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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I am new to the site and to the hobby of Reef Aquariums. I currently am in the process of setting up a nano Reef of 110 Liters. I have set up the water SG and the rest of the levels are good. I added some Live Rock yesterday (approx 9kg) and have been testing the levels daily. Am I doing the right thing ? Is it necessary to test every day ?

I Have also been adding Lysophoss to the water every morning to help things along. How do I know when the tank is ready to add some live coral and fish ?

Sorry for the newbie questions but any feedback would be really appreciated.
 

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no you are not ready yet. a tank should be set up for a least a month before adding fish and corals i would say should be last. you dont nee to be checking water daily i would once every week should do it at this stange. you will get a algae out break,the nitrates will go throught the roof and pritty much every test lol this is called a cycle. what test kit are you useing? what lights do you have? what filteration are you using? what teamp do you have the tank? once you have started to get your cycle once you have got it stable then i would add a clean up crew. you need to sit down and decide what fish you want in your tank. a 110liter tank you are looking at about 4 fish at no bigger then 4inches when fully grown. you will here alot of people say get a damsel fish to speed up the cycle but its cruel to use a fish to do this as it will suffer with the nitrates and ammino spike, also damels claim it as there space and become aggersive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply and the advice. I have the tank at 25.0 to 25.8 degrees C. Not sure why it fluctuates that degree ? I have standard lights that came with the Aquarium but will be upgrading the tubes before I put the fish and corals in.

Should I be worried about the Ammonia at this stage ? It has been zero until today when I tested and it was closer to 0.25 ppm. I expected my levels to go through the roof while I am getting the bacteria sorted out but am at risk of killing the live rock?

I am using the API Saltwater Master Test Kit + I have the API Calcium and KH test kits as well. At this stage I am using an internal filter with the standard sponge like medium in it. I am waiting for my skimmer to come into the shop so I can install that.

I was going to do a bit of a water change but thought I would ask whether this is necessary at this stage ? If it isnt at, when do you suggest I do it ?

Another question I have is. Should I wait until my readings go back down before adding the last few small pieces of rock ?

I am going to test the Ammonia and the Nitrate, Nitrite levels before I go to bed tonight to see what it is doing and I will post my results on here tomorrow.

Thanks again for the advice I really appreciate the help.
 

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ok so sounds like you are cycling. yes you need to do a water change. just 10-15% everyweek. once you have a reading of zeros for around 2-3 weeks i would add a clean up crew.

only add 1 max 2 fish at a time giving your filters time to catch up with the new bio load.and leave it for 2 weeks before adding more. if you can afford a quratine tank i would get one as you should put anything you buy in there first before your main tank for about 2 weeks, so you dont infect your main tank with bad things.

your filterration is sadly not enugh. i have a 160 litre tank and on mine a ran a skimmer, enternal fluva fiter 305 with carbon bags, 4 filters pads, 2 phosphate pads, and crushed live coral, i had a air stone to help put oxygen in the water (kept it off the sand bed because of nitrates being released) if you have a sand bed you need to make sure you clean it properly. (there are videos on ebay showing how).

lights you will need at least 2 white t5 tubes, but if you are having corals i would go straight for the leds as in the long run this will save you money. also when you do buy corals you will need to use a coral dip to kill any bugs on them. things like zoa spiders, nudibranch,etc....

your heat will go up and down because the lights give off heat.

i would also invest in a wave maker to help keep water moving in the tank.

Ammonia will kill just like nitrates these are your main battle with any tank. the more bio load you have the more ammonia and nitrates you will get. if you can invest in a sump this would also help but i never had one in mine, but they are good.

for a reef tank you want to keep your salt level at about 1.024.also you can add more rock i would do it now as everytime you add somthing new, your tank will mini cycle untill your filters catch up.

this may sound like alot but dont worrie to keep a marine tank you need to go slow. it will cost money but after awhile it will calm down. if you rush the set up you will be pooring your money into a hole.

hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again for this info. It is really helpful. What level (ppm) should I start to worry at while I am cycling the live rock through ? From your info, am I right in saying that I should get the last few pieces of rock now and then monitor the Ammonia and complete the water changes as required ?

By the way, I did the tests

pH Is 8.2
Nitrate and Nitrite is Nil
Ammonia is between 0.25 - 0.5
Calcium is perfect
 

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Ammino is way too high. Should Di up to 50% water Change or lots of smaller ones everyday until that reads zero. You also need to check for iodine,magnesium,copper,iron phosphate. Yes I would add all the Rock you want now. If you add fish now with those readings they would die lol.
 

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Welcome to TRT.

You need to read about the nitrogen cycle to better understand what is happening in your tank and what steps you should take.
Start by reading this http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f...xplained-160389.html?highlight=nitrogen+cycle
It is long, but the first part of it discusses what is happening in your tank right now.

