Mild Parameter spike questions

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fugetaboutit05

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I have a 60g display, and I have had it for quite some time. Decided to start up a smaller display for variety. Issue I’m having is a spike in the main display.

Is this a normal occurrence? Haven’t had this happen since the tank completed its cycle. Only change to the tank was i removed 3 fish and added 3 different inhabitants.

3that were removed : Juvi Koran Angel ; Juvi Bella Goby ; Juvi Princess Parrot.

3 Added : Juvi Sailfin Tang ; Juvi Foxface ; Juvi Snowflake Eel. ( approx 11” long)

All the fish that were swapped were relatively the same size, with the exception of the snowflake eel.

I’m thinking that the eel could be the cause, being a predator it will place a higher bio-load on the tank. I added 3 days ago, during the weekly water change.

Parameters aren’t anything crazy, all levels below .20 ppm. But if there’s something I’m missing, I’d like to get ahead of the issue before it becomes serious.
 

brandon429

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if you are talking about ammonia don't have a concern.

it is self balanced in your system because all those fish have been in there beyond 24 hours...if the system lacked sufficient surface area or bac it would not make that long and the water would go cloudy as the initial alarm, then fish floating
 

brandon429

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one of the handy things about ammonia in a reef tank is it solves a little bit like a math equation

knowing snippets of details allows you to fill in blanks and it works astoundingly consistent tank to tank.

we don't even have details regarding cycle status, or degree of rocks and sand but having that fish load in place overnite already implies you're either doing hourly water changes or like most tanks, it's self supporting and packed with active surface area.

todays test kits register ammonia spikes when we move rocks around or make changes

but seneye doesn't even show ammonia leaving the thousandths ppm on 99% of daily tank actions, so Ive come to see non seneye ammonia readings as useless just about.

can you post a full tank shot of the reef in question/surface area verification.

fish distribution verification...ammonia burned fish hover at the top all crowded. and display shocking symptoms, and the water is gray.

barring these details, you can rule out ammonia spikes.

.2 is listed in thousands of logged red sea ammonia test kit misreads. api is the other 98% and seneye has 2% misread rate among posters/today's best info on ammonia dynamics.
 

brandon429

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how applicable is that awesome thread~ these tanks can take on large fish no problem. it takes something unreasonable to overcome our known surface area in a functioning display tank. same size tank as yours, he added twenty new fish all at once.
 

Azedenkae

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I have a 60g display, and I have had it for quite some time. Decided to start up a smaller display for variety. Issue I’m having is a spike in the main display.

Parameters aren’t anything crazy, all levels below .20 ppm.
Can you list out the actual parameters reading that just saying there is a spike? It is much easier to determine what is going on with actual numbers.
 
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fugetaboutit05

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one of the handy things about ammonia in a reef tank is it solves a little bit like a math equation

knowing snippets of details allows you to fill in blanks and it works astoundingly consistent tank to tank.

we don't even have details regarding cycle status, or degree of rocks and sand but having that fish load in place overnite already implies you're either doing hourly water changes or like most tanks, it's self supporting and packed with active surface area.

todays test kits register ammonia spikes when we move rocks around or make changes

but seneye doesn't even show ammonia leaving the thousandths ppm on 99% of daily tank actions, so Ive come to see non seneye ammonia readings as useless just about.

can you post a full tank shot of the reef in question/surface area verification.

fish distribution verification...ammonia burned fish hover at the top all crowded. and display shocking symptoms, and the water is gray.

barring these details, you can rule out ammonia spikes.

.2 is listed in thousands of logged red sea ammonia test kit misreads. api is the other 98% and seneye has 2% misread rate among posters/today's best info on ammonia dynamics.
This actually makes more sense than the eels bio load theory I had.

In order to move the Bella i disturbed almost the entire aquascape to catch her. I moved a lot of the rocks from one side to the other, disturbed the bed also. Tank went cloudy for an hour but then cleared right up. So what you’re saying is more likely the cause.

It’s not a reef tank yet. I have been waiting to really age the tank before adding coral. Inhabitants are 1 H crispa Nem(large), 2 fire clowns, 1 sailfin tang, 1 foxface, and the Snowflake eel.

I’m about ready which is why i had to move the Koran angel and the Parrot. The Bella was moved because of the temperament issues with my fire clowns. So now that main display will be a Semi Agrssive Reef tank.

However, this seneye test kit you mentioned has peaked my interest. I am currently using the Red Sea Marine kit and it has proven to be as accurate as my experience will allow me to believe. When i first started i was using the API marine kit and thru trial and error couldn’t really come to really on it to give accurate readings. Did some reading and eventually wound up with the Red Sea kit. Ever since using this kit i have been much more confident when testing the water.

What is it about the seneye kit that you would suggest is better? And should i invest the time to research and eventually the $$ to purchase.
 
