Nano Tank starting

10 Dec 2007
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Hi Hennie, Started a Nano 100L 3 weeks ago with live water(Not ready to use water)
The Tank is nowm colouring all over to a brownish colour. Please advise at what stage can i put fish in? Current readings=PH8.0..SG in green Nitrates between first and 2 pink strip on test stipes
Thanks for the help
Derek groenewoud

Reef Maniac

Yellow Tang
15 May 2007
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Hi Derek, and :welcometomasa2: to MASA

I've moved your message into a new post, just so we can give more direct attention to your questions - hope you don't mind.

Started a Nano 100L 3 weeks ago with live water (Not ready to use water)
I'm sorry, but I don't understand this - could you please elaborate... where did you get the water, why do you call it "live water", and what do you mean with "not ready to use water". I have a feeling that either someone told you some "wolhaar stories" about water, or perhaps you just have the terms confused...

The Tank is nowm colouring all over to a brownish colour.
That is good, and is quite normal. The golden-brown colouring is caused by microscopic algae called diatoms, and is an indication that your tank is maturing, and is now capable of sustaining life (even though it's only microscopic algae, at the moment...)

Current readings=PH8.0..SG in green Nitrates between first and 2 pink strip on test stipes
A pH of 8.0 is normal for a tank which is still cycling. Ultimately you would like the pH to be slightly higher (8.2 - 8.3), but that can be done at a later stage.

I presume you're measuring the SG with a glass float-type aquarium hydrometer? Unfortunately, most manufacturers of hydrometers don't have a clue what the SG of real sea water is, and mark the green area as low down as 1.020, which is not really good. SG is also temperature dependant, and one should always measure the SG at a specific temperature (or at least quote both the SG and temperature when discussing the salinity of the water...). Your salinity will be OK if the SG is between 1.024 and 1.026 at a temperature of between 26.0 °C and 27.0 °C. In practice, it's probably the easiest to keep the SG right at the top of the green zone.

As I don't know what type of nitrate test kit you have, I obviously don't have any idea what the actual value is. Having said that, the fact that you do have some nitrate (and the diatom algae...) is an indication that the nitrate cycle has progressed to some extent. How far (and when you could start to introduce fish) is impossible to say with the information you've supplied.

I would suggest that you buy salt water ammonium and nitrite test kits, and test for these parameters. Once both the ammonium and nitrite levels are reading "zero" you could start to add fish. I suspect that this could take another month or so, depending on your filtration system, live rock, and method of cycling.

Why don't you post some more information on your tank, e.g. what filters (if any) do you have, if you have any live rock and/or live sand, what pumps you have, if you have a skimmer, oh, and what you eventually hope to achieve with this tank (fish only, or do you also want to keep corals...). If you could also post some photos of the tank it would be a great help as well.



Moorish Idol
28 Dec 2007
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Welkom Derek.

Great forum and Hennie's advice is good as gold.


Retired Moderator
7 May 2007
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In the Koeberg blast radius
masahello Derrick
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