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Old 12-29-2008, 02:01 PM   #1
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Nitrite and Nitrate

Tanks about 11 weeks old. My ammonia levels are fine always, but the nitrite stays at .5 ppm and my nitrate at 20. I know pwc is nessecary but my main concern is the nitrite. Isnt that supposed to also stay at 0. A week after water changes it seems to find its way back up. I dont believe my tank is overstocked. Also, how often should I clean out my canister filter, and how do I clean it without removing all the bacteria?? Thanks

One more thing, I'm using Kent PkH super buffer but my PH will not go above 8.0 I dosed every day for a week and it stayed at 8.0. Is this a problem. Or pointing out to another problem with the water quality?

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Old 12-29-2008, 03:25 PM   #2
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Looking at your tank info, looks like you have the following in your tank?

Clown Tang, Blue lip tang,
2 false percula clown
coral beauty angel, flame angel, Blue manderin, sleeper goby, cleaner shirmp, fire shrimp, hermit crab, strawberry crab, purple spot lobster, 10 assorted snails, chocolate chip starfish, porcupine puffer, longnose butterfly. coco worm.

So your tank is 11 weeks old and already has 10 fish in it?

First off, I'd say you're overstocked. But even if you weren't, adding 10 fish within 11 weeks really isn't giving your bacteria time to catch up with your bioload. Normally, a fish a month is a good way to pace yourself. So from that aspect, I'd say your tank is experiencing a cycle trying to play catch up.

Cannister filter media should probably be rinsed out in your old saltwater once a week. You're correct in worrying about the bacteria in it though - with only 30lbs of rock, your filter media will probably end up pulling double duty trying to catch up with the bioload.

I think your low (but not terrible, by any means) pH could also be linked to a cycling issue. When a tank is cycling, the "extra" biological activity that's going on in the tank will tend to drive down the pH. Once the tank matures, the pH will probably come up a bit.

I think with that bioload, you'll be lucky to keep your nitrates below 20. Might want to rethink your stocking list.

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Old 12-29-2008, 07:24 PM   #3
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How many pounds of LR should I have in a 72gal. Should I get another filter. I beleive mine is rated for 160 gal tank. I have about 14 inches of fish.

Was also wondering how much light would plants need such as red algea plants or maidens hair? I have a 3 36w T8 bulbs- coral sun, 50/50 and atonic.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:52 PM   #4
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Regarding "inches of fish", that's not really a good gauge for stocking. But with that said, when I've seen the rule applied it seems like it's normally applied considering the full grown size of the fish. Considering full-grown size, you've got more than 14 inches in just your Clown Tang alone. Also... those are recommended for tanks twice the size of yours. Yeah... it's small now, but regardless of size, fish still need "running room". It's kind of like trying to raise a dog that needs lots of exercise in an apartment locked in a cage.

Normal recommendation for live rock is 1 to 1.5 lbs/gallon of tank size, but will vary depending on the type of rock.

Regardless of adding more rock or filtration, I think you're just plain way overloaded, and increasing your filtration probably won't help much. I'm normally somewhat conservative here when it comes to stocking, so maybe some others will chime in soon with additional/different information.

Regarding plants... can't help you there. I try to keep the algae out of my tank since I'm doing the reef thing!
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:05 PM   #5
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Algae really isnt too picky about light. What you have should be fine, im pretty sure the older the bulbs, the better for algae. It has something to do with how the gas in the bulbs degrades producing different wavelengths and such.. also why its recommended that you change PC and VHO bulbs every X months even though they dont look too much different to us.
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