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fugetaboutit05

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Can you list out the actual parameters reading that just saying there is a spike? It is much easier to determine what is going on with actual numbers.
Ammonia reading was about .1ppm
Nitrite about .1ppm
Nitrate about 25-30ppm
PH 8.2
Temp 82
SG 1.025

When i say “about”, it is only because the color reference card wasn’t matching exactly. Where in the past, a zero reading on these cards is plainly detectable. So “about” is me saying it isn’t zero, but also not quite .25 ppm according to the cards.
 

Azedenkae

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Ammonia reading was about .1ppm
Nitrite about .1ppm
Nitrate about 25-30ppm
PH 8.2
Temp 82
SG 1.025

When i say “about”, it is only because the color reference card wasn’t matching exactly. Where in the past, a zero reading on these cards is plainly detectable. So “about” is me saying it isn’t zero, but also not quite .25 ppm according to the cards.
OH that should be fine. Ammonia always seem to read at a very low baseline level for a lot of people anyways. My hypothesis is that there is always ammonia produced so you would expect to measure *some* ammonia before the nitrifiers actually take care of it.

Nitrite is low enough that it does not really harm anything. Nitrate could be lower I suppose. I actually don't know what is a safe nitrate level. Hm, maybe I should actually read up on it. XD
 
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fugetaboutit05

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OH that should be fine. Ammonia always seem to read at a very low baseline level for a lot of people anyways. My hypothesis is that there is always ammonia produced so you would expect to measure *some* ammonia before the nitrifiers actually take care of it.

Nitrite is low enough that it does not really harm anything. Nitrate could be lower I suppose. I actually don't know what is a safe nitrate level. Hm, maybe I should actually read up on it. XD
Nitrate levels stay non threatening between 0-40ppm from what I’ve read, it doesn’t become toxic until the system reaches 80+ppm. From the reading I’ve done(and personal experience), the theory I’ve come up with is, the size of the tank will play a big part in how toxic your Nitrates are to your fish. In a tank about 10g-25g in size, nitrate readings above 25-30ppm will kill the fish. Not immediately, but after about 3-4 days they will show signs of distress and then you’ll find find them dead.

A larger tank, say a 60g(lol), could house multiple inhabitants with a nitrate reading of 30-40, and everything will be ok. It’s when you start getting higher into the 60s that your inhabitants will begin to show signs of distress. A large water change would be necessary at this point.

There could be more info on this, but this is just my exp and research. If you find more out lmk lol, I’m always up to learn something new
 

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how applicable is that awesome thread~ these tanks can take on large fish no problem. it takes something unreasonable to overcome our known surface area in a functioning display tank. same size tank as yours, he added twenty new fish all at once.
Algae scrubbers are actually excellent for tackling ammonia as they can directly uptake it, like in that thread.
Nitrate levels stay non threatening between 0-40ppm from what I’ve read, it doesn’t become toxic until the system reaches 80+ppm. From the reading I’ve done(and personal experience), the theory I’ve come up with is, the size of the tank will play a big part in how toxic your Nitrates are to your fish. In a tank about 10g-25g in size, nitrate readings above 25-30ppm will kill the fish. Not immediately, but after about 3-4 days they will show signs of distress and then you’ll find find them dead.

A larger tank, say a 60g(lol), could house multiple inhabitants with a nitrate reading of 30-40, and everything will be ok. It’s when you start getting higher into the 60s that your inhabitants will begin to show signs of distress. A large water change would be necessary at this point.

There could be more info on this, but this is just my exp and research. If you find more out lmk lol, I’m always up to learn something new
if you’ve really got nitrite, then a portion of your nitrate ready is an amplified nitrite reading, so nitrate is probably not quite that high.
 
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Azedenkae

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if you’ve really got nitrite, then a portion of your nitrate ready is an amplified nitrite reading, so nitrate is probably not quite that high.
This is true, though op did say his nitrite reads 0.1ppm, which is probably too low to have really affected op's nitrate readings.
 

sde1500

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the theory I’ve come up with is, the size of the tank will play a big part in how toxic your Nitrates are to your fish. In a tank about 10g-25g in size, nitrate readings above 25-30ppm will kill the fish
Very unlikely. Those are freshwater numbers maybe. Those levels wouldn’t even bother fish in any tank size. Esp since the measurement is ppm it’s independent of tank size.
Speaking of tank size, probably should review the suitability of many of the fish you’re housing in a 60g, and the tang you intend for the smaller tank.
 

