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Old 08-28-2003, 05:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Indianapolis
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help me improve my tank please

Hello everyone. Im trying to figure out all of the things I can do to my tank to improve it. I eventually want to be able to keep some beginner corals so im slowly trying to get it ready. Here are the specs for my tank.

35 gallon
3" DSB
20 lbs live rock
tetratec heating capsul
visi-jet protein skimmer
duetto filter thingy
penguin 550 powerhead
aquaclear 301 powerhead w/ quick filter
ez ballast
powercompact 55 watt 50/50 bulb
5 gallon refugeum

inhabitants are...
3 damsels (just til i get my tank going well and get better fish)
scooter blenny
feather duster
cc star fish (hes a killer... gonna get rid of him)
2 green emerald crabs
1 red lobster thingy
couple red legged hermits
bunch of blue legged
bunch of various snails

I currently have test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, alkalinity, ph
i use kent marine liquid calcium
kent marine essential elements
kent marine microvert
kent marine super buffer
ocean nutrition green marine algae
flake frenzy marine flake food
swing arm seatest hydrometer

I know i need to get a better protein skimmer. visi-jet = crap. better than nothing though. I need some more live rock. I'm going to get another ballast and compact light. I cant find a test kit that i like. they all seem hard to figure out what color the test matches. whats a good brand of test kit to get? What other stuff should i upgrade/add to my system?

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Old 08-28-2003, 06:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Western NY
Posts: 4,064
couple quick responses...

If your adding calcium you need to be testing for it. Which goes for anything that your adding, don't add to the tank without testing it's levels first.

re test kits. My first batch of kits were Hagen, which were ok. I started to doubt the results towards the end of the bottle but my new kit tested nearly the same, Hagen's were only off slightly. I now use the salifert kits. They are still color based, but IMO, are a bit easier to determine the color distinctions. IME, use direct sunlight to compare the test-tube to the color chart. I found it helped a great deal. My wife insists I'm color blind... she's crazy

If you have a serious problem with the colors, you can get electrode testors for many normal tests, such as PH alk etc... they can be a bit pricey though.

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Old 08-28-2003, 06:47 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Posts: 512
Look into getting a Bak Pak Skimmer....I have one for my 30 gal and it seems to be working great. I have a tetra combo test kit that tests for ph and nitrites and amonia and all that good stuff. i have been told that they aren't very accurate so you might wanna steer clear of them. I have started using the salifert tests to test my Nitrates.
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