live rock, protein skimmer and water test question

  • Thread starter

jaysix79

Valued Member
Messages
70
Reaction score
0
Points
91
Experience
Just started
1. lets say my tank is fully cycled with not enough live rocks. if i add more live rocks.. would it cause a mini cycle? (also if i buy my live rocks from the local fish store.. the rocks in the tub with circulating water can i just add that or do i have to do any step b4 adding them in my tank)

2. My protein skimmer is been up and running for several days and i believe its done braking in. now its foaming and collecting green water. but it seem like its collecting to many now (i don't know if that's possible but many people i've seen in the forum or youtube, they collect about an inch or two of their collecting cup every week), it fill up the small battle water about 8 oz. in a day or two with green stinky water.

3. Lets say everything goes well and my tank is established and i got the right water parameter....

in the future do i still need to test for pH,ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and alkalinity all the time ?

i been testing my water and i been getting the same reading all the time... i feel like I'm wasting my test kit... i test every other day.

in my head what i think i should be monitoring if the tank is fully mature would be... the pH, salinity and nitrate reading. pH because of water change and nitrate to know when to water change. and i would say test this weekly?
 

pepetj

Well Known Member
Messages
2,533
Reaction score
53
Points
143
Experience
3 years
My answers in blue.

jaysix79 said:
1. lets say my tank is fully cycled with not enough live rocks. if i add more live rocks.. would it cause a mini cycle? (also if i buy my live rocks from the local fish store.. the rocks in the tub with circulating water can i just add that or do i have to do any step b4 adding them in my tank)

That depends on the conditions of the live rock, the level of care in transport, and the quality of acclimation you could do as you place them in, among other variables like having (or not) incompatible life forms between your previous and newly arrived pieces of rock. Also on the quality of your actual biological filtration... do you have a refugium? do you have a deep sand bed?

2. My protein skimmer is been up and running for several days and i believe its done braking in. now its foaming and collecting green water. but it seem like its collecting to many now (i don't know if that's possible but many people i've seen in the forum or youtube, they collect about an inch or two of their collecting cup every week), it fill up the small battle water about 8 oz. in a day or two with green stinky water.
That depends on the type of protein skimmer you have, as well as the stage your tank is right now. What you are seeing might be a normal transitory event or just improper adjustments in the skimmer unit

3. Lets say everything goes well and my tank is established and i got the right water parameter....

in the future do i still need to test for pH,ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and alkalinity all the time ?

i been testing my water and i been getting the same reading all the time... i feel like I'm wasting my test kit... i test every other day.

in my head what i think i should be monitoring if the tank is fully mature would be... the pH, salinity and nitrate reading. pH because of water change and nitrate to know when to water change. and i would say test this weekly?

The answer is yes and now at the same time. As time goes by you might learn to read your tank by visual inspection, at least in some parameters. However the time it takes to learn when to trust your eyes or not changes from person to person, from tank to tank. If you are keeping a Nano tank then I think you cannot afford to not to test with some reasonably high frequency. If you have a stable tank that has been running for six or eight months you might have room to space out testing as your learning curve in healthy maintenance should be quite trust-worthy.

Thing is Saltwater stability is way more complex than just the Nitrogen Cycle. There are so many live-death cycles going on at different levels (from the observed in the microscopic only to those life forms we can see with the naked eye; from those that thrive in the water column, in the surface of rocks, or at different depth in a deep sand bed -or in lack of one) and all those happen in patterns we are still figuring out -e.g. simultaneously or in sequence or at random or only if some other variables come into play (e.g. high temperature to name just one).

I usually don't add anything I cannot test for, but there are exceptions, like Iron. Investing in an Iron test kit is likely a waste of money (and even then I am likely purchasing one, out of curiosity) since Iron gets depleted really fast and I carefully dose every other day (I have a planted Nano Reef tank).

Say you don't meet the overlapping thresholds needed for coral growth. The uptake of Calcium and maybe even Magnesium will likely be limited and you keep testing to confirm you are not experiencing depletion in any of those two. Deciding to space out Ca and Mg testing until say lighting is improved, might make sense. But what if your saltmix is prone to low Alkalinity? (mine is by the way) For a few weeks your readings might be stable but then... at least pH will come down and that would have an effect in most cations/anions so... In that case I would only test for Ca and Mg once KH goes below 9dKH.

