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  1. #1
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    Question Are checking parameters and changing wsater necessary?

    Hey All,

    I have had this tank for about 5 years and two moves...
    For the longst time I first started, I checked all the parameters...ph ammonia, calcuim (the hardest to test) trites and trates. Always got swingingly different levels even if I checked and re checked twice day... finally gave up. Have not checked levels in about 2 years, nor have I checked the salinity... just add abit of salt according to the creep on my tank... 30 hermits and my one lonely damsel seems fine.. got lots of fan worms, million of mini snails, some mini clams (size of finger nail) all types of worms in my sand and these little oval things... But my big Astreia's do not do so well, only have two left, all softies do not like my tank nor do emeralds, got some white slimey sponges to boot also that seem to be doing well.
    Problem is, I have an old 55 gal that was horribly scratched b4 I got it and with the fact that I cannot get an accurate read on my parameters... I even have 3 different hydor meters that i bought on after another and they range from 1.019 to .031/1, /i have pretty much given up... what should I do? I almost want to upgrade and start over, using this old one as a sump....
    Is there any place in Ottawa that will ckeck all my parameters for me? I asked Marinscape (god love them, they are great) but they always say too busy, will take days if not a week to check.... almost ready to give up on one of my true joys... help.. should I just pull the plug and wait till I move to a bigger place and upgrade, or let this tank be? And can anyone ID these plants I have? ... the purple leafy one and the purple bubble ones and especiallt the green leafy one? I just litterally cut a buckets worth out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Are checking parameters and changing wsater necessary?-img_44881.jpg  
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I think everyone will tell you to pitch your hydrometers and get a refractometer or digital salinity meter.

    What test kits are you using? I have recently switched to Salifert and am fond of them.

    Where abouts in the city do you live? It is possible a member or sponsor(?) would be willing to make a house visit to give you a hand.

    Ross

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2007
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    116
    The green leafy one looks like halimeda (sp.)
    58 gallon display, 20 gallon sump, Octopus Recirc 110, Mag9 return. Nova Extreme lighting.
    55lbs live rock.
    Yellow Tang, 2 Clowns, Kupang Damsel, Yellow Watchmen.


    24 gallon AquaPod, 24lbs live rock.
    Valentini Toby, Coral Beauty, various snails, hermits.


    12 gallon AquaPod, 12lbs live rock, lots of mushrooms.

  4. #4
    Member Slyman's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    Could start with a water change, it will replenish all your mineral contents from the new salt and at the same time you get to remove lots of excess nutrients in the water or even any kind of excess Nitrate and others.

    Also I don't know if you run a skimmer, but I would consider it since you don't do water changes.

    My 2 cents of it.
    Tank: 125 Gallons with Coast to Coast overflow
    Sump/Refuge: 55Gallons
    Lighting: 400W MH x3
    Pumps: Seio 1100 and 820, Koralia 4, Tunze Nanostream 6025 moded
    Return: Ocean Runner 3500
    Skimmer: Octopus HoB double pump skimmer
    (Octopus Pro 300)

    IN PROGRESS
    GHL Standalone dosing pump

    Live stock : Velvet wrasse, clown wrasse, niger trigger, 2 blood shrimps, 2 purple firefish

  5. #5
    Member
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    Oct 2008
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    I add a cap full of Kent Marine essential elements once a week and add a spoon full of Tropic Marin Bio-Calcium mixed with my top up water, she has a skimmer on it and it does not pull much out as it is a clean tank, I do not even feed my sole fish, have not fed him in a year, he eats little critters and pecks at all the plants, he has grown about twice his size too! This tank 55 gall is completely self sufficient, I do not add nutrients (food), so there should be none to pull out nor nitrites, nothing to cuase them. I just wish there was a place in Ottawa to get my water parameters checked...I think my salinity is my only problem... have no idea what it really is and I think it is too much stress for new critters as they last only about 3 weeks... I have stop adding new ones, poor guys, but what I do have in my tank does very well, like I said I have tons of mini snails and little beige starfish that keep proliferating!

  6. #6
    Moderator ShipWreck's Avatar
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    Welcome to AquariaCanada!

    Lets start with some basic information about your tank.
    What type of skimmer do you have? What type of water do you use to replace the evaporated water? What type of test kits did you try? Do you have a sump/fuge? How much live rock do you have? Did you buy the LR from a store or used? Do you use a canister filter with media? What do you use for water movement in the tank?

