Several Questions
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Several Questions

This is a discussion on Several Questions within the Water Chemistry forums, part of the Advanced Saltwater Discussion category; --> I have a FOWLR tank, and I have several questions regarding water, chemicals, supplements and vitamins. My questions are listed below. Any help would ...

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Old 11-18-2008, 11:34 PM   #1
 
Several Questions

I have a FOWLR tank, and I have several questions regarding water, chemicals, supplements and vitamins. My questions are listed below. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

1) I do not use RO water. Rather I have been using tap water and waiting for the chlorine to dissipate (about 5 days I believe). However, my wife recently told me to get rid of the buckets in the room, so I have to find another way to get rid of the chlorine. Yesterday I bought "NovAqua Plus" - it is supposed to detoxify water and add certain vitamins and anti-virus protection.

Does anyone have any experience with NovAqua Plus? Is it safe? Does it work?

2) I also bought a Calcium Buffer Solution (called B-Ionic). This is a 2 part system comprised of (1) an Alkalinity Solution bottle, and (2) a Calcium Solution bottle.

Do I need to supplement calcium in a FOWLR tank? Are there any adverse effects on FISH of not enough calcium or too much calcium? My alkalinity levels are currently 180 ppm. I do not currently test for calcium. What should my alkalinity be? What about calcium?

3) The PH in my aquarium is between 8.2 and 8.4 (closer to 8.4). However, when I mix water with my Instant Ocean salt mix, the PH is 8.0. Do I need to raise the PH to 8.4 before adding the new water to my tank or will the water stablizie to 8.4 because of my live rock and live sand automatically?

4) Should I be adding any vitamins or other supplements?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:04 AM   #2
 
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1. I highly suggest using RO water. im not familiar with the product you have mentioned but i personally would not use it and stick with RO water. i personally would not risk using chemicals to rid chemicals in my tank, but that is my opinion. not only is there chlorines but there is also phosphates (leads to unwanted algae out breaks) and possibly metals and other unwanted things.
2. B-ionic is good, but you may also want a magnesium supplement. DO NOT add anything you do not test for. Mag,Cal,Alk all work together. If one is low, usually another is.
In a FOWLR, getting good coraline algae require good levels of alk, cal and mag. Off the top of my head alk should be 1200-1500, cal 400-500 and mag 9000-1200 i think i got that right. anyway 180 is low, i wouldnt dose to much to fast if that makes sense.
3. your pH is fine. once you start adding buffers it seems to really screw things up
4. no you should be fine with just alk, cal, mag

my questions that arise are:
what are your long term plans with this tank? eventually a reef?
what fish do keep or critters?
how big is the tank?
what kind of lights?
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:11 AM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post

my questions that arise are:
what are your long term plans with this tank? eventually a reef?
what fish do keep or critters?
how big is the tank?
what kind of lights?
First, thank you very much for the response. How long does RO water take to "purify?"

As far as your questions go, please see below.

what are your long term plans with this tank? eventually a reef?

At first I wanted a reef tank, so I bought a cleanup crew, 2 reef fish (a scooter blennie and purple psued), 2 urchins, and 2 peppermint shrimp. I have had those for about 2 month, but now decided that I actually don't want a reef tank. Rather I want to hold aggressive fish (puffer, trigger, wrasse, tomato clown). I recently bought a regal tang and a rectangular trigger. Yes I know that the trigger will probably kill everything in the tank eventually (except the tang), so I am planning on getting rid of everything except the tang and the trigger really soon.

what fish do keep or critters?

See above

how big is the tank?

125 gallons with 20 gallon sump (soon to be upgraded to 45)

what kind of lights?

Right now I have regular fluorescent lights. Since I won't be getting any corals, I think these should suffice for the fish.
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:48 PM   #4
 
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RO water comes out of the filter completely pure. There is no need to let it stand. In fact, some people have their RO system hooked directly to their sump with a float valve for top off (i'm personally not too fond of this idea). RO or better yet RO/DI water should be used. For under $200 you can get an inexpensive RO/DI unit from ebay, a 30g Rubbermaid Brute trashcan (for storing the water), and a 500gph pressure rated pond pump (for dispensing the water to buckets) and you will never need to wait for water again (unless your storage container is empty)

You have unchins, which (among other organisms) feeds on coraline algae. Coraline algae is also desirable on your live rock for aesthetic reasons, and has other benefits as well. Coraline algae needs Calcium and Bicarbonate (alkalinity) to grow. Magnesium needs to be present to help combat abiotic precipitation of calcuim carbonate. Your needs in a FOWLR tank will be very minimal, but yes, you should be testing and dosing as necessary, Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium. B-Ionic is a good Calcium/alkalinity supplement, but take heed, they are not to be dosed in unequal portions. If you are needing to bring calcium or alkalinity up individually, you will need a stand-alone supplement like Kent Marine's Liquid Calcium and Kent Marine's Supperbuffer dKh.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:55 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKAustin View Post
RO water comes out of the filter completely pure. There is no need to let it stand. In fact, some people have their RO system hooked directly to their sump with a float valve for top off (i'm personally not too fond of this idea).
I agree with SK on this. if you have any issues where your top off keeps topping off even though the tank is full becuse it's stuck it'll keep flowing until you realized what's happening and lower your salinity dramaticall. If you use a container and put 2-4gallons then only 2-4g will be added not many.

Quote:
Kent Marine's Liquid Calcium and Kent Marine's Supperbuffer dKh.
they are what i use.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:01 PM   #6
 
Thanks SKAustin and Kellsindell.

I will probably get an RO unit eventually.

Just a quick follow up on toping off water. I lose about 1 gallon a day in evaporation. I add top off water about twice a week. I see an issue with that because the salinity increases slowly for 3 or 4 days until I add more water, and then the salinity drops. This cannot be good for the fish.

How can I add top off water automatically? You both mentioned people doing this (either directly from an RO unit or a small bucket) - how would I design something like that?

Thanks
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:55 PM   #7
 
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Oops
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:55 PM   #8
 
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you need to top off every day, not once a week. They have auto top off kits you can get at a lfs or online at www.aquahub.com. they are quite cheap in price and great in quality. From what i hear they have great customer support too.
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Old 11-22-2008, 12:01 AM   #9
 
Thanks again. I think I will get one of those kits.
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