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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All -

How offen to you all check your water parameters? My tank is 3 years old (72G bowfront) and is pretty well established. For the first 18 months I checked my paramaters every week or so.

But, to be completely honest, i have not checked the nitrates, nitrites, PH, or salinity etc in over a year (well, salinity once about 6 months ago and it was still perfect). For the first 18 months everything stayed perfect so I just kind of stopped.

But, I do check KH and Calc about every 2 weeks becuase that did fluctate in my tank.

Am I just waiting for disaster to happen? Should I go back to testing everything once a week or two?
 

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Honestly I test my salinity on w/c day and that's about it. I know what goes into and out of my tank... I watch it and if the tank looks bad I break out the test kits. I'm not saying this is the right way but you can only look at normal test results so many weeks in a row before you question the need. If I was dosing I would check those levels though. That would be one big old snow globe if it precipitated :)
 

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Sounds good... i would however check you alk, cal and mag weekly as well as your salinity... speaking of which how are you testing your salinity?

A random nitrates test every couple months will tell you how your tank is doing as far as husbandry and the biofilter goes..
 

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It sounds like your not doing water changes if your not testing salinity. Salinity is the only thing I test for regularly. I am also not going to dose anything but if I were dosing anything I would most definatly be testing for it. In a sense, I guess I would be dosing salt with my water changes. There is no real way to add the correct amount of salt, if your measuring it out in a cup then you could be consistantly adding too much or too little as with weighing it on a scale.


I would say that at the minimum you should be continuously testing temp, spot testing salinity with a refractometer twice a week and before and after every water change and test for anything you dose before and after you dose it.

You can test for nitrates every couple of months if you know your not over feeding your tank and doing regular water changes. If the tank has no algae growing in it and your corals are not withering away your prolly good on NO3. If you test for NO3 and your over 10 you should try to modify your husbandry to drive it as low as you can then careful monitoring of NO3 would be nessesary to confirm progress then you could return to testing every couple months but enough about NO3.

Do you have a tank shot, is there any concerns about growth in the system or unexplained mortality?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I

t sounds like your not doing water changes if your not testing salinity. Salinity is the only thing I test for regularly. I am also not going to dose anything but if I were dosing anything I would most definatly be testing for it. In a sense, I guess I would be dosing salt with my water changes. There is no real way to add the correct amount of salt, if your measuring it out in a cup then you could be consistantly adding too much or too little as with weighing it on a scale.


I would say that at the minimum you should be continuously testing temp, spot testing salinity with a refractometer twice a week and before and after every water change and test for anything you dose before and after you dose it.

You can test for nitrates every couple of months if you know your not over feeding your tank and doing regular water changes. If the tank has no algae growing in it and your corals are not withering away your prolly good on NO3. If you test for NO3 and your over 10 you should try to modify your husbandry to drive it as low as you can then careful monitoring of NO3 would be nessesary to confirm progress then you could return to testing every couple months but enough about NO3.

Do you have a tank shot, is there any concerns about growth in the system or unexplained mortality?
Thanks for the advice! I have a refractometer and i'm doing water changes every 3 weeks (15 gallons on a 72g). For that first year and 1/2 i would test after every water change and it never got above 1.25 and was usually 1.24. So I just got lazy but I will start doing it again now.

I check the temp every day. I had it down to a pattern that I would dose with KH every two days to keep it at a 10. So, again, I figured that would keep working so I stopped testing after the first 18 months. I will go back to testing more now!

Alk is something i've never actually tested for. How does that effect the tank?

I don't get great growth on my corals but I think its because I only have the 4 blub T5HO's and plan on doubling that in a few months. Regarding unexplained mortality, the only issue I had was a toadstool that got sick and i kept giving him an iodine bath but he never made it.

Regarding alge, i have to clean my glass every two days (a few spots show up here in there). Is that normal? I had a small spot of hair agle that keeps coming back, but its not out of control. Think that my no3 might be too high?

