few questions about newly cycled tank

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by pettydvm, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. pettydvm


    Jul 12, 2012
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    posted few weeks ago about new cycling tank and followed advice everything seems be going good. temp at 78 and once nitrates got to over 20 did 2 water changes with RO water.

    ph 8.2
    salinity 1.023
    dKH 11 (started high gradually decreased since water changes)
    ammonia 0
    nitrite 0
    nitrate less 10
    CA 400
    phosphates 0 after 2 water changes

    after 4 days and no changes added 2 cleaner shrimp and a polyp coral and leather coral (day before yesterday) . acclimated all with no lights then waited about 8 hours to start adding lights. both corals started opening up within few hours and shrimp are active. one even climbs on and cleans my hand :).

    Question yesterday morning ammonia went to .25 so expected to need to do a water change when got home from work. last night I rechecked and ammonia 0 nitrites 0 and nitrates about 20. plan on doing another water change tonight unless someone tells me to wait? So does this mean my tank is doing what it is supposed to Im assuming so since ammonia went down so fast and hasnt spiked again? Plan on working on it until all parameters stay 0 for several weeks before try to introduce anything else.

    Question 2 should I add CA since I can measure and it is only 400?

    Question 3 what refractometer should I get cuz the hydrometer sucks and Im not trusting it at all..I have to take 3 measurements and having to use the average as a guess (not good). I know based on avg. I need salinity up a little but a few measurements have been 1.025 so should I not worry so much about that until get refractometer to get better measurement?
    pettydvm, Aug 6, 2012
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  2. pettydvm

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    May 13, 2006
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    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    I wouldn't worry about that ammonia -- chances are you got a false positive reading. If it is at zero again, then I'd bet it's actually zero.

    You should be doing regular water changes once a week, or every other week at this point, regardless of how good your water parameters are. As Yote says, "You don't wait for your car to break down before you do an oil change, do you?" Water changes are preventative maintenance.

    I wouldn't worry about your calcium either. You do not have any stony corals, so there isn't anything in your tank that requires a lot of it. Doing water changes should keep it in check. 400 is perfectly fine.

    A lot of people use the blue refractometer from Drs. Foster and Smith. I think it costs $35 or $40. That one seems to work well. I got mine off of Ebay for a bit cheaper; it was a no-name brand. Be sure that whatever one you get, you also get some calibration fluid to make sure it's working properly. The fluid costs about $3 to $5 on Ebay.

    If your salinity is at 1.025 now (or around that), that's a good reading and there's no reason to try to change it until you get your refractometer in.
    Bifferwine, Aug 6, 2012
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  3. pettydvm

    little_fish Moderator

    Mar 4, 2010
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    Denver, CO
    +1 Biffy
    little_fish, Aug 6, 2012
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