Cymen's 20G tall

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Cymen, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    So it turns out I did order some refractometer calibration fluid. It is about a year old but it was in a vacuum-sealed bag. Does it go off? I checked my meter and when it is set to 0 with R/O water, it reads 1.029 with the 1.026 calibration fluid. So it's about 0.003 high. I recalibrated it to 1.026 and my salinity is around 1.023 right now.

    I don't fully trust it so I'll keep comparing it to trusted/verified sources. But having read about refractometer errors a couple of times, this all seems somewhat reasonable although I'm still surprised it was off that much at 1.026. I am going to go forward trusting the calibration fluid over calibrating to R/O water.
     
  2. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    We're the sources the same temperature?
     
  3. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Good question. I'm not sure. I found it late last night while hunting down my "put in a safe place" Aquahub DIY ATO kit. All of the items are now in the same small area so I'll check again this evening.
     
  4. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    So I tried measuring the calibration fluid which sat overnight by the fish tank (should be around 66-68 degrees). The meter was high (checked twice) so I recalibrated down to 1.026. Direct from the tank, I'm getting readings of around 1.023 and the water is 78 degrees. I let some cool down in a cap and measured 1.024. Just now, I got a bigger plastic measuring cup and took a little more water. I'll let that cool down to compare.

    I thought the ATC was more about the room temperature and not the sample temperature. But based on your suggestion and some googling, it sounds like the sample temperature is important too? Do you measure straight from the tank or let your sample come down to room temperature?
     
  5. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I removed the optics from my "165w" LED light. I think it came with 90 degree and the bare LEDs are 120 degree. This got rid of some color hot spots (I could have raised the fixture too but it was easier to remove the optics). It also made the lighting much more even and lit up the shadows more. There is more glare from the sides when your eyes are below the height of the fixture. So I'll likely add an opaque visor around it that extends a couple inches downwards. Overall, I like the light much better without the optics on this 20g high.

    I wasn't sure what to expect but most of the optics fell of in my hands and a few required an extremely light touch and then they came off. I read they are put on at the factory with small dabs of glue and that seems to be the case (although almost felt like these slid on and held by friction). They rest on the bottom plexiglass pane when the light is assembled so no particular force is on them at that point.
     
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Temperature of the sample used in a refractometer is not important.
    It is only a few drops, and that will quickly become the same temp as the refractometer itself.
    So you need to wait a few seconds, but no special preparation.
    The refractometer itself has temperature compensation built in.

    On the other hand, conductivity sensors will matter. So don't put a conductivity sensor from tank
    into a cold sample and expect it to be correct.
     
  7. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Good point.
     
  8. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Okay, that is what I had expected as I read the ATC mechanism is a thin metal strip in the refractometer which would take on ambient temperature. I was comparing to a cup sat by the tank and cooled down to direct from the tank and the cooled down cup was reading 0.001 higher. That was confusing me. Today, the measurements are reasonable. Thanks for the tip on the conductivity sensor.

    My Clownfish was acting funny this morning. He was sitting on the sand in the corner which seemed wrong. Yesterday, I had adjusted the power head to aim lower and also removed the skimmer on Sunday. My guess is low oxygen level so I put the skimmer back in (with the plug removed so not actually skimming), aimed the power head back up and changed a couple gallons of water. I'd change more but I need to get a heater for my water change bucket. After that, the Clownfish seemed normal but still occasionally makes a jerking motion and he isn't feeding. I'll put it down to adapting for now but keeping an eye on him and run water tests. I read some threads mentioning they do odd things when first introduced to a tank so not sure how much to worry about it. I am wondering if I should have gotten a pair but didn't want to overload the tank (even with seeding the tank with the "live sand"-in-a-bag and Bio-Spora).
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  9. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Are you sure your tank is cycled?

    1/5 u ordered Bio spira n ammonium chloride

    1/10 you added the clown

    + it looked like you had salinity issues.

    I suggest you wait till you have everything worked out before adding more livestock.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Sorry, too many thoughts at once. I'm not going to get anymore livestock until I'm sure the tank has cycled. What I didn't say earlier but was trying to figure out was if the Clownfish is acting odd due to being by itself.

    But I definitely won't add anything until I'm certain the cycle is complete.
     
  11. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Also, in the end, the salinity issue was in measuring. I thought I was at 1.026 and the fish store said they were 1.023-24. In reality, my meter was reading high and I was at 1.023-24 too. I'm still at that now with a calibrated meter (so it's reading 1.024). The salinity in the tank didn't change. What my refractometer read after calibration did. I'm going to keep taking it with me so I can compare it to others because I'm paranoid. But I'm fairly certain it's calibrated correctly now (without any salinity swings in the tank).
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Don't guess about cycling. Test ammonia and Nitrite.
     
  13. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I'm using the Red Sea marine kit. Some of the colors are a bit tricky to read but after a ~6g water change, I'm reading:

    Ammonia: at or near 0
    Nitrite: ~0.3-0.4 (color hard to decipher)
    Nitrate: ~2-5

    I tested before the water change but realized after that testing round the method I was using was wrong. The directions say to take the cap off the testing vail and look through it to the paper below. That made color comparison a lot easier so the earlier figures are suspect and I didn't post them.

    My plan is to test every day. Definitely going to replace the Red Sea kits with Salifert as they run out (or whatever else is better). I ordered a Seachem Ammonia Alert Sensor too. I don't know how accurate it is so I'll keep testing with my regular kit too but it has good reviews overall. If anyone has an opinion on that, let me know!

    edit: edited the wrong post while trying to update today's for Nitrate, just edited it back to what it was
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  14. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    After reading some more, I'm starting to think it's just odd Clownfish acclimation tendencies. There are a bunch of threads about them laying on the sand. Very weird/unexpected. His poop looks fine (bit stringy but not white).
     
  15. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    The Clownfish slept on the sand bed last night in a corner of the tank. This morning, he was up and swimming around looking happy. I guess mine sleeps and takes naps on the sand.
     
  16. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    After a ~2.5g water change this evening:

    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.8-ish (between 0.5 and 1 a little closer to 1, it is hard to read and yesterdays was probably higher than I eyeballed it -- had my wife take a look today too).
    Nitrates: ~30 (somewhere between 20 and 50)
    SG: 1.024

    Clownfish ate some Spectrum pellets. I have to shoot them down towards him with a dropper as he is still a little shy. I'm fairly certain I have 4 blue legged hermits and one scarlet (he is a fair amount bigger than the tiny blue legs and I'm not seeing any blue on his legs).
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  17. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I don't think you are fully cycled if you are still showing nitrites. What are your nitrates at?
     
  18. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I did a fish-less cycle with dry rock (no live rock to seed the tank with). It took about 6 weeks before I could add amonia and have it completely convert to nitrate in 24 hours. Then I added my clean up crew. Then a week or two later I added my first fish. Then about a month later added my first coral.

    People do cycle their tanks with fish but it's not the best for the fish. You're essentially subjecting them to poison while the tank grows enough of the bacteria to cycle completely. I think you're doing all you can with the water changes but in my opinion you added your inhabitants prematurely.
     
  19. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Nitrates: ~30 (somewhere between 20 and 50)

    I don't think my tank is cycled either. Next time, I'll definitely do fish-less cycle. I'd still use Bio-Spira but ignore the bottle about livestock. I did buy some Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride Solution and I'd go that route next time. It makes sense. It's less stressful for the fish but it's also less stressful for me too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  20. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Another ~3g water change and:

    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.5-0.6 (color tint, not darkness, of liquid is quite a bit different than sheet so hard to read but lighter than before)
    Nitrate: ~20
    SG: 1.024

    Tomorrow, I'll try doing a bigger change in one shot of ~4.5g with tests before and after.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016

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