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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, My name is jodi!
I've decided to start an 8 gal saltwater tank. I currently have 2 inches of live sand, 4 1/2 lbs live rock, and i purchased water from lfs. All current reading are nitrate 0 nitrite o kh 300 ph 8.4 hydrometer 1.23 temp is 78F. And i have one Yellowtail Damsel to help cycle the tank.
I have a hang on power filter.
I plan to have add one of the following as a *permanent* resident, clownfish &/or orange goby with shrimp , pseudo fish. Eventually i would like to add some coral when coralline algae begins to grow. I dont have a light as of yet ( it blowed today) so i need a screw in light ( sugestions) I would love any advice to help me establish a healthy reef ecosystem. (please no bashing about tank size)
 

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Welcome to the forum!

I won't bash your tank size, but be aware that pick tanks are very hard to keep. You must keep a constant eye on salinity, as evaporation can lead to large salinity swings in short periods of time. During hot summer days or cold winter nights, water can evaporate very quickly...

As far as the fish go, I think that tank is too small for a clownfish. Minimum tank size for a false perc is 20 gallon. Maybe a red banded high fin Goby and a pistol shrimp combo should be the only inhabitants.

As far as coral goes, I would start with softies, and then once you feel comfortable with them start some LPS. I dont think SPS would be good in that tank because of the quick salinity swings and their sensitivity...

Get rid of the power filter. It's nothing but a nitrate factory. Get a good protein skimmer. And maybe find a new home for the damsel. It is going to outgrow that tank quickly.

Sorry if I sound candid, but pico tanks are really difficult, even for aquarists with decades of experience.

Keep us updated and don't forget pics!
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Welcome to the forum!

I won't bash your tank size, but be aware that pick tanks are very hard to keep. You must keep a constant eye on salinity, as evaporation can lead to large salinity swings in short periods of time. During hot summer days or cold winter nights, water can evaporate very quickly...

As far as the fish go, I think that tank is too small for a clownfish. Minimum tank size for a false perc is 20 gallon. Maybe a red banded high fin Goby and a pistol shrimp combo should be the only inhabitants.

As far as coral goes, I would start with softies, and then once you feel comfortable with them start some LPS. I dont think SPS would be good in that tank because of the quick salinity swings and their sensitivity...

Get rid of the power filter. It's nothing but a nitrate factory. Get a good protein skimmer. And maybe find a new home for the damsel. It is going to outgrow that tank quickly.

Sorry if I sound candid, but pico tanks are really difficult, even for aquarists with decades of experience.

Keep us updated and don't forget pics!
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I def plan to rehome the damsel after cycling. I nedded a small hardy fish for the process. And i was wanting to get that really tiny clownfish, Ocellaris Clownfish i think its called... What is the problem with the filter? i cant quite afford the skimmer atm but i'm getting one in a month... the lfs was teeling me about the salinity so. I bought a hydrometer that gives constant readings
 

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Hang on back, canister, wet/dry and internal filters all use filter pads to trap detritus. This accumulation of detritus results in elevated nitrate and phosphate levels. Elevated nitrates have a direct effect on alkalinity, which controls a waters ability to maintain its pH.

My method of filtration is 1-1/2 lbs of live rock per gallon, a deep sand bed (4-6" of oolite sand) and a protein skimmer. The deep sand bed and live rock provide anaerobic bacteria that turns nitrates into nitrogen gas (which leaves the system naturally).

Ocellaris clownfish are false percs, the fish I mentioned that should be in a minimum 20 gallon tank.

Because of the live rock and live sand in your tank, there is no need to use a fish to cycle the tank. Those two things provide your system with the necessary bacteria and the tank looks to be already cycled.
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hang on back, canister, wet/dry and internal filters all use filter pads to trap detritus. This accumulation of detritus results in elevated nitrate and phosphate levels. Elevated nitrates have a direct effect on alkalinity, which controls a waters ability to maintain its pH.

My method of filtration is 1-1/2 lbs of live rock per gallon, a deep sand bed (4-6" of oolite sand) and a protein skimmer. The deep sand bed and live rock provide anaerobic bacteria that turns nitrates into nitrogen gas (which leaves the system naturally).

Ocellaris clownfish are false percs, the fish I mentioned that should be in a minimum 20 gallon tank.

Because of the live rock and live sand in your tank, there is no need to use a fish to cycle the tank. Those two things provide your system with the necessary bacteria and the tank looks to be already cycled.
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So do i have enough live rock for my tank setup, and i only have 2" of sand until i can get a sifter, is this ok? And if i wash the filter is that enough to keep nitrates low until i can get a skimmer?
 

