Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
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-   -   New 29 gallon tank (

stanley888 02-19-2010 06:57 PM

I have a same 29 gallons as u convert from freshwater tank been running 2 weeks
using 30lb aragonite sand, 10lb live rock + 25 lb macro dry rock (cycled)
upgraded 2x24 T5 HO light and Aquac Remora skimmer added Koralia 1
i bring my water sample to LFS, they say i'm safe adding fish
i still worry because i test myself still have low nitrite so they recommend me a bottle of instantly cycles aquariums and PH buffer
without patience i end up buy a pair of percula clownfish and flakes food
my CUC (20 Cerith 10 Nassarius 10 Nerite) arrived yesterday

Pasfur 02-20-2010 05:10 PM

Hi Stanley and welcome to the forum! You picked a great place to start a thread. It is very odd that you are new here, because you have selected almost the identical equipment that we normally suggest on this forum! Have you been doing a lot of research here? I really have had great luck with marco rocks, and the Aqua Remora skimmers are a very popular model for small tanks. You have done a great job with your setup!

I do have a few comments. It is very possible, even likely, that your aquarium is cycled. Just don't be fooled into thinking that this means anything. A cycled tank is almost a given when you are adding cured live rock. What is much more important is the maturity of the tank. You really want to give the tank a good time period to mature before you start adding additional livestock.

I am actually very concerned about your CUC. You are way ahead of my normal time line on adding the CUC, and you have added nearly 10 times the numbers of snails that I would have recommended! This is one of the things that I think the LFS has done a great job marketing, and they have done so at the expense of the hobbyist. Meaning, a 29 gallon tank that is fully mature is not capable of sustaining this size CUC. There simply is not enough life in the tank for this CUC to feed upon. In a new 29 gallon tank, I would have added at most 4 or 5 total snails at this point! I generally recommend 1 snail per 10 gallons maximum, and 1 crab per 5 gallons maximum.

Here is another concern. Generally during the first 3 to 5 weeks you really start to get life develop in your sand bed. Copepods, amphipods, and other microfauna begin to spread, both in the sand and onto the dry rock. If you add livestock, even fish, these populations become a food supply, and it take a lot longer for the dry rock and sand to mature. For this reason, I would encourage you to stop on adding anything else and really give it a few more weeks. You should be able to see copepods and ampipds scurrying about the sand and on the glass in great numbers before you add anything else.

Finally, I am curious if you have seen a diatom bloom yet? The diatom is a brown algae that will cover your sand and live rock almost overnight. It generally occurs around week 2 and goes away on its own about week 3 to 4. When this occurs, it is time to begin closely watching alkalinity and calcium, and adjusting both. This will encourage coraline algae growth and help to prevent future problem algae outbreaks. These 2 tests will be your greatest indicator of the stability of your tank.

By the way, what type of pH buffer did the LFS give you? Also, that cycle product is not something you want to rely on. You need to create a natural environment that is capable of supporting life. Rushing this process in a marine tank can be a disaster in a few months. I'm a little afraid of your LFS at this point. I'm not positive they have your best interest at heart, or perhaps the employee has limited marine experience.

stanley888 02-22-2010 11:20 PM

as your advise i have remove 2/3 CUC off my tank
currently have 10Cerith 3Nassarius 3Nerite snail
i do have lit diatom bloom just around the live rock and part of sand around live rock
now my live rock have white powder stuff rusty stuff all over
i have seen copepods by the glass and heater before they are gone now after adding fish and snails
the PH buffer LFS give is maintain 8.3PH and raise alkalinity(they didnt tell me that)
i currently have API ammonia and Nitrate test kit
I just order reef test kit, i'll get Calcium and alkalinity result in a few days
I add Koralia 2 in other side of the tank now
K2 output much flow then K1
Current have K1, K2 and mexijet1200 for skimmer
is it too much flow for 29 gallons tank
i'll put Xenia, Torch, Mushroom, Zoanthid Polypand Leathers

Pasfur 02-23-2010 06:11 AM


Originally Posted by stanley888 (Post 330632)
the PH buffer LFS give is maintain 8.3PH and raise alkalinity(they didnt tell me that)

Can you link the exact product you are using? Or post a picture. This is incredibly important.

