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Old 09-30-2008, 06:28 PM   #1
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water question on 120G

I have tested my water at the lfs and they say I had 0 ammonia/nitrites, but I did not trust them after reading many posts here.

My readings are: (these were from a test strip. )

nitrates 80
nitrites 0
PH 8.2
KH 180
GH 60


I assume I should do another PWC of about 25g this week.
I have used tap water to make my salt water for the first PWC. Could this be why my nitrates are so high?

Also I have minimal algae growth on all the rock.

I purchased tank and occumpants and about a month ago.
Durning move we saved 70G+ of the original water (made the other 50 with tap and instant ocean), all fish, inverts, and the LR and LS (Crushed coral). Do I need to vac the crushed coral ?

Inherited Tank Family:
  • Lawn Mower Bleenie
  • wrasse (evil little sucker)
  • 2 grunts (small)
  • blue yellow angel
  • shame face crab
  • crab (with purple tip claws)
  • crab (not sure what kind)
  • 4 pencil urchin
  • bunch of blue leg hermits
** we removed a sand perch who ate anything that it could catch (poor little cardinal and 3 damsels) and a purple urchin got sick and had to be removed.

Thanks I think I have.
Over protective father syndrom? Any advice at all is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:59 PM   #2
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As far as tap water read this.

Chemistry and the Aquarium

Also test strips are not the most reliable. I would use a liquid test like API or sailfert. Did you cycle the tank?
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:14 AM   #3
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Have you tested your tap for Nitrates? It probably is up there close to 80 and that is why your Nitrates are so high and also why you are getting algae. You have to stop using the tap water and set up a RO/DI unit for your tap water or start buying Distilled water from the grocery store. Even if your tap Nitrates are 0 you still shouldn't use it.

Yes crushed coral does need to be vacuumed at least once a month or whenver you do your pwc.

IMO you don't need to test for KH GH.... you can worry about alkalinity when you have coral. With the Fish Only focus Nitrate, Nitrite, PH, Ammonia and Salinity. And I think GH you are testing for is more of a freshwater thing.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryshark View Post
IMO you don't need to test for KH GH.... you can worry about alkalinity when you have coral. With the Fish Only focus Nitrate, Nitrite, PH, Ammonia and Salinity. And I think GH you are testing for is more of a freshwater thing.
I don't fully agree with that. You do need to worry about alk as it is part of keeping the system balanced. Granted it becomes more important with corals with regard to CA levels, but alk is still important in keeping things balanced.

I agree with the above and will also add that in my experience I have had issues with Instant Ocean salt mix having nitrates in it. The bucket says nitrate free but I have had nitrate spikes after using the mix. I'm not saying that it is what has cause the high nitrates just sharing some of my experience.

You really want to do a few things.

1. Get the liquid test kits as Mike said
2. Either buy an RO/DI unit (look on ebay you can pick one up for under $100 shipped) or buy RO/DI water from your LFS. I suggest buying the unit it is cheaper in the long run. You really don't want to use tap water. Are you on city water or do you have a well?
3. Test your tap water and see what the nitrates are.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:54 AM   #5
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I work for a municipal water locality and I know what goes in there. To make water safe for human consumption things that are not good for fish and esp. corals are put in there. Ammonia and nitrates being the main two things.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
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thanks, do you have a good link for setting up the RO/DI for my saltwater aquarium.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:04 PM   #7
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They are very simple to install. First you need to select one and buy it. Ebay is a great place to find one. Here is the one I have and who I got it from RO/DI. I have had this unit for nearly 3 years now and am very happy with it.

For a lot of great information on RO/DI and tons of other things have a look here.
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ziggy953 View Post
I don't fully agree with that. You do need to worry about alk as it is part of keeping the system balanced. Granted it becomes more important with corals with regard to CA levels, but alk is still important in keeping things balanced.

I agree with the above and will also add that in my experience I have had issues with Instant Ocean salt mix having nitrates in it. The bucket says nitrate free but I have had nitrate spikes after using the mix. I'm not saying that it is what has cause the high nitrates just sharing some of my experience.

You really want to do a few things.

1. Get the liquid test kits as Mike said
2. Either buy an RO/DI unit (look on ebay you can pick one up for under $100 shipped) or buy RO/DI water from your LFS. I suggest buying the unit it is cheaper in the long run. You really don't want to use tap water. Are you on city water or do you have a well?
3. Test your tap water and see what the nitrates are.
Ziggys statement is correct regarding alkalinity, I made a mistake. It is still good to test carbonate hardness for fish only tanks to keep things in balance. I do believe what I said about General Hardness is correct that it is more of a freshwater thing.
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:44 PM   #9
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This is the one I have so you can see what they are like. There are much cheaper ones but I wanted this one.

Reverse Osmosis Aquarium Water Quality: Maxxima RO/DI Units
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:51 PM   #10
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due to time constraints had to use tap, I checked the tap but this is the last time.
I switched out 20 gals, doing 5 gal every 5 min. The nitrates were down around 40. I also switched out the filter in the sump (above the bio balls) it was very brown. Will do water test in the AM to see how it went. God willing all the kids will be alive in the morning.

Thanks for all the advice, I am ordering the RO/DI tomorrow also. Trying to get this stuff done before I leave town for 2 weeks and the wife gets to take over.
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