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When I first started my tank...only about a month ago, I was told not to worry about any other levels other than Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and SG in the early stages. So at what point do I start testing for calcium etc??

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Some people would start now, but I say start whenever you want to.


I don't test for Ca in my tank and I have had it running for 4 months. The growth of my halimeda and coralline algae tell me that my levels are good.

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On the same subject I have been testing my calcium & it is holding at 400 but now since I have added a Condy anemone & a tube anemone will they be using up calcium?

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Is it true that the aragonite sand helps with these levels?


Yes, but some people have reported that you don't get full buffering and ionic addition ability out of the sand unless you use a deep sand bed (DSB).


Wooz: I am sure that they will, but I wouldn't worry about it unless you see your Ca numbers start to deline. Keep testing.

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I saw on the bag it should buffer @8.2ph. I bought play sand from home depot, not buffering to my knowledge but its a couple of bucks of all the sand I will ever need. Good texture to it. I have used live sand before and hated it. Tank was cloudy and the bagged stuff is terrible. How long has it been sitting in a warehouse, floor of the lfs, etc.

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The problem with "play sand" is that any bad minerals that will react with the salt water has not necessarily been removed. You don't need live sand, but proper aragonite semi-fine and fine mix, make for a great sand bed, plus it's the most realistic for coral floors (of course depending on what type of coral segment your trying to re-create).


A friend of mine, setup a nano about 3 years ago now, and when he did so he purchased the same "play" sand from HD. 2 months into his tank things started to die off. Especially his inverts. So we brought the water in for testing at his LFS, and they found 4 x the maximum suggested amount of COPPER in the water. The poor things we're being killed within minutes of getting into his tank. The first replacement died while in acclimation!.


Needless to say, after a week of trying to find the culprit (put the LR, into one tupperware with fresh water, and the rest of the leftover livestock (which ALL looked like they we're about to die), the only thing left in the tank was the sand. and the only water where after one week where the copper both stayed and went up was the tank itself.


so a whole day later from A LOT of scrubbing and cleaning his piping and whatnot, we put in real aragonite from the LFS, and we havn't had a problem since.


Sadly a year later he moved and had to sell it all.


Just some food for thought.


btw, sorry for hijacking this thread.

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