Newbie - stuff is dying

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by rooiwillie, 18 Oct 2014.

  1. rooiwillie

    rooiwillie

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    Hi,

    I am new to marine aquariums. I have a system of around 400l, tank is about 240l and sump around 160l. I have mixed ro water with Red Sea salt. My SG is about 1.025. The tank is been cycling for three weeks. There are three hermit crabs in that has been in there since about day three, which is doing great. I have collected snails and some urchins from the sea to try and introduce them to the tank to see if they make it before i spend a lot of money on buying things that die. The snails and urchins have both died. I acclimatized them for about an hour using a drip system next to the main tank. I have tried again and again everything i added died. I have taken the water to three different pet shops to test and interestingly all three shops gives me different readings. The one I trust the most gives me a pH reading of 7.79, the other a reading of 8.1 and the other a reading of 8.5. They tested for ammonia as well and say it is 2. I know i must probably wait a bit longer, but then i speak to people that only cycled a week and they have already got fish with some soft corals in which is doing fine. Should i perhaps add some natural sea water to the mix, or drain everything and only add sea water? Please give me some advice
     
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  3. Marcd50

    Marcd50

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    Start adding seachem stability, should help.

    What is the tank temp?
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2014
  4. rooiwillie

    rooiwillie Thread Starter

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    i try to keep the temp at around 25
     
  5. Marcd50

    Marcd50

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    You shouldn't add anything until ammonia and nitrites are 0, adding stability or some bacteria will help
     
  6. CameL

    CameL

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    Ammonia is a problem, if you still have ammonia the likelihood of Nitrite is pretty high, this is a normal occurrence in a tank which is still building enough bacteria to deal with ammonia and nitrite. You could add special blend to speed up the process but there is nothing better than time and patience.
    Only very experienced reefers can start and stock a tank quickly.
    pH will fluctuate throughout the day hence the lfs all getting different tet results, also depends on test kits. The best way to go about it is to get your own tet kits. At the moment in your situation you need ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, when ammonia and nitrite are 0, you can feed a piece of food to the tank and let it decompose and monitor ammonia and nitrite, both should remain on 0 or return to 0 very quickly, when that happens your tank is cycled and ready to handle a bio load. Stock your tank slowly and give your tank time to adjut to the increase in bio load.
    Hope that helps.

    Have a read through these:
    R.E.E.F Methodology: Before you start - Marine Aquariums South Africa
    R.E.E.F Methodology: What do i really need? - Marine Aquariums South Africa
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2014
  7. rooiwillie

    rooiwillie Thread Starter

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    thanks!! will get some test kits to test myself. I did add special blend already over the past three weeks. i put in about 100ml on day three and 60ml every week after. should i take the hermits out?
     
  8. CameL

    CameL

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    Have you got live rock in the tank?
     
  9. Dian6430

    Dian6430

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    I added special blend daily
     
  10. rooiwillie

    rooiwillie Thread Starter

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    yes i have live rock in the tank and in the sump. i also have a deep sand bed in the sump
     
  11. Jinx

    Jinx

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    Hi Rooiwillie if you have a ammonia reading of 2 ppm it will be lethal to most species of marine life.I personally don't think your thanks bacterial colony is ready for livestock as yet.You can and some stability to your system and do small water changes daily.Get yourself a ammonia test kit and monitor your progress...take it very slow when you reached your water prams buy adding any one thing at a time.

    You can also buy orca biocubes for your system this stuff does wonders.
     
  12. flappy

    flappy

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    Are you adding cold water species to 25 degrees?
    If you are then im pretty sure the temp nuked them combines with your ammonia reading...
     
  13. rooiwillie

    rooiwillie Thread Starter

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    Thanks, i will work on my patience... :)

    can I use seawater to do water changes?
     
  14. Dian6430

    Dian6430

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    Yes you can thats all I use just collect from a clean area. Test the water so you know what to supplement for. I know my water needs Ca and pH boost
     
  15. rooiwillie

    rooiwillie Thread Starter

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    Do you keep corals as well Dian6430?
     
  16. Dian6430

    Dian6430

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    Yes I do.
     
  17. Jinx

    Jinx

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    Good info
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    what is the sea water temperature in JBay?


    And where did you get your liverock from. Freshly imported might have a lot of die-off. Even if you transported it outside of water.
     
  19. rooiwillie

    rooiwillie Thread Starter

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    Jbay water temp is around 17 at the moment. Got rock from the beach and ponds at the point
     
  20. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope

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    Maybe send us a few pics of your tank. Pretty sure the rock you added is not ideal. Not very porous. Also the livestock you add wont survive as they live in much colder waters. 17 to 25 is a massive jump. They will survive for a few days, week maybe, but long term they will die.

    You would also have had a lot of die off from the rocks you added as they organisms etc are also use to colder temps.

    I would suggest you remove the rock and add good quality live rock or some synthetic rock, some of our sponsors sell it. Nothing wrong with collecting NSW, as long as you collect away from estuaries, lagoons, rivers, harbours etc where the water is clean.

    NO need to worry about CA, KH, MG etc yet. Only params I would keep an eye on are , No3, PO4, nitrate and Ammonia. The latter(nitrite and Ammonia) being the most important. It has to be on ZERO before you add any livestock. Its deadly.
     
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