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coral beauty has a erosion on one side of his/her body
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art_of_war
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Joined: 17 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)14:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

sirreal63 wrote:
One thing is for certain...fish do die and most of the time we never know why.

Out of curiosity what brand of test kits are you using? I have a few different ones, one in particular reads my nitrates at 20 and the other two kits read them as undetectible.


You know...that's funny you should ask. For a little while, I was starting to question my ability to test. That's not all either. My hydrometer was yielding conflicting results as well. I'm using this test kit: "Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Liquid Master Test Kit" and I did in fact have conflicting test results with a LFS. I had a very similar problem that you had. My results for nitrates were like yours after two weeks: 20 or maybe even more. The LFS where I had to bring a sample in for them to test said it was below detection level. I EVEN WATCHED HIM PERFORM THE TEST!

So...to this day, there are a few possible conclusions to my dilema:

1. My test kit has a "factor of safety" range which is understandable for Nitrates and maybe Nitrites and Ammonia? But still, it raises a very big red flag! Safety factors are not acceptable if part of the testing includes pH since we all know that too high and too low are both not good.

2. I may be performing the tests wrong. But how is that possible? The instructions that come with it make it idiot proof.

3. Maybe the test kits are wrong? If that's the case, I would have many more dead fish than just a coral beauty.

4. Perhaps, the LFS is doing it wrong? That would destroy their integrity if that were true.

Whatever the reason is, we must trust our abilities in this hobby otherwise, we have no business here.

I also noticed that some of those color matchings are so difficult to distinguish that the colorblind would find frustration in this hobbie. But seriously, I'm confident in my test results. I've had a few small mushroom corals that appear to be doing very well; so this test kit of mine appears to be accurate.
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Location: Meadowlakes, TX

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)15:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

I intentionally left out the brand that gives me erroneous reading...guess what itis..Aquarium Pharm. I am also beginning to question if your ammonia test from them is also inaccurate. I switched to Salifert and check them with a SeaChem and I get consistant results with them, I don't use Aquarium Pharm anymore. Salifert only from now on, it is a little more money but it is correct.

My concern with the Coral Beauty is still issues from being in the tank before acceptible levels of ammonia were established. Ammonia weakens fish and it is possible that a small abrasion wasn't allowed to properly heal because of the weakened condition, of course this is pure conjecture but very plausible.
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wittd
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Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Location: Lexington, KY

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)18:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had the same issue with Aquarium Pharm test kit, but only the Nitrate. The Ammonia and Nitrite have been dead on with all other kits I have compared it to. I do still use the kit and will until it's gone, but after many "test" tests I know that approximately 20ppm nitrate is actually undetectable on all other kits. I do have a backup kit, but I'm way to anal about testing and do it way to often, so I didn't want to waste and almost good kit.

I however wouldn't under any circumstances recommend that anyone purchase this kit.
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art_of_war
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Joined: 17 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.11.22(Wed)9:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

wit,

You're probably right. It's weird. What worries me is that my ammonias and nitrites have been nil forever (EVEN WITH THE ADDITION OF THE FISH). However, I have taken to cleaning the substrate a little bit more often so that leaves little time for waste material to build up. The live rock has never looked so colourful since the addition of the yellow mimic. Amazing. I say this because I had originally wanted a typical yellow tang but I was forwarned about its aggressiveness towards other tang species.

I'm actually worried about the test results especially considering that I'm not about to discard the whole kit (given how much there is still) but if I have a bunch of dead fish to contend with, I'm going to lose it pretty fast!

What's worse...this is not the right direction for me if all my fish die. Because if that happens, I don't foresee anymore bigger (more expensive) soft corals in my future; to say nothing about hard corals.

Hey...can you guys give me some recommendations for high phosphates? (besides water changes; because it doesn't seem right; even 20% changes). My tank gets green pretty fast but I keep believing that if I get ahead of the algae bloom; the problem will desist. Is there a safe way around this? It's just green slime and a little bit of that hairy stuff.
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wittd
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Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Location: Lexington, KY

PostPosted: 2006.11.22(Wed)20:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deffinately get a different brand of test kit, even if it's just individual ammonia and nitrate. These will let you compare results and tell the biggest story of your tanks health. I had trouble with the Phosphate, but water change was all I could do with it. Obviously a refugium is a big help and now that I have mine going, I hope not to have that problem anymore.
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Location: Meadowlakes, TX

PostPosted: 2006.11.22(Wed)21:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

For phosphate control I use phosban in a cannister filter and it works. You can test the water for phosphates and it may show zero and still you have algae...how? Algae is consuming the phosphate and that is what is fueling the growth, your test shows no phosphate because the algae has consumed it...you still have a phosphate problem and an algae problem. The two are related. Removing the phosphate that doesn't register is one way of controling the algae. Smile This also works for nitrates but not as effeciently, there are nitrate absorbing resins but they do not do as good as the phosban does with the phosphates. I run both in my cannister filter as well as carbon.
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art_of_war
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Joined: 17 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.11.25(Sat)17:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys,

You've all been a lot of help.
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