Nano Reef Tank Issues

Phillyjay

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Need help! I have had my 10gallon nano reef tank for a little over 2 months now.

Running AI Prime with AB+ schedule, and 35tidal hob filter with chemipure. Feeding a quarter cube misis shrimp daily. Doing 40% water changes every 2 weeks.

After it finished its cycle (~4 weeks in) I added 2 small clowns as well as my clean up crew of 5 hermits and 4 snails. My snails slowly died within 2 weeks and didn’t seem to be from the hermit crabs. I added a few more shortly after, which also died within a few days. I have been checking my levels regularly and am getting very high potassium and calcium levels. Everything I’ve been reading about, shows those 2 elements reacting inversely and not together… Has anyone had these issues? The fish and crabs seems to be doing great but snails and even a small zoa I tried to add all didn’t last long at all. I just got my ICP results back which also shows my calcium, potassium, chlorine, and sodium levels quite high, see below. Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated!!


Calcium: 518ppm
Magnesium: 1593ppm
Potassium: 558ppm
Chlorine: 26298ppm
Sodium: 14334ppm
 
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Zer0

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Have you tested parameters on a fresh batch of saltwater? I know some people will roll their buckets/barrels to mix up the salt to reduce any element stratification that might occur, which could potentially lead to a higher-than-normal concentration of elements.
 
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Phillyjay

Phillyjay

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Have you tested parameters on a fresh batch of saltwater? I know some people will roll their buckets/barrels to mix up the salt to reduce any element stratification that might occur, which could potentially lead to a higher-than-normal concentration of elements.
Besides salinity I haven’t tested a fresh batch. However this is interesting because I do mix the salt using a closed 5 gallon container that I rotate around until mixed. Does that sound like something that could cause the issue?? I do see everyone using a power head in a bucket to mix maybe I will try that. Refractometer seems on point as I check it against rodi water every few weeks.
 

jcosta98

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Try to test calcium and Alk in your next mix , I would fix your current values doing water changes with water with the normal values. You have a code on your bucket of your batch , you should get the exact levels online for your specific bucket
 
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Phillyjay

Phillyjay

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Besides salinity I haven’t tested a fresh batch. However this is interesting because I do mix the salt using a closed 5 gallon container that I rotate around until mixed. Does that sound like something that could cause the issue?? I do see everyone using a power head in a bucket to mix maybe I will try that. Refractometer seems on point as I check it against rodi water every few weeks.
Try to test calcium and Alk in your next mix , I would fix your current values doing water changes with water with the normal values. You have a code on your bucket of your batch , you should get the exact levels online for your specific bucket
Awesome thanks guys!! I feel like the mixing is definitley the Issue. Something I didn’t even consider as I just saw someone mention mixing the salt for at least 6 hrs Will check this out tomorrow when I grab some more ro water.
 

Zer0

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So, I was talking about rolling the bucket of salt mix, not rolling the bucket around to mix saltwater lol. I highly recommend using a powerhead to mix saltwater because it’s infinitely easier, but as long as you can see that the salt is fully dissolved in the water, I doubt that’s what is causing this issue.
 

Reef.

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Besides salinity I haven’t tested a fresh batch. However this is interesting because I do mix the salt using a closed 5 gallon container that I rotate around until mixed. Does that sound like something that could cause the issue?? I do see everyone using a power head in a bucket to mix maybe I will try that. Refractometer seems on point as I check it against rodi water every few weeks.

you either need to use a powerhead or a return to mix the salt for around 24 hours, rolling the barrel is not going to do it.

Clowns are quite hardly but they can only take so much.

I think it's a combination of the way you mix the salt and your salinity is probably off, trust me when I say using rodi water to calibrate the refractometer is not good, you need to use 35ppt salt water and also you say your salinity is only 32-33? Not sure why you are aiming for salinity this low? 35ppt would be better to aim for, but first you need to 100% check your refractometer and they also need calibration more often than every month, some need it every time you use them.

I would buy a tropic Marin hydrometer, this will get your salinity exactly to 35ppt, you then can use that water to calibrate your refractometer and use that, just keeping the hydrometer as a safety backup.
 
