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Abhijit

New Nano Reef

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seabass

Nitrate is a bit high.  I'd like to see that at 10 ppm or less.  I know that it's just one increment on the test result, but it would take a 50% water change to go from 20 ppm to 10 ppm.

 

Our nano tanks rarely support denitrifying bacteria, so you need an export mechanism. Water changes are a quick and reliable method of export.

 

Is Goofy eating well?  I would feed at least three times a day if possible.  I'm still  little worried about the suitability of keeping him; but if he's eating well, that's a big help.

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Abhijit
1 hour ago, seabass said:

Nitrate is a bit high.  I'd like to see that at 10 ppm or less.  I know that it's just one increment on the test result, but it would take a 50% water change to go from 20 ppm to 10 ppm.

 

Our nano tanks rarely support denitrifying bacteria, so you need an export mechanism. Water changes are a quick and reliable method of export.

 

Is Goofy eating well?  I would feed at least three times a day if possible.  I'm still  little worried about the suitability of keeping him; but if he's eating well, that's a big help.

@seabass Yep, he's eating well and is quite up and about.. ventures out for a while in the morning and evenings foraging for food. He's still not used to me putting my face near the tank, but if I'm a little away, he's fine.. 

 

50% WC every week should be okay? Or should I change more frequently? 25-30% twice a week? 

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seabass

In general, 15% each week is fairly typical.  Your test kit will help you dial in what you need to do.  I'd recommend 20% to 25% changes once a week until nitrate is below 10ppm.  Then you can start reducing the percentage until you can keep nitrate stable at your target level.

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Abhijit
2 hours ago, seabass said:

In general, 15% each week is fairly typical.  Your test kit will help you dial in what you need to do.  I'd recommend 20% to 25% changes once a week until nitrate is below 10ppm.  Then you can start reducing the percentage until you can keep nitrate stable at your target level.

@seabass Gotcha! My target level should be <10ppm? Or <5ppm? 

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seabass

At the current level (20 ppm) nutrients aren't toxic, but high levels can cause problems.  Nutrients are important to coral health, so they should be detectable.  Somewhere between 5 and 10 ppm nitrate should be good for LPS and soft coral.

 

Phosphate is another nutrient that we monitor.  However, the majority of hobby grade phosphate test kits are high range and/or hard to read.  For example, API's phosphate kit is a high range kit.  It goes up in 0.25 ppm increments, while the target for a new reef is usually between 0.01 and 0.03 ppm.  In this case, phosphate levels would be ten times higher than target before it registers on the kit.  I use a digital Hanna ULR Phosphorus Checker to check mine, but there are a few color chart kits that can also be used.  I'm not sure what you might have available to you.

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Abhijit
19 minutes ago, seabass said:

At the current level (20 ppm) nutrients aren't toxic, but high levels can cause problems.  Nutrients are important to coral health, so they should be detectable.  Somewhere between 5 and 10 ppm nitrate should be good for LPS and soft coral.

 

Phosphate is another nutrient that we monitor.  However, the majority of hobby grade phosphate test kits are high range and/or hard to read.  For example, API's phosphate kit is a high range kit.  It goes up in 0.25 ppm increments, while the target for a new reef is usually between 0.01 and 0.03 ppm.  In this case, phosphate levels would be ten times higher than target before it registers on the kit.  I use a digital Hanna ULR Phosphorus Checker to check mine, but there are a few color chart kits that can also be used.  I'm not sure what you might have available to you.

@seabass I was planning to use API Reef Master Test Kit to check all my parameters to ensure my tank is reef-friendly. Now, however I'm stumped as to what to do. Hanna ULR is not available to me.

 

I can run Seachem PhosBond in a seperate Media Reactor. Will that help?

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seabass

If using a phosphate removing media, you really need an adequate low range phosphate test kit; otherwise, you risk stripping all of the phosphate out of your tank which can negatively affect coral health (and people speculate might be the cause of pests like Dinos).  Also, that product contains some GFO, which will bind alkalinity and could cause problems if not replaced (and kept stable).  IMO, Seachem's Phosguard might be a better phosphate reducing media for you (but again, only with testing).

 

What other brands of kits do you have available to you?

