Struggling

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Hi all

Made a couple of post recently in coral section but feel this is a bit more general as I don't really know what to do at this point.

Tank is 13g, external cannister with various media, latest maxspect light spent a bit on it, pump.

Posatives first I have what appears to be a very healthy clownfish and I've had him for a couple of months. Water seems to be fairly stable, ammonia is never more than 0.2 nitrite nigh on zero (get a minute bit on test every now and then) ph 8.2.

I've had 2 lots of CUC from 2 different sources, first lot were poor and looked dead on arrival but I introduced anyway and 1 snail andn1 crab survived. Second lot nothing survived despite taking time acclimatising and introducing tank water bit by bit.

Corals nothing has survived made a couple of mistakes but after advice here went for a gsp and pulsing xenia, the xenia went after 2 days the gsp is in one picture and done nothing, I've moved the flow closer to it hoping that would add something but nothing, its been over a week now.

Tabk has a fair amount of algea, cleaned glass today but left it on gravel, will water change and wan tomorrow but wanted to post before.

Where am I going wrong, should I be doing more water tests, am I missing something.

Thanks

mightyhatter

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Reply #1

A few questions...

- has copper ever been used in the tank/ the equipment?
- which brand of test kits are you using?
- would definitely be worth testing for Nitrates
- what is the temp and salinity?

Dont be disheartened - most things can get sorted in time!

Carol

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Reply #2

Hi all

Made a couple of post recently in coral section but feel this is a bit more general as I don't really know what to do at this point.

Tank is 13g, external cannister with various media, latest maxspect light spent a bit on it, pump.

Posatives first I have what appears to be a very healthy clownfish and I've had him for a couple of months. Water seems to be fairly stable, ammonia is never more than 0.2 nitrite nigh on zero (get a minute bit on test every now and then) ph 8.2.

I've had 2 lots of CUC from 2 different sources, first lot were poor and looked dead on arrival but I introduced anyway and 1 snail andn1 crab survived. Second lot nothing survived despite taking time acclimatising and introducing tank water bit by bit.

Corals nothing has survived made a couple of mistakes but after advice here went for a gsp and pulsing xenia, the xenia went after 2 days the gsp is in one picture and done nothing, I've moved the flow closer to it hoping that would add something but nothing, its been over a week now.

Tabk has a fair amount of algea, cleaned glass today but left it on gravel, will water change and wan tomorrow but wanted to post before.

Where am I going wrong, should I be doing more water tests, am I missing something.

Thanks

Hi sweetie, it must be heartbreaking to keep having this happen,may I ask you a few questions?

Do you use tap water ?
Why do you have ammonia? There should not be any if the tank has cycled
As mightyhatter says copper is the biggest killer of  inverts whilst lots of fish are less sensitive to it.
Obviously no protein  skimmer?

You seem to be doing it old school ,nothing wrong with that ,but it is harder with a cannister as your left with nitrate that only water changes will dilute.

How did you cycle it?

Think thats enough questions for now. But dont lose heart ,I am sure between us we can help you.

Stevem

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Reply #3

Thanks for the replies, I'll try and answer them best i can.

It was a tank I used for trop fish but having had them for years I didnt replace and eventually converted it (should perhaps have mentioned this) i took the old pump out which is why the cannister, replaced the heater, added a pump. So on the nitrates I've not had an issue with nitrate so havnt tested in a while ill do a test in the morning to check.

Copper i don't think so I can't imagine I've used anything that would get copper into the tank but is there a way to test?

The ammonia test im not convinced is a true posative I never seem to get the distinct yellow the red sea wants, maybe I try a different kit? But as nitrates are none existent I figured all was quite good.

Test kits red sea

Water 27/28 degrees 1.024/1.025 i buy from lfs.

I cycled using an additional into the tank with the clown I can't recall name of it but i guess tank is 3 months old now and fish is happy even knows when I'm about to feed and pops over to his feeding spot.

No skimmer, water changes once a week.

I've a fair bit of algea on the bottom isbthis an issue? Rocks are purple now were bright green for a while, read this is good and fairly natural.

Also read gsp are like the easiest coral and if this won't open I've no chance ☹


Carol

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Reply #4

Well as you know ammonia is the beginning of the nitrate cycle ,so logically if theres no nitrate after a time the ammonia should not be present. I dont rate Red Sea  except their better salt . I use Salifert ,but Ive been out the loop a while so there may be better by now?
You can get a Salifert kit to test for copper,if present Polyfilter will remove it.
You can certainly run without a skimmer ,donkeys years back I kept soft and LPS corals with an UGF ,no LR ,but SPS would not have been an option.

These values are considered perfect for NSW 
Calcium 420-450ppm
Magnesium 1500 ppm
Phosphate 0.003ppm
Nitrite and ammonia 0
Nitrate pref less than 10ppm
pH 8.4
Temp 82-84f

Gsp coral? Sorry Im being thick ,whats that?

Its a young system so you will get blooms of this and that. Lights?

Thanks:


Stevem

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Reply #5

Green star polyp.

I've ordered some test kits will copper, phosphate and calcium and go from there plus a new ammonia test all salifert

Thanks for your replies

mightyhatter

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Reply #6

Generally i would say RS test kits are pretty good these days (though there are a few spots where the colours are a pita to read!)

