Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mullinsd2 06-12-2009 12:27 AM

nitrogen cycle testing
I need some advice on how often to change water during nitrogen cycle. I have not started anything yet.... What is the best way to go about this?... base rock will be coming in shortly, i have some live sand as well, and plan on buying a couple pounds of live rock. 45 gallon fowlr.

onefish2fish 06-12-2009 12:30 AM

wait until you see the diatom bloom before doing a water change.

mullinsd2 06-12-2009 08:32 AM

Okay, and should I just go about the lighting as if there were fish in there? Also, should I have my filtration running?

Pasfur 06-12-2009 07:49 PM

Yes & yes.

To be honest, with live sand and a little bit of live rock, you won't see much of a nitrogen cycle. The most important thing is to wait for the diatom bloom to pass, start to see some coraline algae growth, and get comfortable with the alkalinity & calcium test results and required dosing. At this point you can consider your system mature and be comfortable adding almost any fish.

mullinsd2 06-16-2009 11:02 PM

Okay, my testing kit only provides solutions for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and PH. Can these tests be used to determine calcium and alk. or do I need separate tests?

onefish2fish 06-17-2009 12:03 AM

seperate tests.

your going to want at the minimum ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, alk, ca, mag and temp. your also going to want something to test salinity and i suggest a refractometer over a hydrometer any day. check ebay for one cheap. what brand test kits did you get? your also going to want suppliments to dose for alk, ca and mag.

mullinsd2 06-17-2009 07:51 AM

yeah i bought a ca. supplement and ph buffer. I already have a hydrometer. I just need to get a alk, ca, and mag, tests. i bought an API master test kit

onefish2fish 06-17-2009 08:20 AM

dont confuse a pH buffer with an alk product, they may not be the same. if you keep your alk, ca and mag at proper levels you shouldnt have a hard time keeping good pH. your also going to want something to dose for mag. API is a decent brand, so good choice there.

wake49 06-17-2009 10:05 AM

I think that the API REEF Test Kit has Calcium and Alk tests in it. I bought seperate Ca and Alk tests that are a little more accurate from my LFS.

mullinsd2 06-17-2009 10:34 AM

Ya the API reef kit does but for some reason mine just says API Saltwater kit... no calcium or alk. test in it :(

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