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Old 02/20/2018, 11:12 PM   #1
ddckec6972
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37 day old tank water parms. Feed back welcome.

i have finally got my spread sheet formatted to produce graphs. it took me a small amount of time to buy all the testing kits, so this is why the dates are not consistent. going forward i plan on every other day for the next 30 days, may even test once in the morning and then once in the late evening.. ANYWAY ...key points to remember when reading these,

1. 1-14-18 Tank was set up with 60 lbs of live sand and 50 lb of cured live roak.

2. 1-29-18 live stock was added to the tank per the advise of three LFS's ( its ready they said,5 h carb, 3 nas snails , GSP. cheato, bottle of coop pods

3. ALK dosing preformed on 2-16-18.

4.10% Water change, cal an MG dosing preformed today.

5. There is a learning curve to theses test kits.










opinions please..... i am open to GOING FORWARD ADVICE... but be advised... i have a SMALL tolerance limit when reading the ..... YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS AND THAT feed back, You see my tardis is broken and i can no long travel back in time... LOL.



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Old 02/21/2018, 02:10 AM   #2
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.25 ammonia is not good. Ammonia should never be above 0.

With that said, ammonia tests are notorious for reading ammonia when there actually is none. What test kit are you using? If you truly do have ammonia and livestock in the tank, I would be looking into dosing some prime to lock up that toxic ammonia.

Also while you may find a decent LFS, most are in business to sell you things whether your tank is ready for them or not. So take everything they say with a grain of salt. We on the other hand could care less about your money and are only only here to help.


FWIW, there is a log sheet written in office(XML spreed sheet) that allows you to input your testing parameters and it will give you graphs you can compare. Its in one of the stickies in the reef discussion section.


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Old 02/21/2018, 05:50 AM   #3
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Its quite uncommon to dose anything in a new tank..
But it is common for newbies to not understand dosing or why people are always talking about it..

In general you should only start dosing when your current water change schedule is not sufficient to keep your water parameters stable because you have plenty of corals that are consuming it faster than your water changes are replenishing it..

In general a 10% weekly (or 20% every 2 week) water change is sufficient to keep parameters stable until you start getting a bunch of corals in there or sufficient coralline algae growth..

I would slow your roll if I was you.. dosing should not be needed at this time..


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Old 02/21/2018, 06:40 AM   #4
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Keeping track like that is awesome. I'd set your temperature bar wider, because while it looks like you are getting huge spikes and falls its really fine for the range you selected for the graph.

I would not dose, as mcgyvr suggested. I would not add anything else to the tank until it stabilizes.


You only have Chaeto in the tank, no corals? Don't dose alk. Keep testing and watching it. Any variances you see are more then likely guaranteed to be a result of your own inconsistencies in testing (no one is perfect) and this is a good benchmark for you to get into your head what kind of normal swings you might see.

It also allows you to set your benchmark for what parameters are standard with your salt mix. Now is a good time to record it, so that once your alkalinity drops (I wouldn't worry til you were as low as 7) then you can think about dosing if your water changes can't keep up.

You are going to want to wait for your ammonia to return to zero, and your nitrite to stay at zero. Your tank wasn't ready (As can be seen by the ammonia spike. 5 hermit crabs and 3 snails isn't a big bioshock). Let it cycle (or complete the mini-cycle) then continue to add things slowly in small amounts.

Welcome to reefing, post some pics!


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Old 02/21/2018, 09:07 AM   #5
ddckec6972
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thanks yall.
Quote:
Originally Posted by homer1475 View Post
What test kit are you using? If you truly do have ammonia and livestock in the tank, I would be looking into dosing some prime to lock up that toxic ammonia.
api for ammonia, im not a fan of dosing using prime, it increases TDS. i have tested this PRIME= HIGHER TDS theroy with my own TDS meter on tap and reef water.
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Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
But it is common for newbies to not understand dosing or why people are always talking about it..

In general you should only start dosing when your current water change schedule is not sufficient to keep your water parameters stable because you have plenty of corals that are consuming it faster than your water changes are replenishing it.
I have watched 1000 + 1 videos and read just as many blogs an articles, and they all say the same thing… when the three foundation levels, ca, mg, dkh get low you dose. So this is why I dosied two part . BRS is my preferred research source. Do you have a link to a source that explains why one should not dose?

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I would not dose, as mcgyvr suggested. I would not add anything else to the tank until it stabilizes.

You only have Chaeto in the tank, no corals? Don't dose alk.

Welcome to reefing, post some pics!
Yes to chaeto, and yes to corals, GPS, XENIA, Clove Polyp (small 3 heads/ stalks), trumpet coral (small 3 heads. I agree with the LFS sells pitching, but I did by into it, but I only bought very, VERYYYY , VERYYYYYYYY Small frags jut incase they were wrong. But all coral life is good and color ful. pics to come shortly.


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Old 02/21/2018, 09:31 AM   #6
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fresh off the press. shot glass is for scale. the gsp was fragged to aid in spreading faster.


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Old 02/21/2018, 11:24 AM   #7
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You need to realize that test kits are not super accurate and leave room for quite a bit of repeatability issues.. Do not react to that until a stable/consistent trend is noticed and that will not happen in a new tank like yours..
Alk/mag/cal is consumed at a mostly consistent rate by corals,etc... and used to build their skeletons..

Just looking at your alk readings I know its repeatability issues or just new tank instability as typically consumption is pretty darn consistent yet your numbers do not show any consistency there..

I'm only able to go by what you have stated so far but if one was to react to your initial few alk readings they might think your alk consumption was a few tenths of a point each day.. yet if you look at your last few there is no consumption to be seen.. Did all your corals die 4 days ago? no..

On to your cal/mag.. If you didn't start dosing today explain what was causing the numbers to rise ever now and then?

Hopefully you understand where I'm going here and can see that your tank is too new to be messing with dosing at this point and will hopefully realize that what I stated above as far as when to start dosing holds true..
You need to stick with a consistent water change schedule and continue monitoring your parameters.. If you don't have consistency there and learn to understand that what you may be seeing are inaccuracies in the test kit/method then you can run into trouble..
Give the tank time to reach its own stability before you start mucking with it..


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Old 02/21/2018, 11:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ddckec6972 View Post
thanks yall.
I have watched 1000 + 1 videos and read just as many blogs an articles, and they all say the same thing… when the three foundation levels, ca, mg, dkh get low you dose. So this is why I dosied two part . BRS is my preferred research source. Do you have a link to a source that explains why one should not dose?

As someone that probably read or watched most of those same ones in the last few months (My tank only started in November!) I can guarantee you that most of those same articles will mention two big things. Stability and trends.

You haven't had it up and running long enough to know what the trends are. As well, (tagging +1 to mcgyvr again) testing inconsistencies are a big thing. Look at your calcium and your magnesium. Alk/Cal/Magnesium are intricately tied together. And your calcium probably isn't actually swinging +/- 10-15 pts each day, its likely stable and the inconsistencies are from our hobbyist grade test kits or your own inherent human inaccuracy. We don't always measure exact amounts despite trying, we don't perfectly sterilize our equipment, etc, etc, etc.

Your corals are small enough that you will see a drop in alk, but I suspect it'll be over a period of weeks, not the one day difference between the 14th-15th of February.

To give you an idea, I drop about 1 dKh a week consistently. If you are concerned about your alkalinity and want to dose, here is the advice I was given that worked great for me.

Do your standard normal water change, and wait a few hours. Let it all mix up and settle, then test your dKh. Don't touch anything that would swing it for a full week, then test again. This'll give you your 'drop' over the course of the week. Mine wound up being exactly 1 dKh. Divide that by 7, and you have the rough amount you'd need to dose daily to keep your dKh level.

This is something I don't think you need to worry about at the moment, but its an example of how one of the big things we as reefers need to do is not react to small changes, but look for the longer trend to make sure we diagnose the right problem that needs to be taken care of.


To my (barely) experienced eyes, the tank looks good! I've got the same kind of glove polyps in my tank and I love them. I see some diatoms on the rocks showing that you are getting to that part of your tank maturing phase. I don't see much algae and you've still got that stark-white fresh sand. Let it do its thing for a bit longer I'd recommend before putting any more critters or corals in, especially with that ammonia.


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Old 02/21/2018, 12:19 PM   #9
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On to your cal/mag.. If you didn't start dosing today explain what was causing the numbers to rise ever now and then?.
i have no IDEA I can post a pic of the purchase recipt for the cal, with the purchase date, other than that i dont know what to tell you, other than may be like Rover88 said

inconsistencies are from our hobbyist grade test kits or your own inherent human inaccuracy.
I can not explain what i am asking... to be explained to me. lol

so i will leave it alone, montier water parms and never dose, LOL, just kidding..
I Say that because i noticed a small drop in levels and adjusted to bring back into good range, so when should i dose. when mag, cal, dkh hit 0?. if i stop adding corals, then it seems i will always be waiting on the cycle to catch up and it will never get stable...i hope you understand my confusion here. im getting really close to storing all the test kits, adding what i want to add and let god sort it out. if it dyes it dyes. i have also found alot of people do this with no problems at all, i call them the anti water parm people. lol so whats up with that theroy...


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Old 02/21/2018, 12:42 PM   #10
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I Say that because i noticed a small drop in levels and adjusted to bring back into good range, so when should i dose. when mag, cal, dkh hit 0?. if i stop adding corals, then it seems i will always be waiting on the cycle to catch up and it will never get stable...i hope you understand my confusion here. im getting really close to storing all the test kits, adding what i want to add and let god sort it out. if it dyes it dyes. i have also found alot of people do this with no problems at all, i call them the anti water parm people. lol so whats up with that theroy...
Your tank is very immature/or was never fully cycled if the addition of some inverts and snails started ammonia. My thought would be it hadn't finished cycling at all.

I would tell you not to store your test kits, and don't randomly put chemicals into the very delicate ecosystem you are trying to maintain. But its your money and your livestock.

Here is a generally accepted guide to parameter levels (This varies depending on if you want SPS, softies, lps, etc).

380-450 Calcium
7-11 dKh for Alkalinity
1250-1350 for Magnesium.

Source: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.php

Randy Holmes Farley is a very smart man, that knows much more then I do, and has been successfully keeping reefs for a very long time. He is also actively a regular poster here (or at least I've seen his name pop up a few times).

The 'small drop' you noticed was going from 8.7 dKh (happily in the middle range) to 8.4 dKh. (happily in the middle range). IGNORING your own human inaccuracies, even if you were bang on lab-procedure perfect the kit itself has an accuracy of +/- 0.14 dKh.... Which means if it was in the middle (8.55) you are accounting for that variance one way or another.

I would not worry yourself until your dKh was at 7.5, or at 9.5. That seems happily in the middle of the numbers you had before you dosed (I'm ignoring your first test as an outlier, as you haven't reproduced it since.)

I am not trying to discourage you. I just want you to know that more then likely just a small water change every week/2 weeks is going to be plentiful for likely another few months unless you go ham on your corals.

But right now, you haven't cycled. So DEFINITELY wait out the cycle. Ammonia is bad for everything.



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Old 02/21/2018, 01:18 PM   #11
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Are you planning on maintaining a consistent water change schedule?

In general I believe that most will agree that corals can manage up to about a .5dKH drop/swing in 24 hours without problem..
And for cal and mag just keep it in the levels posted above..

I will 100% guarantee you that you do not have enough corals to need to begin dosing at this point.. and some wouldn't even recommend adding corals as your tank is still so new...BUT.. if it makes you feel better then you can certainly dose as you want.. As long as you are ensuring that whatever you are adding is not causing your parameters to continue to drift or causing any serious swings then its really not a big deal.. But its 100% not needed at this time and is more a reaction to repeatability issues (human generated for the most part)..


I would suggest that you just slow down a bit.. get on a consistent water change schedule and continue just monitoring for the time being..

Dosing shouldn't be a bit here and a bit there.. It should be consistency like "my tank needs 20ml of each part daily".. Not.. 20mL today... nothing for the next 4 days.. then 5ml that day then nothing for the next 4 days.

But again.. As long as you aren't going crazy and knocking your parameters out of wack its really not a big deal other than you are spending money on chemicals you likely don't need.


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Old 02/21/2018, 03:13 PM   #12
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I would not worry yourself until your dKh was at 7.5, or at 9.5. That seems happily in the middle of the numbers you had before you dosed (I'm ignoring your first test as an outlier, as you haven't reproduced it since.)
that is great to know. i am kinda ocd about my tanks, if prefect range is....for example 8.2-8.7 (hypothetically speaking i freak out a bit with a reading of 7.9 or 8.8.. Thanks that puts my mind at ease. I have alexa reminding me every two weeks to do a 10% water change.. my routie will be on the money. i hope.


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Old 02/21/2018, 03:18 PM   #13
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I have alexa reminding me every two weeks .
Alexa is great for that..
I set mine up to remind my wife of our new babies feeding times/vitamin times and even turn on the light and dim it to 30% next to her bed at the 3:30AM feeding time..
At first she thought it was crazy now she loves it..

I also use it for skimmer cup draining reminder, carbon replacement dates,etc...


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Old 02/21/2018, 03:23 PM   #14
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Are you planning on maintaining a consistent water change schedule?

And for cal and mag just keep it in the levels posted above..

I will 100% guarantee you that you do not have enough corals to need to begin dosing at this point............ But its 100% not needed at this time and is more a reaction to repeatability issues

I would suggest that you just slow down a bit.. get on a consistent water change schedule and continue just monitoring for the time being..

Dosing shouldn't be a bit here and a bit there..
yes to the water change sch.

im so glad you replied cause heres where my confusion kicks in.....first you state keep levels with in range, (i did that) brought them back into range....followed by " you do not have enough to begin dosing, and...... then dose a bit here and there..... lol thanks. i know your talking about process that i need to follow long term, but im in the short term now.


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Old 02/21/2018, 03:34 PM   #15
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well i tested today and will retest every Wednesday and Fridays for the the next few weeks.


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Old 02/21/2018, 10:42 PM   #16
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api for ammonia, im not a fan of dosing using prime, it increases TDS. i have tested this PRIME= HIGHER TDS theroy with my own TDS meter on tap and reef water.
Most anything will increase TDS, including the ammonia binder in Prime. That's not a cause for concern. The API kit has been known to be a bit over-sensitive, but I'd dose some Prime just to be sure.

Quote:
So this is why I dosied two part . BRS is my preferred research source. Do you have a link to a source that explains why one should not dose?
The BRS two-part is fine, and most tanks require dosing, at least eventually. Your charts look fine to me. The noise in the calcium kit probably explains a lot of the shifts there. They can be a bit touchy.


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Old 02/22/2018, 07:34 AM   #17
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Knowing what ranges are acceptable and what swings are acceptable is part of why keeping these charts is such a good idea! Glad to have helped. Try not to sweat the small stuff, or the gradual changes. Its swings you want to be leery of.

Also.....



Bertoni brings up a good point I was going to mention.

Having TDS in your tank /is okay/ so long as you know WHAT the solid is. Total Dissolved Solids will always be in your tank; that is what your salt mix is!


The reason people tell you to use RODI water is that it removes all the TDS from your supply. The stuff we don't know what it is. It could be copper... or it could be harmless. But because we don't know, we don't want it.

However, once it has been purified don't fret yourself too much. If the bucket read 0 TDS and you put in your salt mix (or kalkwasser into your auto-top off, or whatever) having the TDS rise is perfectly okay because you know exactly what all that TDS is.

Its the unknown parts we worry about. So putting a little prime in to help protect your inverts/corals won't hurt.


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Old 02/22/2018, 11:39 AM   #18
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great advice. as for TDS. I use distilled water. OK..... On to one chart. the temp... the past few days i have been in the 81-82 range. and as you can see from the chart this is a norm of 80-82 range.

First equipment.
1. 300 watt aquaon heater in sump.
2. amazon bought digital thermometer in the DT.
3. Standard jw pet magnet smart thermometer in sump.
4. tds meter has a temp reading option.
5. wifes kitchen aid cooking thermometer.
6. my mech inferred thermometer. Point and shoot

5-6 are weapons of last resort.

Conditions:
heater set at 78
house temp is 72-74 smart programmable thermostat.
sump is enclosed under the tank. as is the AquaMaxx 48" Nemo Light above the tank , tank has glass lids. there is 0 to very minimum air flow around sump and light.... see pics above.

issue:
last night the temp was 81.7 on the digital T, Confirmed by the pet magnet smart thermometer in sump, tds meter read about 81.5, kitchen aid test was 81, IR reading on glass was 81.2.

Actions taken
last night 9 pm'ish . i turned off the AquaMaxx 48" Nemo Light and adjusted the heater knob to 76-78 and open the front face of the tank lid and glass lids

results
this morning about 8 am the temp was reading 80.1 confirmed across all the board with all my other equipment. there was a drop.so i removed the entire tank top and turned the lights on to lowest setting for white and blue 10%. and now 2 hours later im at 80.4.. What?

Actions taken
I unplugged my heater. now.. no heater, no lid, lights set to 20% and 2 hours later im at 79.9. its going down, but i cant run with out a heater,

is my heater bad? it was set at 78 but the water temp was running 3-4 degrees higher or should i set the heater at 74 in order to stay with in the 76-8 range?



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Old 02/22/2018, 12:27 PM   #19
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issue:
last night the temp was 81.7 on the digital T, Confirmed by the pet magnet smart thermometer in sump, tds meter read about 81.5, kitchen aid test was 81, IR reading on glass was 81.2.

Actions taken
last night 9 pm'ish . i turned off the AquaMaxx 48" Nemo Light and adjusted the heater knob to 76-78 and open the front face of the tank lid and glass lids

results
this morning about 8 am the temp was reading 80.1 confirmed across all the board with all my other equipment. there was a drop.so i removed the entire tank top and turned the lights on to lowest setting for white and blue 10%. and now 2 hours later im at 80.4.. What?

