Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 02-12-2004, 03:27 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dublin, CA
Posts: 81
How is my tank doing?

Our 70 gallon has been up and running for almost two weeks now, and I'm not sure how well it's doing at this point.

I know we've made a few mistakes already (didn't find this board sooner!), so forgive me.

I filled the tank with tap water, added some AmQuel Plus, and we've been slowly adding live rock to where we're now at 50 pounds. The live rock was pre-cured and purchased from our LFS, straight from their tank to ours. Our filtration consists of a wet/dry filter, and we currently have two powerheads in there (have two more on order). We have CC for substrate (would like to change to sand). I also added a block of trace elements.

I had read that bacterial starters could be added to speed up the cycle, so I purchased some RightNow and added that about a week ago. After that, we purchased two clownfish.

To get to the point, I've been testing our levels every other day or so since I set everything up. (Using Tetra test kits, what our LFS sold us). The levels have been pretty consistent. Nitrites: 0.3, Ammonia: 0.25, Nitrates: 25 (I think). pH seems a bit high, around 8.6, even though I've been adding a pH buffer. The Nitrates went up a bit from 12 to 25, but otherwise the levels haven't changed much. Is our tank cycled? Or should we still expect Nitrite/Ammonia spikes? I know Nitrites and Ammonia should be 0, but the levels haven't seemed to move at all. The clownfish seem to be doing fine almost a week later. I am planning to do a small water change today.
__________________

__________________
Natterjak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2004, 04:13 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,134
Re: How is my tank doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natterjak
Our 70 gallon has been up and running for almost two weeks now, and I'm not sure how well it's doing at this point.


I filled the tank with tap water, added some AmQuel Plus, and we've been slowly adding live rock to where we're now at 50 pounds.

Our filtration consists of a wet/dry filter, and we currently have two powerheads in there (have two more on order).


We have CC for substrate (would like to change to sand).

I also added a block of trace elements.

I had read that bacterial starters could be added to speed up the cycle, so I purchased some RightNow and added that about a week ago.

After that, we purchased two clownfish.

Nitrites: 0.3, Ammonia: 0.25, Nitrates: 25 (I think). pH seems a bit high, around 8.6, even though I've been adding a pH buffer.

Is our tank cycled? Or should we still expect Nitrite/Ammonia spikes

I hope you dont mind but I broke up your post a little so it would be easier for me to focus on a few things. I think over all you have a good start. As I'm sure you know, the tap should have been Ro ideally, but..you know that so I'll move on.

The Wet/dry...Does it have bio-balls in it? If it does, you might consider removing them. 5 years ago they were considered the newest thing and the most modern way to filter a tank. Then they figured out that Bio balls and Bio bail can and does trap Nitrates. This will cause algae problems for you..Might want to take them out if you do have them.

You said you have Cc as the floor. I hate to be the barer of bad news, but this is also known for trapping Detritus and Nitrates. Sand shifters and your cleaning crew will generally have a hard time w/ it due to its rough texture and size.

A block of trace elements. I'm not familure w/ "a block" of them (usually liquid) but in a new tank your Trace El's should be fine w/ just water changes.

The bacterial starter kit is something that basically makes us feel good. In the right temp water (82) the bacteria can actually double in a matter of a half hour (per Dr. Ron). Because of this, the bacteria on your LR will be plenty to get things going in a new tank.

The only thing that I saw that REALLY worried me was ....

"After that, we purchased two clown fish.

Nitrites: 0.3, Ammonia: 0.25, Nitrates: 25 (I think). pH seems a bit high, around 8.6, even though I've been adding a pH buffer. "

Nitrites and ammonia should always be a 0 before putting anything living in a tank. Even in small amounts these chemicals can be very toxic. With regular water changes your clowns may have a chance, but w/ your tank only being 2wks old...your maybe a third to half of the way through the initial cycle. Be prepared to loose them.

As far as a spike..maybe not since you have Cured LR. Hopefully it wont go any higher than it is now. Just keep an eye on it...if the parameters go any higher do a water change. There is an old saying in the hobby. "The Solution to Pollution is Dilution." So...small frequent water changes and they will have the best chance!

