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Major Tank Relocation & Nitrate Questions



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 28th 05, 02:10 AM
Aaron
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Posts: n/a
Default Major Tank Relocation & Nitrate Questions

Hello!

The last time I had a marine tank was ten or twelve years ago. I've
missed it a great deal and have often pondered getting back into it but
haven't had the time or been ready to spend the money for a system I'd
really like.

Last week a friend of mine who has shared the hobby with me all these
years (but stuck with it when I haven't) decided he no longer has time
and wanted his system to go to a good home. In rather short order (my
head is still spinning), I've gone from no tank to a gorgeous acrylic
90 gallon with wet/dry, protein skimmer, Kent Marine 24GPD TFC RO unit
and all the miscellaneous support equipment. More importantly, I'm
inheriting an established ecosystem that has been wonderfully healthy
from the beginning (it was probably his fourth system and he had quite
a bit of experience before building it).

The tank has a couple of inches of substrate, a good amount of live
rock that he's carried across his various tanks for somewhere in the
neighborhood of 14 years, two clownfish, a pair of brittle stars, and
one rather attractive Double Saddle Butterfly. As I stated earlier,
there is a wet/dry (BioFil 1) and protein skimmer. There is also a
Little Giant 465 GPH pump, fluorescent (actinic) lighting, etc. Throw
in a black laminated stand and hood and it's one gorgeous addition to
our living room.

We moved the system yesterday. On Monday (the day before), I picked
up the RO unit from him and bought a couple of new 34 gallon plastic
trashcans (which I hosed out thoroughly). I started making water with
the RO so we'd have additional water if we needed it after the move. On
moving day, I picked up some new 5 gallon buckets and four more
trashcans (for a total of five during the move with the sixth being on
the RO unit).

We siphoned water into a 5 gallon bucket and moved the three fish
there for the coming hours. We then started siphoning a movable amount
of water into the various cans and distributing the live rock through
several of them so they would stay submerged. We shoveled out most of
the wet substrate into a couple more of the 5 gallon buckets. The tank
got wrapped in a heavy blanket. We filled two trashcans heavier than we
could move (on purpose) so that the other three were mangeable. I
bought one of those ratcheting loadbars (like you use for holding a
toolbox in place) for my parents' pickup truck. The three movable cans
with live rock were pinned against the cab with the loadbar and had
their lids bungied in place. The tank, stand, filtration gear, etc.,
were loaded in the remainder of the bed and we took the first batch to
my house.

Once there, we set up the tank, dumped in the substrate and started
loading in the water. Once there was a decent amount of water, we added
the live rock (so it was submerged). We took the now empty three cans
back to his house and distributed the overly heavy two cans across a
total of four and took those to my house. In the end we managed to move
MOST of the water from the running system. We mixed salt into the water
I had generated with the RO and topped off the tank. The salt we used
was from his existing supplies and the same stuff that has been used on
this tank all along (Kent Marine brand, I think). We set the heater to
around 72 and cranked up the protein skimmer, pump and (inherently) the
wet/dry unit.

In the process we also added a bag of larger substrate that I bought.
It's mostly pieces of shells about the size of your thumb or smaller
and added some nice variety to the more plain, fine-grained substrate
that was already in the system. My wife washed it thoroughly while we
were moving things despite the bag saying "pre-washed".

Needless to say, the tank looked like poop for the next couple of
hours. The fish remained in the five gallon bucket with the addition of
an airstone to keep them oxygenated. I wrapped the bucket up in a towel
near a radiator and it stayed around 72 degrees all night long. I did
some aquascaping before I went to bed since it was getting clear enough
to work and I figured it made sense to get most of the craziness over
so I didn't have to distrupt it so much later.

By morning the tank was quite clear, the water was in the mid 70's
and the salinity read around 1.020. I checked the fish in the bucket
and their salinity and temp were virtually an exact match to the tank,
so I went ahead and moved them to the tank. They seemed quite calm and
eagerly ate the food I gave them a few minutes later. They have showed
no signs of stress throughout the day and the tank has gotten nothing
but clearer. I cleaned off some algae this morning and, as of now, it's
just this side of crystal clear.

Tonight I did my first water tests so I could start getting a feel
for my new system. The test kit I used was the one he gave me with his
supplies, so I'm not sure of its age. I'd guess a few years. Most of
the little bottles feel like they are mostly full.

pH checked out at a solid 8.2 on the color chart.
Ammonia came in at zero on the color chart.
Nitrites came in at zero on the color chart.
Nitrates, however, hit the end of the chart with the best coloar
match being the 160 ppm reddish box at the bottom.

I'm glad the first three were so ideal, but the nitrate part has me
puzzled.

I've been thinking on it and was wondering if any of the following
are a factor:

A) Obviously, the nitrates could have been screwy for a while and he
wasn't aware of it since the tank has been healthy and I'm not sure of
his most recent testing...

B) Stirring up everything to such a monstrous degree has unleashed all
kinds of crapola in the substrate, etc., that will freak the nitrate
level but naturally come back into balance in the coming days... ?

