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marine666 02-07-2010 04:14 PM

What should i be doing now?
Hi everyone,

I set up my tank last monday it's the aquamarine 900 it has 15kg of live rock building it up abit at a time every week till i get to about 25kg and i have 15kg of live sand and I am using the marisys 240, plus 2 koralia's. My first reading's day 1 were PH 8.4 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0 salt 1.026.

Day 5 there is brown algae starting to grow on the live rock which i take to be the diatom bloom?

Day 6 the live rock is now almost completly covered in the brown algae and there is patches on the live sand. My tank reading's are PH 8.4 ammonia 0.25ppm nitrite 0.25ppm nitrate 5 ppm. Does this sound normal or should i be doing anything to reduce these.

Thanks Colin:-)

n1zjd 02-07-2010 08:56 PM

Sounds like things are progressing along nicely Colin. Dont take my word for it, wait a while and Im sure Pasfur while chime in and guide you but if Im not mistaken he usually recommends a large water change around this time and adding the first part of your CUC. It sounds like your a few days ahead of me as far as the cycle is concerned.

But like I said, dont take my word for it as Im still just learning myself. One thing Ive definately learned thus far is be patient. Dont do anything drastic if your not sure on something. Pasfur will find your thread before long and tell you all you need to know. Good luck man

marine666 02-08-2010 04:01 AM

Hi, Thanks for the reply, I'll take some reading later and if they are the same i'll try a big water chance. Good luck with your tank.

Pasfur 02-08-2010 06:39 AM

I recommend a water change at this point depending on the progression of nitrate, alkalinity, and calcium. Often new systems will need a large water change at this point to maintain the balance of buffering ions and lower nitrate buildup.

First things first, you are ready for the next step, which is to continue doing nothing. :-) You need to let the diatom bloom run its course, which it sounds like is happening already. Great sign!!! In the meanwhile, now is the time to begin your testing, buffering, and supplementation routine. All marine systems are heavily dependent on calcium and alkalinity, so you need to be focused on keeping these levels where needed. Fish only tanks are just as dependent, perhaps even more so, so regardless of the type of system you need to test for these and adjust as necessary.

I personally maintain my alkalinity at 8 - 12 DKH and calcium at 400 460ppm. I use Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH and Kent Marine Liquid Calcium Chloride as supplements to do this. Another good option is the BIonic 2 part additive, which is also very popular on this forum. Both work great, just be sure to use one or another.

You want to begin this now, because you are in the diatom bloom maturing phase. When this diatom recedes, you want coraline algae to begin taking its place. If not, you will likely experience a prolonged period of problematic algaes, such as hair algae and bubble algae. This should be your priority this week, to learn how alkalinity and calcium work and become comfortable adjusting these levels.

Here is a more detailed article which I posted on the topic:

The marisys 240 is an interesting filtration design. We really need to discuss it in greater detail also. I believe this is a 38 gallon tank, correct? Or is it a 55? What are the dimensions? You have what you need, but you may be improved to make some small adjustments to how the system is used. Can you provide details on what you plan for this tank in the future, in terms of livestock?

marine666 02-08-2010 08:02 AM

Hi pasfur,

It's 197 ltr + 4.5ltr in the marisys. I'm planning on making it a reef tank using the marisys just now but near future is to put a tetratec700 filter on just to hold rowaphos and carbon, live rock rubble and a deltec mce 300 skimmer. the marisys is quite loud sound's like a bath running all day. As to live stock i was thinking about 2 clown's to start then another 3 similar sized fish like chromis or damsels, with soft corals.

I have ordered a calcium and kh test kit should be here this week. should i do a 20% water change or will a 10% be enough. I've just tested the water the stats are Ph 8.4 ammonia 0.25ppm nitrite 50ppm nitrate 5ppm salt 1.026

marine666 02-09-2010 10:47 AM

Hi, my test kits came today my dkh is 9 and my calcium is about 200 i think quite hard to tell using the api kit. I've done a 15% water change and buffered for calcium and added rowaphos . going to do a test's later tonight, should i be waiting for my ammonia to stay at 0 before putting any cuc in.

Pasfur 02-09-2010 10:54 AM

On the marisys 240, given that this will be a reef, you need to remove the bioballs now. You do not want to allow any area for detritus to accumulate or for unnatural biological processing of organic wastes. The protein skimmer will be sufficient until you get your deltec, which is a good skimmer.

You need to test the calcium levels again. 200ppm is almost impossibly low. When you adjust alkalinity or calcium, you need to adjust both together, unless there is an unnatural test result. Lets assume your alkalinity is 9DKH and calcium 300ppm. Then you would add both a buffer and calcium chloride supplement. The BIonic product is designed to do this easily.

On the other hand, if calcium is low and alkalinity is normal, then you only buffer the calcium side of the additive, which is what it sounds like you did.

Test both again, post the results, and lets take another look at where you are at. I see no need yet for a water change. No reason to "waste" the salt.

marine666 02-09-2010 11:29 AM

my bad, never read the instructions right on the ca2+ ok here's all the test results

PH 8.4
ammonia 0ppm
nitrite 0.50ppm
nitrate 0ppm
Kh 10
Ca2+ 480

Thanks for all you help

marine666 02-09-2010 06:15 PM

Oh, ment to say thanks for the link on Alkalinity and Calcium testing.understand it alot better now Thanks for all your support

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