New to R2R! Started out strong!

newreefer88

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Hello all I am so very excited to be here!

My name is Mark and I am brand new to reefing! I live in Central Pennsylvania, work full-time, and I am a full-time student so I am looking for a bit of a 'creative' outlet. I have wanted a reef tank since I was younger and finally took the plunge. I am extremely diligent on researching but unfortunately I am running into some questions that seem a bit more difficult to find.

I am starting with the 5 gallon Fluval Evo. Before I go any further I would like to let everyone know I am well aware of the struggles surrounding a smaller tank, saltwater, and reef. I am planning a move late 2022 to San Diego and do not want the troubles of moving a large tank. With this being said, I would like to stray from any unproductive and negative comments regarding nano/pico.

My tank has cycled a few months back and I have added a blue legged hermit and a clown to my tank, my water levels have been holding steady except for one, my KH. See below for my numbers and any helpful tips on lowering KH levels would be helpful!

PH- 8.1
Temp. 77.5
Ammonia 0.25 ppm
Nitrite 0.00 ppm
Nitrate 0.10 ppm
Salinity 1.026
Calcium 440
KH 16
Phosphate 0.25 ppm

Thanks for any information and I look forward to learning so much more!
 

G Santana

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Welcome to R2R and the salt side of life
ZomboMeme 04012022132637.jpg
 
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newreefer88

newreefer88

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Welcome to the R2R!

I am a new reefer and have a small tank too, just starting my own build thread :) Do you have any plan to make a build thread?
Thank you! I would love to if I had more time, maybe my next tank! Haha
 
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Jimbhoy13

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Welcome to R2R and the salty world Mark. May be worth investing in different test kits. Hannah, Salifert, and Red Sea should give you more accuracy. For now maybe get it tested at a decent lfs to get a reference point. Lots of knowledgeable and helpful people here who will support and advise you when needed.
 
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attiland

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Hello all I am so very excited to be here!

My name is Mark and I am brand new to reefing! I live in Central Pennsylvania, work full-time, and I am a full-time student so I am looking for a bit of a 'creative' outlet. I have wanted a reef tank since I was younger and finally took the plunge. I am extremely diligent on researching but unfortunately I am running into some questions that seem a bit more difficult to find.

I am starting with the 5 gallon Fluval Evo. Before I go any further I would like to let everyone know I am well aware of the struggles surrounding a smaller tank, saltwater, and reef. I am planning a move late 2022 to San Diego and do not want the troubles of moving a large tank. With this being said, I would like to stray from any unproductive and negative comments regarding nano/pico.

My tank has cycled a few months back and I have added a blue legged hermit and a clown to my tank, my water levels have been holding steady except for one, my KH. See below for my numbers and any helpful tips on lowering KH levels would be helpful!

PH- 8.1
Temp. 77.5
Ammonia 0.25 ppm
Nitrite 0.00 ppm
Nitrate 0.10 ppm
Salinity 1.026
Calcium 440
KH 16
Phosphate 0.25 ppm

Thanks for any information and I look forward to learning so much more!
Welcome to R2R
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Jonify

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HI Mark--and welcome! :) That alk is abnormally high, so it leads me to believe it's probably just a testing fluke. Try a different alk test. If it's still high, several water changes will bring it down. 12 is safe territory. 8-9 is better. :) Keep an eye on it and see if it's creeping back up even without you doing anything. You can generally choose the level you want to keep, from 7-12, but once you choose, based on what you're trying to achieve, you should hold it there, and not let it swing more than .1-.3 a day, if you can help it.

Congrats on joining, looking forward to following you!
 
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MaxTremors

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Welcome!
If you’re not dosing anything, I would guess it’s a testing fluke. Are you calibrating your refractometer? You said you’re using distilled for top offs and water changes, are you making your own salt water for water changes, or?? (remember any salt water you take out you need to replace with saltwater, water that evaporates should be replaced with fresh RODI/Distilled water). As others mentioned, take a sample to your lfs and see if their test matches (or get a different test kit). I wouldn’t suggest getting any corals until you get your Alk down and stable. Stony corals do consume Alk to grow, but Alk that high is likely to kill any corals before they can adjust to your tank and start growing (plus a small frag or two of an lps isn’t going to consume much Alk anyway).

I know you said no comments about nanos, but this isn’t about nanos in and of themselves, I don’t think they’re any more difficult than larger tanks. That said, a 5g tank is not big enough for a clown (even a 10g is technically too small). It might be okay if you have a tiny juvenile, but it will very quickly outgrow it (like less than 6 months). Sub-10g tanks should only have one or two nano sized gobies or shrimp, clowns get too big and are too active to be housed in such a small tank. I would recommend having a plan in place to take it back to the lfs within a few months, a neon or clown goby would be a good replacement.
 
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newreefer88

newreefer88

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Welcome!
If you’re not dosing anything, I would guess it’s a testing fluke. Are you calibrating your refractometer? You said you’re using distilled for top offs and water changes, are you making your own salt water for water changes, or?? (remember any salt water you take out you need to replace with saltwater, water that evaporates should be replaced with fresh RODI/Distilled water). As others mentioned, take a sample to your lfs and see if their test matches (or get a different test kit). I wouldn’t suggest getting any corals until you get your Alk down and stable. Stony corals do consume Alk to grow, but Alk that high is likely to kill any corals before they can adjust to your tank and start growing (plus a small frag or two of an lps isn’t going to consume much Alk anyway).

I know you said no comments about nanos, but this isn’t about nanos in and of themselves, I don’t think they’re any more difficult than larger tanks. That said, a 5g tank is not big enough for a clown (even a 10g is technically too small). It might be okay if you have a tiny juvenile, but it will very quickly outgrow it (like less than 6 months). Sub-10g tanks should only have one or two nano sized gobies or shrimp, clowns get too big and are too active to be housed in such a small tank. I would recommend having a plan in place to take it back to the lfs within a few months, a neon or clown goby would be a good replacement.
 
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newreefer88

newreefer88

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Thank you so much for your reply! I am happy to report it was in fact a testing fluke and my number is at a happy 10! As far as the clown, my boss owns a 90g tank and I'm planning on giving the clown to him when he out grows the tank. He is a very small clown :)
 
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newreefer88

newreefer88

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HI Mark--and welcome! :) That alk is abnormally high, so it leads me to believe it's probably just a testing fluke. Try a different alk test. If it's still high, several water changes will bring it down. 12 is safe territory. 8-9 is better. :) Keep an eye on it and see if it's creeping back up even without you doing anything. You can generally choose the level you want to keep, from 7-12, but once you choose, based on what you're trying to achieve, you should hold it there, and not let it swing more than .1-.3 a day, if you can help it.

Congrats on joining, looking forward to following you!
 
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