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Old 10-01-2008, 03:46 PM   #1
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what now?

Okay, I picked up my first FOWLR tank over the weekend. 55G tall w/ a 20G sump and 8G fuge and 110 lbs live rock (6 yrs old from established tank). I've tested all the parameters - what now? I'm not sure what my targets should be for alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium. At the moment the tank just has 3 clowns and a chromis but I'll be adding a cleaning crew and a few more fish, and would like to explore some low light soft corals. I'll post a stock list when I get to it.

temp - 84 (I know, I'm picking up a chiller tomorrow. all those pumps in the sump kick off a lot of heat!)
SG 1.021 (too low for corals down the road?)
pH 8.2
NH3/NO2 0
NO3 10
KH 12
CA 450
Mg 990

I don't have a test for potassium - do I need one??

I bought a ball of chaeto for the fuge. How many hours of light? 12?

And how many hours should the tank lights be on? Right now we have the actinics on for an hour, then regular lights (coral life) on for five hours, then actinics for 1 hr.

Thank you!! I'm sure I'll have a million more questions but this is all I can think of right now.

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Old 10-01-2008, 04:00 PM   #2
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You don't necessarily need a chiller to keep the temp in check. What kind of canopy is on the tank? Do you have glass tops covering it? A simple solutions is to install fans in the canopy to remove the heat form the lighting. Also you can install a fan in your stand to blow across the sump to help reduce the heat.

Reef tank SG - 1.023-1.026 I keep my tank at 1.025.
Your CA looks fine and Alk should be 8-12 with 9-11 being the better range. Mag looks a little low it should be 3x the CA level. I've never tested for potassium so I can't tell you how important it is to worry with.

Lighting: My actinics come on first and are on for 12 hours my MHs come on staggered and are on for 9 hours total. I have timers that ceate sun-up sun-down. I keep my refugium lite 24/7. Cheato will do fine with a shorter period but will also do fine with constant lighting. If you are going to light your fuge for a period shorter then 24/7 then I suggest a reverse lighting schedule. Have the fuge off while the tank lights are on and the fuge lights on when the tank is off. This will help control some of your heat as well as help keep your PH stable.

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Old 10-01-2008, 06:12 PM   #3
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Here's a great "must read" article.
Reef Aquarium Water Parameters by Randy Holmes-Farley
125g reef
See My Tank Info
Check out The build project
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