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Abhijit
12 hours ago, seabass said:

If using a phosphate removing media, you really need an adequate low range phosphate test kit; otherwise, you risk stripping all of the phosphate out of your tank which can negatively affect coral health (and people speculate might be the cause of pests like Dinos).  Also, that product contains some GFO, which will bind alkalinity and could cause problems if not replaced (and kept stable).  IMO, Seachem's Phosguard might be a better phosphate reducing media for you (but again, only with testing).

 

What other brands of kits do you have available to you?

@seabass yep, I can get PhosGuard. The tests available to me are just Seachem and API. 

 

A colleague of mine is travelling to the US on business next month. I can ask her to get Hanna ULR if it's not too expensive. 

 

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seabass

Although Seachem's test is much better than API's phosphate kit, it is still very difficult to distinguish 0.00 and 0.05 ppm.  Again, it's a higher range kit:

color-chart-phosphate-2.jpg

Now some people will say that a phosphate kit isn't really necessary, but I feel that it can tell you a lot.  The trouble comes after you get an algae bloom or cyano.  Then the bloom starts to consume the available inorganic phosphate in the tank, making the tests read lower.  In these cases, testing may not be effective, even with a proper test kit.

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Abhijit
18 minutes ago, seabass said:

Although Seachem's test is much better than API's phosphate kit, it is still very difficult to distinguish 0.00 and 0.05 ppm.  Again, it's a higher range kit:

color-chart-phosphate-2.jpg

Now some people will say that a phosphate kit isn't really necessary, but I feel that it can tell you a lot.  The trouble comes after you get an algae bloom or cyano.  Then the bloom starts to consume the available inorganic phosphate in the tank, making the tests read lower.  In these cases, testing may not be effective, even with a proper test kit.

Gotcha! So what do I do then? Measure high range and hope for the best? 

 

Also, my LFS has this bubbletip anemone that's looking bloody brilliant. Very healthy. Do you recommend adding the bubbletip and a Percula now? Or should I wait longer? 

 

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seabass

Wait.  Wait at least a couple weeks for the clownfish, and I'd wait a few months for the anemone.

 

As far as phosphate testing, I probably wouldn't bother with either kit.  Algae growth will be a better indicator.

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Snow_Phoenix

Nems do better in stable, mature reefs. Your tank is still very young. So Seabass is right, just wait. 🙂 

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Abhijit
50 minutes ago, seabass said:

Wait.  Wait at least a couple weeks for the clownfish, and I'd wait a few months for the anemone.

 

As far as phosphate testing, I probably wouldn't bother with either kit.  Algae growth will be a better indicator.

@seabass Gotcha! Will add the clown mid-April and the anemone maybe June or July. 

 

When can I start adding corals? Atleast 5-6 months more? 

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seabass

For corals, I like to wait until an inevitable ugly stage has passed.  I find it's easier to deal with without corals and why risk losing them to a cyano bloom.  Diatoms, cyano, and green hair algae are all common things we fight early on.

 

Once you get your maintenance down, parameters stable, and nuisance blooms under control, you should be good to go for corals.

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Abhijit
2 hours ago, seabass said:

For corals, I like to wait until an inevitable ugly stage has passed.  I find it's easier to deal with without corals and why risk losing them to a cyano bloom.  Diatoms, cyano, and green hair algae are all common things we fight early on.

 

Once you get your maintenance down, parameters stable, and nuisance blooms under control, you should be good to go for corals.

@seabass I've got these two types of algae. One is brown in colour, the other one is green. The brown stuff is taking over my rocks. Attaching a few pictures. What is this stuff? 

 

My parameters are decent, so I'm glad atleast my fish are gonna be okay.

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20190322144503617.jpg

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20190322144516443.jpg

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20190322144530370.jpg

IMG_20190322_144646.jpg

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Snow_Phoenix
1 hour ago, Abhijit said:

@seabass I've got these two types of algae. One is brown in colour, the other one is green. The brown stuff is taking over my rocks. Attaching a few pictures. What is this stuff? 

 

My parameters are decent, so I'm glad atleast my fish are gonna be okay.

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20190322144503617.jpg

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20190322144516443.jpg

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20190322144530370.jpg

IMG_20190322_144646.jpg

You can baste the rocks using a pipette or turkey baster. And get more snails as CUC. I think those are just diatoms. Fairly normal in a new tank. How's the fish doing?