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Phillyjay

Phillyjay

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you either need to use a powerhead or a return to mix the salt for around 24 hours, rolling the barrel is not going to do it.

Clowns are quite hardly but they can only take so much.

I think it's a combination of the way you mix the salt and your salinity is probably off, trust me when I say using rodi water to calibrate the refractometer is not good, you need to use 35ppt salt water and also you say your salinity is only 32-33? Not sure why you are aiming for salinity this low? 35ppt would be better to aim for, but first you need to 100% check your refractometer and they also need calibration more often than every month, some need it every time you use them.

I would buy a tropic Marin hydrometer, this will get your salinity exactly to 35ppt, you then can use that water to calibrate your refractometer and use that, just keeping the hydrometer as a safety backup.
Thanks reef! Ok will definitley try The power head mix method for 24hrs and see what I test at. Thanks for the tip on refractometer. Will definitley check that more in detail and see about getting the tropic hydrometer to compare. I was shooting for 33 as that’s what I saw online for coral reef tanks.
 

Zer0

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Anything between and including 1.023 and 1.026 is perfectly acceptable. You’ll find that a lot of people try to rationalize or justify why their reason for using a specific salinity is superior, but at the end of the day it’s simply personal preference until you get in to the hyper and/or hypo salinity ranges which have specific applications. The key is stability. Pick an acceptable salinity and stick to it as best you can.
 

DeniseAndy

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What water are you using? RO/DI or RO or tap, etc?

Okay, not sure I have this correct, but you said you were adding the AB+ on schedule? Is that a trace element replacement dosing method? If so, you should not be doing that yet. Without corals to absorb them, you do not need to replace them and could be throwing values off. I never dose anything without actually measuring its usage (if it is new to me).

Get the salinity up to the target of 35ppt or 1.026 specific gravity. This will help keep the inverts happier. What snails are you buying? Some just do not handle change well and some do dormant during travel and some just do not work well in new systems.

Zoas can be touchy. A good starter test is gsp or palys. These can give you some help stabalizing and you can always remove them when you decide on the type of system you want. Just keep them confined to a rock away from other rocks (a bit more difficult in a 10g).

If I misunderstood what you were saying, please let me know. I want to give you accurate information.
 
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jcosta98

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What water are you using? RO/DI or RO or tap, etc?

Okay, not sure I have this correct, but you said you were adding the AB+ on schedule? Is that a trace element replacement dosing method? If so, you should not be doing that yet. Without corals to absorb them, you do not need to replace them and could be throwing values off. I never dose anything without actually measuring its usage (if it is new to me).

Get the salinity up to the target of 35ppt or 1.026 specific gravity. This will help keep the inverts happier. What snails are you buying? Some just do not handle change well and some do dormant during travel and some just do not work well in new systems.

Zoas can be touchy. A good starter test is gsp or palys. These can give you some help stabalizing and you can always remove them when you decide on the type of system you want. Just keep them confined to a rock away from other rocks (a bit more difficult in a 10g).

If I misunderstood what you were saying, please let me know. I want to give you accurate information.
AB+ was the light spectrum, from what I can tell he's not dosing anything
 

Reef.

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Thanks reef! Ok will definitley try The power head mix method for 24hrs and see what I test at. Thanks for the tip on refractometer. Will definitley check that more in detail and see about getting the tropic hydrometer to compare. I was shooting for 33 as that’s what I saw online for coral reef tanks.

you can have your salt a little lower, the main aim is to have it consistent, also remember that with lower salinity that will also lower your other parameters in the tank such as alk, mag, calcium etc so the parameters on the label of your salt bucket will be lower in the tank because you have used less salt, you then may find later down the line you end up dosing alk, mag etc to raise those parameters back up as your corals use them.p, so a little counter productive.

35ppt is the average of the salinity in the oceans, so slightly less or a touch higher is still ok, though I would say 32/33 is on the low side.
 

primoleo

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I believe your biggest problem is a tank that is biologically overloaded and too young to sustain its inhabitants biology. IMHO 2 clowns in 10g is bad life for them and hard time for you
 
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