There are  however there some promising devices coming onto the market in Europe as we speak. In reef tanks, nitrates are necessary in small quantities to fuel the photosynthesis. Okay, back to the article…. Also, the costly sulfur and carbonate media must periodically be replaced. ), and; The type of fish, plants or invertebrates you stock. If not, you could get false readings on your reef tank parameters. For alkalinity, phosphate, and calcium, I have generally used individual test kitseval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-sky-3','ezslot_34',145,'0','0'])); For equipment, I now use this Refractometer to measure the salinity of my reef tank, although you could certainly use a swing-arm hydrometer, like the one shown in the image above. The scale reads from ‘acidic’ on the low end to ‘basic’ on the high end. From that perspective, it is perfectly natural to have it. In a marine aquarium, the biological filter will help you keep your water in tip-top shape. Nitrate itself is not particularly toxic at the levels usually found in aquaria, at least as is so far known in the scientific literature. If you live in an area where the ambient temperature matches that range…. These nitrogen laden bacteria can then be permanently exported from the reef aquarium by your protein skimmer. Testing for them has in short been a pain and with all the new reef technology that’s come out lately, testing for nitrates is only starting to get some marginal love. The 9 MOST IMPORTANT Reef Tank Parameters are:eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-box-3','ezslot_15',125,'0','0'])); Let’s dive a little deeper into each individual water parameter as well as the value considered to be ideal for a reef tank: Alkalinity is a complex concept/thing to describe because it pretty much only has scientific explanations. The ninth most important reef tank water parameter is temperature. 9 Most Important Reef Tank Aquarium Water Parameters, macroalgae that can help keep your phosphate levels down, Candy Cane Coral: Caulastrea furcata, a great beginner LPS coral species, Lawnmower Blenny Aquarium Care: Salarias fasciatus, Yellow Tang: Caring for this saltwater fish in a reef tank, 51 Great gifts for saltwater aquarium lovers. The Redfield ratio implies that coral and bacteria consume significantly more … Shark . To help keep your nitrates low on an ongoing basis, some hobbyists employ the help of beneficial bacteria who eat the nitrates. That’s a fairly narrow range around~400, so, to keep things simple, I generally think of the optimal reef tank calcium level to be about 400 ppm. Do what you can to maintain stable alkalinity–and even if you are trying to get your alkalinity up (if it is low, for example), you will want to do so very, very gradually to avoid shocking any of the animals in your system. The majority of animals we keep in our tanks come from tropical reefs, and tropical reefs tend to have a stable temperature somewhere between 73 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 to 29 degrees Celcius. Free downloadable reef tank parameters chart. It is entirely possible that specific individual species you acquire for your own tank may come from an environment that differs from these generalities and may, therefore, require specific care. I broadcast feed daily with Oceanmagik and RedSea Reef Energy +. I won’t bore you, too much, with the scientific definition of what pH is. At least for right now. Technically speaking, the presence of low levels of nitrates in your tank could be considered a good thing–because it means that your biological filter is working. The acceptable range of nitrate for reef tanks is 0.25 ppm, but not more than 5 ppm. Instead, buy a high-quality salt mix that roughly approximates the natural levels of the ocean and stay on top of your water changes. All you need is a spot that has some light and flow where you can stick a handful of chaeto and watch it grow. The fifth most important saltwater aquarium water parameter is nitrite. His love for everything coral led him to start ReefNation in 2010 which aims to inform others about the world’s oceans as well as provide sustainably grown corals to the reef aquarium industry. If you live in a warm climate, where the temperature gets above the ideal range, you may need an aquarium chiller. These units also usually are packaged with some type of pump although some of them are gravity fed. At ReefNation, we try to opt for the easiest ways to keep our tanks happy and nitrate removal is no exception. Test kits can sometimes get a bad reputation, or get blasted in online forums for their unreliability or lack of precision. But until you reach an advanced level of sophistication or if you’re otherwise experiencing problems with your water quality and need to rule it out as part of the problem, you may be able to let sleeping magnesium lie and focus on the 9 most important water parameters. Other potential aquarium pests, such as dinoflagellates, are also spurred by excess nitrate and other nutrients. Nitrates below 80 (ppm) poses no real problems for the fish. Culture bacteria that consume nitrate by adding a carbon food source for them to grow on in your reef aquarium. Helpful bacteria that live on and in the live rock, live sand and even on the aquarium glass itself will help remove toxic ammonia from the water and replace it with much less toxic nitrite. If the goal is to increase the nitrates in the reef tank then it’s best to do it as safely as possible. The first design is a simple device which one of our local reefers Bruce recently built out of a cylinder and some tubing. But salinity is relatively difficult to measure directly. Ammonia occurs naturally, as a byproduct of some sort of organic waste breaking down in your tank. Thanks for checking out this article about the most important reef tank parameters. What is the Ideal Reef Tank Salinity Level? They range from a couple hundred dollars to some of the larger units that are well over a thousand. My nitrates are at 1.7ppm , my phosphate was at 2ppm but since buying the phosban reactor now they are at 0.02. Please don’t read this as me saying that these three elements are not important to reef coral biology, because they are. To date, there is not a cost effective method on the market that provides a spot-on reading. I have to admit, i’ve seen them in reefkeeping catalogs or on websites for years, but I’ve never put much thought into what makes them work. Equally