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one of the neatest dynamics we've seen about controlled v uncontrolled ammonia is there isn't a hovering phase where the water stays clear, fish behave normal, but ammonia rises and holds at an irritant level but never tips into causing the obvious visual signals associated with a crash.

they way it works is our systems take on increasing bioload staying in the thousandths ppm turnover rate even with 20 fish added like above link, and then if we add too much a full downslide happens where it spikes uncontrollably and kills the tank as a cascade.

its a tipping point effect not a hover, ever... so each time a post is about a test reading and not a total wipe, we already know they have sufficient surface area and some test is doing its thing again. I guarantee that a mere ten years ago the hobby did not know this...we couldn't have, no seneye avail. all api and red sea, solely.

what ammonia does tank to tank is shockingly consistent, not varying as we once thought. there are so many thousands of seneye meters and seneye posts being updated daily we are simply seeing new data sets emerge. fascinating.

we also make direct use of this bioload + or - ability of live rocks in the sand removal thread.

we know by rule that any reef tank on this entire board can expend its sandbed instantly, at any time and rely on the rocks to carry the same bioload (the inverse test of the + 20 fish thread above, these are surface area dynamics tests)

we've logged hundreds of jobs now, and a few on seneye. Its amazing that removing half the surface area surrounding rocks doesn't increase conversion rates above thousandths ppm. The entire hobby will vote even currently that's not possible, though our thread has been using the science for five years now on file before seneye came on scene. we also know that at no time will nitrite have any bearing on a cycle it will only affect test kits. nitrite is the most unneeded to know parameter in all of reefing. it may have utility being monitored in medicated setups or quarantine setups, and for factoring in nitrate testing, but at no phase including initial cycle does a common display tank need to know its nitrite for a matter of safety.

nitrate is for algae tuning, dinos tuning and coral tuning etc. *even when there isn't nitrite to foul it, consider nitrate comparison threads that still range fifty ppm off one sample.

nitrate isn't right even when we think it is. this is all a big game of self convincing we do...
 
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fugetaboutit05

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Very unlikely. Those are freshwater numbers maybe. Those levels wouldn’t even bother fish in any tank size. Esp since the measurement is ppm it’s independent of tank size.
Speaking of tank size, probably should review the suitability of many of the fish you’re housing in a 60g, and the tang you intend for the smaller tank.
It was an idea i came up with from having difficulty with a 10g QT I have. The only increased level was nitrate, and every fish i put in it to QT died within a week.

However, i had increased nitrate numbers in my 60g, and 48 BF Display, approx same levels as the 10g. And both those tanks are fine. So the theory i came up with was the tank size must be playing a part in killing these fish. All other PMs in the QT were/are at 0.

The fish lost to the QT were, 1 sleeper goby, 2 Anthias, 2 twin spotted gobies, 1 Dragonet, and 1 hippo tang.

All the above inhabitants were added to the tank at seperate times, NOT all at the same time. Over the course of several weeks. From different LFS supplies. Both LFS locations i have purchased all my tank inhabitants from and never had this kind of issue. No signs of distress of disease when purchased either. All fish that died were from different scheduled deliveries as well.

So my line of thinking, was, what the heck is wrong with this qt lol.After the Hippo tang was lost i shut down the tank. Other than some snails and H. crabs, the tank is vacant. I kept the 2 LRs in there, but not adding to the tank until i can figure out what’s killing the fish. Which i thought was the nitrate level.

As for the 60g inhabitants, there are only 5 fish in there. All of which are under 5” with the exception of the Snowflake Eel. Even at 10g per fish, there’s still sufficient space in there. I do have plans taking place for the next year tho. I want a large tank.... but I’m going to build it myself. These small tanks are only to satiate a real desire Ive had for years to build a Reef aquarium on a large scale. But, like i said, I’m taking a year to prep and begin the build. Even with a years time frame, none of those fish will grow exponentially bigger to the point they will be too big for the tank they are in. They may gain another inch, maybe 1.5”, but they are all young. Unless i missed something in my reading, but i researched each inhabitant for their age and size charts from young-juvi-adult, along with their temperaments and diet.

If you know if something that I missed, please let me know tho. Like i said earlier, always willing to learn something new.
 

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Even at 10g per fish, there’s still sufficient space in there
There is not. That is not a rule of thumb anywhere. Its a bad rule of thumb, but some say FW=1 inch of fish per gallon, SW is 1" per 5-10 gallons.
All the above inhabitants were added to the tank at seperate times, NOT all at the same time. Over the course of several weeks.
That is a mistake. QT is to observe and treat any diseases/parasites. Adding more to the mix mid observation or treatment only resets the cycle.
Even with a years time frame, none of those fish will grow exponentially bigger to the point they will be too big for the tank they are in.
That Sailfin will.

