wierd issue

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lordraptor1

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ok this is a wierd issue to me as i have never had it happen to me in the past so i thought i would ask here.

ok for a little background, been out of hobby for 12 years + and im setting up a new 150 gallon tank using dry rock and sand, the rock was used 12+ years ago and been in the shed dry ever since, i rinsed it prior to putting it in tank, and the sand was former live sand given to me by a local reef shop which was wet but based on the smell dead as disco and it to was rinsed thoughly and put in tank where it sat dry for almost a month.

now last night i mixed my saltwater ( fritz rpm) which liked to absorb moisture from the air and cake up on my measuring cups ( like to know if this is normal of fritz rpm if anyone knows).

ok so now onto the issue, i went to bed at 4 AM ( as soon as i finished filling the tank and setting up the return and wave pumps) and this afternoon ( 3:30-4:00 PM i tested the parameters using 2 different test kits API and Salifert and found that the ammonia, and nitrate were off the chart on both and the nitrates were high end of the low range, keep in mind there is NOTHING alive in the tank and im wondering what could be the cause of this after 12 hours +/- ammonia, nitrite this high?

i have dr tims one and only coming in on saturday so i need to figure out what is going on and remedy this asap. i dont have enough cash to buy another box of fritz for a major water change and im guessing i might be able to mix up MAYBE 10 gallons with the salt mix i have left from my current box.

so if anyone has any thoughts or ideas im all ears ( or rather eyes in this case)
 

andrewey

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Your results are to be expected. Since you used formerly live rock, the rock now needs to cure- which is to say you are going to have to break down all the formerly live organisms that are dead and trapped in the rock. You should find that as the rock sits for a few more days, your nitrates should continue to rise (you will also see a similar trend with phosphate). If you want a more detailed explanation of this process, feel free to check out live rock curing. In addition, all the previous die off has triggered an ammonia spike- I usually didn't see my ammonia levels rise that quickly when curing rock (usually it took around a day), but assuming your test kits are accurate, that would be my guess.

In any event, you have a couple options at this point. You could cure your live rock and perform water changes until your phosphate/nitrate eventually drop down (you can also use phosphate binders during this portion if you choose). Additionally, my personal preference would be to pull the rock and pressure wash before curing (to speed up the cure by removing much of the trapped organics/die off) or bleach the rock (and if you're worried about phosphates, you can acid wash the rock) and then cycle the new dry rock.
 

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So the tank just got setup? Just let the cycle complete itself naturally, patience it will cycle in a month or so.
 
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lordraptor1

lordraptor1

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Your results are to be expected. Since you used formerly live rock, the rock now needs to cure- which is to say you are going to have to break down all the formerly live organisms that are dead and trapped in the rock. You should find that as the rock sits for a few more days, your nitrates should continue to rise (you will also see a similar trend with phosphate). If you want a more detailed explanation of this process, feel free to check out live rock curing. In addition, all the previous die off has triggered an ammonia spike- I usually didn't see my ammonia levels rise that quickly when curing rock (usually it took around a day), but assuming your test kits are accurate, that would be my guess.

In any event, you have a couple options at this point. You could cure your live rock and perform water changes until your phosphate/nitrate eventually drop down (you can also use phosphate binders during this portion if you choose). Additionally, my personal preference would be to pull the rock and pressure wash before curing (to speed up the cure by removing much of the trapped organics/die off) or bleach the rock (and if you're worried about phosphates, you can acid wash the rock) and then cycle the new dry rock.
well if it wasnt for the fact that the rock has been dry for 12 years+ i question it being the rock, however i can see the sand i used being the problem as it was wet when i picked it up although dead and i rinsed the hell out of it to get rid of the smell and get it as clear as possible before putting it in the tank and it has been setting in the tank a month or 2 dry, but yeah i could see the 3" deep sandbed being the cause of it. only thing i know to do is keep testing it and hope like hell it works itself out before this saturday because that is when my dr tims is coming in and it is not like i have room in my fridge to store the dr tims to keep the beneficial bacteria alive in it.
 
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lordraptor1

lordraptor1

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So the tank just got setup? Just let the cycle complete itself naturally, patience it will cycle in a month or so.
problem is i have dr tims one and only coming in on saturday and i cant even put it in the tank with the ammonia in as high and nitrites as high as they are.
 
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lordraptor1

lordraptor1

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So the tank just got setup? Just let the cycle complete itself naturally, patience it will cycle in a month or so.
yes set up less than 24 hours ago with all dry stuff so there shouldnt be anything dead or dying in the system. hence why i find it wierd that the ammonia and nitrites are off the chart on 2 different test kits.
 

andrewey

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I think you should look into curing live rock (different from cycling live rock). If done properly, it will save you a load of trouble down the road. I understand not wanting to waste the Dr. Tims, but trust me- the time you take in learning about curing previously live rock, will pay dividends in the next six months. I wouldn't let the money spent on the Dr. Tims prevent you from starting the tank on the right foot. Best of luck!
 