importantly, alkalinity’s role in affecting the available bicarbonate in your tank is important, because bicarbonate is one of the main ‘ingredients’ used to build coral skeletons. The recommended range is: 73-84 Fahrenheit or 22-29 Celciuseval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-small-rectangle-1','ezslot_36',136,'0','0'])); That’s a pretty broad range–and you might experience some challenges with finicky species at the extremes. The first is that, well, the list of the 9 most important items stops at 9. An aquarium heater is probably required for just about any aquarium because most of us live in houses where the daily temperature is lower than the ideal values listed below. well, then I’m a bit jealous and hope you’ll invite me over to hang out very soon. They are inexpensive and easy-to-use. This test kit is one of the most chosen ones for its ease of use even if you are not an expert in the process. }. It is up to you to research the husbandry needs of the animals you want to keep to be sure you know if their needs differ from the standard water parameters. The salinity of the ocean is actually ~ 35 g/L, but for your saltwater aquarium, it is more common to measure the specific gravity of the water as a proxy for salinity, because of how easily specific gravity can be measured. The world’s oceans tend to have reef calcium levels between 380-420 ppm (parts per million). Regardless of whether you spend $7 on an API test or ~$20 for a Salifert test kit, you need to take some measures to ensure your glassware is clean (and not contaminated) and that you perform the test according to the included instructions. The good news is that a  healthy, fully-functioning biological filter protects your tank by removing ammonia from your water. The API NITRATE 90-T is what you need if you want an effective reading to check for any issues that might harm the plants and fish in the tank. Because those levels are so low, because testing would be so complex and because the benefits of maintaining that precisely are unknown while the risks of adding too much (toxicity) are quite known, it is probably best to resist the urge to monitor and adjust your iodine levels manually. For temperature, I use this Digital Aquarium Thermometer that I bought, a while back, on Amazon. The fastest, most natural and lowest-tech way to remove nitrates from your reef tank is to perform a partial water change. What is carbon dosing, you ask?eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-netboard-2','ezslot_28',126,'0','0'])); The short version, here, is that these beneficial bacteria naturally grow in your tank, but you can give their populations a boost by adding carbon to your tank. You can speed up the process by seeding the tank with a small quantity of substrate, filter media, decorations, etc. A big disclaimer that is appropriate for this entire article (a version of a similar disclaimer is also on the LiveAquaria website) is that what I’ve listed above are general reef tank parameters. However, levels around 30-40 ppm are generally tolerated by most saltwater aquarium fish (except for fragile species) and many hardy soft corals that tend to come from nutrient-rich waters. This then gives our corals the sugars they need to grow and create skeletons. To keep your levels low, you might consider running a phosphate reducing media in a media reactor.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-small-rectangle-2','ezslot_37',131,'0','0'])); The eighth most important reef tank water parameter is salinity. You need to test your aquarium water to be sure it is in a healthy and suitable range. Ideal Parameters found in: Pro Reef Salt Mix, WAV Single Pump (4000 GPH), RapidCycle Aquarium Cycle Kit, 150g to 200g+ Calcium Reactor Starter Bundle, Coral Pro Salt Mix, BR-70 Biopellet Combo Pack - Reef Octopus, Classic Sea Salt.. good catch, thx. Luckily, some super-smart people came up with a few super-easy ways to estimate salinity super-easily.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-sky-4','ezslot_35',132,'0','0'])); When the salinity of the water changes, two other important things change: So, as hobbyists, we use a hydrometer to measure the density (specific gravity) of the water, or we use a refractometer to measure the angle of light refraction, to estimate the salinity. But it also created a few unanswered questions in my mind. The deep sand bed creates a low-oxygen environment at the bottom of the bed where the third type of beneficial bacteria can grow. Some of these algaes even compete for light with our corlas by releasing compounds that can sting our corals, like other corals can sometimes do. Before you go, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with three other important reef tank aquarium water parameters that are important, just not one of the 9 MOST IMPORTANT reef tank parameters.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'saltwateraquariumblog_com-sky-2','ezslot_33',164,'0','0'])); There are a couple of reasons those three reef tank parameters didn’t make the cut. You need to keep alkalinity in the appropriate range in a reef tank to ensure there is sufficient bicarbonate for your corals to grow. No pressure to do so, just letting you know those are affiliate links. Can’t you picture a group of discerning reefers that decided to share a friday night toast with their reef tank? The problem is that ammonia isa toxic waste in your aquarium. Most of us make our own seawater with a salt mix. Some said Nitrates should be >2ppm or the clam will suffer. Mastering nutrient export methods is the pinnacle of success for reefers, but like many elements of being an aquarist, it’s easier said than done. Ideal for sensitive reef tanks; Cons. And how close to ‘ideal’ do you need to keep the water parameters in your own aquarium without causing problems? by Justin Hester | Jul 5, 2013 | Aquariums, Featured, Latest News, Uncategorized. Salt is also an essential part of the reef tank maintenance just because salt can affect your coral’s health and its ability to grow and become strong. ammonia, nitrate, phosphate levels etc. They even offer a new style of pellet which is larger and thus less prone to clogging. No, that is not a typo, nitrite and nitrate are two separate and important compounds to monitor, in your water. As another one of the most important reef tank parameters, the ideal ammonia level for a reef aquarium is ~0 ppm. 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