I also notice that you have 2 pieces of live rock that are making contact with the glass. You will want to relocate these pieces. You will be shocked at how strong your snails are, and they are fully capable of causing a rock piece to crash when the the glass is used as a supporting side. Also, it will be nearly impossible to clean coraline algae off the glass unless the glass is clear of rock.

If you want to redo the reef structure, you can use cable ties to attach pieces of rock together to create stability. My entire reef structure is attached together with cable ties. This gives you piece of mind, and also allows for creative aquascapping.

stanley888 02-24-2010 10:10 PM

Marine Buffer
Seachem. Marine Buffer

Pasfur 02-25-2010 06:23 AM

You are making me think this morning Stanley. I just spent 10 minutes reading up on the product and what is in it. This is an interesting product, but I would not use it long term. Let me explain why.

Here is a direct quote from SeaChem web site, clicking on the link you gave me:
Thus, the pK of Marine Buffer is actually slightly higher than 8.3 in order to combat the influx of bicarbonate at every water change. Marine Buffer™ was the first buffer on the market which contained borate salts (which make a saltwater buffering system much more stable), and Marine Buffer™ remains the most effective pH buffer on the market for marine aquaria.

First, if you are using Instant Ocean, the salt mixes to a pH of 8.3. Instant Ocean is not heavily dependent on bicarbonate buffers, and as a result you do not get the downward pH swing that comes with some less expensive salt mixes.
Second, we run most of our marine system with the understanding that we will not be doing scheduled routine water changes sufficient to impact pH and the buffering ions. We use balanced supplements to accomplish this task.

For our purposes here and the techniques the senior members of this site generally use on marine aquariums, such as those we have been discussing so far on your tank, our goal is stability. We seek to maintain the balanced ratios of the buffering ions. This is accomplished by monitoring alkalinity and calcium, and buffering where appropriate. SeaChem actually claims to not be balanced. Another quote from their web site:
The catch to this seemingly simple solution is that most salt mixes contain substantial amounts of bicarbonate salts. This shifts the pK of the buffering system further towards 7.8, and a buffer that shoots for 8.3 will never quite get there. Thus, the pK of Marine Buffer is actually slightly higher than 8.3 in order to combat the influx of bicarbonate at every water change.

For this reason I am afraid that with prolonged use of the SeaChem buffer you will drive the pH artificially high. I see no reason not to simply use one of the 2 products that we use here with great success. The Kent Products or the BIonic Balanced product.

stanley888 02-25-2010 01:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
if i want raise alkalinity i should use Kent Superbuffer dHK ?
or B-Ionic 2-Part Calcium Buffer is good for Calcium.
should i get Purple Up if i want more coralline algae growth?

Diatom on sand

Pasfur 02-25-2010 02:07 PM


Originally Posted by stanley888 (Post 332268)
if i want raise alkalinity i should use Kent Superbuffer dHK ?
or B-Ionic 2-Part Calcium Buffer is good for Calcium.
should i get Purple Up if i want more coralline algae growth?

Diatom on sand

Alkalinity and calcium are tied together by the ratio of the buffering ions that are in saltwater. The B Ionic product is a "2 part" product because one part adjusts calcium and the other part adjusts the other buffering ions.

The Kent product can be used in a similar manor, by using Super Buffer DKH and using the Calcium Chloride liquid supplement.

You should never adjust calcium or adjust alkalinity without a routine for adjusting both. When you have this routine in place, tehre will not be any resaon for using the Purple Up product, as good coraline growth will result.

stanley888 02-26-2010 12:13 AM

API test kit arrive today
Calcium 480
dKH 12
nitrate 10

Pasfur 02-26-2010 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by stanley888 (Post 332781)
API test kit arrive today
Calcium 480
dKH 12
nitrate 10

Very nice. Give it a couple months and the Nitrates should start to drop. You are right where you want to be on Calcium and alkalinity. Don't add anything until you see a drop. I would suggest testing every other day for now on calcium and alkalinity so that you can try to see a pattern in when you need to add supplements.

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