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Old 09-23-2006, 01:03 AM   #51
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Fisrt off let's define pwc.

PWC= removing x amount of gallons of SW from your setup(usually 10-20%) and replace it with the same amount of pre mixed salt water.

From what you are describing above you have never done a pwc. You have only been doing fresh water top offs to replace the water that evaporates (yes it is true you do not usually need ta add salt when topping off because the salt does not evaporate).

At this time you need to remove at least 50% of your salt water and replace it with new salt water that has been mixed for at least 24 hrs.

If you never remove water you will never remove the waste thus the build up of nitrates.

HTH,
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:10 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afilter
Fisrt off let's define pwc.

PWC= removing x amount of gallons of SW from your setup(usually 10-20%) and replace it with the same amount of pre mixed salt water.

From what you are describing above you have never done a pwc. You have only been doing fresh water top offs to replace the water that evaporates (yes it is true you do not usually need ta add salt when topping off because the salt does not evaporate).

At this time you need to remove at least 50% of your salt water and replace it with new salt water that has been mixed for at least 24 hrs.

If you never remove water you will never remove the waste thus the build up of nitrates.

HTH,
No no....I have been doing 50% water changes (removing 50%, replacing 50%). I just haven't been adding salt to the water when I replace it. I've done 2 in the past 4 days.
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:19 AM   #53
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That would mean you turned your SW tank into a FW tank. What is your SG Reading now? If anything left alive? Did you ever do a real pwc before?
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:27 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afilter
That would mean you turned your SW tank into a FW tank. What is your SG Reading now? If anything left alive? Did you ever do a real pwc before?
Wow, you're coming down on me hard. I didn't turn it into a FW tank. I've done a few pwc's before and if the salinity was low, I fixed it. Of course my fish are still alive. The only fish that has died is my black and white saddleback. I don't claim to be an expert or even know what I"m doing when it comes to SW tanks. I just went by what the guy at the fish store told me.
Reading is 1.022.
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Old 09-23-2006, 02:36 AM   #55
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I think what's been happening is that your salinity has been yo-yo-ing too much. It needs to stay constant. As noted before, you need to add salt water when you do the water change - not use fresh, wait and see what the salinity is, and then adjust. By then, the damage is already done.

Your damsel that's still alive is pretty hardy - it'll probably take the swings in salinity. The rest of your system... well... won't. In my opinion, that's why your nitrates were skyrocketing and not coming down with the PWCs. It's because for the most part, all your worms, etc are dying off. You can change water all you want, but if you have a bunch of stuff dying off that you can't see it's just going to continue to generate nitrates. That's why I asked about the ammonia - I was thinking your salinity was so low that the biological aspect of your filtration might've crashed and you were building up ammonia as well.

1.022 is OK, but the method you're using for PWCs will continue to give you - and your fish - a bunch of grief. I'd find a new fish store if I was you.

EDIT: PS - Just reread your post, and yes... taking water out of the tank, mixing the salt in, and putting it immediately back into the tank is bad. Freshly mixed salt water is really caustic and should be left to sit for 24 hours or so after the salt is added. The pH on freshly mixed saltwater is way higher than it should be and you have to let it set for things to balance out. In addition to wild swings in salinity, you probably have been having some pretty wild swings in pH which will also kill things off pretty quick. You might want to get a hold of Michael Paletta's book called "The New Marine Aquarium" and give it a quick read.
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:43 AM   #56
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Tha ammonia is probably 0 because of the biowheel. It's very efficient at turning ammonia into nitrate. We're not trying to be hard on you, we're just shocked the local fish store guy gave you such horrible advice. You thought you were following an expert's advice.

We sometimes use low salinity conditions to treat parasites on fish, but invertabrates don't take so well to it. When we do use low salinity conditions as a treatment, we do it very slowly in a QT.

Review of High School Biology: If the salt concentration on one side of a membrane is higher than on the other side, water will rush over to the salty side. In hypersaline conditions, this can cause dehydration of the organisim, and in hyposaline conditions, this can cause swelling. Saltwater fish have some mechinisms to deal with an imbalance, invertabrates don't.

STABILITY is the number one priority in a saltwater aquarium. The ocean doesn't generally get swings in conditions, especially in the tropical zones most of our cirtters come from.
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:40 AM   #57
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Yep. Change water with new, premixed (at least a day before) saltwater. Only use freshwater when you add from evaporation.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:54 AM   #58
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Yes, I will not be going back to that fish store. I live in a small town and it's the only fish store within 100 miles. I guess I'll have to go to Memphis to find one.

The nitrate level is about 40 now so I'll try to keep doing the pwc's. This time I'll try doing them the right way.
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:51 AM   #59
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I have found the easiest way to premix water:
1 Friday: add water/salt/heater/ph. in a bucket, in my bathtub.
2 test salinity/temp, adjust accordingly.
3 Sat night or Sunday, retest salinity, adjust, if needed.
4 wheel out the bucket
5 remove water from the tank, turn off filter and clean in old SW
6 add new, premixed water.
We are definitely not coming down hard on you. We are just trying to help. I tend to get upset at the things a lot of LFS tell folks, just to make a buck. You are doing fine, by your honesty, we can id the problem and help. You will have everything back to normal, just hang in there.
I only buy fish from my LFS, not equip or supplies. I get all my questions answered here.
Until you get those nitrAtes down, I would premix the water, for the day. Once it is under control, you can work on premixing for longer....
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:17 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tshere
Wow, you're coming down on me hard. I didn't turn it into a FW tank. I've done a few pwc's before and if the salinity was low, I fixed it. Of course my fish are still alive. The only fish that has died is my black and white saddleback. I don't claim to be an expert or even know what I"m doing when it comes to SW tanks. I just went by what the guy at the fish store told me.
Reading is 1.022.
I am not trying to be hard on you, just emphasising the way you were doing PWC was creating vast swings in SG along with other things.

Don't be to hard on the LFS especially if it is a long drive. I frequent a LFS that I would never take advice from because they have the products I need at a fair price. Just remember that because a person works at the LFS does not make them any more of an expert than you or I. Many LFS employees especially in the chain stores have an interest in one area of Pet care and then are forced to learn a little about everything (emphasis on little).

Just take it all with a grain of salt. The best thing you can do is what you are doing now and research for yourself. Do not just trust the opinions of me or others on this or any other boards. Get some books and do some reading. If the advice from someone at an LFS or website seems to make sense with what you have read then you can develop a trust level.

Until then proceed with caution. Everyone has an opinion and in some areas there is more than on right answer.

Good Luck,
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