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Old 01-20-2011, 01:09 AM   #11
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All of them lol

Well it depends if you plan on keeping corals or just fish. With fish only the numbers do not have to be percise, just close. API brand test kits are usually cheaper. They sell a sw kmarine kit which includes about 4 or 5 different tests for like 40 bucks. Its an investment worth buying. It will beat going to the fish store all the time even if it is free.

The tests you will be keeping track of most often is probably, nitrate, PH, alkalinity and salinity. Once your tank is really established the nitrite and ammonia levels should stay at zero. Nitrates will continue to go up and regular water changes with bring those numbers down.

pH and alkalinity go hand in hand. Testing ph is important for the heath of the fish. PH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity in the water. You want to keep it at 7.6 to 8.4 preferably 8.0 to 8.4.

Achieving a stable ph can be accomplished by maintaining the alkalinity level. This should be 8-12 dkh

Your salinity should be 1.022 - 1.026. Water changes should be made with saltwater but topped off with freshwater daily to maintain the correct salinity level.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:50 AM   #12
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OK Cool, good to know. I do water changes regularly, with salt water, and at the moment I only have fish in the tank, but I plan to add corals once the time with the light on has gotten to a point that the tank can sustain coral. My LFS uses a system that increases how long I have the light on weekly. At the moment, I have the light on for 7-7.5 hours, so within 2-3 weeks I will start thinking about coral.

Does gradually increasing the time the light is on over a number of weeks make a difference? I dont really understand that... But thanks for the testing information. When I take a water sample in tomorrow, I'll check out the numbers, and have my guy clarify things for me. He is as concerned for his customers' tanks as they are, so I have faith he isn't letting "good enough" be his standard
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:28 AM   #13
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It makes a difference when you are acclimating corals to new lighting. What types of lighting do you have? How many total watts?
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:34 AM   #14
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How do you measure your salinity of your water for your PWC (Parcial water changing)? You should get a refractometer to measure the salt content of you water changes.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:22 PM   #15
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I dont know the total watts, but they are plenty powerful.... they are really big, bright and cost $300... My guy said they are perfectly fine for coral and anemones.... I talked to him about it today. And my numbers are all at 0, and gravity is 1.022... All appears to run just fine with my guy's system
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #16
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the lighting time question I had was answered by my guy, and as for salt levels in water changes, when there was nothing in the tank, even substrate, I first added the water and salt at a specific ratio of 1/2 cup salt per gallon. Knowing that, when I take out 3 gallons of saltwater for a water change, and add 3 gallons of saltwater that I mixed the night before at 1/2 cup salt per gallon and let cure; my salt level will be exactly the same, because I keep the tank at a exact volume, and salt does not evaporate. With allowance for salt creep taken into consideration.

From what I understand, since my tank is still fairly immature, certain levels do not have to be deadly accurate at the moment, and since my LFS has shown me my numbers are all bang on, I'd say i'm doing alright for now. Once I start adding corals and an anemone, I will look at using some of these things.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:31 PM   #17
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Plenty powerful for what?

Are they power compacts? T5s? Metal halides? Leds? Do you have Actinic lighting?
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReefKnot
as for salt levels in water changes, when there was nothing in the tank, even substrate, I first added the water and salt at a specific ratio of 1/2 cup salt per gallon. Knowing that, when I take out 3 gallons of saltwater for a water change, and add 3 gallons of saltwater that I mixed the night before at 1/2 cup salt per gallon and let cure; my salt level will be exactly the same, because I keep the tank at a exact volume, and salt does not evaporate. With allowance for salt creep taken into consideration.
how often do you make water changes? Are you toppoing off with fresh water daily? If not your salt level will not be exactly the same.

Example: if you do water changes bi-weekly, and you do not top off with fresh water, then by the next water change your salinity with have greatly increased because of the water evaporation. If you do a 20% water change from there, you will only slightly lower the salinity but overall the salinity will have increased from when you started. A refractormeter is neccessary or at least a hydrometer.

If your water levels are good, then great. Im not saying you are doing anything wrong i just feel you should be testing yourself.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:49 PM   #19
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Nevermind, I think joining this forum was unnecessary... Thanks for the help everyone... well non stop criticsizing might be closer to it
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:54 PM   #20
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Sorry if i didnt tell you what you wanted to hear. I was trying to help but you clearly did not come here for advice. Good luck with your plenty powerful light and perfect levels! Whatever that means.... Oh wait, i mean tell your lfs good luck because its clearly their efforts not yours.
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