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Help reading tank perameters

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Skyward Imaging View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 07 2016 at 5:55pm
OK, I have had this tank for almost 2 months. It is a 65g RSM 250 with 50lbs sand, 60-70lbs rock. 7w UV, Mini media reactor with carbon, Tunez9001 Skimmer, Apex jr, 2 AI Sol lights, Media basket and 2 MP10w powerheads. Some of that may not be relevant but I wanted to make sure. 

After a month the tank looked great. I bought livestock( Hippo Tang, Orange fin Tang, 4 green chromis and 2 clowns) 1 carpet anemone LG, and corals (Mostly Zoas). about a week later the anemone was dead. I got most of him out and did a 5g water change. for the last 3 weeks I did a 5g water change each week. It seems to be clearing up but it also seems to have a lot of brown algae still.

The following is what I get when I did a test after 2 months running. I would like to know what you all think.

PH 7.8
Ammonia .25ppm
Nitrates 20ppm
Nitrites 0ppm
Phosphate .25ppm
KH (8 drops) 143.2ppm
Calcium 560ppm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1stupidpunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 07 2016 at 6:26pm
All looks good to me, ammonia is a tiny bit high... not 100% sure on dKH reading in a ppm format.
Thats a lot of fish added in a 2 month time period. I would let the tank adjust and "settle" into stable parameters before adding more.
Heres something i copy and pasted from ReefKeeping magazine...
Parameter: Reef Aquaria Recommendation: Typical Surface Ocean Value:1
Calcium 380-450 ppm 420 ppm
Alkalinity 2.5-4 meq/L
7-11 dKH
125-200 ppm CaCO3 equivalents
2.5 meq/L
7 dKH
125 ppm CaCO3 equivalents
Salinity 35 ppt
sg = 1.026
34-36 ppt
sg = 1.025-1.027
Temperature 76-83° F Variable2
pH 7.8-8.5 OK
8.1-8.3 is better
8.0-8.3 (can be lower or higher in lagoons)
Magnesium 1250-1350 ppm 1280 ppm
Phosphate < 0.03 ppm 0.005 ppm
Ammonia <0.1 ppm Variable (typically <0.1 ppm)


Anemones dont do very well in young tanks and are very susceptible to changes in the tanks stability....  its usually recommended that you wait at least a year before attempting one.


Edited by 1stupidpunk - March 07 2016 at 6:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reefer4Ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 07 2016 at 7:26pm
If you want you can multiply your alk ppm X .056 and that will give you your measurement in dkh.
90 gal reef w/refugium
24 gal softie tank
11 gal nano anemone tank
5 gal fresh water
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Skyward Imaging Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 07 2016 at 7:46pm
dKH is 8.02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 07 2016 at 9:23pm
You will want your ammonia at 0 and the phosphate way less as well. You added a lot of fish in a short time so that's why I'm guessing you have both. Also with a carpet nem they are very hard to keep especially with a new tank.

Edited by bstuver - March 07 2016 at 9:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Skyward Imaging Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2016 at 6:20am
Yeah I learned the hard way. I don't plan on adding anything new for awhile. Well, maybe a frag or two but nothing special.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2016 at 8:37am
If this was my tank, I would increase the volume I do in weekly water changes, to say 10 gallons, and decrease the amount I feed (I would even go a huge one to drive down the ammonia). I suspect you may be feeding a little higher, due to the increased phosphates (very high) and nitrates (not terribly high). Since your tank is so new it doesn't have the ability to help remove its own excess nutrients so you have to manually export them. 

The biggest concern is your ammonia. Did you use a shrimp to cycle your tank? If so, did you remove it? There is something in there, or a ton of food, causing that big spike. I would be very cautious of it and do what you can to resolve it. That would personally be the biggest thing I would try and target.

The phosphates are bad too, but not as bad as the ammonia. If this was my tank I would work on ammonia first, then phosphates. The phosphates are a little easier, with items like GFO.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sabeypets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2016 at 10:42pm
PH is low, should be 8.1-8.4. Anything lower than 7.8 will cause stress to fish/coral
Ammonia is high, needs to be 0. Caused from new tank and adding way to much way to soon. Ammonia is toxic and will cause stress/death to fish/corals.
Phosphate is high, anything over .03 and corals will struggle.
DKH is good.
Calcium is a little high, 400-450 is optimal.
I would not add more fish or coral until biological filtration catches up with bio load (about a month), feed lightly for the next two or three weeks. Get some Seachem Prime to neutralize the ammonia. Continue with 5 gallon water changes weekly. You will get the brown algae as the tank is still cycling. I would add a few snails to help ONLY when the ammonia reads 0.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Skyward Imaging Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2016 at 6:33am
Originally posted by sabeypets sabeypets wrote:

PH is low, should be 8.1-8.4. Anything lower than 7.8 will cause stress to fish/coral

Ammonia is high, needs to be 0. Caused from new tank and adding way to much way to soon. Ammonia   is toxic and will cause stress/death to fish/corals.
Phosphate is high, anything over .03 and corals will struggle.
DKH is good.
Calcium is a little high, 400-450 is optimal.
I would not add more fish or coral until biological filtration catches up with bio load (about a month), feed lightly for the next two or three weeks. Get some Seachem Prime to neutralize the ammonia. Continue with 5 gallon water changes weekly. You will get the brown algae as the tank is still cycling. I would add a few snails to help ONLY when the ammonia reads 0.


Just started using prime. I also have several snails and hermits already in there and am not adding anything for a couple months Thanks for the input sabey

Edited by Skyward Imaging - March 09 2016 at 6:33am
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