down on algae and any more brown crap growing on the glass and bottom of the tank right?

Also I feed a pellet/flake mix. Are there any better foods out there? Can you actually like go to the grocery store and buy a can of tuna and give them that to eat? Is it ok to cut down on feeding since the damsels can just live on algae growing on the rock or do they need more food? Im thinking the tang I want to get will need a lot of food so I am exploring feeding options.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:35 PM   #2
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Your tank seems to still be cycling, You shouldn't have any nitrites once the cycle is complete. i would not add any fish to the tank until your water improves. Keep up with the water changes.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:50 PM   #3
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Ammonia must be a 0. It looks like you have a pretty good plan going there but I do agree that it looks like your tank might be still cycling. Dont add any fish till ammonia and nitrites are at 0. Once they are then do a 33% PWC and you should be good to go.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:13 PM   #4
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thanks. i think thats a good idea. im going to need the protein skimmer to get the water better quality. i notice in this store a lot of fake coral that is sooo much better then the crap i have. its looks more like rock formations and is probably made of better material. i might abandon my live rock/fake rubber coral for this. dont really know. seems like the live rock can lead to a messy tank with too much algae growing out of control but i dont know?
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:28 PM   #5
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Yes the only bad thing about the fake coral is that it looks good at first but it really looks bad later on as dirt and algea get on them. Just make sure you have plenty of LR in there for good biological filtration. Also I`m not a big fan of cycling with damsels. Read this

The humane way to cycle
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