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HELPPPPPP WITH NEW TANK!


Michael
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Set up a 100 gallon acrylic tank with a refugium about a month ago. I’ve been watching my nitrites and nitrate levels, and they seem to be acting the way they should be…I think the tank is cycled! But things keep dying, I have some mushrooms that have shriveled up and aren’t looking to good, some turbo snails have died (about 4), currently one of them is left, about 5 crabs have died, only 2 left, one damsel, one yellow tang. What’s left alive in the tank, isn’t very active; for example the crabs are never out, and the snails are in one place all the time. The damsels seem to be okay their 3 of them by the way, and are eating fine.

Here are my water conditions as of today April 16th, 2015

 

PH- 8.1

NH4+1- 0 (Ammonia)

NITRITE- 0

NITRATE – 5

CALCIUM-600 (Very high I know)

SALINITY – 1.028 (Also a little high)

KH -  11

PH4+3 – 0.25 (Phosphate)

 

 

Also, when I started the tank I used tap water with prime, but I have done 2 water changes since then, 20 gallons each time with RODI water, I will be doing my third water change this weekend. I can take some photos of stuff if you guys think I should.

 

My question is, is my tank ready for coral? Ready for expensive fish? Ready for awesomeness!!!!!!!!???

Thank you all so much for your help!

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1 month is not ready for much of anything except a diatom bloom and some clean up crew...Provided the levels are all optimal.

 

Might want to wait until the ammonia levels are zeroed out and you should get that salinity down slowly.

 

But that is just my opinion, I like to take things slow.

Edited by badxgillen
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so i thought, but my levels have been really good for a while, just now i let the salinty get a little high, and calciu

Well things might not be as good as you thought when you mentioned you had some things dying such as your snails, some crabs, and some corals looking bad. Might want to keep more tabs on water perimeters to avoid swings in chemistry . Many issues can be avoided by taking things slow, it give you and your tank time to stabilize and level out. I would be performing a water change here soon and utilizing some Prime to detox some of that ammonia.

 

Nothing good happens fast in this hobby.

Edited by badxgillen
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What's your ammonia @ I dont get the +1-0

Just out of curiosity what are you testing with.

 

I'd agree with Badxgillan, add stuff when what you presently have added looks better or isn't dieing - things typically die for a reason and maybe it's not something you can test for or the tests may be off

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sorry about the confusion guys, my ammonia is at zero,

 

NH4+1 is just the fancy pantsy way of saying ammonia.

ill be doing a weater change this weekend like i said, the damsels are in their to kind of quick start the tank, i pulled them out of my bio cube, and the only coral i have thats not looking to good is some mushrooms, have plenty of those so im not too worried.

 

also, i threw in the carbon filter pad i had in my bio cube, all nice and dirty in the refugium when i first set the tank up...thinking it will help, its still in their now

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Well it looks to me you are on the right track here.

Tetsing the water and keeping tabs or a log is will help you out in the long run when you are trying to figure things out.

A water change and new carbon will help dilute any accumulated toxins\organics.

The filter pad from the established tank helped inoculate the new aquarium with beneficial bacteria so good move there.

 

Keep an eye on things after the water change and carbon and you should be alright.

Edited by badxgillen
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Okay, i will add some more carbon, i have two sock filters, some chaeto, and a small carbon filter pad from my 30 gallon bio cube, i will add a sack of carbon or somethin in my sock filters later today after my water change. thank you so much for your help.

 

I just added the yellow tang, and the mushrooms a couple of days ago, i figured a month would be enough time for the tank to cycle....the damsels were in their because i read that they help quick start the tank, I've been wtahcing my levels closely since week one, and about 10 days after i set the tank up, my nitrates and nitrites had seemed to settled down where they needed to be, and my other levels have been pretty good, except Calcium and KH. but nothing to drastic, so i was just wondering if anybody new oif something specific to watch out for when all your levels are okay, but things still arent super happy, like my snails, and crabs all in one place all the time.

 

and a question about what i used to test, i havethe saltwater and reef master test kit, from API. uses the 5ML tubes, and you add certain amount of drops and stuff, im sure you know what im talking about.

I've even done my tests twice just to make sure, and everything is relatively the same. so im just a little confused.

 

I'll just give it some more time, and add carbon, and see what happens!!

 

Thanks again guys, you've all been very helpful!

 

this is an awesome community, and i've learned so much.

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Hey guys sorry i've been away,had some family issues,  and as for some questions,!!!

 

I thought the testing API stuf i had was pretty good, but little did i know then! haha ill look into something else, any suggestions maybe? thanks! :)

 

Water circulation, i dilled into the tank myself, and have two overflow bulk heads on each side going down into my 10 or 15 gallon aqueon sump, and coming back up, pump is rated for almost 700 gallon per hour, but i understand its proabbly only doing like 200 since the hose its on is about 5 feet long...

 

Lighting! i have a cheap and very sucky LED bar light (temporary) and 2 T5 bulbs, both are about 4.5 feet long or so, this is while im making some LED lights myself, that will be very bright, and almost full spectrum, some bliue's and reds, along with a whole bunch of whites! its harder than i thought to make them, but paying off very much so, and are super freakin bright!

