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Haelstrom

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So I've been told that the API test kit is less than accurate. Here are my latest test results. Should I be worried at all about the ammonia? Looks like a .25 or .5. The two are so close its hard to tell. I need to run this test on RODI water but keep forgetting. Nitrates are at 20ppm, is this good, bad or normal? The phosphate test was good with a 0 reading. The second test (second pic. in the tray. the test on the right) was just tap water. My salinity is 1.025. I am having a temp issue. It has usually been fluctuating between 78 at night and 80 during the day. Today it jumped to 82. Cooler weather outside has the AC not running as much. Not sure what I'm going to do here.

 

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So I've been told that the API test kit is less than accurate.
Not all of them. Ammonia and pH are OK. Nitrate is fine, but it isn't a low range test. I don't even bother testing nitrite.

 

Here are my latest test results. Should I be worried at all about the ammonia? Looks like a .25 or .5.
Any ammonia is bad for livestock. Is this a brand new tank? Do you have any livestock?

 

Nitrates are at 20ppm, is this good, bad or normal?
Here are the recommended Reef Aquarium Water Parameters.

 

The phosphate test was good with a 0 reading.
That's one of the API tests that I feel is poor.

 

The second test (second pic. in the tray. the test on the right) was just tap water.
Are you using tap water to make your saltwater and to top off evaporated water?

 

I am having a temp issue. It has usually been fluctuating between 78 at night and 80 during the day. Today it jumped to 82.
Then I'd set the heater to 82. That should keep it pretty steady there.
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Not all of them. Ammonia and pH are OK. Nitrate is fine, but it isn't a low range test. I don't even bother testing nitrite.

It never shows anything.

 

Any ammonia is bad for livestock. Is this a brand new tank? Do you have any livestock?

CUC (snails only) and a Skunk cleaner shrimp. Tank is about 2 months old. 10lbs live rock and 20lbs base rock. 30lbs live sand.

 

Here are the recommended Reef Aquarium Water Parameters.

Thanks. Will check it out.

 

That's one of the API tests that I feel is poor.

Phosphate test is actually a Seachem brand.

 

Are you using tap water to make your saltwater and to top off evaporated water?

No. I have a RO/DI system. TDS meter shows 0.

 

Then I'd set the heater to 82. That should keep it pretty steady there.

Is 82 not too warm? Will I have issues with algae?

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It never shows anything.
You mean nitrite? Yeah, IMO, it's a waste to test for it. You should be concerned about ammonia (which is much more toxic, and probably the best indicator of bioload problems).

 

The ammonia reading is a little troubling. Did you have a recent death? I'm assuming that it has been undetectable and just recently spiked. Has anything changed recently?

 

CUC (snails only) and a Skunk cleaner shrimp. Tank is about 2 months old. 10lbs live rock and 20lbs base rock. 30lbs live sand.
Oh, then I might consider using something like Seachem Prime to help them.

 

Phosphate test is actually a Seachem brand.
Can you distinguish between 0.00 and 0.04? Above 0.03 can start to cause problems.

 

Is 82 not too warm? Will I have issues with algae?
80 might be ideal, but 82 is perfectly fine. Algae has more to do with nitrate and phosphate levels. Hense, the need for good test kits.
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You mean nitrite? Yeah, IMO, it's a waste to test for it. You should be concerned about ammonia (which is much more toxic, and probably the best indicator of bioload problems).
Yeah. I meant nitrite.

 

The ammonia reading is a little troubling. Did you have a recent death? I'm assuming that it has been undetectable and just recently spiked. Has anything changed recently?
Nothing has died that i know of. The tank cycled for 7 weeks before I put anything in it other than the rocks and sand. The ammonia has always shown that high. It was .25 - .5 for the cycle. It's never gone lower than it is now. I've wondered if the test was just wrong. I need to do the test on some RODI water.

 

Oh, then I might consider using something like Seachem Prime to help them.
I assume this is a instant cycle product. May have pick some up just to have on hand.

 

Can you distinguish between 0.00 and 0.04? Above 0.03 can start to cause problems.
Not really. It's way too close tell the difference.

 

80 might be ideal, but 82 is perfectly fine. Algae has more to do with nitrate and phosphate levels. Hense, the need for good test kits.
Will do.

