Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-11-2012, 12:18 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
Day 12 New to Saltwater

Just started this new venture. Excited but need to learn about all of this - many questions. Set up and used Bio-Spira almost 2 weeks ago in my 25 gallon tank. Waiting for cycle - any indication of when this will happen? 18lbs of LR and 10lbs of BR - have been holding temp at 79 and SG around 1.023.

Any advise other than just wait? Found this site today and have been reading anything that I can find for the past two weeks on lighting, reefing . . . just purchased a Maxspec P Series LED today. Got wave pump, skimmer, live rock and sand . . . what next?

Looking forward to advise . . . and want to do this right!

__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 12:30 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 1,348
Bio Spira is a good place to start, but you also need an ammonia source to feed it. Drop in a small piece of raw shimp, some fish food, or even pure (unscented!) ammonia. Then start testing the water every few days. First, you should see ammonia spike. Then it will drop and Nitrite will spike. Then that will drop and Nitrate will spike. When Ammonia and Nitrite both equal zero, cycle is complete.
If going the pure ammonia route, you'll need to keep adding it until the ammonia is converted completely to nitrate within a few hours (I think). I've always gone the shrimp/food route.
__________________
Someone stop me! Please! But... not just yet...
55 Gal Tropical FW
55 Gal Mixed Reef
MacDracor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 12:42 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
Appreciate the advise. LFS sold me the LR & LS along with some Kent Essential Elements (once every two weeks or so - feeding for the LR)and said to wait it out - I will try the raw shrimp tomorrow and advise when it cycles.
__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 12:42 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Mrc8858's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 5,834
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDracor
Bio Spira is a good place to start, but you also need an ammonia source to feed it. Drop in a small piece of raw shimp, some fish food, or even pure (unscented!) ammonia. Then start testing the water every few days. First, you should see ammonia spike. Then it will drop and Nitrite will spike. Then that will drop and Nitrate will spike. When Ammonia and Nitrite both equal zero, cycle is complete.
If going the pure ammonia route, you'll need to keep adding it until the ammonia is converted completely to nitrate within a few hours (I think). I've always gone the shrimp/food route.
+1 if you dose the tank then you should be good once you can convert 4 ppm ammo completely to nitrAtes in 24 hours
__________________
Mrc8858 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Mrc8858's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 5,834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy55Post
Appreciate the advise. LFS sold me the LR & LS along with some Kent Essential Elements (once every two weeks or so - feeding for the LR)and said to wait it out - I will try the raw shrimp tomorrow and advise when it cycles.
If your using a quality salt mixture then you should get all your nutrients from wc only reason to dose is for a highly stocked (coral) fast growing tank
__________________
Mrc8858 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 01:44 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
CleverBs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 2,210
Yeah hate to say it but the fish store is feeding you BS to get you to buy things. Live sand is a joke if it was in a bag its nothing more then sand and if it was from a tank they have then its just dirty sand...you dont need to feed live rock thats just ridiculous.
__________________
75G SPS Bare Bottom Reef
4g Nano LPS Reef
40g Fowlr
CleverBs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 05:34 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 1,348
Live sand is pretty gimmicky. But, it won't hurt anything either. IF (big "if") the sand is really fresh (short trip from ocean or tank to the your shopping cart) then there *might* be some benthic organisms still alive and some bacteria still growing. But really, you're not getting a whole lot more than wet aragonite in most cases. Better plan is buy sand, then go to a friend's tank and take a cup of their sand, and spread it over the top of your sand bed.
As for the "feeding" of the LR... Umm... Ok, I'm sure he didn't mean to feed you a load of hooey. That just sounds like ignorance to me, rather than malice. Stop dosing until you're testing for at least Calcium, preferably also magnesium and a few of the other elements in it. General rule of thumb: Don't dose anything you aren't testing for.
__________________
Someone stop me! Please! But... not just yet...
55 Gal Tropical FW
55 Gal Mixed Reef
MacDracor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
I put a small piece of raw shrimp in today around noon. Temp at 79 and 1.023 SG.