Don' take this the wrong way, but you need to slow way down. You started the hobby this year. You have this tank, a 48g predator tank, and are starting a smaller tank, and planning to build a large tank. And in many, all really, of those tanks there are fish unsuited for them. The intent to upgrade is always there, the ability not always so. A safe suggestion is always to stock a tank with the fish that are suited for it. Get the big fish when you have a tank for it. A shark in a 48g, not suitable, an eel, foxface, and sailfin in this 55/60 not suitable. To be blunt, you've killed more fish this year than I have in 6. There is a huge learning curve that comes with starting a tank, going through your post history I can see you are realizing that. I suggest continuing along that learning path, and slowing down while doing so. I strongly suggest returning those fish, and restocking slowly with more peaceful ones.
 
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fugetaboutit05

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There is not. That is not a rule of thumb anywhere. Its a bad rule of thumb, but some say FW=1 inch of fish per gallon, SW is 1" per 5-10 gallons.

That is a mistake. QT is to observe and treat any diseases/parasites. Adding more to the mix mid observation or treatment only resets the cycle.

That Sailfin will.

Don' take this the wrong way, but you need to slow way down. You started the hobby this year. You have this tank, a 48g predator tank, and are starting a smaller tank, and planning to build a large tank. And in many, all really, of those tanks there are fish unsuited for them. The intent to upgrade is always there, the ability not always so. A safe suggestion is always to stock a tank with the fish that are suited for it. Get the big fish when you have a tank for it. A shark in a 48g, not suitable, an eel, foxface, and sailfin in this 55/60 not suitable. To be blunt, you've killed more fish this year than I have in 6. There is a huge learning curve that comes with starting a tank, going through your post history I can see you are realizing that. I suggest continuing along that learning path, and slowing down while doing so. I strongly suggest returning those fish, and restocking slowly with more peaceful ones.
You’re absolutely right, when i started out i had bad guidance from the LFS, but through a bunch more reading/research and definitely by joining this forum, i have learned that yes i did start fast. Too fast.

I think you may have misunderstood me with QT, all those fish were not in the tank at the same time. They were in there for the purpose of monitoring them prior to adding them to the display tanks. The most that were in that tank at the same time wars 1 anthias(2.5”), and 1 goby(2”). Both were very small. Everything else was individual. Which is why I couldn’t understand the issue with that 1 tank.

As far as bringing the fish back, already tried that. They won’t take the fish back. As for re-homing, I don’t know anyone that could take them that wouldn’t be putting them into the exact same if not worse situation than i have.

Regarding the build, buddy its happening lol... I’ve already drawn up specs, figured out live load on my floor, and started designing the area in my basement for the support columns. If my time table speeds up due to fish growth, than i move on it sooner. Maybe take an extra weekend(s) off to build. The year time frame was only estimate. If i did it like some of these guys with the videos, i could cut that time down to 1 month for the build, and 2-3 months to cycle. But i do have a full time job that i kinda have to go to lol... i dint think they would understand that i cant come in because I’m building a new fish tank lol.
 
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fugetaboutit05

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There is not. That is not a rule of thumb anywhere. Its a bad rule of thumb, but some say FW=1 inch of fish per gallon, SW is 1" per 5-10 gallons.

That is a mistake. QT is to observe and treat any diseases/parasites. Adding more to the mix mid observation or treatment only resets the cycle.

That Sailfin will.

Don' take this the wrong way, but you need to slow way down. You started the hobby this year. You have this tank, a 48g predator tank, and are starting a smaller tank, and planning to build a large tank. And in many, all really, of those tanks there are fish unsuited for them. The intent to upgrade is always there, the ability not always so. A safe suggestion is always to stock a tank with the fish that are suited for it. Get the big fish when you have a tank for it. A shark in a 48g, not suitable, an eel, foxface, and sailfin in this 55/60 not suitable. To be blunt, you've killed more fish this year than I have in 6. There is a huge learning curve that comes with starting a tank, going through your post history I can see you are realizing that. I suggest continuing along that learning path, and slowing down while doing so. I strongly suggest returning those fish, and restocking slowly with more peaceful ones.
Also, you said 5-10g per inch? Holy hell, if that’s the case my math is WAY off on what I’ve done. Can you point me int he direction for the research that explains that?
 

sde1500

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Also, you said 5-10g per inch? Holy hell, if that’s the case my math is WAY off on what I’ve done. Can you point me int he direction for the research that explains that?
research, no. like I said its a not so great rule of thumb. So many other factors go into it. Swimming space/length, filtration capabilities, activity level of the fish, water flow, amount of rock work to hide in, etc. But its definitely far safer a rule of thumb than 1 fish per 10g. That wouldn't preclude adding a grouper in a nano. https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/poll-how-many-fish-per-gallon.355641/
 
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PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 31 6.3%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 351 71.2%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 34 6.9%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 52 10.5%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 46 9.3%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 8 1.6%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 6 1.2%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 39 7.9%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 5 1.0%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 23 4.7%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 6 1.2%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 157 31.8%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 193 39.1%
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