My params - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-07-2006, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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My params

I had a chance to do the water test and here is the result:

Ca: 500 ppm
Phosphate: 0.35 ppm
Nitrite: 0.07 ppm
Nitrate: 9 ppm
pH: 8.4
Temp: 80F
Amonia: 0.15 ppm
Alki: 1.5 ppm

These results are based on the Red Sea test kit ( )

According to the chart, the Nitrite and Nitrate are high. Amonia is pretty high. Phostphate is relatively high.

I am using the RO water and I have water change everyday (10% water change).

I feel like my RO device doesn't do a good job?

Please help me how to adjust the params.

Thanks for your help.

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-07-2006, 01:35 PM
I use the same test kit. Your calcuim is to high to. It should at the max be no more then 440ppm. Your alk is to low, it should be maintain between 3.0 to 3.75 meq/liter (8.4 and 10.5 dKH). To keep these 2 in check I use B-Ionic.
What are you using for filtration. Just keep doing the water changes. When I have to add water to my system I use the walmart brand drinking water. I have personnally tested the water and it came out zero accross the board. For the Nitrates I have been told by every LFS I have been to add they all state you can never have a zero nitrate because all food contains protien which inturns breaks down to form nitrate. to drop the ammonia cut back on the feeding for a fews days and test to see if the ammonia is dropping along with the water changes. For your nitrate and ammonia are you using the charts that or located in the instruction booklet for each test.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-07-2006, 04:55 PM
I'm agreeing with pretty much everything USMC told you.

I'd just use your test kit on your RO water straight from the end. Also do a test of fresh mixed sea water just before adding it into your tank. You might be surprised as to what you find. I don't think your nitrIte is extremely high. They can and will vary slightly depepnding upon the day, time, last feeding etc... Your Ammonia needs to come down. Your phosphates could come down as well. Phoshates make algae grow like crazy. Your nitrates don't look high to me either. Most people I know struggle to keep it under 20ppm. Nitrates are a sign that the rest of your nitrogenous cycle are actually working correctly. A sign of no nitrates could also be the sign that a disaster is looming. All it would take is a snail to die and wipe out your "sterile" tank. your cycle wouldn't be able to handle the sudden load. Your CA test might be a bit wonky. Usually a test of 500 is inaccurate. Basically your MG will not react with the CA and the CA will percipitate out of the tank. OK ok ok that's a tough one I know. My kit tells me my CA is about 600 and I've always wondered the same thing. I test my mix and get 480ppm. My tank water 620ppm. But the "experts" have all agreed and guided me by telling me it's really impossible. I just contunue reading it though as if it ever falls from what I am reading I know I'm in trouble. Your ALK should defintely come up. I also dose with BIonic 1&2. You could also try Reef Carbonate by SeaChem. It's relatively inexpensive and buying the reef complete from SeaChem is basically the same as BIonic except you cannot mix them on the same day.

Is this a new tank that you are cycling? I was just wondering if that's why you were posting your results. If it is a new tank I would cease with the water changes and let the tank age a bit.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-07-2006, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, caferacermike

I forgot to mention. My tank is about less than 3 months old. There are 2 tangs inside. I do change my water daily (~10%). It is hard to keep the params within the "safe range".

Once again, thanks.

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post #5 of 11 Old 10-07-2006, 06:03 PM
What type of filtation are you running? What size tank? What type of lighting? Live sand? Live Rock? Wet/dry sump? Refugium? All of these can contribute and or help a system. Plenty of live rock will add internal bacteria colonies to the tank itself. A DSB (deeps sand bed) can also help convert tricky wastes into nitrates that will dissipitate from the tank. How large/small is your cleanup crew IE: snails, hermits. The idea ofa refugium has really helped take the hobby by storm. Allowing place of slow water movement to let algaes, bacteris, and micro inverts grow really speeds up the processes. Are you using a wet/dry? If so what type of media? Bio balls have been getting a bad rap as of late contributing to nitrites and nitrates. Ammonia spikes are generally from over feeding. Excess foods rot away faster than can be processed. How often do you feed and why? What type or size skimmer are you running?

Let's see what we can do to help...
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-07-2006, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Tank: Oceanic Frontbow 46 GL
Filter: One Fluval 204; One Fluval 304
Protein Skimmer: Hang-on Promara with filter box
Heater: One submersible heater
Powerhead: Two Maxi-jet 1200
Live rock: 40 lb Fuji liverock
RO system: Kent Marine Hi-S Maxxima 35 GPD RO/DI System
Lighting system: Coralife 36 Inch Aqualight With 1-96W Actinic / 1-96W 10,000K Lamp Square Pin Base (with fans)

Lots of live rock
Quite deep DSB.