 

im testing my salinty with a hydromter, i have two of them, i use them both because they arent always super accurate. i rince them with tap water first, and then use them both two times each and then i get my answer. i try to keep it at 1.025, thats been a pretty good number for me so far, and i've managed to keep some coral happy:) in my 30 gallon biocube, i have some australian meat or donute coral, some bubble coral, toad stool, pulsin zenia, kenya tree, and a kondi about the size of a basketball or soccerball.

 

any suggestions for a better salinty tester? water testing?

thanks guys! :) again, super helpful! didnt think i'd learn so much from this community, you guys are awesome

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Hydrometers are crap get a good Refractometer (No cheap eBay ones) Also pick up calibration solution and ensure its calibrated once a month, They typically do not get out of adjustment its just good to be sure.

 

As for LED's you really need to do more research before you do a DIY kit, I see two things that could get you in trouble with what you mentioned on the lighting scheme you were after so its best to spend the time in looking into it. There are lots of articles written up on it all over the net.

 

I'm in no way trying to sound rude but Its very apparent you are new to this all and I understand its exciting to get into, but so many people rush into it and exercise no patience and find themselves in a world of hurt. This hobby can be affordable and enjoyable or it can be a frustrating money pit, its how much time and research you are going to put into it. The more time you spend reading and investigating any idea you have the less likely you will be blowing money on something just to figure out it was an ineffective way and drop a bunch more to get it right.

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Exodus  not at all, your helping a lot actually, i wont get mad when someone is just trying to help! haha

 

I did do a little bit of research on the LEDs, and i think I've got it. i did it on my biocube, because two T5's really arent sufficient, so ive got some DIOY LEDs on that and the coral is loving it! growing very fast and healthy! so i really think the LEDs are a good idea, im a student, so i am kind of on a budget....

 

thanks for letting me know what testing stuff to buy, ill get some from my local shops, or online, or where ever! and i wont buy a bad Refractometer, haha. The Hydromter does suck a lot, everytime i use it, it goes up and up and up unless i rinse it out with tap water haha.

 

and is their something specific in the LED kit i mentioned that might be a problem?? im all ears! :)

 

thanks again

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My concerns with your DIY LED fixture are as follows. First you mentioned red, that color is consistently being found to have more negative associated effects than positive there are a few well documented studies on this, having a little red isn't going to hurt but I wasn't sure as you mentioned it specifically. The other concern is in regards to you emphasizing on the whites, Whites will fry your corals quicker than you can grow them if not used carefully and with consideration. If you look at all the spectral charts and setups available by all the LED Fixture Manufactures you will see they design them heavily for PAR output in the 400range with Blue/Royal Blue/Violet etc providing either more LEDS in that spectrum or equal with whites.

 

Notice I didn't say you were doing anything wrong by any means, I was just concerned with your statements. Also keep in mind LED's are cheaper in the "Long" run, but A nice used T5 Fixture can be obtained cheaply and cheap to maintain as well. T5 are more user friendly for beginners as you just put it on the tank and know they are working where as LED's take time to play around with and dial in. So just a couple things to keep in mind.

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Exodus,

 

yes you are very right. it worked fine for me with my first tank, my coral loved it! i had some LED's  only royal BLue and super whites, a 50/50 mix, so the loighting was too blue for me, not enough whites, so i also added one T5 white bulb, and they loved it, it was amazing. so im trying to set it up on my 100 gall, but am dealing with way too many issues, and am just going to have to put it off.

 

I think im going to buy a nicer, and much more professional lighting system, and save the LED project for my future freshwater planted tank.

 

and on this case, would you suggest any lighting thats very goof for my coral?? im hoping i can find something within like a 300 dollar range, hopefully i wont have to go much more higher than that.

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right now, i have two T5 bulbs, both whites, and a cheap LED light ficture, i think it may even be for freshwater, either way it sucks, and is just temporary. it was free from a friend.

so really looking to keep my stuff alive with some better lighting

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What are the dimensions of the tank? Are you wanting $300 for the whole lighting package or each light? If it's a 4ft tank you'll usually need 2 lights assuming they cover 2x2ft area.

 

Lots of people buy super spendy lights but personally I've had lots of growth with the 165w Chinese full spectrum leds that can be had on eBay for about $100 each. If you don't like the spectrum you can just buy diodes and swap them. They aren't fancy, just 2 channel with manual dimmers but I can't argue with the growth! I honestly think parameters are more important than the lighting assuming you have something capable of growing what you want in the tank. There are lots of options for lighting but $300 isn't a huge budget for much beyond the Chinese made or OCean Revive lights.

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yea, 300 is even pushing it for me, i wouldntr mind buying used equipment haha.

and ill look into the chinese lights, there pretty good you say? hmm....

 

and its a 100 gallon truvuu (maybe 90, hard to tell), 5 foot long (left to right), 18 inches wide (front to back), and about 20 inches tall ( top to bottom).

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