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Everything posted by Origami

  1. Cripes that's low. Scales somewhat nicely if salinity were at 24 ppt but that's really concerning for water mixed to 35 ppt. Is magnesium really low in your batch?
  2. Isaac, 1 dKH per day is not uncommon when things are stable and your SPS finally begins to take off. You're probably getting close to wanting a doser or to manually dose a few times a day to minimize fluctuations.
  3. Been out a while. Still out actually. Will return to DC area on Saturday. Anyway, Paul, the fort reminds me of me and a few neighbor kids growing up on base years ago (when we were Navy brats). Anyway, Public Works had started a small excavation near a small storage facility across the street from our homes. When we saw it, the workers had left. So we grabbed our dads' shovels and proceeded to enlarge the hole horizontally, making a cave right under the cement slab. We thought it was so cool, until base security caught on and had PW backfill the hole. Looking back, it wasn't the brightest thing to be doing - digging under the slab of a building where a bunch of compressed gas cylinders were stored.... but, hey, we had fun and 50+ years later we have a story to tell. Making forts with your buds was just something you did as a kid back then.
  4. Years ago, some aquarists reported high ammonia, phosphates and other stuff coming from Rubbermaid Roughneck trashcans made from recycled plastics. Historically, the gray-colored Brute cans have been safe. Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
  5. Good luck with that, Paul. I have faith that you'll manage to keep it going. In fact, I'm counting on it.
  6. Ha! Yes, probably is a bit much right now. Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
  7. Send a PM to WAMAS member freshfins. She's active in the freshwater scene and can probably help with advice. Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
  8. We have calcium reactors. Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
  9. I don't know the product, but I can picture it in my head with the great description that you gave. Except for what sounds like an integrated (and possibly clear) return from the last to the first chamber, it sounds like a standard multi-chambered display tank for stores.
  10. The only difference with the freshwater vial tested with ATI is alkalinity, I believe. (I contacted them with that question a while back.) Otherwise it's pretty much the same as the saltwater sample. You're free to submit any water in the freshwater sample. Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
  11. But, in the end, you made it. Victory! Write again tomorrow, if you can make it to the keyboard. [emoji4] Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
  12. If you're concerned about chromium n your salt mix, then you'll have to use ICP testing. That's not to say that there's any evidence that says elevated chromium has any detrimental effect on our tanks. It just says that you're unlikely to find a test kit to test for that element. I don't run ICP tests unless I'm establishing a baseline or if something is not right and it's nothing that I can test for myself. I'm on a well, so I tested my tank and well (after my water softener) water in one test, and newly mixed saltwater and my RO (but not DI) water in another. The reason for stacking the tests this way was to trace the source of levated nickel in my tank that I blamed for some cases of STN.
  13. Note: Some systems can do quite well with PO4 levels higher than 30 ppb.
  14. Maybe it's coincidence, but this user at R2R had high chromium levels and was also using Red Sea Coral Pro salt. It's possible that chromium is a "feature" (said tongue-in-cheek) of the salt mix. It may not be a bad idea at some point to send in a sample of freshly mixed saltwater to ATI for analysis. I try to remove my glass cleaner because I've never had one that I've left in not fail at some point (though it can take years). I like to think of feeding my tank as being similar to feeding one end of a pyramidal food chain: Food and food particles feed the top end: Fish, crabs, etc. Their waste, especially fish waste, spreads and feeds the corals and filter feeders. Waste from this tier of organisms then feed the bottom end: Bacteria, algae, other plants. Some of that turns around and feeds the top of the chain, closing the circle. Most of the smaller feather dusters can do pretty well without target feeding. Some of the larger ones might benefit from some occasional target-feeding.
  15. If not clear from the posts, your #1 concern is nutrients. The high nitrate level points to insufficient development of an anaerobic bacteria population to match the nutrient input. The collective wisdom here is pointing to overfeeding as the source of these nutrients. Cut back on feeding and perform several large water changes over the course of a couple of weeks to cut back on these levels. The water changes dilute the high nutrient levels; reducing the feeding cuts back on new nutrients being added to the water. Your second issue in priority is trying to find the source of the chromium. It could be corrosion or could be from a food source or some other additive or it could be in your salt mix. It's unclear if chromium is a major problem in reef tanks. About a decade ago, almost all salts tested positive for some chromium. Some brands had as much as 15 ppb, I believe. You're at 10.5 ppb, so it could be related to the brand of salt that you're using. If you can't find it, don't get too spun up too quickly. Deal with the nutrient problem and then watch your tank for improvements. Finally, don't worry about the NH3/NH4 balance or your pH swing. They're low risk in your case and behaving perfectly acceptably/normally. (But, I encourage you to read more just tot ake advantage of the learning opportunity.) One final note: Some tanks, when they start getting cleaner can actually become too clean for some corals that have adapted to high nutrient conditions. For example, some people can't keep xenia or find that their xenia withers away when their nutrients drop to low levels. Your mileage may vary. Once you get more experience under your belt, you'll find that your first, best test kit is your eyes.