C) The additional substrate I added was funky? Doubt it, but just
throwing out all the variables for consideration...

D) The test kit is hosed? I don't know the lifespan on these things...
?

Everything seems healthy and the first are happy. I am worried,
though, about the nitrate levels until I can better understand the
cause and possibly correct it (if it needs correcting and I imagine it
does).

Needless to say, I'm thrilled to be getting back into the marine tank
scene and especially now with all the new technology, Internet
resources, online livestock options, etc. My wife is new to sal****er
and is equally excited by the
possibilities. It's definitely fun getting a jumpstart on the process
with an established system, but also a little daunting not having gone
through the process from scratch and knowing all the variables.

Any insight on the nitrates would be appreciated. I'd also be curious
for any input on our method of moving everything (it's water under the
bridge already, but any constructive "you screwed up, jackass" comments
would still be useful for the future). If I left out any helpful
details on the nitrate issue, don't hesitate to ask (email or response
to this post).

Thanks!
- Aaron
Sweet Briar, Va

  #2  
Old April 28th 05, 02:20 AM
George Patterson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Aaron wrote:

Any insight on the nitrates would be appreciated.


Go get another test kit. They're cheap enough.

George Patterson
There's plenty of room for all of God's creatures. Right next to the
mashed potatoes.
  #3  
Old April 28th 05, 05:37 PM
Charles Spitzer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Aaron" wrote in message
oups.com...
Hello!

The last time I had a marine tank was ten or twelve years ago. I've
missed it a great deal and have often pondered getting back into it but
haven't had the time or been ready to spend the money for a system I'd
really like.

Last week a friend of mine who has shared the hobby with me all these
years (but stuck with it when I haven't) decided he no longer has time
and wanted his system to go to a good home. In rather short order (my
head is still spinning), I've gone from no tank to a gorgeous acrylic
90 gallon with wet/dry, protein skimmer, Kent Marine 24GPD TFC RO unit
and all the miscellaneous support equipment. More importantly, I'm
inheriting an established ecosystem that has been wonderfully healthy
from the beginning (it was probably his fourth system and he had quite
a bit of experience before building it).

The tank has a couple of inches of substrate, a good amount of live
rock that he's carried across his various tanks for somewhere in the
neighborhood of 14 years, two clownfish, a pair of brittle stars, and
one rather attractive Double Saddle Butterfly. As I stated earlier,
there is a wet/dry (BioFil 1) and protein skimmer. There is also a
Little Giant 465 GPH pump, fluorescent (actinic) lighting, etc. Throw
in a black laminated stand and hood and it's one gorgeous addition to
our living room.

We moved the system yesterday. On Monday (the day before), I picked
up the RO unit from him and bought a couple of new 34 gallon plastic
trashcans (which I hosed out thoroughly). I started making water with
the RO so we'd have additional water if we needed it after the move. On
moving day, I picked up some new 5 gallon buckets and four more
trashcans (for a total of five during the move with the sixth being on
the RO unit).

We siphoned water into a 5 gallon bucket and moved the three fish
there for the coming hours. We then started siphoning a movable amount
of water into the various cans and distributing the live rock through
several of them so they would stay submerged. We shoveled out most of
the wet substrate into a couple more of the 5 gallon buckets. The tank
got wrapped in a heavy blanket. We filled two trashcans heavier than we
could move (on purpose) so that the other three were mangeable. I
bought one of those ratcheting loadbars (like you use for holding a
toolbox in place) for my parents' pickup truck. The three movable cans
with live rock were pinned against the cab with the loadbar and had
their lids bungied in place. The tank, stand, filtration gear, etc.,
were loaded in the remainder of the bed and we took the first batch to
my house.

Once there, we set up the tank, dumped in the substrate and started
loading in the water. Once there was a decent amount of water, we added
the live rock (so it was submerged). We took the now empty three cans
back to his house and distributed the overly heavy two cans across a
total of four and took those to my house. In the end we managed to move
MOST of the water from the running system. We mixed salt into the water
I had generated with the RO and topped off the tank. The salt we used
was from his existing supplies and the same stuff that has been used on
this tank all along (Kent Marine brand, I think). We set the heater to
around 72 and cranked up the protein skimmer, pump and (inherently) the
wet/dry unit.

In the process we also added a bag of larger substrate that I bought.
It's mostly pieces of shells about the size of your thumb or smaller
and added some nice variety to the more plain, fine-grained substrate
that was already in the system. My wife washed it thoroughly while we
were moving things despite the bag saying "pre-washed".

Needless to say, the tank looked like poop for the next couple of
hours. The fish remained in the five gallon bucket with the addition of
an airstone to keep them oxygenated. I wrapped the bucket up in a towel
near a radiator and it stayed around 72 degrees all night long. I did
some aquascaping before I went to bed since it was getting clear enough
to work and I figured it made sense to get most of the craziness over
so I didn't have to distrupt it so much later.