 

 

I'm currently running Purigen & Chemi-pure

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The ammonia has always shown that high. It was .25 - .5 for the cycle. It's never gone lower than it is now. I've wondered if the test was just wrong. I need to do the test on some RODI water.
You should not add livestock unless ammonia is undetectable. However, I'm also suspecting an inaccurate test kit. I'd consider taking a sample into a local fish store for them to test.

 

I assume this is a instant cycle product. May have pick some up just to have on hand.
Prime is a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. Bacteria populations should be able to adjust themselves. I don't think you need to use an instant cycle product.

 

Not really. It's way too close tell the difference.
That's why you need a good low range test kit. A surprising number of phosphate kits are virtually useless.
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You should not add livestock unless ammonia is undetectable. However, I'm also suspecting an inaccurate test kit. I'd consider taking a sample into a local fish store for them to test.
I did the test on some RODI water and it came back 0. Guess I have some source of ammonia. I was going to take some to LFS till I found out they use API tests. It doesn't seem that Hanna has a ammonia test for salt water. Any other suggested products?

 

Prime is a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. Bacteria populations should be able to adjust themselves. I don't think you need to use an instant cycle product.
Got it. Will pick some up.

 

That's why you need a good low range test kit. A surprising number of phosphate kits are virtually useless.
This is what I'm hearing. Is the Hanna phosphate tester the best option? Hate to spend $50 on a test kit but its better than dead fish and coral that cost a lot more.

 

 

 

Took a pic of the tank.

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I did the test on some RODI water and it came back 0. Guess I have some source of ammonia. I was going to take some to LFS till I found out they use API tests. It doesn't seem that Hanna has a ammonia test for salt water. Any other suggested products?
The API ammonia kit you have should be fine. After the cycle establishes itself, you probably won't even use it again, until you have something go wrong.

 

I'd rather you let the cycle establish itself before adding Prime. I'm kind of torn between letting it go and adding Prime for your livestock. Ideally, you're LFS could hold them for you while your tank stabilizes.

 

This is what I'm hearing. Is the Hanna phosphate tester the best option? Hate to spend $50 on a test kit but its better than dead fish and coral that cost a lot more.
Certainly the easiest to read (digital), and it is a good low range kit. There are some other kits which aren't bad (that would maybe cost a little less).

 

Phosphate isn't that toxic, but it will cause lots of problems. Poor coral heath/growth/coloration, as well as algae problems.

 

Took a pic of the tank.
Looks good. :)
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Just to point out that myself as well as other members here have tested freshly mixed saltwater with the API ammonia test kit and have received the same color (.25) with freshly mixed saltwater as tank water. If your seeing .5 then there is a problem. Preform a water change, then test again.

 

After your tank stabilizes, shelf the API tests kits and get some Salifert calcium, alkalinity, and mag tests.

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Just to point out that myself as well as other members here have tested freshly mixed saltwater with the API ammonia test kit and have received the same color (.25) with freshly mixed saltwater as tank water. If your seeing .5 then there is a problem. Preform a water change, then test again.

 

After your tank stabilizes, shelf the API tests kits and get some Salifert calcium, alkalinity, and mag tests.

Its always registered around .25 and .5 (practically impossible to discern the two) but get 0 with RODI water. I tested it this past saturday before my water change and got the same reading and then again afterwards and received the same reading. I'm chalking it up to bad test. But I don't want to take any chances. So I shall do a water change tomorrow night and test my fresh salt water, tank water and tank water after water change. See if there is any difference. Then check out the Salifert test kits. I see no reason to be having any ammonia. The tank has been running for 2 months now. I let it cycle up till last friday when I added the CUC and then the skunk shrimp on saturday. I has 25lbs of base rock and 5lbs of live rock with live sand. I think I had said 10lbs of live but it was actually 5.

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I'm guessing you will be fine. I have an older (but not expired) Red Sea test to verify my results with (which reads 0). I tested freshly mixed salt water and tank water and put the two vials side by side. It was always an exact match which read .25 on my color chart. I see value in having a quality ammonia test but assuming your not having any problems such as deaths then after your cycle you will probably put those tests away and move on to the tests that I previously mentioned.

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