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Old 05-03-2008, 08:07 AM   #1
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New Saltwater Tank Question

I am starting a sw tank with live rock and sand. I added water and salt to the tank, my SG and tenperature reading were on target. When I added my live rock and sand, my SG reading was high (off chart). I am getting good foam from my skimmer. Is this normal? I took out some of the water in the tank and replaced it with some treated fresh water. It seems to be okay now. I may buy a refractometer, I donn't like the variation in my hydrometer.
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:32 AM   #2
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Usually it takes a few days for the salt to really mix with the water and get a true reading. I guess you say treated water that you are talking tap water. IMO RO/DI is better or even RO. Read this. BTW Welcome to AA

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Old 05-03-2008, 10:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for the information. I will keep checking my water and probably invest in a refractometer and DI system.
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:02 PM   #4
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Best to get a RODI system. The DI cartridge is a small addition the unit and wll worth it. A refractometer is a must too IMO.
I would turn off the skimmer during cycling. Let the tank cycle, then do a large water change (50%). Don't worry about pH or other readings other than ammonia, nitrite and nitrate during the cycle. And

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Old 05-03-2008, 01:26 PM   #5
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Welcome to the site!
I agree with the above advice.. I bought a RO/DI for around $100.
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:19 PM   #6
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you recommend doing a 50% water change after cycling?
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:48 PM   #7
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Welcome to the site.

I can't help you with your SW questions, but there's plenty of people here who can! Kudos for coming here and figuring things out before you started stocking your tank!
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:34 AM   #8
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I have a aqua remora skimmer and I seem to be getting alot of foam. I also checked my ammonia readings and it is off the charts (high). Is this normal?? My ph is 7.6.
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:48 AM   #9
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!!
In a new tank with no livestock I would not worry too much about parameters...just let things take their natural course. A high NH3 reading is completely normal for a tank begining the cycling process. As things progress, you will see a fall in NH3 with a spike in NO2. Once the NO2 falls you will see a spike in NO3. Once NH3 and NO2 are at zero, do a 50% water change to remove some of the NO3. Wait a few days and recheck parameters. If everything is stable your tank has cycled and you can SLOWLY begin adding livestock.

During the cycle period there is really no need to run the skimmer. It won't hurt anything but your tank has not accumulated any DOC to skim from the water. Don't worry about Ph, that should stabalize after the PWC. A refracto is a great idea...remember to top off evaperated water with FW, not SW. This should help keep SG consistant. A RO/DI unit is also a key to keeping a successful SW tank. You can certainly buy your water from a LFS but it is easier to have a unit at home. I have the Ocean Wave + from The Filter Guys

Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:46 PM   #10
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High ammonia is the sign of a good start. The ammonia will decline, with therise of nitrItes, and then their decline, with the rise in nitrAtes. The way to get the nitrAtes down is a PWC. I would only test for these three as pH will fluctuate during the cycle.
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