Water readings

ReefinND

New member
Just did my water readings and they are as follows.

Nitrate 5-10
Ca 400
Mg 1570
Kh 6
Ammonia .2

I'm not quite sure where this ammonia popped up from, everyone is accounted for....

I'm also having trouble keeping my Alk up, I just got it up to 8 two days ago but now it's back down to 6.....

Going to get a water change done and see where things sit.


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ReefinND

New member
So quick update, I wasn't able to do a water change due to weather. We lost power for 12 hours Christmas day and my water lines all froze. The tank also cooled a fair amount during that time. As soon as it went off I quickly covered with a lot of blankets.

The wave maker and it's battery back up lasted about 4 hours. The temp went down to about 68. (I keep it at 78) Even with it getting all the way down to 40 ish in the house.

Once the power came on I plugged in two more spare heaters and it took almost another 12 hours to get it back up to 78. Everyone seems fine this morning. Everyone ate, so I think they were all ok. Luckily I just have hardy "starter" fish now.

Going to test again tonight, see if anything miraculously changed. I had more pressing issues, obviously, and haven't had a chance to really do much else with it than keep it and myself warm.

Hopefully my water thaws soon so I can get some ro water made, I only have about 5 gal left in my bin. Had to use most of it for cooking, etc.

Definitely not adding another thing until I get a generator, after that fiasco

Oh the joys of rural ND.

How old/established is your tank?
How pack is it with livestock? Fish/Coral?
The tank is a 90 and is almost 3 months old, there's two occ. clowns, one watchman goby, a toadstool, a birds nest, a polyp colony, and my clean up crew. (around 12 hermit crabs and 35 ish various snails.)
 

RobZilla04

Active member
The ammonia could come from a build up of fish poo, something died, or could have been festering in the substrate. Glad to hear that everything survived the power loss. 68 degrees and nothing lost, very lucky.

Understanding you have more pressing things to focus on, you may want to consider changing the filter media and doing a partial sand vacuum during your next water change.

As for the alk, check your brand of salt and compare to the chart in the link below for the typical mixing value of alk. If you get a chance you can test the new mix for alk prior to adding it to the tank for confirmation. Another possibility is the tests themselves (expired vs human error).

I'm not suggesting you're doing, or have done, anything wrong. I'm simply thinking of things I would be doing if I were in your situation. My tank survived 48 hours of power loss during hurricane Matthew. Then again we didn't have temps in the 40's in FL either.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

http://www.thatpetplace.com/salt-mix-guide
 
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ReefinND

New member
The ammonia could come from a build up of fish poo, something died, or could have been festering in the substrate. Glad to hear that everything survived the power loss. 68 degrees and nothing lost, very lucky. It's possible that a couple snails could be dead under the rocks, I know I have caught a glimpse of one empty shell while the goby was moving stuff around.

Understanding you have more pressing things to focus on, you may want to consider changing the filter media and doing a partial sand vacuum during your next water change. I did just change the sump sock about a week ago, and put new carbon in the reactor. I haven't done a sand vacuum yet though, that could definitely be a cause.

As for the alk, check your brand of salt and compare to the chart in the link below for the typical mixing value of alk. If you get a chance you can test the new mix for alk prior to adding it to the tank for confirmation. Another possibility is the tests themselves (expired vs human error). I started the tank using instant ocean and have been doing water changes with instant ocean reef crystals ever since. I'll definitely give it a test when I can mix some up. My test kid is the red sea fish pharm
 

Ron Reefman

New member
Even a small generator for the tank would be a good idea. But given how cold it gets up there, and being rural, I'd be considering a good size generator and some kind of supplemental heating for the house! At the very least a good inverter to hook up to your car battery so you can run an air pump, maybe a water pump, and if you're lucky, a small heater?

I have the opposite situation here. In the summer it's between 90 and 93 EVERY day for nearly 6 months! With afternoon thunderstorms, power outages are sort of common, and on rare occasions, some last 3 to 5 hours. And we won't even get into the hurricane potential. So I have a generator to help with all kinds of issues, but mostly for the fish tanks (all 4). When the house A/C works the chillers have easy jobs. But lose the house A/C in the summer and it gets hot! So the generator has to run 2 chillers and some water pumps.