    I would suggest you start by getting a good set of tests (Seachem/Sailfert) to get a handle on your water parameters. If you don't want to buy the kits check with the other local sponsers to see if they can help you out.

    Next if you are not monitoring salinity and are adding by eye you can either be way high or way low. Hydrometers as you have found are notoriously wrong between different units. Buying a refractometer is your best option. If $$ is tight see if you can get someone with a refractometer to read a sample (or two) and then read the same samples with your hydrometer. This will give you an idea of how far out it is so you can adjust the reading.

    When you say you have added new fish and they only last 3 weeks I would ask what types of fish have you been adding? Also when you have added them how do you introduce them? If you don't know the salinity of your tank water and the salinity of the store water you may be causing osmotic shock if you do not acclimate them properly. As well if the introduction is done too quickly other parameters such as PH or Nitrates can cause problems.

    Based on your algae growth - "I just literally cut a buckets worth out" tells me you do have some nitrates in the tank, as this is required for algaes to grow. The fish, critters, and even the plants as they die can cause decomposition to create nitrates and if the skimmer is not working effectively and without water changes these will build up to deadly limits. Your snails deaths are another good indication.

    I would strongly recommend you get to the bottom of the issues with this tank before upgrading or you may end up with a larger more expensive tank that you won't enjoy.
    Rob
    -----
    Upgrade in the works! Keep looking for an update.


  7. #7
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    thank you for all your replies!

    It is a 55 gallon
    Use distilled water from grocery store for top ups
    Red Sea Prizm Protein Skimmer, hang on type
    No sump
    Live Sand - 60lb
    75lb of fiji live rock, cured
    No filter media
    5 Maxi-Jet 900 Power Heads @ 230 G.P.H. for circulation

    50 blue legs
    2 astrea snails
    1 yellow tail damsel

    When I said I "I just literally cut a buckets worth out" I meant this stuff (see image below) and no word of a lie, I had a thicket that big in my tank! I have to hack away at it every month and a half.
    Also, I have not added any fish in about a year (wife will not let me in case they die), when I said things last no more that three weeks, I meant mushrooms, astrea snails (last bunch of 15 I bought, only two remain after three weeks), green emeralds do not last long either. I aclimate them for two hours, slowly adding my water to the bag as it sits floating in my tank.

    I used the Seachem Test Kit Reef Status Magnesium/Carbonate/Borate.
    Red Sea pH/Alkalinity Mini Lab and Red Sea Nitrate II Mini Lab...
    Right now I am researching what the heck is a refractometer is.... cash is no problem, if I could only get things to survive, I would be spending hundreds on fish and softies!

    Thank again for the input/troubleshooting, please keep it coming.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Are checking parameters and changing wsater necessary?-fan7-halimeda-20fragilis.jpg  

  8. #8
    Senior Member reefmania's Avatar
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    Here is a Refractometer. There are other makes, but it will give you an idea of what to look for. By the way, the price in the link is very good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Reynolds View Post
    Right now I am researching what the heck is a refractometer is....
    180g with 2 x 54g corner bowfront bookends. 220 FOWLR in the works, 75g sump, 75g fuge, 75g QT.
    Solaris I4 72", 2 x 150 HQI Outer Orbit Pendants, Reeflo Orca 250, Profilux controller, Tunze 6101's and 6055's, Deltec CA Rx, PM Kalk Mixer, PM SR45 reactors.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Here is a refractometer:
    http://aquakit.ca/product_info.php?c...products_id=34

    Where abouts do you live? I am in Greely and would be willing to drop by with my test kits, refractometer, and salinity meter to see what I can do. I do not have years of experience but I am comfortabe with the basics.

    Ross

  10. #10
    Senior Member reefmania's Avatar
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    Hey Ross, I see you shop at the same places I do.:b2:
    180g with 2 x 54g corner bowfront bookends. 220 FOWLR in the works, 75g sump, 75g fuge, 75g QT.
    Solaris I4 72", 2 x 150 HQI Outer Orbit Pendants, Reeflo Orca 250, Profilux controller, Tunze 6101's and 6055's, Deltec CA Rx, PM Kalk Mixer, PM SR45 reactors.

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