I'm fascinated by marine biology, and what happens in our reef environments. I suggest you read about Saltwater chemistry and decide how to proceed. I encourage you to make an educated decision. Your questions are quite interesting but I guess the answer are complex ones.
Pepetj
Santo Domingo
 
  • Thread starter

jaysix79

Valued Member
Messages
70
Reaction score
0
Points
91
Experience
Just started
thank you for reading my post and for giving me some answer and advices

1: my sand bed is about an inch and half to two inches deep[ of sand in the main display tank 26g. i do have a sump box 15 gallon that house my heater, skimmer and later as i get more live rock i will transfer some of my rock from the main tank to my sump. i cannot add any sand in my sump box due to the sump design but i modified it enough to have bubble trap. room of live sand as filter and heater and pumps

2.) my tank is about 2 weeks old. i seed my tank with live sand and about ten lbs of live rocks that came from establish tank. everything seem fine. the water cleared up its crystal clear now than it was few days ago. my water parameters are 8.2 pH, nitrite reading of .2, SG of 1.023 alk .02 alk normal and my temp is around 78/79.

been doing alot of water test every day in the first 4 days and every other day after that due to no water parameter change. its always the same

i did not test for ammonia since i don't have the test for it since the red sea test kit i bought did not come with one. I'm working on getting one

few signs that i think my tank is cycle is because i see alot of little animal moving around the rocks, the sand like little shrimps i believe they are copepods and amphipods. it wasn't there b4 when i first set up the tank. also i see things growing on my rocks with tenticles

3. my tank is FOWLR. so what are the main test i should be paying attention to the most if my tank is cycled.

my guess is salinity of course, pH and nitrate (nitrate will tell me when to water change)

right now the test kit i have are

pH
temp
nitrite
alk
SG
i know i need ammonia... anything else??
 

charzar-g

Well Known Member
Messages
699
Reaction score
0
Points
111
Experience
5 years
It may cause a mini cycle, but i added my live rock one bit at a time, and it seemed fine!

The pump may be just collecting thin water because it hasn't got anything to skim right now, when livestock is added, it should create thicker gloop.

The older your tank is, the less frequently you need to test, but its still good to keep routine maintainence
 
  • Thread starter

jaysix79

Valued Member
Messages
70
Reaction score
0
Points
91
Experience
Just started
thanks for your reply

charzar-g said:
It may cause a mini cycle, but i added my live rock one bit at a time, and it seemed fine!

The pump may be just collecting thin water because it hasn't got anything to skim right now, when livestock is added, it should create thicker gloop.

The older your tank is, the less frequently you need to test, but its still good to keep routine maintainence

what is the routine maintainence?..

from what i know so far would be

algae scraping.
bi weekly water change (10 percent)
check if all equipments are working
temp on right temp
skimmer on right level not over flowing
water sg on right level



anything else i missed?
 

locoyo386

Well Known Member
Messages
879
Reaction score
2
Points
103
Experience
More than 10 years
Hi there,

jaysix79 said:
1. lets say my tank is fully cycled with not enough live rocks. if i add more live rocks.. would it cause a mini cycle? (also if i buy my live rocks from the local fish store.. the rocks in the tub with circulating water can i just add that or do i have to do any step b4 adding them in my tank)

When it comes to live rock it can either be cured or not. Basically the rock has to be cured before you place it in your tank, or it will create a rise in ammonia. If the rock is cured, than it can be placed in the tank as it will not rise your ammonia level. The curing process is basically the cycling of your rock, that's why some people use live rock to cycle their tanks. Usually when you buy rock froma store they are already cured, but ask and make sure. The time it takes to bring it home, will not force you to cure the rock, thus it will be ok to put in the tank. When you buy rock online, sometimes it takes a while for it to reach you, thus it might need to be cured before you place in the tank as it's mostlikely will raise the ammonia level. Another thing to keep in mind, is that if you add small peices at a time, it's similar to adding a new fish. This will raise the ammonia but your biofilter will keep up with the rise.

2. My protein skimmer is been up and running for several days and i believe its done braking in. now its foaming and collecting green water. but it seem like its collecting to many now (i don't know if that's possible but many people i've seen in the forum or youtube, they collect about an inch or two of their collecting cup every week), it fill up the small battle water about 8 oz. in a day or two with green stinky water.

Sorry can't help you on this one as I do not use skimmers.

3. Lets say everything goes well and my tank is established and i got the right water parameter....

in the future do i still need to test for pH,ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and alkalinity all the time ?

i been testing my water and i been getting the same reading all the time... i feel like I'm wasting my test kit... i test every other day.

in my head what i think i should be monitoring if the tank is fully mature would be... the pH, salinity and nitrate reading. pH because of water change and nitrate to know when to water change. and i would say test this weekly?

