Got some new additions this afternoon.
Picked up a blood shrimp, he is very shy and hiding behind the rocks but very active back there already. Seems to have been eating the molt from the cleaner shrimp.
Also picked up my favorite new addition, and something I wanted real bad when I first got into this hobby 4 weeks ago :p
A sea urchin! He is to cool...looks fake. His little orange eye is hilarious.
Also picked up two hermit crabs. Funny little creatures they are.
The LFS guy suggested down the road purchasing a sand sifting sea star to clean the sand. Would you folks recommend that? I have a 1" sand bed. I thought you werent supposed to disturb the sand very much at all, no?
Still deciding if I even want to bother with corals for this tank, or just keep it a FOWLR tank. Mostly because I really want to upgrade and I may be moving out in september this year so I would like to set up a serious system in the new place, we'll see, long time before then!
Water param's are still reading as they were. Everything pretty much where it should be other than calcium, being slightly high at around 480, but alk seems good at ~9 or 10. As well, nitrates are still ~15 to 20, so I may attempt another water change to lower that.
Thanks for looking!
Alk - 11
Cal - 500
Ite - 0
Ate - 20
Phos - 0 (thanks to phosban! Great product)
Amm - 0
pH - 8.2
Temps at im of test - 78.8 F
Sg - 1.023
Would it make sense that the pH was higher than yesterday, read at around the same time, but because the temps were lower today? Does temp have any correlation with pH? At 83 F it was 8.0, at 79 it was 8.2.
The alk and cal seem to go up and down together, completely in correlation. It does not move much but it goes from 9 drops to 11 drops, and cal goes from 480 to 500. Is this normal?
I like the urchin. Great addition. Is he pretty active or does he usually stay in one place?
Regarding the sand-sifting starfish, I would like to know as well, so I'm curious to hear if anyone else responds. I've been researching them, and the most common comments I see is that they typically will starve after a few months to a year. With only an inch of sand, I would bet there's a good chance it would starve unless you routinely fed him directly (and made sure he ate what you gave him, and didn't get robbed by your other tankmates :-P).
pH, Alkalinity, and Calcium (as well as Magnesium) are all related to one another, ether directly or indirectly. Pasfur is very educated in this 4-way relationship, but I think I can give you a crash-course: pH and Alkalinity are directly related, where higher Alkalinity implies more ability to buffer pH and keep it up where it should be (so pH won't fall as much with higher Alk). Alkalinity and Calcium are also related, but I don't know specifics on their relationship... finally, Calcium and Magnesium are related. So for example, pH and Magnesium aren't directly related, but they are indirectly because pH relates to Alkalinity, which relates to Calcium, which relates to Magnesium. Basically, it should be your goal to monitor and keep all of these guys in stable ranges. If one or more are out of whack, or varying/unstable, then it can cause problems or instability with the others
So the change in pH that you see MAY be related to the temperature difference, but it is also being affected by the swings in your Alkalinity. My guess as to why temp might affect it, is because temperature affects the metabolism of the things living in your tank, which affects the pH of your tank. For example at night, when most things are sleeping/inactive, the pH of the tank naturally drops. However, since your tank is so lightly stocked at this point, I would guess it is being more affected by the Alkalinity than the temp (just a guess though!)
This is a good thing. ;-)
Your alkalinity and calcium levels should be in "balance" so to speak. I just wrote a long answer to a calcium / alkalinity question. Here is the link:
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