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lordraptor1

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I think you should look into curing live rock (different from cycling live rock). If done properly, it will save you a load of trouble down the road. I understand not wanting to waste the Dr. Tims, but trust me- the time you take in learning about curing previously live rock, will pay dividends in the next six months. I wouldn't let the money spent on the Dr. Tims prevent you from starting the tank on the right foot. Best of luck!

so basically you are saying that anyone who buys dry rock should "cure" it? why is it that there are thousands of people out there buying and starting tanks with NOTHING but dry base rock and sand and none of them are curing it, to be clear there isnt isnt ANYthing live it is dry/base/DEAD, there should be absolutley NO reason to cure anything as there is nothing to "cure" with the exception to ammonia, nitrite and best guess is 15 nitrate after roughly 12 hours of setup. i appreciate the thoughts but lets just be real here why keep pushing the "cure" when as i thought i had clearly stated in the beginning this is dry/dead/base outside of the sand which was rinse, strained, filtered and picked through pryor to using it. would i say it could be the sand? sure but no way should ammonia and nitrite be off the chart on 2 different branded test kits in actually less than 12 hours ( went to bed at 4 am, checked the parameters when i got up between 3 and 3:30 P.M.

so again im wanting to know what could cause an ammonia and nitrite max out after less than 12 hours of being set up?
 
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So the tank just got setup? Just let the cycle complete itself naturally, patience it will cycle in a month or so.
yes initial test of water was done 12 hours after getting the tank filled and pumps circulating and the ammonia and nitrite are maxxed out on 2 different brand test kits after less than 12 hours using DRY/DEAD/BASE rock and thoroughly rinsed drained, strained, and picked through sand from local reef shop ( by local i mean closest to me which is 1.5 hours away one way or 3 hour round trip drive)
 

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I just wanted to state that maybe the bottom layer of sand did not dry - I had a Rubbermaid tote filled with sand - at least 10” . It sat for over 3 Years - was still damp when I finally got around to using it .

The smell plus the sand still potentially being wet (and decaying) would contribute to your ammonia
 
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so basically you are saying that anyone who buys dry rock should "cure" it? why is it that there are thousands of people out there buying and starting tanks with NOTHING but dry base rock and sand and none of them are curing it, to be clear there isnt isnt ANYthing live it is dry/base/DEAD, there should be absolutley NO reason to cure anything as there is nothing to "cure" with the exception to ammonia, nitrite and best guess is 15 nitrate after roughly 12 hours of setup. i appreciate the thoughts but lets just be real here why keep pushing the "cure" when as i thought i had clearly stated in the beginning this is dry/dead/base outside of the sand which was rinse, strained, filtered and picked through pryor to using it. would i say it could be the sand? sure but no way should ammonia and nitrite be off the chart on 2 different branded test kits in actually less than 12 hours ( went to bed at 4 am, checked the parameters when i got up between 3 and 3:30 P.M.

so again im wanting to know what could cause an ammonia and nitrite max out after less than 12 hours of being set up?
Not cleaning the rock properly. Sorry but "rinsing" the rock isn't gonna do a thing. Should've had it in a brute can with bleach and water for a couple of days, then dump the water and blow out all that nooks with a hose, repeat if you want, but when you're done put the rock back in the brute, fill with ro/di or tap water and add prime, let that sit for a bit, then let the rock sit in the sun for a day or 2.
 

Phildabong

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Not cleaning the rock properly. Sorry but "rinsing" the rock isn't gonna do a thing. Should've had it in a brute can with bleach and water for a couple of days, then dump the water and blow out all that nooks with a hose, repeat if you want, but when you're done put the rock back in the brute, fill with ro/di or tap water and add prime, let that sit for a bit, then let the rock sit in the sun for a day or 2.
Oh yea and what dry rock are you seeing them buy, you being out of the hobby so long means a lot has changed, they sell manufactured "dry painted rock" now, meaning their was no die off of any kind. Good luck with the new build, just don't forget to enjoy it, you seem frustrated already.
 
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I just wanted to state that maybe the bottom layer of sand did not dry - I had a Rubbermaid tote filled with sand - at least 10” . It sat for over 3 Years - was still damp when I finally got around to using it .

The smell plus the sand still potentially being wet (and decaying) would contribute to your ammonia

yeah i thought of that but as it turns out none of it is the issue, i just did a test of the fresh mixed saltwater i made this morning and it is also sitting at 8.0 PPM or higher on both test kits, so that narrows the filed to either my brute trash can or the fritz RPM salt and i am leaning towards a bad batch of fritz RPM based on how it was caking really thick on my measuring cups and RODI water is being made with brand new filters in my unit and has 0 TDS and tests 0 for ammo and trites ( yes i tested my RODI water to both out of brute container and my RODI unit). i will be calling fritz today on the issue.

this really suck because it takes a long time to make up 150 gallons of water volume for my system and it will be worse now having to remove rock and sand to make sure as much of the water is gone as possible and rinsing all the sand and rock yet again.

appreciate the thoughts and opinions folks. just found this strange to say the least.


again i have narrowed it down to either salt mix or brute container as the water tests off the chart for ammonia and nitrites in my brute mixing container.
 
