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Advice for a saltwater newbie!
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Joined: 03 Sep 2008

PostPosted: 2011.09.24(Sat)9:47    Post subject: Advice for a saltwater newbie! Reply with quote


So I've had freshwater tanks for several years now and I wanted to attempt a saltwater tank for a change. I've done lots and lots of research before deciding to do this and I'm taking it very slow. So basically I have a 37 gallon tank (was previously freshwater) with about 26 pounds of live rock in it with crushed coral as my substrate. I have a hang on back aqua c remora skimmer and a new canister filter with two powerheads blowing directly on the live rock and of course a heater. I've premixed my saltwater and transferred it to the tank. I check my salinity everyday with a refractometer and its finally correct. Now I've had this tank running for about a week. I check my ammonia, nitrite & nitrate every 3-4 days and basically I'm a little confused b/c my ammonia seems to be pretty low on the charts and my nitrite and nitrate are wayyy high off the charts. I thought ammonia was supposed to be high first then nitrite? What am I doing wrong? Any advice would be much appreciated!
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2011.10.11(Tue)21:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is your ammonia source? Sometimes cured live rock is so clean it doesn't produce a lot of ammonia, and what little is produced is converted quickly with hardly any cycling process at all. Also keep in mind, some authors feel that running the skimmer is not a good idea during the cycling process because it will remove organics before they can be utilized by the Nitrosomonas for the break-in process. The high nitrates are a bit of a puzzle; considering the tank has only been set up for a week. First thing I would do is verify the water tests with another test kit or have your LFS run some tests for verification, just in case you have old reagents. Other than that, I would just have some patience and give it another 3 weeks or so.
Keepin' marines happy for 25 years
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Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Location: shelbyville tennessee

PostPosted: 2011.12.12(Mon)22:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought there wasnt supposed to be any ammonia at all or is that just when I get the fish?
mustangs and clownfish
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2011.12.13(Tue)4:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ammonia feeds the bacteria while the tank cycles.
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