When the cycle starts ammonia will start to rise, then the nitrofying bacteria will convert it to nitrites. Finally the nitrites are converted to nitrates. Ammonia and nitrites are what is dangerous to fish and should be kept at zero. Nitrates are not tolerated well by corals but fish can handle levels a little higher. Your goal should be 0 for all three, but nitrates of below 5 shouldn't kill fish and some people have levels much higher than 5 and still have no livestock losses.

When your tank is cycling you will see a slight ammonia spike. You don't have any fish yet so you should be able to just do your weekly water changes. Rule of thumb is that when ammonia and nitrites both return to zero the cycle is nearing completion and a small clean up crew can be added.

IMO, if you aren't adding supplements you should be fine just testing for pH, salinity, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and phosphates for a while. Spend your money on a refractometer instead of iodine, copper and iron tests. You should test for anything you are adding as a supplement. The easiest thing to do is use a good salt mix and do 10 to 15% water changes weekly, siphoning your sand bed each time. That way you don't spend money on supplements and tests you may not even need. You would be well served to spend some time reading other posts on this site before making decisions on purchases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi again and thanks for the further advice. I have had a good look through the info you suggested and I feel like I understand a lot more of what is happening.

My question to you guys is, is there a level of Ammonia that is dangerous to the live rock ? I am going to get a secondary water staorage unit tonight so that I can store new water and keep it at the appropriate temperature ready for the water changes.

I suppose the reason for asking about the levels and the live rock is because I am trying to figure out whether I do a small water chage every day for a while or whether I can let it go and do a bigger change once or twice per week ?

Also, you mentioned that you would add the rest of the live rock now. I would presume that doing this would increase the Ammonia even further.

I am just afraid of killing my live rock...

Is this just being paranoid ??
 

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It sounds like you are just going through a normal cycle. Your ammonia is fine and should soon turn to nitrite and then finally to nitrate.

Don't worry about killing your LR just add the rest. Let the tank cycle for a month and then see where you are at. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice. I followed your tips and purchased a canister filter today and packed it with the same media as you mentioned in your post.

I do feel a lot better knowing that I am not destroying my live rock. Although my Ammonia is above zero it is not getting too bad. Hopefully after some time going through the new filter things should start to improve.

I have had a great time over the past few days watching all the new critters coming out of the live rock. We see new stuff every day. We are so excited that we now have about 5 different fans / feather things, heaps of fuzzy looking star fish, 5 small crabs all different, a nice muscle type thing that opens and snaps shut al the time, heaps of worms and tonight we saw some new worm looking things that are black with fury looking things all over them. I was surprised to see that the biggest one to emerge out of the rock is approx 20cm in length.

I can see a little bit of die off on the sand bed now including some tiny shrimp but mostly bit of the rock that floated off when I put them in the tank.

I also bought a new water storage unit with pump and heater which I have set up ready for a water change.

Should I do a water change tomorrow or should I let the tank cycle through the new canister filter for a few days ?

Feel free to let me know of anything else I should do to help my tank along.

Thanks again to everyone for their advice, the forum is truly an awesome place to get some great information.
 

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Welcome to TRT!!

:wavey:

make sure you clean the canister filter at least once a week. every day would be better. if not then it will become a trap for detritus and foster the growth of the bacteria that will increase the nitrate levels in your system.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi again everybody,

Well today I felt like pulling my hair out. After installing all the new goodies and enjoying all the new critter coming out and saying hello, I decided to do a 25% water change to help drop the ammonia a bit. With some nice water all mixed up at the perfect temperature I cleaned out a lot of the crap off the bottom sand bed and replaced the water. Temperature only fluctuated .1 of a degree through the whole process so I was happy with that.

After testing the tank again tonight I can believe my Ammonia is still going up. It is now around 4 ppm !!! I am aware that it will take time for the good bacteria to start doing its job but I feel that the way I am going everything on the rock will die and my wife will divorce me due to the smell of the tank. (Now I know that the critters weren't coming to say hello they were pleading to be let out of their Ammonia Dungeon).

The Aquarium shop told me to hang in there and let the bacteria grow and start doing its job.

I was thinking about doing a 50 % water change tomorrow night. Will this help ? Does anyone have any other advice ?? My current test levels are below ...

Nitrate Nil ppm
Nitrite Nil ppm
Ammonia 4 ppm
pH 8.2
Calcium still perfect
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey again, I have done a 75 % water change and have left the tank to keeo doing its thing. The water seems to be getting clearer so hopefully the levels will start settling down a bit over the next week or so.

Should I do another water change ? If so when ?

Also can you guys recommend some good additions by way of an initial clean up crew for me to purchase when the tank is ready?

Cheers
 
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