Can't Seem to get my Chemical Levels correct.

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Joshua Agostoni, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. Joshua Agostoni

    Joshua Agostoni Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2017
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    47
    Hey guys i'm brand new to these forums and need a bit of help. I starting up my first saltwater tank
    (Fish only) and I'm having a bit of trouble with my chemical levels. Just so you guys understand what i'm going though I'll give ya a run down of the setup.

    So I have a 55 gallon tank inside the tank I have 40 pounds of live ocean sand and 30 pounds of live rock. I have an overflow filter system that run down to underneath my tank into a wet-dry tank filled with bio balls. My pump is a 120 gallon pump located in the wet- dry tank and next to that I have an auto top of tank (10 gallon ) with a tunzie osmalator 3152. I have a 120 gallon heater keeping the tank at 80 degrees F and a 50-90 gallon powerhead for circulation. I also have a 22 inch bubble curtain going as well.

    So here is my problem. my salt level is fine sitting in the 0.023 and 0.024 range however the tank has bin running for about 3 almost 4 weeks now and my ph is stuck at 8.0 which i need it to be 8.4 the ammonia level has not changed from 0.25 ppm since the start the nitrite level is so blue it doesn't match any color on the test scale but i assume is 0.00 ppm its on the light blue side. and the nitrate level is about 0.10 ppm.

    Now I've also dumped a full bottle of Dr. Tims bacteria into the tank by whole bottle i mean the smaller bottle enough for 55 gallons. Not sure whats going on or how to get these chemicals right im starting to think maybe my test kit is mess up I have the API Saltwater testing kit.

    If anyone can shed some light on this please let me know if you need me to answer any questions im here.
     

  2. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    393
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, Georgia
    pH is great at 8.0. I wouldn't worry about that, especially in a fish only system.

    API test kits are known to have a high error range.

    Was the live rock wet or dry when you started? If there was a lot of dead organics on it you could possibly see ammonia levels sticking around for a while.

    I'd ask your LFS to test your water for you, if you have one available that does that.

    Good luck and enjoy reefing!
     
    saltyfilmfolks likes this.
  3. Reef_Tank_Fan_SC

    Reef_Tank_Fan_SC Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    562
    Likes Received:
    357
    Location:
    Cheraw, South Carolina
    First off welcome to R2R, I'm sure you will find plenty if answers to you question here. Next on the list wet/dry is usually not a good setup on saltwater because they don't have a way to break down the nitrate in your water... which leads to why your not seeing a lot of change. As far as you Ph 8.0 isn't bad. I have a 54 gal fowlr myself and my Ph stays around 8.0 -8.2. As long as your temp, salinity, and Ph stay stable and tour ammonia stays at 0 then fish only tanks are rather hardy. As for your test kit API can be tricky because some of the color is hard to detect. You can try getting another kit and do a comparison to make sure your numbers are accurate. I myself use API still with my fowlr but I have a red sea kit that I will be using with my new reef setup I'm putting in. Welcome to saltwater my friend and trust me .... As you go along it will get a lot more simple for you.
     
    saltyfilmfolks and zachxlutz like this.
  4. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    454
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Your pH absolutely does not need to be at 8.4. If it is, that's great. But pH is very closely tied to dissolved CO2 levels in saltwater aquariums. Regulating how much CO2 is in your home's air and your tank's water is one of the only effective long term solutions for maintaining pH. Calcium hydroxide (kalkwasser) is one of the other ways, but there are several very important caveats that must be observed when using kalk.

    That's not to say there are no benefits to having the pH on the higher side (8.2-8.3). Hard corals tend to grow more quickly and coralline algae seems to have increased growth rates at higher pHs. But a pH of 8.0 is absolutely fine, especially in a fish-only system. In fact, there are may reefers out there (myself included) who would be quite satisfied with a natural pH of 8.0.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
    saltyfilmfolks and zachxlutz like this.
  5. Joshua Agostoni

    Joshua Agostoni Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2017
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    47
    The live went from a full tank at the store submerged into wet newspaper then into my tank. So wet. Do you recommend a better testing kit?
     
    saltyfilmfolks likes this.
  6. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2016
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    393
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, Georgia
    You could get a better test kit, but you've likely moved past the ammonia stage and are just misreading the color/chart.
     
    saltyfilmfolks likes this.
  7. Joshua Agostoni

    Joshua Agostoni Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2017
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    47
    Im wondering about what you said zach. cause the Ammonia hasn't changed from 0.25 since i started the tank.
     
    saltyfilmfolks likes this.
  8. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    20,757
    Likes Received:
    19,314
    Location:
    California
    Welcome to reef2reef! Give it time. the ammonia will drop. Api is fine. your ph is great. with nothing in the tank basily you dont need to worry about it.

    You dont need that.
    And thats fine.
     
    zachxlutz likes this.
  9. Shaddow_wolf169

    Shaddow_wolf169 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,476
    Likes Received:
    772
    Location:
    San Bernardino CA
    I think in you best interest of not wanting tons of nitrates would be to ditch the bio balls they tend to hold a lot of poop. Trust me I started just like you.
     
    saltyfilmfolks likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Loading...