Thanks again!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It sounds like your not doing water changes if your not testing salinity. Salinity is the only thing I test for regularly. I am also not going to dose anything but if I were dosing anything I would most definatly be testing for it. In a sense, I guess I would be dosing salt with my water changes. There is no real way to add the correct amount of salt, if your measuring it out in a cup then you could be consistantly adding too much or too little as with weighing it on a scale.


I would say that at the minimum you should be continuously testing temp, spot testing salinity with a refractometer twice a week and before and after every water change and test for anything you dose before and after you dose it.

You can test for nitrates every couple of months if you know your not over feeding your tank and doing regular water changes. If the tank has no algae growing in it and your corals are not withering away your prolly good on NO3. If you test for NO3 and your over 10 you should try to modify your husbandry to drive it as low as you can then careful monitoring of NO3 would be nessesary to confirm progress then you could return to testing every couple months but enough about NO3.

Do you have a tank shot, is there any concerns about growth in the system or unexplained mortality?
Oh yeah, here is my tank shot. :) You can see on the left middle coral where the hair alge has been for a few months. Its not growing. Any advice on that pretty please?

 

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I check my calcium and alkalinity about every two weeks. Salt levels i test with water changes and temperature I look at pretty much daily. I have not tested for ammonia or nitrite in FOREVER and i don't see a need if everything is doing well.
 

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For Mg, pH and KH I test, add as required, test again the next day and repeat if required (bi-monthly ish)... if I remember! Ca goes in in the form of kalk every day, I rarely test for it any more though. If the others are in check it seems to be a good indicator that everything is fine.
I'm not worried about nitrates/nitrites/phosphates, hair algae/cyano quickly alerts you to those!
I check the temperature every day when I get in from work.
Oh yeah and salinity every water change (bi-monthly)... but I guess that goes without saying!
 

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I have to amit I hardly check most things!I have a pinpoint Ph I check all the time and I use my eyes and my redox meter reading as my warning I need to do test(as long as my redox reading is OK and the fish and coral look fine)then I leave it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have to amit I hardly check most things!I have a pinpoint Ph I check all the time and I use my eyes and my redox meter reading as my warning I need to do test(as long as my redox reading is OK and the fish and coral look fine)then I leave it alone.
Whats a redox meter Loverotties? I guess I can google it too :)
 

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Alk is the same as KH. Its just the waters ability to buffer against acid build up and insuing drops in PH. If your PH is stable between 7.8 and/or 8.3 your good. I like to keep available organic (right Tom?) carbons in the water. If your reading DKH at around 10 its great.

I'm going to have to suggest that due to the lack of abundant growth of coraline algae on the back glass and that you have to wipe the glass every couple days may be an indication of PO4 present in your water collumn, over feeding, poor nutrient exportation and detrital build up are prolly the most likely culprits of this, depending upon what your reading for calcium. Its not a concern if your happy with everything in your tank. If you had no coraline growth (I seen you had some but not much for a 3 year old tank) then I would say you might want to do something about it. Most tanks will have some PO4 but not a measurable amount and nothing to be alarmed about.

Redox (ORP) is the measure of the water ability to clean its self. It can be a good indicator of weather or not all is well in your tank. When something dies or a build up of detritus is preasant it will show up on the meter as a drop on the meter. It can how ever lul one into a false sense of security because it doesn't measure many other things that can be detrimental as well.

I'm jealous of your tank. Mine is sitting on the floor of my garage while I wait for parts for my DT. Keep up the good work it looks great.
 

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I also hardly check anything. My pH is on the controller and has been stable for months. I check salinity about once a month, everything even less. I am waiting for my SPS to grow in so Im expecting to start seeing Ca, and Alk decline more and more. My Kalk and WC keep everything in check for now.
 

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Same here pretty much...I do check Ca/Alk/PH/Mg every once and a while but it hardly ever flucuates so it's not very often unless something looks off...I always check the SG on the new water for WC's, but not always the SG on the tanks...unless my ATO or skimmer goes crazy or something my SG is always very stable too.
 
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