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Old 09-13-2008, 02:46 AM   #1
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Question Water change now?....is this possible?

Ok I have had my tank cycling for about 2 weeks now. I used tap water, and used some petco dechlorinator in it. I have just found out I can go down to this peir in san diego and get water out of this filter thing they have there ( in the ocean). Somebody I know has been using the water in his nano tank and says its great. I do not have fish, but have some small xenias, and 2 small frags of zoas on some live rock. Can I do like a 90% water change and use the fresh "real" water from the ocean. His tank was clear as could be because it is out of a filter system in the ocean. Now by doing this will this affect my cycle? And also will it help with my nitrite levels and PH.. My nitrite is at a 1 ( high i know ) and my PH is about a 8.6 or so.....So what I am asking is if by replacing almost all the water with this real water instead of tap will it be safe and keep me on track with my cycle?! Thanks so much.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:32 AM   #2
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If it was me I would go ahead and finish your cycle and then maybe do some 40-50% Weekly PWC`s before you add any fish. You do have LR in there right? Yes finish the cycle first IMO.
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:38 PM   #3
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I wouldn't do a 90% water change. Check the salinity and temp of the other water, otherwise the change in salinity might be too much for your critters.
What are your water parameters?
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Old 09-13-2008, 01:29 PM   #4
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8.6 salinity, nitrites are 1, nitrates are a 5-10 ish, ammonia 0. i just messed up by using the tap water and want to fix it with this pure water from the ocean.....still possible?
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Old 09-13-2008, 01:38 PM   #5
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By doing a water change now, you will slow down your cycle. But since you do have some corals in there, that is not a bad idea. I wouldn't do a 90% water change with the new water but maybe a few smaller ones over time so there is no chance of ph shock etc. You'll want to allow some time for some adjustments in salinity and ph for the filtered sea water so smaller more frequent water changes would be a better idea. Rather the water from the ocean is bad or not, I can't say. I would do some experimental tests just for curiosity sake before using it though.
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:16 PM   #6
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By doing a water change now, you will slow down your cycle. But since you do have some corals in there, that is not a bad idea. I wouldn't do a 90% water change with the new water but maybe a few smaller ones over time so there is no chance of ph shock etc. You'll want to allow some time for some adjustments in salinity and ph for the filtered sea water so smaller more frequent water changes would be a better idea. Rather the water from the ocean is bad or not, I can't say. I would do some experimental tests just for curiosity sake before using it though.

awesome thank you. So by doing this do you think I can lower my nitrites? Shouldnt they be lower than 1 by this point? So what you think is that i should do like PWC at like 10-20% daily just to make it so there is no shock? Will this lower my nitrites then? Everything else is good? Also what if I check the PH of the new water and it is a big difference? Should I check the new filtered sea water with all my test kits? Since it is from the sea shouldnt there be 0 nitrites and a good nitrate level along with PH and 0 Ammonia?? Thanks again
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:23 PM   #7
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Doing water changes should lower your nitrites, provided there are none in the seawater you are using. I would do a full scale test on the seawater just to be safe. I would think there wouldn't be any nitrites or nitrates in the water but since you will be getting it right off shore, I would test just to be cautious. If the ph is way off, the smaller water changes over time will slowly acclimate your tank over to the new ph. It would be the same as if you were doing a drip acclimation for a fish, but on a larger scale, if that makes sense. As long as your not doing large changes all at once, it should slowly stabilized.
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:42 PM   #8
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Doing water changes should lower your nitrites, provided there are none in the seawater you are using. I would do a full scale test on the seawater just to be safe. I would think there wouldn't be any nitrites or nitrates in the water but since you will be getting it right off shore, I would test just to be cautious. If the ph is way off, the smaller water changes over time will slowly acclimate your tank over to the new ph. It would be the same as if you were doing a drip acclimation for a fish, but on a larger scale, if that makes sense. As long as your not doing large changes all at once, it should slowly stabilized.

thanks again, so what % of WC do you think i should do, and how often?
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:52 PM   #9
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I would do 20% or there abouts and I would do them as often as your nitrites call for. You really want to get them down for the sake of the corals even if it means doing them daily or every other day. It will be alot of water changes and alot of testing but it should help your corals remain healthy through the cycling.
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:05 PM   #10
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I think you need to slow down and do some reading about maintaining saltwater tanks. I get the feel you're rushing all this, and that's not a good way to start.

Saltwater from the ocean isn't going to do one bit of good to resolve your nitrite and pH issue. Your tank is cycling. When it's cycling, you WANT nitrites so the beneficial bacteria can build up. Nitrites are a necessary part of cycling. And while you're cycling, your pH will go all over the place because of the amount of biological activity going on in your tank. Once the cycle is over, your pH will stabilize. THEN, after several 30% water changes or so to bring the nitrates down, your pH should be stable and where you want it.

I understand that you made some mistakes in setting up this tank, but there's no reason you need to rush to fix them. Think you're getting some good advice in this thread.

By the way... ocean water, in my opinion, isn't necessarily better than anything else. It *could* be better than tap water because it doesn't have all the chemicals in it to make it potable, but then again... it *could* be worse depending on where you're getting it from. You mention that it's filtered, but I doubt it's much more than a sand filter to take out the big nasties. Unless it is UV sterilized and run through skimmers, you could be getting all sorts of interesting stuff in it. You could still be getting nitrates and phosphates, and who know what else. In addition, your calcium and pH levels might not really be where you want them. Seems like ocean water from near the coast is lower than what's normally recommended for reef tanks. As Fluff mentions, before switching to it, I'd get some samples and test the heck out of it.
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