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lordraptor1

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Not cleaning the rock properly. Sorry but "rinsing" the rock isn't gonna do a thing. Should've had it in a brute can with bleach and water for a couple of days, then dump the water and blow out all that nooks with a hose, repeat if you want, but when you're done put the rock back in the brute, fill with ro/di or tap water and add prime, let that sit for a bit, then let the rock sit in the sun for a day or 2.
read my below comment, found the issue is NOT with the tank at all but the salt mix coming out of my brute water mixing container
 
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lordraptor1

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Oh yea and what dry rock are you seeing them buy, you being out of the hobby so long means a lot has changed, they sell manufactured "dry painted rock" now, meaning their was no die off of any kind. Good luck with the new build, just don't forget to enjoy it, you seem frustrated already.

not frustrated at all just found this a weird issue, and as far as what i see people buying, and using without cooking/cleaning is dry fiji rock, "base" ( unspecified) rock, marco rock, and even marinepure rock ( although why someone would choose marinepure rock with how fragile it is quite frankly is beyond me).

anyway the problem has been narrowed to the saltwater coming out of my mixing container. rodi water tests good out of my rodi unit so next is to pur some plain rodi in my brute can and tehn take a sample of rodi water out of my brute can and see if it still reads high ammonia and nitrites, if not i will have narrowed it to the fritz RPM.
 
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Thespammailaccount

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yeah i thought of that but as it turns out none of it is the issue, i just did a test of the fresh mixed saltwater i made this morning and it is also sitting at 8.0 PPM or higher on both test kits, so that narrows the filed to either my brute trash can or the fritz RPM salt and i am leaning towards a bad batch of fritz RPM based on how it was caking really thick on my measuring cups and RODI water is being made with brand new filters in my unit and has 0 TDS and tests 0 for ammo and trites ( yes i tested my RODI water to both out of brute container and my RODI unit). i will be calling fritz today on the issue.

this really suck because it takes a long time to make up 150 gallons of water volume for my system and it will be worse now having to remove rock and sand to make sure as much of the water is gone as possible and rinsing all the sand and rock yet again.

appreciate the thoughts and opinions folks. just found this strange to say the least.


again i have narrowed it down to either salt mix or brute container as the water tests off the chart for ammonia and nitrites in my brute mixing container.
If you are detecting ammonia from freshly made salt it is from the water not the salt or the trash can. Sounds like your city treats the water with chloramines which show as ammonia on an ammonia test kit. Do you use RODI water? Ammonia at 8ppm is extremely high. I live in a very large city and ammonia is between 2-4ppm
 
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Thespammailaccount

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Furthermore I would personally pull the rock out and soak it in a bleach bath and also test phosphates and see if they also need to be addressed. If not you will more than likely run into many nutrient issues and algae problems. The green hair algae could get so long you might be able to braid it
 
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lordraptor1

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If you are detecting ammonia from freshly made salt it is from the water not the salt or the trash can. Sounds like your city treats the water with chloramines which show as ammonia on an ammonia test kit. Do you use RODI water? Ammonia at 8ppm is extremely high. I live in a very large city and ammonia is between 2-4ppm
i will re-iterate for you since you clearly did not read my comment, specifically where i said " RODI water is being made with brand new filters in my unit and has 0 TDS and tests 0 for ammo and trites ( yes i tested my RODI water to both out of brute container and my RODI unit). i am using the same rodi unit as i did 10 years ago in the same town only difference is the rodi unit has new filters, membrane, and di resin and i did not have this issue years ago. with that said i have no idea what ardmore oklahoma does to their water all i know is that for some odd reason i have ammonia over 8ppm in fresh mixed saltwater and tank but not in the rodi water out of my rodi unit so im puzzled. again i am sure at this point the rock and sand have NOTHING to do with it as it has already been ruled out. a side note is there are a few really dead set on curing rock but none have said to cure the sand ( which FYI if the rock could cause the issue so could the sand that is just common sense however i have already ruled out the rock and sand as the culprit).
 

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BRS did a video on this. If your community is using chloramines in the water a RODI filter can let these pass through. You need a chlorine/chloramine filter ahead of the RODI unit to insure these are being removed.
 
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lordraptor1

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BRS did a video on this. If your community is using chloramines in the water a RODI filter can let these pass through. You need a chlorine/chloramine filter ahead of the RODI unit to insure these are being removed.

yes but as i have already said the ammonia out of my rodi unit is 0, nada, zip hence the weird issue.
 
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