Well it depends, are you keeping a reef? Also testing of water usually is done quite a bit as you first start to get into the hobby. You will notice that after a while you can do without testing it, as you will become keen to the changes that lead to bad things in the tank. Personally I only keep FOWLR, and I only test intially when the tank is cycling. After that, I only test when I see something is wrong. You will determine how often to test once you get more experience. Every other day is too much, test once a week or every ohter 2 weeks, until you get a feel for your tank, than you might get away from testing all together. After your tank matures, the nitrates are basically the only thing you have to worry about unless you have a reef tank, than calcium, magnicium and other are important aswell.
 

locoyo386

Well Known Member
Messages
879
Reaction score
2
Points
103
Experience
More than 10 years
jaysix79 said:
thank you for reading my post and for giving me some answer and advices

1: my sand bed is about an inch and half to two inches deep[ of sand in the main display tank 26g. i do have a sump box 15 gallon that house my heater, skimmer and later as i get more live rock i will transfer some of my rock from the main tank to my sump. i cannot add any sand in my sump box due to the sump design but i modified it enough to have bubble trap. room of live sand as filter and heater and pumps

2.) my tank is about 2 weeks old. i seed my tank with live sand and about ten lbs of live rocks that came from establish tank. everything seem fine. the water cleared up its crystal clear now than it was few days ago. my water parameters are 8.2 pH, nitrite reading of .2, SG of 1.023 alk .02 alk normal and my temp is around 78/79.

been doing alot of water test every day in the first 4 days and every other day after that due to no water parameter change. its always the same

i did not test for ammonia since i don't have the test for it since the red sea test kit i bought did not come with one. I'm working on getting one

few signs that i think my tank is cycle is because i see alot of little animal moving around the rocks, the sand like little shrimps i believe they are copepods and amphipods. it wasn't there b4 when i first set up the tank. also i see things growing on my rocks with tenticles

3. my tank is FOWLR. so what are the main test i should be paying attention to the most if my tank is cycled.

my guess is salinity of course, pH and nitrate (nitrate will tell me when to water change)

right now the test kit i have are

pH
temp
nitrite
alk
SG
i know i need ammonia... anything else??
Hi there,
My advice to you is as follows;
I think that the only thing you have to keep an eye for, when first cycling a tank is nitrites. Once your nitrites reach zero, than your tank has cycled. If you mix your own saltwate, than you can check your salinity, but if you buy and you have learn to trust the store you buy from, this becomes not that important. The only thing to watch for is your nitrates, once they reach the limit that you want to keep them at, than do a water change to reduce them by the amount you want. For example, the tanks I keep I only let them reach 160 ppm, than do a water change to reduce them to 80 ppm. This has been working for me for years, so I plan on dong indefinetly. It's up to you to decide what level of nitrates might be bad for your tank. Some people say they are not that toxic to fish, but can lead to algae rpoblems, thus you have to figure out were you want to set that limit at. I hardly ever test for anything other than nitrates, maybe once every 3 months or sometimes even way longer.
 

locoyo386

Well Known Member
Messages
879
Reaction score
2
Points
103
Experience
More than 10 years
As far as maintenance;
It depends on how your tank is doing.
1.) Keep and eye for cyanobacteria and algae.
2.) Keep an eye on your mechanichal filtration maybe once a week and see if it does need changing. It depends on what you hae for mechanichal filtration.
3.) Way after your tank has mature, there will be some type of coraline algae growth on the galss. I usually only scrape the one on the front panel and let it grow on the sides and the back.
4.) In a FOWLR, the water changes depends on the nitrates, it is recomended to change at least 10% every week. Like mentioned before I do it when the nitrates reach 160 pp, that has been working for me so far.
5.) If you have a hang on the back mechanichal filter, like I do, I would recommend to fully clean it at least once a month. If you find that it does not get that dirty, than you are doing a great job in the filtration department.
6.) In that small tank, check your evaporation once a week and top off. If it's less than two gallons you can even go every two weeks. I would still recommend to topff every week though. When toping off do it before you do a water change. For example I top off on fridays and do my water change on saturday.
 
  • Thread starter

jaysix79

Valued Member
Messages
70
Reaction score
0
Points
91
Experience
Just started
thanks locoy ... now i have an idea how often and what main things to look for.. you pretty answered all my question thanks once again
 

locoyo386

Well Known Member
Messages
879
Reaction score
2
Points
103
Experience
More than 10 years
Your welcome, glad I can be of some help.
 
Toggle Sidebar

New Threads

Similar Threads

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media





Top Bottom