Things are starting to die please help

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Nikon Samurai, Feb 8, 2009.

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  1. Nikon Samurai

    Nikon Samurai Bristle Worm

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    last night i did a 10 gallon water change in my 29 gallon tank because the ph was below 8 and alk was 3.5 after using buffer and making the issue worse. After the water change the levels appeared fine. I used RO rowater from a store machine and Instant Ocean. Tonight the ph is down below 8. The alk is high as is the salinity at 1.03. My yellow star polyps look green and not so healthy and my flaming clam and all polyps are closed.

    If i've already done a water change and i can not use buffer what can i do to save my lifestock? Do i need to do another water change?
     
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  3. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's possible the store RO is garbage. RO units need maintenance and I'm sure it's not done at a lot of stores.

    Add some fresh water to bring the salinity down.

    I really wouldn't worry about your PH. The stability of PH is more important than the number. Did you buffer your water to get the ALK high. Typically IO salt has low ALK

    Sorry going to be but I'll chack back in the morning

    J
     
  4. tulare reef

    tulare reef Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    ok first why is the salinity so low
     
  5. Nikon Samurai

    Nikon Samurai Bristle Worm

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    Might be my fault

    The tanks been set up for 2 years before i transfered it to my house last month. After a month of no problems i ordered several polyps and a few other things. The shipping got delayed because of an ice storm so the livestock sat at the airport for 24 hours before being at my door with 48 hours total shipping time. When i opened the box everything looked fine so i acclimated and put the livestock into the tank. No shipping water was added. Everything looked really beautiful for about a week. now i'm seeing low PH and high alk every time i look at the water quality. amonia is at .1 and NO3 is less than the first level on the color test chart. My scarlotte hermits started dieing then one type of polyp got fuzzy just before the fish started pecking at it. That polyp is not gone. This all happened over the past 4 days. What can i do to bring stabilty and stop things from dieing? Could there be to much CO2 in the water? if so how can i get is out. Shouldn't the waterchange fix that?
     
  6. Nikon Samurai

    Nikon Samurai Bristle Worm

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    Alk low?

    I'm using the instant ocean liquid test kit to test all parameters. The test says alk should be at 2.5. My test rendered 3.5 (7 drops until it turned yellow green)

    why would you think 3.5 is low? Am i reading somthing wrong?
     
  7. Blkburban

    Blkburban Astrea Snail

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    50% water change can cause alot of stress, you should be doing like 3-4 gal changes once a day till your tank is stable again. stop adding chems and buffers, until your stable, just keep doing water changes, if you can make your water at least a day ahead and heat it and run an airstone in it.
     
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  9. tulare reef

    tulare reef Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    the alk is ok mine is higher than that most of the time but you said that the salinity is 1.03 that is that is high sorry read that wrong start adding some top off water to bring that back down, i would do like a half a gal an hour to get it back to at least a 1.026 that isa safe level for sw the you could lowere it sloer after that over the next few weeks
     
  10. PackLeader

    PackLeader Giant Squid

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    Here's the few things that popped in to my head:
    1. The water may be bad. As Jason stated before, a lot of stores don't maintain the filters in the systems. You can end up with water that is actually worse than straight tap. If you're going to be buying water from a store unit, I HIGHLY recommend getting a good TDS meter and testing the water each and every time before you buy.
    2. IO is one of the most unstable salt mixes there is. Since this is a reef tank, I highly suggest moving to a higher quality salt mix.
    3. Are you testing everything BEFORE you add it to the tank? When doing a water change, the water and salt mix should be mixing in a separate container with a powerhead for at least 24 hours before adding to the tank. You need to be doing full spectrum testing on this water as well before it is added to make sure your numbers are ideal. If the problem lies with either of the two scenarios above, your only going to keep making things worse, or in the least no better.
    4. Get some good QUALITY test kits. API, Salifert, Red Sea, Hagen, etc. You should be testing for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, mg, alk/dkh, ca, and po4. Also, are you using a hydrometer or refractometer? Hydrometers are notoriously inaccurate, so your high SG reading could be due to this if this is the case. Get a good refractometer.

    I would go lights out and let everything settle for now. Dose some Prime if you have it. Take a decent size water sample to a good LFS tomorrow and see what they get out of a test to verify your results and go from there. Slow down or completely stop with the water changes for a while. I would not due more than a 20% water change per week or you could shock the system.
     
  11. Nikon Samurai

    Nikon Samurai Bristle Worm

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    1.03 is an error on my part. It is 1.023, i was trying to say the salinity went up .001 in 24 hours. Not as bad as being 1.03. Everything would probably be dead at that point right?
     
  12. Nikon Samurai

    Nikon Samurai Bristle Worm

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    one of the guys on here posted a link to a website selling a tap water filter. It was on this site by one of the high karma members. My tap is very high in phosphate. The filter was around $50 so i tagged that then ordered a 5 gallon bucket of Oceanic Salt mix from petco. I'm using a plastic $9 hydrometer to test the water. I test about 6 times when i test. If the meter is off it is very consistant with it's off-ness but i guess that dosn't really many anything if it's not calibrated. The point that it increased .001 over night is what i'm wondering about. The tank shouldn't evaporate enough over night for that much of an increase to occure right? What else could cause this?

    Packleader - I wish i would have read your post first i just did a 2.5 gallon water change after reading the post before yours. I have never heard of airating the water with a stone and making it atleast a day in advance. If that's the way it should be done that is what i will do from now on. I just wish learning about this stuff wasn't so expensive. If i don't do anything the polyps are going to die, or maybe they'll die no matter what i do. 2 days ago they were bright yellow stars ... now i can't tell them apart from the green star polyps.