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kevNnic
04-29-2010, 08:07 PM
So we have begun our cycle on our tank, 30lbs dry rock, 10lbs cured live rock and 60lbs live sand.

Just a couple concerns with our test kit were using.

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i206/spakelz/testkit.jpg

I have been testing the ph and am not sure about our reading as the color doesn't really match anything on the test strip.

Wondering what the best ways to go about testing the water are.

Also what kind of additives i should be using. Will i require more test kits as well? i have a refractometer and it seems our specific gravity keeps creeping alittle higher on a daily basis so i keep adding fresh water. right now i have been aiming to keep it around 1.025 but everytime i measure before i fix it within a day or two its back upwards of 1.027.

Any tips and guideance is really appreciated. I do not plan on adding any fish until im 100% sure my tank is mature and ready.

The dry rock is becoming a little darker after 8 days of the cycle but no significant changes. Finally noticed that or ammonia is about .1ppm for the first time. Does that mean the tank is finally started to develop? nitrate and nitrite levels have been 0ppm.

thanks alot for the help and sorry for all the newb questions. I like to learn as much as possible so hopefully someone i can help someone in my shoes.

Kevin

hapki88
04-29-2010, 08:39 PM
Your test kit should last for some time so no need to worry about purchasing another. I would guess that your salinity creep is from daily water evaporation - do you have a hood on your tank and how dry is your room where the tank is located? It looks like your tank is reaching its ammonia peak, which is a good sign, but 8 days is still early. I'd give at least another week before adding anything. Look for algae blooms as the next sign, and start considering buying your clean up crew. Best advice - be patient and go slow.

kevNnic
04-29-2010, 09:27 PM
the tank currently has a glass top on it with maybe 3 inches of open air access. The room is a little dry but not horribly dry. My main concern is measuring my PH which doesn't seem to display any of the colors listed on the match card. I didn't plan on adding anything to the tank for at least a month or longer until im sure my rock is cured and i have zero issues as i would hate to kill any of my fish. although it does get a little boring looking at a tank with water and rocks in it. :wink:


what are the best options for clean up crews? crabs, snails etc? we plan on getting clown fish to start and building from there. most likly starting with two.

thanks again

kevin

Myka
04-29-2010, 09:46 PM
Hi Kevin, welcome to the hobby! :)

You would find most of your answers in some of the articles I have written that are listed in my signature.

pH test kits are usually rather inaccurate, or present colors that do not match the scale. Don't feel discouraged! Personally, I wouldn't bother testing the pH with a kit, a calibrated handheld digital pH meter is much more accurate, but not always necessary. You are unlikely to run into an pH related issues, so I wouldn't worry about testing it. I am assuming you are going to have a FOWLR (fish only w/ live rock) tank?

It looks like your cycle is under way. Read the link in my signature for more details, but once ammonia has spiked, and dropped to 0 along with nitrite your cycle will be over. It may take several weeks.

Your salinity is creeping up due to evaporation. The best bet is to top up at least once a day, but twice a day is better. You can save some time by just filling to the same line everyday, and test the salinity once a week if you would like.

For a clean up crew, hermit crabs are opportunistic snail predators meaning they will usually eventually kill any snails they inhabit space with. For this reason, I prefer to use snails instead of hermit crabs. Start with just a few (once the cycle is over), and slowly add some as needed. Maybe try 3 Astrea snails. Turbo and Trochus snails get quite large, and can be a pain in the butt if you want to have corals. If you don't want corals at all, both Turbo and Trochus are big eaters. I also really like Ring Cowries. In 4-6 months when the sand bed is more established you will probably want a sand sifter. Your tank is too small for a sand sifting starfish, but one of the smaller species of conch or a small sand sifting fish would be a good option.

kevNnic
04-29-2010, 10:07 PM
awesome information, thank you, i was really worried about my ph levels not matching the card which was really throwing me for a loop. yesterday was the first day i noticed a spike in anything, Everything has remained rather constant. i do plan on introducing some corals down the line when i am alittle more confident with everything.

I will let the tank take its natural course and when the cycle is completed i will introduce some snails and go from there.

thanks

kevin

bvlester
04-29-2010, 10:09 PM
I have use that test kit and you need to figure out the closest match in the color and the color for the high end and low end you want to be in between. My 110 uses about 1g top up water a day. If you mix 1.pounds of Instant ocean with 5g water it comes out to 1.025 every time been doing this ever since I got into the hobby. The rise in salinity is due to evaporation the salt and other essential elements do not evaporate just the water so top up water is just plain old water no salt added. Some where in week 2-3 your ammonia will spike, in week 3-4 your nitrites should spike and nitrates should spike right behind that. Dino's will for on substrate and rocks in week 3-4 some time you could have lots or a little. In my big tank there was so little it almost didn't happen but in the tank I setup for my kids it lasted 2 - 3 weeks it was not a huge problem but patchy. After 1.5 week I did add 3 fish because they were in QT wating to be introduced into the tank once the levels were 0 they went in to the tank. More dino's was the outcome this is not what normaly happens to me. But I had to deal with it added larger power heads and hortened the light cycle, it cleared up in about anouther week.
I normally don't advise adding any fish or animals till week 4 is done and all levels are at 0.
Ammonia burns the fishes gills and can cause other problems for them.

Bill

freezetyle
04-29-2010, 10:23 PM
the tank currently has a glass top on it with maybe 3 inches of open air access.
kevin

That might also be causing a pH issue. you didn't mention if you had a protein skimmer or anything (I'm assuming one isn't running). so with the limited surface area open to the air oxygen might not be getting to the water.

Maybe one of the Canreef Guru's could give a better opinion.

either way as Myka said. you probably wont run into issues.

kevNnic
04-29-2010, 10:34 PM
i can vent the top of the tank more if that is whats needed. I have a protein skimmer but was told not to use it while the tank cycles because it will cause a longer cycle and remove some of the bacteria i need to complete it. Is this true or should i be running the skimmer?

I have a lot of little debris and floaties at the top of the tank rigth now which arent really pretty much thats most likly due to the skimmer not running.

Madreefer
04-30-2010, 12:17 AM
I have a protein skimmer but was told not to use it while the tank cycles because it will cause a longer cycle and remove some of the bacteria i need to complete it. Is this true or should i be running the skimmer?



I have never heard of this or read about it. I would turn the skimmer on.

Myka
04-30-2010, 01:13 AM
I have a protein skimmer but was told not to use it while the tank cycles because it will cause a longer cycle and remove some of the bacteria i need to complete it. Is this true or should i be running the skimmer?

That is untrue. You should use the skimmer as soon as the rock goes in the tank. The nitrifying bacteria primarily inhabit surfaces like the rock and sand. There is very little bacteria in the water column in comparison.

kevNnic
04-30-2010, 01:28 AM
well i just put the skimmer back in. I heard from a few sources on other sites not to use it. But its back in the tank now so i will take another reading here soon.

Thanks for the quick feedback.

really appreciate it.

Kevin

freezetyle
04-30-2010, 02:07 AM
well i just put the skimmer back in. I heard from a few sources on other sites not to use it. But its back in the tank now so i will take another reading here soon.

Thanks for the quick feedback.

really appreciate it.

Kevin

That should help oxygenate the water even with the glass cover over top. would probably put you in the pH ranges your looking for. plus if you start running your skimmer now it will be all broken in by the time your ready for fish. keep us posted

kevNnic
04-30-2010, 02:19 AM
i will definetly keep you all posted on the updates.

Thanks again

Lol growing slowly impatient, i didn't think waiting would be this hard. :twised: