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Old 03/24/2010, 07:03 PM   #1
austinocean
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Unhappy First coral...is he sick?

We just got our first tank and coral - the leather stool doesn't seem to be doing well, but we're not sure if he isn't doing well or just taking a while to get used to the tank? His polyps came out on day 1 and we have not seen them since. His color doesn't seem as vibrant as it was either.

Here are our tank specs and a picture - we'd love your advice! Thank you!

72g bowfront
2 cfl lights, 1 actinic blue light (new)
charcoal, eheim filters and protein skimmer
pH 8.35, alkalinity in "normal" zone
temp 78degrees
salinity 1.016
feeding brine shrimp
2 damsels, 1 angelfish, 1 clown fish - several hermit crabs
bubble rock


the coral was near the bubble rock and we moved it 3days ago - now it is on top of the live rock, near the charcoal filter output


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File Type: jpg leather stool.jpg (49.5 KB, 141 views)
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Old 03/24/2010, 07:14 PM   #2
f350power
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Mine took over a week to come out.


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Old 03/24/2010, 07:50 PM   #3
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If your salinity is 1.016 that could be Your problem. It should be 1.024. What are you using to measure this?


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Old 03/24/2010, 07:51 PM   #4
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BTW, what the heck is a bubble rock?


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Foxface, tomato clown, yellow tailed damsel, Starrie Blennie, LPS and softies
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Current Tank Info: 55 gl. Reef tank ,29g biocube Reef
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Old 03/24/2010, 07:58 PM   #5
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To Reef Central

I read it so fast, I just assumed that he said rubble, and thats what I think he meant.

First, how long has the tank been set up before you got the leather?

2nd, if your salinity is ACTUALLY 1.016, that's horrible. It has to be at least 1.023, preferably 1.025-1.026. That could really poorly affect his health. ALSO, don't let it raise too fast. I would do maybe 2-3 5% WC's with 1.020 water for like 2 days, to bring it up a LITTLE quickly, then make 1.026 water, and top off with that for a few days until our SG is at the correct point.


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Old 03/24/2010, 07:58 PM   #6
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my recomendation is to begin raising your salinity if it is indeed 1.016 that is way too low. Proper range for most inverts is 1.023 t0 1.025. do a few gallon water change and increase the salinity of the replacement water to around 1.023 untill you get where you need to be. space theese out a little say mabey once in the morning then again around dinner time if you try to raise it too quickly you could do more harm than good.


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Old 03/24/2010, 07:59 PM   #7
Reefbuoy
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Start topping off your tank with 1.016 salt water until your tank gradually gets up to 1.024. Are you using a refractometer?


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Old 03/25/2010, 11:27 AM   #8
austinocean
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Thank you all very much - using a seatest hydrometer. I will check it again tonight. If I top off water that is 1.016 with water that is 1.016, that won't make the level come up, will it?

Is there a better way to measure it more accurately?


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Old 03/25/2010, 11:28 AM   #9
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Oh... and I'm still learning terminology - can't remember what the thing under the substrate is called that makes bubbles...?


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Old 03/25/2010, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinocean View Post
Oh... and I'm still learning terminology - can't remember what the thing under the substrate is called that makes bubbles...?
Under gravel filter???

My Toadstool has its good days and bad days as far as looks so don't be shocked when it doesn't look the same everyday. That being said, I agree with everyone else about the salinity, probably the main problem.

Best advice is to read, read, read!!! You can learn tons on ReefCentral and no question is dumb so keep asking!


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Old 03/25/2010, 12:13 PM   #11
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Oh... and I'm still learning terminology - can't remember what the thing under the substrate is called that makes bubbles...?
Airstone?

Whatever it is-- if you mean that there is something in the tank under the sand generating bubbles -- you may want to remove it. Saltwater tanks are a lot different than freshwater. In some cases, airstones or other bubbles may be helpful (like in the case of a power outage and you need aeration), but most of the time you do not need them.

How long has the tank been set up? This is very important for us to know. Also - you have your latest water test values and how they were tested (what test kit)? "alkalinity in "normal" zone" is one of those items that can mean many different things. For soft corals, lower ALK is not an issue, but for LPS and SPS, somewhat higher levels are recommended - AND they need to be fairly constant (swings can cause issues).

good luck


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Old 03/25/2010, 02:44 PM   #12
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Ammonia will affect corals too.

To answer your question on will topping off with 1.016 water keep salinity the same, the answer is no.

When water evaporates, salt stays in the water. Salt cannot evaporate. Only the water evaporates. So, if you top off with water that has salt in it, you will in essence be adding more salt to your existing salt water.