Any advise on water testing equipment to purchase? I am using (as recommended by LFS) 5 in 1 test strips for now (until tank cycles). Had around 20 of these left from my freshwater tank - now converted to a SW tank. Looking for any shortcut advise for testing equipment - versus reading all of the various opinions.
__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 08:52 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Newfiereefer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 283
I found using live rock and a few pellets worked for me rather well , u will know ur cycle is almost complete when you have your " brown out " , once the diatoms have gone through their phase that's the last part of the cycling from what I've read and viewed online and in my own tank. At that point I added 2 blue green chrmomis and a clarkie clown everything has been fine since .

And as for feeding live rock ....I call malarkey on that one .... The bacteria living on the rock feed from the waste produced via the nitrogen cycle , even base will turn to live rock over time

Wish I heard the thing on the live sand both though , I got 1 bad for 40 bucks :-/
__________________
Newfiereefer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 10:26 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
crister13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 3,473
Diatoms can come anytime. Mine can a couple months after my cycle. Also, to the op, I would recommend raising the salinity to 1.026 (ocean salinity). GL!!!!!
__________________
crister13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 12:54 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 1,348
Get a liquid test kit. I use API, but it's not the best. Heard good things about Salifert.
+1 to crister13, as Diatoms can indeed show up early in the cycle, at the end of it, or years down the road. Any introduction of silicates to the water, and enough nutrients, and they'll show up. Not an accurate indicator of cycling stage.
Shortcut on testing equipment? Well... you should get all of the following ASAP.
pH
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
Phosphate
Calcium
Carbonate Hardness

Eventually, you'll also want Copper, Magnesium, and anything else you can get your hands on. I would say absolute bare minimum would be the pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate. But really, this is no place to skimp.
As for salinity, that's true in many places, but specific gravity in the ocean rises and falls depending on a lot of factors. Most marine fish can tolerate a range fairly well. Corals are a lot more sensitive. I'd say 1.024-1.026 should be the goal.
__________________
Someone stop me! Please! But... not just yet...
55 Gal Tropical FW
55 Gal Mixed Reef
MacDracor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 01:55 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
Question Testing Equipment

On testing equipment is there any that I should consider to get digital? Stay with a Hydrometer or Refractometer? PH probe / monitor, Nitrate monitor . . . I don't mind the Hydrometer but plan to be in this for the long haul and want to make the correct investments instead of purchasing one and not using as much as I thought I would. Currently starting with this 25 gallon tank but plan to purchase a 50 or 60 gallon tank 8 to 10 months from now.

On my mind on almost each purchase is "will this work on my next tank" or what can I buy now to help out later . . . should I upsize this circulation pump or light . . . etc.

My plan is to get this set up and tuned in with a couple clowns, LR and Anemones, then start on a 50 or 60 gallon and once the 50 gallon tank is cycled turn everything over to that aquarium and use the 25 for a acclimation or quarantine (hopefully never needed) tank - a backup tank.

Any coments or advice appreciated as I have been reading and window shopping so much but not sure what to purchase. I went out on a limb and purchased a LED yesterday (since I can't buy much else while waiting for the tank to cycle) and I hope it is one of those purchases I don't regret.
__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 02:58 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Mrc8858's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 5,834
The only digital tester you might consider would be the phosphate because everything else you can get fairly accurate while just the slightest rise in phosphates will show signs very quickly as algae and for the LEDs if they are modular then it should be ok just add to it when you upgrade

Edit* and refractometer is a must especially on smaller tanks where even a little off on salt mixture is amplified
__________________
Mrc8858 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 04:08 AM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 1,348
Refractometers are more accurate than hydrometers, for sure. Now, if you have the budget for electronic probes to monitor your pH, Nitrates, and Phosphates 24/7 then by all means, do it! That will save you so much work, and potentially trouble.
I test my water weekly. usually, the results are pH stable, SG fluctuate by as much as 0.003, Nitrates dropped by 1 ppm (yay refugium!), Phosphates dropped by 0.01 (Estimated), Calcium dropped by 40 ppm. It's fairly steady at this point. I know what to expect from each test. But, in a small tank, a small change could happen much faster. What might be ok if I catch it in a week could decimate a tank half this size. So, if you have the budget for constant monitoring, I'd go for it.
__________________
Someone stop me! Please! But... not just yet...
55 Gal Tropical FW
55 Gal Mixed Reef
MacDracor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
Thanks again for the advise - they make Refractometers from $40 up to + $200 and same with digital probes. Does anyone reading this have digital probes on a 25 or 50 gallon tank and if so are you satisified or would you advise on another one. Same for Refractometers - any input on the use of the cheaper portable units over the more expensive ones? I have never used one so if (when) I do purchase I would like some experienced advise so it does not end up in a box on the shelf.
__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
carey's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Deltona, Florida
Posts: 20,966
Refractometers are all pretty much the same. I have this unit