Good luck my friend.
 

ReefinND

New member
Even a small generator for the tank would be a good idea. But given how cold it gets up there, and being rural, I'd be considering a good size generator and some kind of supplemental heating for the house! At the very least a good inverter to hook up to your car battery so you can run an air pump, maybe a water pump, and if you're lucky, a small heater?

I have the opposite situation here. In the summer it's between 90 and 93 EVERY day for nearly 6 months! With afternoon thunderstorms, power outages are sort of common, and on rare occasions, some last 3 to 5 hours. And we won't even get into the hurricane potential. So I have a generator to help with all kinds of issues, but mostly for the fish tanks (all 4). When the house A/C works the chillers have easy jobs. But lose the house A/C in the summer and it gets hot! So the generator has to run 2 chillers and some water pumps.

Good luck my friend.
I think I'm going to just bite the bullet and get a decent one that will run the whole house because that was ridiculous lol.

I had an inverter that I tried but admittedly it was some junker I picked up at a garage sale and fried instantly.

We kind of get the worst of both worlds up here, power gets knocked out all the time in the summer too. We don't really have to deal with the heat so much except for maybe 2 weeks out of the year. Thankfully

In other news, the water is now unthawed so the RO factory is in full swing. Should be able to get a decent water change done tonight and finally see where things stand.
 

ReefinND

New member
So after my water change my readings came out to:
Nitrate 5
Phosphate 0
Kh 6
Mg 1080
Ca 380
Ammonia 0


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ReefinND

New member
Once I get the levels up, should I look into adding kalkwasser to my ATO to maintain them?

It just seems odd that my levels would drop so much when I really don't have a whole lot in my tank....or is that normal.
 

thegrun

Team RC
I suspect that once you get your parameters in line they will stay fairly stable with water changes until you add more stony corals or if you have a lot of coraline algae growing. Start with raising your magnesium, until you get it up close to 1350ppm it will be impossible to raise your alkalinity or calcium levels. Once you have your water chemistry balanced then you can determine if you need to dose kalkwasser, but I think that regular water changes will suffice for now.
 

ReefinND

New member
I suspect that once you get your parameters in line they will stay fairly stable with water changes until you add more stony corals or if you have a lot of coraline algae growing. Start with raising your magnesium, until you get it up close to 1350ppm it will be impossible to raise your alkalinity or calcium levels. Once you have your water chemistry balanced then you can determine if you need to dose kalkwasser, but I think that regular water changes will suffice for now.
Alright, I'll start adding some Mg right away. I did do some last night, I don't remember how much right off the top of my head though.
 

thegrun

Team RC
Only raise your magnesium levels 100pm per day, although it takes a lot of magnesium solution to raise your level 100ppm.
 

ReefinND

New member
So confused on what is happening.

Did my routine testing and my ammonia is .8?! After being 0 on Sunday! I did a 15 gal water change (all I had on hand) and it didn't change anything. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to do another when I have more ro water.

Both of my clowns are alive, the corals look fine. I see a lot of snails and hermits, no viable empty shells....there's nothing else in the tank. Here's what my results were.

Ammonia .8
Nitrate 5
Kh 6
Mg 1380 ( I've been doing this test wrong, after doing it the right way twice tonight, I consistently got 1380)

What could be causing this ammonia??


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RobZilla04

Active member
So confused on what is happening.

Did my routine testing and my ammonia is .8?! After being 0 on Sunday! I did a 15 gal water change (all I had on hand) and it didn't change anything. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to do another when I have more ro water.

Both of my clowns are alive, the corals look fine. I see a lot of snails and hermits, no viable empty shells....there's nothing else in the tank. Here's what my results were.

Ammonia .8
Nitrate 5
Kh 6
Mg 1380 ( I've been doing this test wrong, after doing it the right way twice tonight, I consistently got 1380)

What could be causing this ammonia??


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Bad/expired test kit possibly...
 

ReefinND

New member
I think you're right, just did another test this morning and it says 0.

Any recommendations on a good kit and vendor? I bought my last one off amazon, mistake #1.

Red Sea pro from marine depot or BRS?


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