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Some new rules!

Posted 02/01/2014 at 01:35 PM by zitra

I think I have learned one new rule this week.

"Before any chemical experiments, check some physics." or "Before fixing things with supplements, try some water changes."

I have been somewhat concerned about my alkalinity dropping during the first week. I was looking for complicated solutions and in the end the simple one fixed it. It seems. I have done couple of 15% WC, and things are settling down nicely.

But lets start with our old good friend. Nitrogen

My tank is two weeks old and I have to say I have never seen such a pretty N-cycle. Look!

[IMG]http://radekzitek.cz/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/n-cycle-2.jpg[/IMG]

I have done fishless cycle obviously. Added bit of my trusty 25% solution of NH3 two times. 19th and 26th. If I calculate the ppm right on the 26th I have added NH3 to 3ppm. But on 27th the spike was just 0.5ppm. So that was clear that the first step was moving along quite nicely.

What surprised me is the NO2 and NO3. The NO2 surprised that it came as fast as it went. Normally I would expect it to drop off at slower pace but no. Went down like a rock in three to four days. I fully expect to be unmeasurable tomorrow.

The NO3 is similar thing. How come it came down so fast? It can not be attributed to the 30% of water I changes during the cycle. So either the bio pellets are absolute miracle or the macro algae is helping it along (I doubt that, I was added to refugium on 30th and I was looking at it more like at adding stuff to decompose, it is nothing pretty, just some leftovers). BTW, do people use the bio pellets in the fresh water tanks? This could be just the ticket for my Malawi tank.

Phosphorus - the RowaPhos liquidated that in few days.

[IMG]http://radekzitek.cz/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/po4-2.jpg[/IMG]

Now the trinity of Alkalinity-Calcium-Magnesium.

[IMG]http://radekzitek.cz/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/alk-2.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://radekzitek.cz/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ca-2.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://radekzitek.cz/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/mg-2.jpg[/IMG]

The two spikes in Alk are when I was trying to stabilise it by soda ash. I think that was not needed. I think water changes stabilise it at the 2.80. It is holding there for almost a week. Magnesium is settling as well. Just Calcium is bit wild.

I have a Calcium at between the 500 and 600. It is now at 540 and I am not sure why is it so high. I will look at the salt next time I mix the water. But I have a little suspicion that there is some Ca leaching from the gravel (aragonite) or the big dead reef rock in the middle. As well the strange spikes might just be a measurement errors. It is like 4-5 drops difference between the top and bottom of that chart. I am using Salifert and am getting some Red Sea tests to double check.

Question is: Is too much Ca a problem? Except the danger of precipitation (I have had that once after first water change).

I am looking at one more week of stabilising the tank and then would like to get some cleanup crew in there. May be some hardy softie. But I do not want to kill anything yet!
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