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Abhijit
18 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

You can baste the rocks using a pipette or turkey baster. And get more snails as CUC. I think those are just diatoms. Fairly normal in a new tank. How's the fish doing?

@Snow_Phoenix The fish is doing great! He's eating well, doesn't scramble for cover everytime he sees me. I'm not sure how to baste the rocks. I was thinking of taking like a toothbrush and scraping the algae off the rocks and washing it off with the tank water during my WC. 

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seabass

I agree with Snow_Phoenix, and a proper algae identification isn't absolutely necessary.

 

1 hour ago, Abhijit said:

My parameters are decent

Well... we know nitrate is a bit high, and who knows what phosphate numbers are.  So a nutrient problem is likely contributing.  Water changes and maintenance are critical.  And as Snow_Phoenix suggested, use a turkey baster and blow detritus off of the rocks, then siphon detritus off of the sand.

 

The other factor is your water supply.  You are using RO water.  While certainly better than tap water, it still can contain nutrients.  This is tough because water changes won't lower nutrients any lower than the level in the RO water.  When I first started, I was using RO water and had a nutrient problem.  I ended up testing it and it contained 40 ppm of nitrate.

 

Check your water, do some water changes (and maintenance), and add more snails.

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seabass

Yeah, you can use a toothbrush to remove algae from a rock.  Take it out of your tank, brush it off, rinse it in algae free saltwater (can be water you removed during a water change), then return.

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Abhijit

@seabass @Snow_Phoenix perfect! I'll scrub off my algae when I do my WC on Sunday. And I'll get atleast 3 more snails. 

 

One more thing I wanted to ask you guys is whether I can add a starfish to the tank. My son is behind my life to add one. My LFS has a few for sale. I'm not very sure what they're called, but they're these small silver ones

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Snow_Phoenix
22 minutes ago, Abhijit said:

@seabass @Snow_Phoenix perfect! I'll scrub off my algae when I do my WC on Sunday. And I'll get atleast 3 more snails. 

 

One more thing I wanted to ask you guys is whether I can add a starfish to the tank. My son is behind my life to add one. My LFS has a few for sale. I'm not very sure what they're called, but they're these small silver ones

Avoid starfish. Most of them - the pretty, beautiful ones you see in stores starve to death in nano tanks because a tank that size cannot provide enough/the correct food for them. If you want something that looks like a starfish, you *might try a brittle starfish. They usually eat meaty stuff like frozen squid and shrimp. But I personally think your tank might be too small for the normal brittles except the microbrittles. 

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Abhijit
40 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Avoid starfish. Most of them - the pretty, beautiful ones you see in stores starve to death in nano tanks because a tank that size cannot provide enough/the correct food for them. If you want something that looks like a starfish, you *might try a brittle starfish. They usually eat meaty stuff like frozen squid and shrimp. But I personally think your tank might be too small for the normal brittles except the microbrittles. 

@seabass In that case, I think I better avoid starfish in general. I'll just add few snails and then a Percula by mid-Apr. And then eventually a cleaner or a peppermint shrimp. 

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seabass
8 minutes ago, Abhijit said:

I think I better avoid starfish in general.

Agreed.  There are very few sea stars which can be kept in a nano.

 

9 minutes ago, Abhijit said:

And then eventually a cleaner or a peppermint shrimp.

Some people have good luck with peppermint shrimp; however, I haven't.  At least in my tanks, they have tended to pick at corals and anemones.  I've had much better success with skunk cleaner shrimp.  Plus, I find them more visually appealing.

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Abhijit
4 minutes ago, seabass said:

Agreed.  There are very few sea stars which can be kept in a nano.

 

Some people have good luck with peppermint shrimp; however, I haven't.  At least in my tanks, they have tended to pick at corals and anemones.  I've had much better success with skunk cleaner shrimp.  Plus, I find them more visually appealing.

@seabass Shunk Cleaner Shrimp is exactly what I want. But so far, I haven't found anyone selling them. I'll be on the lookout though

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Snow_Phoenix
12 minutes ago, Abhijit said:

@seabass Shunk Cleaner Shrimp is exactly what I want. But so far, I haven't found anyone selling them. I'll be on the lookout though

Fire Shrimp is another one you can look into. They're pricey but beautiful. I've never owned a peppermint but they seem to be a hit or miss in reefs. Apparently they go after corals like zoas and acans when they get the munchies. 

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