Good Luck!

Squishy
__________________

__________________
http://www.reef-aquarium.net

175gallon reef

5,100 gal pond

Fish are people too!
SquishyFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2004, 04:31 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dublin, CA
Posts: 81
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, our wet/dry has bio-balls in it - I've been debating over whether or not to take them out. Do you take them out all at once, or a little at a time?

We do plan to replace the CC (even though I hate to waste the money) with live sand at some point.

The trace element block was just this white block that I dropped in there that's been slowly dissolving. There's still a little piece left in there.

The RightNow stuff said that fish could be added 5 minutes after it was put in - which in retrospect was probably just gimmiky. :|

I guess I'll just do regular small water changes and keep testing and keep my fingers crossed, hehe.
__________________
~Bonnie

70g SW
1 percula clownfish
Natterjak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2004, 04:37 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,134
Cool..sounds good.


I would pull the bio balls. Let the cat play w/ them or something.

The LS...You can buy the dry stuff, cure it and then put it in the tank. We have a link that explains how if you would like that. If you put it in uncured, be aware that the silt will coat the rockwork and it is very tough to get off. The bacteria (after its cured) is enough to weight it down and helps it clear days faster. definitely worth curing it!
__________________
http://www.reef-aquarium.net

175gallon reef

5,100 gal pond

Fish are people too!
SquishyFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2004, 06:06 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: So Cal
Posts: 412
If you pull the balls, and i recommend you do, i started out with them and nitrate problems as well, pull them out over about two weeks, about a cup a day. this will allow the lr to build up the lost bacteria.

do water changes as often as you possibly can to help the clowns with the ammonia. if you can, either set up a small qt tank to hold them in while the tank finishes cycling. you will still have to do water chenges in it to keep down the ammonia it will have, but the amount of water and salt needed will be far less saving you money. the best thing to do if possible tho is to ask your lfs if they will hold on to them for you until the tank is fully cycled.

HTH and we hope to hear good things
__________________
BBReef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2004, 07:17 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,134
Good catch on the slow removal of the bio balls...forgot to mention that.
__________________
http://www.reef-aquarium.net

175gallon reef

5,100 gal pond

Fish are people too!
SquishyFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2004, 12:42 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dublin, CA
Posts: 81
Well, I retested the water, and Ammonia is now at 0, and Nitrites are <0.3 (as specific as the Tetra test gets). Nitrates are still at 25. I also did a small (5%) water change after that. Keeping my fingers crossed that the levels stay where they are.
__________________
~Bonnie

70g SW
1 percula clownfish
Natterjak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2004, 02:31 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Indiana USA
Posts: 2,694
I don't know if I saw this, but is this tank going to be a reef? With a FO or FOWLR, bioballs and CC could be used. With certain types of fish, CC would be better, IMO. With aggressive fish, a clean up crew might be tough and you will need to vacuum the CC. This is not done very easliy with sand.

If this will be a reef tank or a FOWLR with inverts, you should address the bioballs and CC definately.
__________________
ellisz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2004, 02:41 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dublin, CA
Posts: 81
The plan is to eventually do a reef, but we'd like to try a FOWLR for at least 6 months or so before we try a reef, since this is our first SW experience. I figure that if we're going to do a reef down the road, it would probably be better to change out the substrate now rather than later.

I am going to try to have inverts - but we do plan to have a Puffer, so I'm not sure how that will go. I know they eat inverts, but a few people here have said that they've been able to keep the two together with little problem.

Should I wait until we have at least 70 pounds of LR and all our LS in there before I start removing bioballs? I don't want to deplete all the bacteria if I don't have enough biological filtration in the tank yet.
__________________
~Bonnie

70g SW
1 percula clownfish
Natterjak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2004, 04:22 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Indiana USA
Posts: 2,694
70lbs would be the minimum needed really. I waited to remove my bioballs until I had enought LR to accomodate.

Might as well take the CC out and put sand before you get too much in there

I have done big snails and hermits with a dog puffer before but he was kind of old. They were not that active though
__________________

__________________
ellisz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
tan

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.