By morning the tank was quite clear, the water was in the mid 70's
and the salinity read around 1.020. I checked the fish in the bucket
and their salinity and temp were virtually an exact match to the tank,
so I went ahead and moved them to the tank. They seemed quite calm and
eagerly ate the food I gave them a few minutes later. They have showed
no signs of stress throughout the day and the tank has gotten nothing
but clearer. I cleaned off some algae this morning and, as of now, it's
just this side of crystal clear.

Tonight I did my first water tests so I could start getting a feel
for my new system. The test kit I used was the one he gave me with his
supplies, so I'm not sure of its age. I'd guess a few years. Most of
the little bottles feel like they are mostly full.

pH checked out at a solid 8.2 on the color chart.
Ammonia came in at zero on the color chart.
Nitrites came in at zero on the color chart.
Nitrates, however, hit the end of the chart with the best coloar
match being the 160 ppm reddish box at the bottom.

I'm glad the first three were so ideal, but the nitrate part has me
puzzled.

I've been thinking on it and was wondering if any of the following
are a factor:

A) Obviously, the nitrates could have been screwy for a while and he
wasn't aware of it since the tank has been healthy and I'm not sure of
his most recent testing...

B) Stirring up everything to such a monstrous degree has unleashed all
kinds of crapola in the substrate, etc., that will freak the nitrate
level but naturally come back into balance in the coming days... ?

C) The additional substrate I added was funky? Doubt it, but just
throwing out all the variables for consideration...

D) The test kit is hosed? I don't know the lifespan on these things...
?

Everything seems healthy and the first are happy. I am worried,
though, about the nitrate levels until I can better understand the
cause and possibly correct it (if it needs correcting and I imagine it
does).

Needless to say, I'm thrilled to be getting back into the marine tank
scene and especially now with all the new technology, Internet
resources, online livestock options, etc. My wife is new to sal****er
and is equally excited by the
possibilities. It's definitely fun getting a jumpstart on the process
with an established system, but also a little daunting not having gone
through the process from scratch and knowing all the variables.

Any insight on the nitrates would be appreciated. I'd also be curious
for any input on our method of moving everything (it's water under the
bridge already, but any constructive "you screwed up, jackass" comments
would still be useful for the future). If I left out any helpful
details on the nitrate issue, don't hesitate to ask (email or response
to this post).

Thanks!
- Aaron
Sweet Briar, Va


if you don't have a test from before the move, how do you know it was the
move that caused it?

best guess: the wet/dry is a nitrate factory. it was high before the move.


  #4  
Old April 29th 05, 12:36 PM
jaypython
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hi firstly id like to say what an excellent post!

the presance of nitrates mean that your cycle is underway and the
nitrifying bacteria are doing there job.

a series of partial but regular water changes will correct the
problem.but remember to make sure they are partial.any major change in
water chemistry will shock the fish.

i think you made the transition between the 2 places as well as anyone
could have done.now you just have to hold tight and hope the fish
settle ok.remember fish will tollerate high levels of nitrate,so dont
be too alarmed.

good luck..jay



--
Posted via CichlidFish.com
http://www.cichlidfish.com/portal/forums
  #5  
Old May 2nd 05, 05:19 AM
Aaron
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Charles Spitzer wrote:


if you don't have a test from before the move, how do you know it was

the
move that caused it?

best guess: the wet/dry is a nitrate factory. it was high before the

move.

Agreed on the before and after... I've thought (but maybe didn't say
in my original post) the same thing.

Assuming the wet/dry is the nitrate factory - will my water changing
process in the coming days (repeated partials) help that or do I have
to go after the wet/dry specifically in some manner?

Thanks!
- Aaron

  #6  
Old May 2nd 05, 07:21 PM
Charles Spitzer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Aaron" wrote in message
oups.com...

Charles Spitzer wrote:


if you don't have a test from before the move, how do you know it was

the
move that caused it?

best guess: the wet/dry is a nitrate factory. it was high before the

move.

Agreed on the before and after... I've thought (but maybe didn't say
in my original post) the same thing.

Assuming the wet/dry is the nitrate factory - will my water changing
process in the coming days (repeated partials) help that or do I have
to go after the wet/dry specifically in some manner?

Thanks!
- Aaron


the purpose of a wet/dry is to produce nitrates. as long as you have it, you
can't get rid of them. no water changes, unless you're going to do an
overflow and have continuous changes, will do anything to reduce them. if
you don't want high nitrates, you have to get rid of the wet/dry.


  #7  
Old March 25th 11, 06:13 PM
williamcraza williamcraza is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by FishkeepingBanter: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Default

The catchbasin has a brace of inches of substrate, a acceptable bulk of live rock that he's agitated beyond his assorted tanks for about in the neighborhood of 14 years, two clownfish, a brace of breakable stars, and one rather adorable Double Saddle Butterfly. As I declared earlier, there is a wet/dry and protein skimmer.
  #8  
Old June 25th 11, 12:21 AM
anddyrogers anddyrogers is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by FishkeepingBanter: Jun 2011
Posts: 5
Default

The catchbasin has a brace of inches of substrate, a acceptable bulk of live rock that he's agitated beyond his assorted tanks for about in the neighborhood of 14 years, two clownfish, a brace of breakable stars, and one rather adorable Double Saddle Butterfly.
 




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