Copper test is definitely worth a check as might explain your CUC issues if it is in there

Nitrates will be interesting as in my experience cannisters and no skimmer tend to run high (not a major issue but needs a bit.more care for new introductions and some corals). I have also found LFS often run pretty high nitrates in their systems so the water you get from them might not be helping a huge amount in exporting the nutrients (if you find the level is high in the tank would also be worth testing some of the 'new' water too for reference)

The algae suggests nitrates and/ or phosphate could a little high (though if tank is under a year could also be the normal 'uglies')

GSP is generally pretty bomb proof but i have known it to sulk and sometimes take a while to open up in a new tank so if it is still a relatively new introduction stick with it! (If you need more gsp and xenia i have plenty which would be happy to send you some (would make room in the frag tank!))

ajm83

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Reply #7

Good advice from Carol and mightyhatter there, if those tests don't highlight the cause,  then you can get an ATI ICP test.  You send off a sample of your tank water and a sample of your RO (which you're using for top off i assume) and they will tell you what's in it down to the particle-per-billion level.

I found i had high copper and zinc on my last tank,  i think it was from a magnet leaking.

Thanks:


Carol

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Reply #8

Green star polyp.

I've ordered some test kits will copper, phosphate and calcium and go from there plus a new ammonia test all salifert

Thanks for your replies

Ahhh yeah silly me. You know they are known to sulk ,mine would shut up for a week at a time sometimes. If theresnot enough flow soft corals can do that .
Your going the right way with the test kits.

Stevem

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Reply #9

Tested today what I can test for until new kits arise and I think this will be as some expected maybe:

Amonia 0
Nitrate "God knows" I've attached a pic
Nitrite 0

My understanding of the cycle was clearly wrong when testing and finding little or no ammonia and no nitrite I assumed nitrate as its the middle part of a cycle would be ok *facepalm*

Other than water changes is there a better way to manage this.

Will still do the other tests over next few days but we have a starting point at least

mightyhatter

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Reply #10

Nitrogen cycle goes Ammonia>Nitrites>Nitrates


You want 0 Ammonia and Nitrites (variously harmful)
Nitrates is a far more debatable point! In years gone by the accepted target was as low as possible. These days I would say most people aim for 10-20 but I know many successful aquariums running much higher (even in 100s). Ultimately the more mature the tank and more gradual the rise the better things can handle Nitrates (they are also necessary for lots of corals as a food source and certainly things like zoas often do better in slightly 'dirty' water)


From the pic I would think you Nitrates are around the 20 mark (though may in reality be slightly higher as the algae will be consuming some which won't be showing). In itself not a big issue with this level though would probably be beneficial in lowering in the short-term while you get the tank settled down. (NB - will need to consider this in conjunction with the phosphate level once you know these levels too)


In terms of reducing the Nitrate levels the standard ways are through water changes (make sure the change water is decent) and skimmers. You can also dose something like NOPOX but these take time and without an auto-doser it can be a pita.   

Thanks:


Stevem

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Reply #11

Thank you

I'll test my water thats waiting to go in and if OK do a change and then continue with rest of the testing over next few days.

The offer of gsp wasnt lost either very much appreciated but I need to figure out whats going on first and maybe get some life in this one before adding anything new.

mightyhatter

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Reply #12

No worries! Have plenty in the tanks - just shout if/when you do want some

marine_newbie

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Reply #13

I suspect your phosphate may also be high. Should be okay for soft corals like GSP, but hard corals may be less forgiving (assuming you want to go for LPS or SPS later down the line).

Regular water changes are key, so would say you are on the right track, just need to be patient. In my first tank I never managed Xenia, although my GSP was fine. Now I have a bigger tank with sump and both grow like weed .

Does your canister filter also run floss? Replace/clean that regularly as I found a lot of stuff builds up in in, which keeps nitrates/phosphates high. But overall you are going in right direction. The bacteria in your live rock are still establishing and it just takes time. Personally I run my tank at 25.5 and I find 27/28 bit high, but don’t think that should be a problem.

Do you have a cover/lid? Tank water will evaporate fast at high temps. Make sure you top up your water with RO water as evaporation will only remove water and the salt will stay, potentially giving a rise to salinity if you don’t top up with RO water. This can be done manually or using an automated system.

Like [mention]mightyhatter [/mention] I have some (lighter version GSP, Xenia or green Kenya tree if you need some. Outside and overnight temp is a bit low so wouldn’t post as too risky, but happy to share if Herts isn’t too far.


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Carol

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Reply #14

Tested today what I can test for until new kits arise and I think this will be as some expected maybe:

Amonia 0
Nitrate "God knows" I've attached a pic
Nitrite 0

My understanding of the cycle was clearly wrong when testing and finding little or no ammonia and no nitrite I assumed nitrate as its the middle part of a cycle would be ok *facepalm*

Other than water changes is there a better way to manage this.

Will still do the other tests over next few days but we have a starting point at least

It goes ammonia...nitrite...nitrate....in your tank with no appreciable  amount of LR and no skimmer using a canister it can only be removed by dilution eg water changes.

Thanks:


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