Test levels?


New member
Ok my tank is cycled and I have add a few pieces for coral and a couple fish, everything is doing great. I have had the LFS test my water but I got a test kit so Im going to start myself. What should I keep all of my levels at? Calcium, PH, KH, Amonia, Temp, Salinity, Nitrites and rates and Phosphates? My tank is 40gal, I have a bakpak about 50 pounds of live rock and 2X65 PCs that I run the blue lights for 8hrs and then both for 6hrs a day. I am going to do like a 50/50 tank with softies only. Thanks for help!


New member
In general here are some numbers. Overall, though, remember stability is key.

Calcium - at LEAST 380 for a reef, or any corals, but generally higher. you shouldn't need to "dose" your tank - you should be able to maintain a good calcium level with regular PWCs.
pH - 8.0 - 8.3
KH - between 8 & 12
ammonia & nitrIte - always at 0...both of these can be deadly to fish at any level.
nitrate - less then 20, and as close to 0 as you can manage.
salinity - normally for corals, people tend to keep it a tad bit higher, normally 1.024-1.026
phosp - 0. phosphates arent necessarily "bad" for fish, but they will cause an algae bloom. sometimes though, even if you are having problems with algae, the algae is 'absorbing' it at rates faster than you can test, so you may almost get a 'false positive' of 0.

Remember, again, all of these are general numbers! Even if your salinity is a little bit lower, and your pH is higher - stability is best.