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I would ditch the filter and just do water changes until you get the skimmer. 1 gallon every couple of days should be fine.

I think you need about five more lbs of live rock. What do you mean by you "only have two inches of sand until [you] get a sifter"? Do you mean a sifting tool? Or a sand sifting creature?
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Discussion Starter #7
I would ditch the filter and just do water changes until you get the skimmer. 1 gallon every couple of days should be fine.

I think you need about five more lbs of live rock. What do you mean by you "only have two inches of sand until [you] get a sifter"? Do you mean a sifting tool? Or a sand sifting creature?
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If i get a goby it will sift the sand, right?
 

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If i get a goby it will sift the sand, right?
Yes, certain gobies are sand sifters. If you go with a Deep Sand Bed in such a small aquarium, sand sifters will be detrimental to the proccess of denitrification. In the case of getting a sand-sifting creature such as goby, I think that the two inches of sand would be fine. But I do not think that the kind of Gobies (Watchman, Polaris) would be good for an 8 gallon tank. I think that a Yasha or a Red-banded High Fin Goby would be the only options for this tank...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Check parameters today
Nitrate 0
Nitrtite 0.5
alkalinity 180
ph dropped 7.6 when added freshwater for evaporation...
How to fix the acidic water?

Ok instead of a goby, how about a Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab as a sifter and for clean up?
 

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Check parameters today
Nitrate 0
Nitrtite 0.5
alkalinity 180
ph dropped 7.6 when added freshwater for evaporation...
How to fix the acidic water?

Ok instead of a goby, how about a Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab as a sifter and for clean up?
What kind of sifter are you talking about? A sand-sfting star wouldn't be good, this tank is too small. The Zebra hermits (you could add 4-6 of them) and maybe a snail or two would be good as clean up.

What is your source water?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What kind of sifter are you talking about? A sand-sfting star wouldn't be good, this tank is too small. The Zebra hermits (you could add 4-6 of them) and maybe a snail or two would be good as clean up.

What is your source water?
had to use tap for today, i added novaqua for chlorine and toxic metals. im goin to lfs tomorrow if they are open for some RO water. and i will get some zebra hermits and a snail. they should keep the sand stirred
 

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had to use tap for today, i added novaqua for chlorine and toxic metals. im goin to lfs tomorrow if they are open for some RO water. and i will get some zebra hermits and a snail. they should keep the sand stirred
Good. Tap water can have minerals and metals in it that can be harmful to some invertebrates and corals, and water treatment such as Prime and Novaqua aren't really enough. Plus the minerals that are found in tapwater can throw off you alkalinity (a test kit you should pick up) and you can see violent pH swings (like the one you saw recently).

The zebra hermits and snails should do a good job aerating the substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good. Tap water can have minerals and metals in it that can be harmful to some invertebrates and corals, and water treatment such as Prime and Novaqua aren't really enough. Plus the minerals that are found in tapwater can throw off you alkalinity (a test kit you should pick up) and you can see violent pH swings (like the one you saw recently).

The zebra hermits and snails should do a good job aerating the substrate.
i have a test kit, just not ammonia tests
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The best things to test for in a marine tank are Alkalinity and Calcium. These two tests are vital for the health and stability of your system. Do you have either of these test kits?
OK so i need to gt a calcium test... have the alkaline test
 

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have the alkaline test

I see this now in your first readings. Is that in ppm (parts per million)? The most common reading for Alkalinity is dKH, and 180 ppm this converts to 10 dKH and that is right where you want to be. But earlier in this thread your Alkalinity was at 300 ppm which converts to 16 dKH and that is a little high. Can you test that again and post the results?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I see this now in your first readings. Is that in ppm (parts per million)? The most common reading for Alkalinity is dKH, and 180 ppm this converts to 10 dKH and that is right where you want to be. But earlier in this thread your Alkalinity was at 300 ppm which converts to 16 dKH and that is a little high. Can you test that again and post the results?

Thanks
Yes ppm
Now im worried,
Nitrat 0
nitrite 1.0
kh is between 80 & 120
Ph is 6.2 I need the ph corrected... can i do this with baking soda?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yesterday the readings were 0 nitrite 0 nitrate kh 300 ph 8.4

today at 12:30 pm they were Nitrate 0
Nitrtite 0.5
alkalinity 180
ph 7.6
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have some ro saltwater, should i do a water change to restore levels? If so, how much? or is baking soda better?
 

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I have some ro saltwater, should i do a water change to restore levels? If so, how much? or is baking soda better?
Are the lights on? You can experience pH swings with the lights off.

Do a 50% water change since you have no inhabitants now. Give it a few hours then retest.
 
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