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Old 03-23-2009, 03:20 AM   #11
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Sorry... all I saw were pictures of cats...

With any nitrIte readings at all, I'd say you're in the middle of a cycle - whether you want it or not. I'm guessing you probably also have ammonia present too. The low pH also suggests cycling.

300ppm alkalinity is really high. REALLY high. That equates to around 17 dKH. That, in addition to adding calcium (what are those numbers?) most likely is causing the calcium to precipitate out of the saltwater, basically causing a snowstorm. Stop with the dosing. One of the best things to do in this hobby is to not add anything to your tank that you're not testing for. When dosing alk/calcium, you need to know where your numbers are.

Regarding smelly rock... all I meant was that fully cured rock shouldn't "stink". It should smell like the ocean. But rock that has stuff dieing off on it, thus causing a cycle, will stink. Your rock isn't "bad", or has died,... but it is going through a cycle. Depending on the ammonia levels, the critters in there may or may not survive - but the tank has to cycle.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:17 AM   #12
Thanx but no.....


 
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IMO 100% spot on advice, esp the alk.

I'm guessing something went awry between the time you took the LR out and when you put it back. You had a heater, powerhead etc in the 30g tub? Any extensive time out of the water could cause things to start to die (even if 'kept wet w/ towels or spraying')
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:33 AM   #13
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I am a total novice here so I'm just speaking up in hopes of BEGINNERS LUCK helping out......
"MY" guess would be that your tank has'nt really BEGUN to cycle yet...and allowed to to so...plus settling-time...things may clear up. Investing some 'leave-it-alone-time' may prove profitable.
(FYI I too have a newborn on the way...and a skimpy budget....and have more than once contemplated throwing in the towel...but your obvious education that you've acquired thus far clearly illustrates a certain amount of intuitiveness so don't give up the fight !!!You're almost there)
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Harry Gross View Post
I am a total novice here so I'm just speaking up in hopes of BEGINNERS LUCK helping out......
"MY" guess would be that your tank has'nt really BEGUN to cycle yet......

The tank is cycling, as the nitrites show. Nitrites come from the breakdown of ammonia, and the presence of it shows that there are not sufficient bacteria in the tank to deal with it. The tank might not be totally devoid of bacteria, but it doesn't have enough to make it habitable for most livestock.

If this was my tank...

I'd get an ammonia kit if you don't already have one, and start testing ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates every 2 days. Write those numbers down. As your cycle progresses, you'll see the ammonia go up and then start to come down. (You may have missed this part already.) As the ammonia is going down, the nitrites will start to come up. As the nitrites go up, the ammonia will eventually disappear. The nitrites will then spike, and begin to go down. At this point, your nitrates will begin to go up more. Once the nitrites are completely gone, as well as any ammonia, then the tank is cycled. Do a couple big - say 50%? - water changes to get the nitrate levels down to a reasonable level, and you're then good to add livestock. Only adding one fish a month for the first few fish will make sure that you don't overpower the bacteria in the tank, and give them sufficient time to adapt to the new bioload of the tank.

No need to think the tank is doomed... it's doing what new tanks do - cycle. Yes... the tank was up and running for a while, but I don't think it truly cycled to start with, and then with the removal of rock, it killed off whatever beneficial bacteria you had to start with. It's like you're starting over again - which might not be a bad thing.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:54 AM   #15
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I have not added any chemicals at all.
I have purchased a poly filter and am trying that to try to clear up the water.it seems to be coming from the live rock if I even put a net near the rock this stuff comes right off like over feeding laying on rocks but im not feeding at all.also some of the rock has turned pure white. as well as a duster looks like its feathers have been dyed blond if that makes any sense..I am thinking just keep monitoring and wait it out ..starting over would prob not be a smart thing even tho I might feel better knowing its is a fresh set-up but not exactly the right thing so i will just wait out the storm....any other suggestions.



ok at this point levels are as follows salinity 1.023
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:16 AM   #16
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levels are

salinity 1.023
nitrate 20ppm
nitrite 0ppm
alkilinty 300ppm
ph still hanging @ 7.8
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:45 AM   #17
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I have not added any chemicals at all....
I'm confused. You said in your previous post:

Quote:
...as far as water nothing added besides dechlorinator.calcium and alkilinity...
So have you been adding calcium and an alkalinity buffer? Or did you just mean you haven't added any more chemicals recently?

Everything turning white sounds like what I said in that earlier post... the calcium is precipitating out of the saltwater.

This really oversimplifies what could be going on, but let's just say that two components of that saltwater are calcium and carbonate. The amount of calcium or carbonate that can be in the saltwater at any given time is directly related to how much of the other is present. You can basically have one of three things in your tank:

1. High alkalinity and low calcium
2. Low alkalinity and high calcium
3. Balanced alkalinity and calcium

You can't have high alkalinity and high calcium... the two just won't cooperate that way!

So lets say you have a bunch of calcium in your salt water (from dosing calcium) and add enough buffer over time to finally reach the point that the calcium says "That's it... I can't take it any more... I'm outta here." The high carbonate levels from the buffer causes the calcium to "undissolve" from the saltwater. It does that by forming little particles in your water, and snowing inside your tank. It will continue to do this until the calcium and carbonate levels have reached a balance. The only way to stop it before it gets to that level is to lower the alkalinity. Water changes are the best way to do that. This is why it's important to know your alkalinity AND calcium levels if you dose either one of those things. It's even more important to understand what changing any one of those parameters will do to the other. Here's a good link on ca/alk problems...

Chemistry and the Aquarium

Regarding the cycle... seems odd that your nitrites have suddenly gone away, but it could've been just where you were at in your cycle. No ammonia kit or readings?

Quote:
..starting over would prob not be a smart thing even tho I might feel better knowing its is a fresh set-up but not exactly the right thing so i will just wait out the storm....
Just realized that my comment in my previous post could've been taken differently than I meant it! When I said... "It's like you're starting over again - which might not be a bad thing." I didn't mean I thought starting over would be a good thing. All I meant was that with your tank appearing to be cycling again, it was like you were getting a "redo" on your tank anyways. In effect, you ARE starting over. If I was in your shoes, I wouldn't even be thinking about starting over!
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