Think of it this way. Say you have a gallon of water with 1 teaspoon of salt in it. You boil off the water and you still will have 1 teaspoon of salt left in theory. Now, what if you add another gallon of water that also has 1 teaspoon of salt in it? Lets say you only boil off 1 gallon of water. How much salt is going to be in that 1 gallon of water. In theory it would be 2 teaspoons in 1 gallon of water. If you boiled both gallons of water, you would be left with 2 teaspoons of salt.

So, let's say in your aquarium, you have 1 gallon of evaporation a day..

Let's say for example you have 25 cups of salt in a 50 gallon aquarium. say 10 gallons of water evaporates over 10 days. You would still have 25 cups of salt in 40 gallons of water.

So, if you're topping off water every day that has salt in it, essentially you are simply increasing your salt concentrations in the aquarium.

And yes, 1.016 is way too low for salt water tanks. I'm not sure what Brackish salt levels are, but that seems to sound closer to brackish tanks than SW tanks. Either way, corals won't survive in 1.016. I'm surprised your fish are surviving. I thought SW fish needed 1.020 to 1.023 to breathe currently in salt water.

Also, I thought running airstones in Salt water would do something with the PH of the water? Either way, Saltwater looks much better without airstones.


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Old 03/25/2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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wow i never though about that... when i top off i add salt to my water so in turn I'm actually raising the salinity! Great bit of knowledge there thanks Travis.


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Old 03/25/2010, 03:17 PM   #14
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People generally top off with RO/DI water and only use there salt mixed water for water changes


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Old 03/25/2010, 03:18 PM   #15
travis32
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Your welcome. If you're topping off with salt water, be sure to check your salinity. It's o.k. if you want to slowly raise it, but if you're routinely doing that, you could easily hit the 1.030 mark and not even know it.


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Old 03/25/2010, 04:34 PM   #16
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Yeah I guess one should clarify. If you manually remove water from a tank. e.g. not through evaporation, but through a siphon, vaccum, pump, or some other method where you're actually removing water. THEN you are removing salt and water.

It is only through evaporation that the salt remains in the existing water in the tank. Probably a good point to make.


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Old 03/25/2010, 05:27 PM   #17
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When you can buy a refractometer those hydrometers are usually pretty far off.


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Old 03/25/2010, 07:12 PM   #18
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pretty far? like a dangerous amount?


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Old 03/25/2010, 07:26 PM   #19
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How long has the tank been running? What are the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? These are all important factors concerning your corals wellbeing.

And to beat a dead horse, I agree with the salinity comments.


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Old 03/25/2010, 09:14 PM   #20
austinocean
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well...tomorrow I'm off to find test kits for nitrates and ammonia, I guess... and some more salt. I'll pull the airstone out this weekend. Are all refractometers created equal? Moving the leather stool over by the protein skimmer to get some more movement seemed to help.


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Old 04/25/2010, 05:18 PM   #21
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welcome to rc!!!


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Old 04/25/2010, 11:11 PM   #22
jc-reef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by innate1 View Post
When you can buy a refractometer those hydrometers are usually pretty far off.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by reef_keeper View Post
pretty far? like a dangerous amount?
Like innate1 stated above, it would be a very sound investment, IMO, to use a refractrometer. I'm pretty new to the hobby myself and when I initially set up my 90g...I mixed the salt water using a hydrometer until my refractrometer was shipped to me. The hydrometer indicated my water was at 1.026 but when my refractrometer arrived, it actually was at 1.032!! None the less, I needed to reduce back down to 1.026.

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinocean View Post
well...tomorrow I'm off to find test kits for nitrates and ammonia, I guess... and some more salt. I'll pull the airstone out this weekend. Are all refractometers created equal? Moving the leather stool over by the protein skimmer to get some more movement seemed to help.
I would guess not. I know you can get pretty good ones for $100 or less. I got mine from one of RC sponsers The Filter Guys. Is called a (Vee Gee)....recommended by a respected hobbyist. It has worked great for me!

OP...Welcome to RC!!


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Old 04/26/2010, 12:11 AM   #23
Lannyrx7
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The marine depot refractometer is a good little tool and I think they run from 40 to 60 bucks. They can be recalibrated manually and last. Some can get way up there in price but keep it simple is a good game plan. Once you touch a refractometer you'll never want to set eyes on a hydrometer again!
For the meantime clean your hydrometer out and test it multiple times on a flat surface. If it keeps reading 1.016.. well +1 on bringing it up.


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Old 04/26/2010, 12:24 AM   #24
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Definetly replace your hydrometer with a refratometer and by the calibration solution.


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