Most Tested versus Least Tested Parameters of the Reef Tank

BRS

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 49 5.9%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 574 68.9%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 7 0.8%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 79 9.5%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 76 9.1%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 91 10.9%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 7 0.8%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 27 3.2%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 14 1.7%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 79 9.5%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 18 2.2%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 43 5.2%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 15 1.8%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 230 27.6%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 314 37.7%

  • Total voters
    833

Jay Hemdal

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Anybody who experiences out of ordinary numbers.
My nano is right by my bed so the numbers can drop real low at night.
Also, anybody running kalk must monitor PH.
Plus - there is a trend nowadays for people to limit aeration in order to reduce salt spray. As you alluded to, at night the CO2 level can then rise, dropping the pH. I need to know the AM and PM pH for my systems to ensure that isn't an issue.

jay
 

Gtinnel

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I'm not going to count the tests that my apex and trident monitor, so for me it's alkalinity/nitrate/phosphate most which I will manually test 1-2 times per week.
Then for least would be nitrite since I haven't tested for it in years. If I were to start over in this hobby I wouldn't even own a nitrite test.
 

M Stein

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Everyone says ammonia... but if something is really going wrong quickly, you should test things in this order: Alk, pH, Nitrate, Phosphate. That is (currently) the most influential parameters that effect coral health like RTN and polyp bailout. If all of these things are in the clear, something probably died in your tank and is beginning to nuke it, ie. mass snail die-off or a fish is rotting in the rockwork. Therefore..., ammonia would almost certainly be tested more than nitrite, making nitrite the least tested parameter. There's especially no reason to test for nitrites outside of a cycle unless you have confirmed you're getting a mini-cycle from die-off. Additionally, there is new evidence that corals absorb nitrite, so you may not even be able to register nitrite if you do have observable ammonia.
Dr Tim once said at a MACNA speech that in a case of biological filter failing nitrite will show up before ammonia. Also, If there is a die off of snail or a fish, so long as your bio-filter is healthy there should be no ammonia spike, only nitrate.
 

blaxsun

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I listed ammonia as least tested, then remembered that I have a Seachem Ammonia Alert in the sump. So technically I guess I’m checking ammonia 24/7, in which case the least tested would be nitrite.
 

brmreefer

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No controller on my system. Currently test PO4 the most as my other parameters have been steady as shown with weekly testing. Twiddling around with PO4 levels at the moment.

Ammonia would be the least, since I have not tested for that since the system was new.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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The #1 most problem causing, not needed to know at any stage in reefing, cause of a million false sales of bottle bac to this day, incorrectly tied into stalled cycles is Nitrite.


Ammonia is second, because what it does in reefing is predictable at all times, dry start cycle to complete matured sps reef, without testing for it even one time. I’ve been reefing twenty years with twenty reefs and never ran an ammonia test kit at home in my life.


find any post on new cycling science and you’ll see fifty running reef tank examples of above details.


find any old cycling information, you’ll find double and triple bottle bac sales to the moon and back, the rocket is Api nitrite.

the second stage on the rocket is false api ammonia readings. bottle bac to the moon and back was the plan, till new cycling science wrecked the plan with a simple seneye nh3 meter.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Blaxsun when I read the title of this thread I actually saw: what is the least needed param to test for in reefing

then when I went to vote I saw it was a complex dual selection high low process, thats unfortunate


it’s still nitrite lol
 

MaxTremors

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I voted for calcium as the least tested, but didn’t see ammonia at the bottom, I haven’t tested any tank for ammonia in over 15 years. Generally I would test calcium more often than nitrates, but over the last several months my nitrates have been pretty high so I’ve been testing it more often than I generally would. Alkalinity is by far the most often tested.
 

elorablue

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Ya, I think ammonia and nitrite (especially) will always be the least tested but since we can only pick 1 most and 1 least it's nitrite for me.
I have a pretty strict testing routine. Alk, Nitrate, Phosphate and Ph every 3 days. Calcium and magnesium every week, but im probably going to change this to every 2 weeks. Temp is constantly monitored and salinity I check every week or two.
I'm one of those weird people who actually enjoy testing.
 