  16. Pretty funny if you ask me. Happy for the update and tip, though. It adds to the thread and our collective knowledge. Thanks for the update, even if it took almost nine years.... I'd like to leave the thread open, though, so that others can add their experiences / solutions in the future. Maybe in 2028?
  17. Cold turkey on the feeding shouldn't be a problem. I'm more familiar with the size of the pH swing rather than the NH3/NH4 swing. However, it's perfectly normal and I don't expect that you're seeing anything grossly out of the norm. Don't worry about messing with pH. Unless it's horribly low, it'll manage itself as you manage alkalinity. Personally, I've always run my tank somewhere between 8 and 10 dKH - but I pick a spot and try to keep it there. For example, about a decade ago, I kept my tank at 10 dkH but, as I started experimenting with carbon dosing and an ULNS (ultra-low nutrient system), the 10 dKH alkalinity resulted in "burnt" tips on SPS which other reefers also experienced. Maintaining at a lower alkalinity was the fix for that and I dropped back to 8 dKH for many years. I do draw fresh air from outside into my skimmer to help "blow off" excess CO2. CO2 scrubbers require a bit of maintenance and expense. I've never used it because, unless you've got a red flag situation with pH (and most of us don't), there's no real reason to add more complexity to the system. Looking at the graphs above, note that your pH curve is generally the opposite of your NH4 curve. That's what you should see. pH will be highest typically at the end of a lighting cycle where photosynthesis is dominant because that process consumes carbon dioxide and releases oxygen (versus cellular respiration, which consumes oxygen and releases carbon dioxide). In many tanks with a lot of corals, this is in the evening when the lights in the main tank go off. However, if you don't have many photosynthesizers in the main tank as compared to, say a refugium stocked with a lot of macroalgae and running on a reverse light cycle, you could see a situation where the photosynthesis in the refugium dominates, so the pH is highest in the morning just before the refugium lights go dark.
  18. For the most part, I only feed my corals occasionally. I figure that, if I feed my fish, the fish waste feeds my corals. Some LPS can benefit from an occasional pellet, though. The NH3/NH4 balance is set by pH. In the last graph in your last post, you can see that the NH4 level exhibits what we call a diurnal swing. That is, it's cycling high and low by each day - probably higher at night when the pH is lower (because everything is in respiration mode and releasing CO2, causing the water to become more acidic) and lower during the day (when your photosynthesizers are consuming CO2). It's interesting that they measure each. Ammonia (NH3) damages the gills and highly toxic to fish. At pH 8.2, it's only about 7% of the total ammonia (NH3 and NH4) in the water. As pH rises, though, the proportion of NH3 increases while that in NH4 form decreases. (Low pH favors the less toxic form, ammonia.) You can read more about ammonia in the reef tank here. As for the chromium, it could be coming from a pump shaft or other places. For now, though, I suspect that you need to lower your nitrates and phosphates some to keep some of the more sensitive SPS.
  19. Heavy metals can cause issues depending upon the metal. You may have some sort of plated screw, magnet, chrome-plated pump-shaft, or the like corroding and adding that element to your water. (Chrome is also used in varying proportions in stainless steel, so it's possible that you have some stainless corroding, too.) I'm assuming that you're using RO/DI water to mix up your change water, correct? If so, look for the source in your tank.
  20. ICP test from ATI is showing 220 ppb (or 0.220 ppm) phosphate (PO4) which is very high - about 7x the desired (but debated) level. Nitrates (NO3) are at almost 23 ppm (10x the calculated reference value and about 100x of what you want). You seem to have high nutrients either due to overfeeding, accumulated detritus, and/or inadequate anaerobic biological filter development. Not sure what you mean when you post different test results for NH3 (ammonia) and NH4 (the positive ion of aqueous ammonia). If you
  21. ;-). That worked. I changed some settings about 10 days ago....
  22. Try just dragging and dropping the picture to your post now....
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