Actions taken
I unplugged my heater. now.. no heater, no lid, lights set to 20% and 2 hours later im at 79.9. its going down, but i cant run with out a heater,

is my heater bad? it was set at 78 but the water temp was running 3-4 degrees higher or should i set the heater at 74 in order to stay with in the 76-8 range?
Heater thermostats are notorious for being "wrong". Don't worry about what your heater says you are setting it too. Set it, check temp a few hours later, adjust your heater setting, check again, etc until you get to your desired temperature. For your heater, that might mean you set it to 74 or 73. Check back frequently until you are comfortable it will maintain the right range.


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Old 02/22/2018, 12:30 PM   #20
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-snip about heaters-
Your temperature also has an acceptable range. I think my tank has been between 78-83 depending on the time of day and what happens that causes it to swing. I only use a glass thermometer inside the tank, and the inkbird thermometer that regulates my heaters.


You do not need 6 methods of testing the temperature of your tank. You might be catching a trend here but consistency is key. If you have something in one spot of your aquarium consistently that measures the temperature there, whether its right or wrong is not as important as noticing that the temperature is changing. I have my glass thermometer in the sump and all I tend to look at is whether its jumped or fallen.

... that being said...

Don't fret your temperature moving by 1-2 degrees. I would not have taken the actions you took unless my thermometer hit 84 or so, then I'd be unplugging my heater because thats higher then I'd ever gone before and something is clearly wrong somewhere.

Just like with your 7-11 dKh there is an acceptable level. Swings are dangerous though, so if you see it jumping or falling its time to take action. I've found that no matter what I seem to set my heater to in one of my tanks, it never changes the water temperature. That is because the tank has other 'heaters'. Namely, the pumps, powerheads, etc.

In your reef tank, anything that runs is generating heat. If you have powerheads other then ecotech (and even they will channel some miniscule heat inside) or a return pump, or a skimmer, or a reactor... All of those use the tanks water to cool themselves down, or at the very least they will also contribute to the temperature of the tank. If your house isn't ice cold, your tank might just hover in the higher degrees.

Where I live in Canada, my house goes through some big temperature swings between the night and the day, and this is accounted for in my tank by the temperature swinging a degree or two but rarely more then that.


I wouldn't leave your heater off either, but I would be curious to see where it finds its 'balance' without the heater.


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Old 02/22/2018, 01:12 PM   #21
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... that being said...

In your reef tank, anything that runs is generating heat. If you have powerheads other then ecotech (and even they will channel some miniscule heat inside) or a return pump, or a skimmer, or a reactor... All of those use the tanks water to cool themselves down, or at the very least they will also contribute to the temperature of the tank.

but I would be curious to see where it finds its 'balance' without the heater.
i to would like to know this but if i leave the heater off and just lets the equipment heat the tank what would be a the +/- temp that would tell me to plug the heater back in?dont want to kill nothing try to find the balance with out a heater


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Old 02/22/2018, 02:18 PM   #22
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i to would like to know this but if i leave the heater off and just lets the equipment heat the tank what would be a the +/- temp that would tell me to plug the heater back in?dont want to kill nothing try to find the balance with out a heater
I wouldn't experiment unless the tank was empty.As Pisanoal suggested, just keep turning down the heater until your heat is in the right place you want it consistently. I have two identical heaters, one is set to I think 76-77, the other 80, and they both come on at 80.


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Old 02/22/2018, 05:22 PM   #23
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Sounds good. im 4 hrs in with no heaters running and i am still at 80.1 degrees.


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Old 02/22/2018, 08:00 PM   #24
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I would avoid putting anything used to prepare food into the tank unless I was ready to clean it very carefully.

I agree that the temperature was acceptable, and that the markings on the heaters often are wrong. I'd probably adjust the heater to keep the temperature at 80 at a minimum, and then see what the lighting might do to the tank temperature. The temperature in the morning before any lights go on probably is about as low as it'll get.


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Old 02/22/2018, 09:55 PM   #25
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 97
i feel comfortable with what i got going on 79-81.5 and after reading the comments. i can now stop worrying about the temp and my research on the subject is complete..im at peace with it....lol ...... the heater i had was replaced with a spare that i already set. i place the old heater in my tub with cool water and set the temp at 72..... it finally leveled at 82...so yeah its now been put into the emergency stuff box....set at 72 turned off at 82...wow i payed a decent penny for that heater.....


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