No Refugium

I feed them twice daily. Now, I cut back only one. I change 10R% water everyday for the last 5 days.

The parameters have not been improving. Not so sure what causes the bad water.

Once again, thank much for your feedback.

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post #7 of 11 Old 10-08-2006, 12:31 AM
I hate to be the one that says it but canister filters are on the outs now with reef tanks. Seems that after a few weeks the wastes begin to break down and leach nitrates and ammonia back into the water column. They do a great job at keeping the water crystaly clear but are nitrate factories. Also the same applies for phosphates as the excess nutrients are released as phos. I must admit I run an Eheim 2217 can on my tank. My Nitrates hover around 10-15ppm. I do wonder at times if they would be lower if I got rid of the can. Problem for me is I have an Eheim addiction. I do clean it about once every 2 weeks. Way to soon for a true canister but I'm only using it to polish my water, not for any bacteria colonies. That's what my 240lbs of live rock are for.

40lbs of rock? You could definitely get more in there.

Your skimmer is your only source of true oxygenation. I really like having sumps as they churn up the water releasing ammonia and nitrate gases. But as far as your skimmer goes, I could not find any information online pertaining to promara. Sounds like it may be a skilter, skimmer HOT filter. If it is it isn't really doing anything. The Prizm and other skilters draw water from the deep of the tank, not the surface where the oils collect. If it is different from that (IE: doesn't look like an oldstyle HOB filter with a skimmer added to it) let me know, and provide a link if possible.

Would you be interested in setting up an overflow box with sump, fuge and return pump? It will drastically reduce those numbers and help cool the tank. A nice sump with a pull out prefilter tray adds in weekly maintenance. Instead of getting your media dirty you have a flat piece of filter floss to catch debris. You easily pull that out and clean or replace it. A lot simpler than opening and cleaning a canister. The falling water will also saturate with O2. Your fish can breathe a little easier. Also a good sump allows for a great skimmer.

You did not mention a cleaner crew. I'd recommend about 50-100 snails depending upon size and about 75 small hermits. They will process large wastes and release wastes that corals and bacteria thrive upon.

What do you feed the tangs? They are basically herbivores and should only be eating algae from your rocks. If no algae than they should be eating Nori sheets. Feeding them any sort of carnivore products could be sending food right through barely digested. That is heavy waste and will accumulate in the tank. Just trying theories...

I'd also like to suggest trying out a Seio M800 stream maker to replace the 2 maxi jets. Once you try one you'll never go back to regular powerheads.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-08-2006, 06:51 AM
I strongly agree with everything caferacermike

Hang-on Promara with filter box
Thats what it sounds like to me. I tried to google it and nothing come up.
I only use my canister filter polish my water to and never thought about that could be the reason my nitrates hoover around 20. They never get no higher. They only get lower everynow and then.

For the sump, if you do not want to fork out the money to buy one that is already. You can build one with a old tank some and some plexi glass. It is real easy to do. It just doesn't look as nice as the store bought ones.

For my tangs I feed them algea sheets by seaweed selects 3-4x weekly. I will soak them in garlic once every week to boost there immune system. My 2 tangs will eat brine shrimp every time I feed The other fish. And just for a sneak or something different I feed them a piece of zucchini.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-08-2006, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your input. In fact, I Do have a self-built sump. However, I do have problem controlling the water flow from the tank to the sump and the sump up to the tank.

I will try one more time.


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post #10 of 11 Old 10-08-2006, 10:23 PM
You only need to control the return side. never throttle the suction side it isn't necessary. the way an overflow works is regulated by how fast the water returns. they go hand in hand. The faster the return, the faster the duction. If you have way to large a return pump it is easy to regulate by adding a "TEE" inline above the pump. Add a ball valve to the bullhead side of the tee. run a couple of 90's back to the sump itself. by closing the valve you regulate the amount returning to the tank. The rest will just cycle back to the sump. Some people say add a valve to the return line. This adds back pressure to the pump and can cause an early failure. My method allows the pump to run at full speed without resistance.

I'm wondering if what you are meaning to say is that your overflow is surging. the overflow box fills up and then suddenly sucks in a lot of air and the water rushes out creating an aweful noise. If so the answer to that is a proper durso tube. It is an easy fix.
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