Marine convert

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Marine convert

Post  noddy89 on 16th August 2013, 10:08 am

G'day all. Great to see a local feeding forum. Stumbled across this site looking for info on setting up. I have a 2ft with a sacrificial chromis, lawnmower blenny, skimmer, canister filter full of live rock, fine coral bed, phos pouch and noodles. 1 1500lph wavemaker and a power head, 150w heater set @25. 2x t5 ho fluros 1 white 1 actinic. Just waiting for amonia to spike. How long as a general guide for the amonia to spike?

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Re: Marine convert

Post  liquidg on 16th August 2013, 2:27 pm

The beginning of your nitrogen cycle, if you want it to occur properly you should not have your skimmer on or it will remove the organic matter that should be come ammonia.
It is best switched on once your aquarium has cycled to test with abundant nitrate remaining.
Also water changes will slow the cycle, these are best done once you have nitrate more then anything else in a test.
The chromis and blenny are not bad for starters; they can usually withstand the cycle and possibly remain as good tank additions later.

To have an ammonia spike, it usually happens in week one to week two and it depends on how much dead tissue is on your live rock or the amount of dead tissue you have added to inspire the nitrite cycles first part, being an ammonia spike!
If you believe that you want more of an ammonia spike hang a small hand full in a bag of marinara mix from the supermarket in the water somewhere.
In order to have ammonia you need left over food, waste or something dead, all these equate to dead tissue.

If you use natural sea water with out it remaining in storage for more then a day, it will have naturally occurring bacteria as will the live rock and either will provide bacteria to get an bacterium developing for an ammonia spike to some degree.
If your live rock has very little life on and in it or it has been in an aquarium for some time then it may not inspire much ammonia at all, this can then be classed as cured live rock.

You typed you have live rock in a canister filter?
I hope you mean base rock is in the canister!
If you get nitrate or phosphate to any degree in a test, your ammonia gas already spiked at a small degree or very quickly, either are common.

I have on many occasions had ammonia spike and fall in one day to two days.

Do you have a chiller yet?

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Re: Marine convert

Post  noddy89 on 16th August 2013, 2:46 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Ill take the crushed live rock and add base rock rubble to the filter. I don't have a chiller as the brick townhouse helps the tank remain at a nice 24-26 deg C. Any higher the aircon will be turned on. I paid a premium for the live rock so if guess it has been cured and theres coraline? algea growing so it may of been In the prev. tank for a while. It's been 15 days, testing every morning and afternoon for nitrite and amonia and no spike. Yet nitrate levels remain @ 0. (API tests aren't the most reliable?) is it possible the tank doesn't need cycling or should I force a cycle with the marinara so it's better in the long run

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Re: Marine convert

Post  noddy89 on 16th August 2013, 2:47 pm

Skimmer is off too and I used RO water

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Re: Marine convert

Post  liquidg on 17th August 2013, 2:40 am

Do you mean RO as for top up or did you make your own saltwater?
Yes API are only indicators and not reliable for precise testing.
With the aquariums cycle you can either inspire a strong cycle as in add a little dead tissue and possibly kill some life as the ammonia will affect PH or wait and feed and put up with a slow cycle, its up to you.

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Re: Marine convert

Post  noddy89 on 17th August 2013, 12:54 pm

What brand testing equipment do you reccomend? I was talking to a fish store worker (southport- unique aquariums- who 'has been doing marine for 18 years' and she said don't install a sump as there will be too much variations and fluctuations. My plan was to have a sump with live rock and skimmer and a pre filter consisting of that white filter padding-changed every second day or every day depending on no2,3,4 levels. Wouldn't the extra volume and bio/mechanical filtration help to minimize fluctuations? Liquidg you seem very knowledgeable as Ive read a lot of your posts. What's your opinion for a 2ft tank in terms on a sump. i do plan on adding one or two more fish than I should Smile. Once set up I plan on having- 2 perc. clowns, 1 hamer coral, 1 lawnmower blenny, get rid of the chromis and add a striped cleaner wrass.

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Re: Marine convert

Post  noddy89 on 17th August 2013, 12:55 pm

And I use RO water (no salt) to top up and mix my own saltwater when I do water changes

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Re: Marine convert

Post  liquidg on 17th August 2013, 4:06 pm

Salifert test gear is the best mate and they say hanna checker is best for phos but its not really needed to be that exact.
The advice from that aquarium shop is flawed; a sump of a reasonable design will give you so much more towards better quality water and more precise control over the water as well.
You are correct as to the potential fluctuations with adding a sump and the shop assistant is wrong!

With live rock, it will most likely have been exposed to light and may have substantial photosynthetic life on it.
This means it is not suitable for areas where there is no light, unless of course you are fine with the life on this live rock dieing.
Once this life has died and the living tissue has dissolved itís the same as base rock any way so itís up to you.

With fish stocks, you can add as many fish as you like; there are only three things to consider with their numbers.
Will the ones you choose get on with each other, thatís important, as stress response is the main killer of marine fish?
Also are ones you want suited to the way you will keep your aquarium?

The best ways you can keep greater numbers then recommended with fish stocks is to make sure your bio surface area is large and clean enough to account for the fishes waste all the way to nitrogen quickly and you use a product that will adequately remove adverse amounts of phosphates quickly as well!

If you keep hammer coral, it will benefit your aquarium to run a little activated carbon for a few months until toxin stocks with in are reduced or at least some algae in the sump.
Hammers tend to excrete toxins if annoyed or stressed in the early days.

Using RO to top up is good and making you own salt water with reasonable reef salt once your aquarium is matured is the way to go if you can afford it, that way is better for corals over all!
It is best if you started your cycle with at least some natural seawater!

If you want a good cycle you do water changes once ammonia has peaked and dropped away and the same with nitrites, not before unless you are okay with a slow cycle to maturity and that may take months.

The life you are hoping to have sounds spot on for that sized aquarium and sump combo and those species shouldnít affect each other.
Just remember a pair of anything can at times become nasty as they may set up shop and defend their area, most likely in the hammer.
Its not a given that a pair will become aggressive, its just more possible then with a single of any species.

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