nitrogen cycle testing - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 25 Old 06-12-2009, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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.
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post #2 of 25 Old 06-12-2009, 12:30 AM
onefish2fish's Avatar
wait until you see the diatom bloom before doing a water change.
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post #3 of 25 Old 06-12-2009, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
Okay, and should I just go about the lighting as if there were fish in there? Also, should I have my filtration running?
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post #4 of 25 Old 06-12-2009, 07:49 PM
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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.
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post #5 of 25 Old 06-16-2009, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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?
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post #6 of 25 Old 06-17-2009, 12:03 AM
onefish2fish's Avatar
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.
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post #7 of 25 Old 06-17-2009, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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
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post #8 of 25 Old 06-17-2009, 08:20 AM
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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.
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post #9 of 25 Old 06-17-2009, 10:05 AM
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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.

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post #10 of 25 Old 06-17-2009, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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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