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

As far as testing equipment, I use a digital device for phosphates and for the alkalinity. I found the calcium test to be way off and I returned it. lol

here are the checkers for those two things'

Hanna Instruments Checker Colorimeter
__________________
180g- Mostly BIG fish and some coral. ~80g Nuvo- My coral tank with "happy fish"~ 90g- FOWLR Not the not happy type of fish~ 125g- Freshwater Malawi Cichlids ~10g- Nuvo- The refugees from the Ich of '18
carey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 03:53 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Gregcoyote's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Posts: 8,413
Refractometers are all pretty much the same. But invaluable.
RO/DI systems are also cheap and a must.
Phosphates are what I watch most carefully, along with salinity and PH. I also measure ORP.

For decades, I used test kits. Went with a Reefkeeper system with all the probes a few months ago. The best thing about this is that I can graph the performance of the reef on a daily or weekly basis. This has shown me the overall daily cycle of the tank as ph goes up ORP goes down. I have been able to adjust my algae scrubber and Kalkwasser reactor to reduce these fluctuations that I really wouldn't have seen without the graphing capability. For years I laughed at computerized systems like this.,.but now I am a believer. I even have the ph probe set to trigger fans over the tank when ph starts to go down. It works brilliantly.
__________________
Gregcoyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2012, 06:47 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
Appreciate the advise and options - it gives me some short cuts to study and make the right purchase while waiting for my tank to cycle.
I think my Freshwater Tank cycled around the 5 week mark and I didn't add new members until week 6 or 7. I have been keeping a daily log on this salt water tank and I am curious as to when it will cycle and if the Bio-Spira, Live Sand and newly added fresh shrimp will help the cycle. I can't wait to interview & hire the clean-up crew!
__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 09:56 AM   #19
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Chevy55Post's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 29
A couple questions. Ph level has been steady at 7.8 to 8 at best. Ammonia and nitrite 0. Nitrate held around 40ppm - for 9 days. I never did see a spike in ammonia or nitrite (I started the tank with bio spira) and did not test for the first week. I onLy used test strips until I purchased a API Test kit around day 15. I have had a brown out and did a 3 gallon water change. Nitrates were at 5ppm around 24 hrs after the wc. 48hrs after and nitrates are around 30ppm.
Do I do a pcw every couple days?
I am switching to ro/di water - do I need to use any water conditioner with ro/di?
Currently at day 35 - fish less cycle - LR only.
__________________
Chevy55Post is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 11:03 AM   #20
Giant Clam Addict
Community Admin
 
Sniperhank's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Summerville, Pennsylvania
Posts: 20,640
If you are cycling I would not do any water changes. I would continue doing small doses of ammonia to continue to fuel the cycle until your ammonia/nitrites go away in 24 hours.

In terms of ro/di, you do not need to use conditioner with it. Are you buying the water or getting an ro/di unit? If you are getting a unit, I would suggest making as much of it as you can. I keep 3 5 gallon buckets and ~20 gallon jugs. Great for an emergency water change. My ro/di unit isn't the best, a 2 stage coralife, but it makes a gallon of water really quickly. I have well water so if I can get it moving well like this, you should have no trouble.

Anyway, dose to 4ppm of ammonia and post results in 24 hours. That will tell you exactly where you are in your cycle. It seems you are doing really well, that will just confirm it for you.
Sniperhank is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
salt, saltwater

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.