Operator Wrasse

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Dr Tim once said at a MACNA speech that in a case of biological filter failing nitrite will show up before ammonia. Also, If there is a die off of snail or a fish, so long as your bio-filter is healthy there should be no ammonia spike, only nitrate.
TIL! Very cool. I'll have to relisten to some MACNA speeches.
 

Billdogg

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Firstly, I use Salifert test kits exclusively.

That being said, on the rare occasions I do test, it will be for Calcium and Alkalinity, and if one of them is off, it will be followed by Magnesium. I don't test anything else other than salinity, and then only on water change day. Temperature is monitored, but not tested per se unless you count glancing at the thermometer in the sump "testing".

Testing for pH in a marine aquarium is a fools errand. Worse yet is dosing something because your pH isn't "right" It is so easily affected by so many outside factors that it just does not make any difference.

If you have an established system, Ammonia and Nitrite are always at 0 unless there is a major catastrophe, and if that's the case, you have more important things to do than check them!

Nitrate can and does build up in your system, but if you are doing regular water changes in a healthy system it will remain at a low level. Ditto with Phosphate. The only times I will even think about checking them is if there is an algae bloom, and in that situation the results will be skewed anyway due to the nuisance algae using them both for growth. Once again, regular water changes should alleviate any problems with them.

I don't dose anything other than CA and Alk, so I don't bother testing for other trace elements. Another case where regular water changes with a decent salt will keep everything in line for you.

JM.02
 

brandon429

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Never think that a biological filter will fail, they won’t. That claim about fail risk is part of the bottle bac sales machine that is capitalizing on false fears and profiting from it tremendously


three ways your reef filter can fail, see if these ever happen:

1. the surface area is completely dried out (won’t need to test nitrite to find that out)

2. someone dosed and maintains antibiotics designed to kill bacteria, in a reef tank (don’t need to test for nitrite, simply stop dosing the poison)

3. half your fish die and you leave them to rot in the system vs remove them before the biofilter has been overcome. (Testing for nitrite not needed, account for all your fish daily)


biofilter failing in normal running inside a display doesn’t occur, there isn’t one instance it’s ever happened. Someone post a single example of it occurring one time on the history of the internet, outside these three ways. Can’t be done because it hasn’t occurred not once. It’s a completely made up risk, to sell the cure. Any attempts to prove it are common api misreads. After a power outage doesn’t count, normal running examples. After a power outage, you’d clean the filter, turn it back on, it’s still cycled anyway.

because of those three rules, we don’t test for ammonia after a cycle. It can’t just rise it’s locked in solid.


because of Randy’s article on nitrite, we don’t test for nitrite in updated cycling science/ reefing at any time. Read his article, search it out.

because seneye owners have already validated the known timeline of cycling charts, we already know when reef cycles complete by looking at the number of days underwater and doing a full water change on the appropriate date from the chart, after you dosed cycling bac with feed. The cycle is ready by two specific dates you can choose from on a cycling chart: day ten if you dosed bottle bac, or day thirty if you didn’t.



there is no need to test for ammonia or nitrite in display tank reefing. If someone wants to monitor it in quarantine reefing plus meds, that’s fine. Not for the display though.

The poll responses about the two least needed to know parameters are spot on
 
Last edited:

Borat

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Among many others, anyone with an Acropora dominant tank.
What do you do once you know your PH? Nothing - just watch it change!
I measure my PH and my alk 8 times day, whilst I can adjust CarX to deal with Alk - there is not much I can do about PH other than stress out about it (well - I don't, it does not have any variability in my tank nor does it seem to have any impact)..
 
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BRS

Do you keep "Reef Safe with Caution" fish?

  • YES (tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 294 62.4%
  • NO

    Votes: 162 34.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 15 3.2%
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