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Old 03-26-2012, 10:25 PM   #1
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Changed the substrate, now im cycling ALOT

I have a 75 gal tank and i had about a 3 to 4 inch substrate of CC for 2 years and it was a freaking nitrate factory and i wanted to get rid of it because i absolutly hated it so i decided to change it out to black aragonite sand of about 3 inches. I added a fishnet full of the CC in the tank to help seed the sand when i switched it all out 4 days ago. After 48 hours i had a nitrite level of 0.3 and today i have nitrite 0.8 and did a 10gal water change and added 2.5x the normal dose of prime to detoxify the nitrite. Nitrates are at 5ppm, Salinity 1.024 refract, temp 78, PH 8.0. i just ran out of Ammonia test kit so i have to buy another one. (what is a good test kit to buy in your opinion?)

I have coral and 6 fish, snail, and a tiger tail cucumber and they are all in good health from what i can tell. They all are eating and moving around like any other day. When i changed out the substrate i only changed out about 15-20gal of water because i didnt have room for those 15-20gal. Do you think this cycle is going to last and should i continue to use prime on a daily or weekly basis and what do you think about using stability. The only reason im asking about stability is because i already have it and was wondering if that could help me out. Thanks
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:47 PM   #2
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First off, good idea on removing the CC. How much rock do you have in your tank atm? Odds are your cycle is due to moving your rock\substrate around and kicking up the detritus that was in/on your CC. For now I'd keep up the PWCs and monitor. As you do your pwc's, try to siphon out the junk on the sand bed. The API test works well to test for ammonia.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:49 PM   #3
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I heard the Salifert tests are good. I have api and when they are gone will be getting Salifert. The color coding on the api test kit especially for ammonia is sometimes hard to read I think.

Good Luck
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:05 AM   #4
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For ammonia and trites API is good enough. After cycling there really isn't a need to test for ammonia or trites unless a mini cycle occurs. I'd suggest red sea or as kelly mentioned, salifert, for anything but ammonia and nitrite.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:30 PM   #5
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I dont have as much LR as i should do to money and im thinking this could be my problem also (i think i have 50lbs. I was given the rock and never weighed it so dont know, but that is my best educated guess). Everything in my tank i have gotten for free except the rock. Im planning on buying 80 lbs of base rock this week, but unfortunatly that wont help my problem now. I add 2.5x the amount of prime last night and this moring at 5am the nitrites were at 0.3 which is better but im wondering if im just slowing the cycling process or if i have enough BB on the rock that is in there to eventually stablize the tank if i continue to add prime and PWC?

How often would you suggest adding the prime and should i use the Seachem stability that i have or is it bad for the coral/cucumber IDK im not experienced enough?

Also i forgot to mention in my first post and after reading last night this is probably what caused this cycle is my buddy who gave me the sand had it sitting in a brute food grade trash can for a month with no water movement or heat in his garage so everything that was live died. I did rinse it for 2 days for about 3 hours and it was clear when i was finished with it. I would hate to loose fish and coral, but i can come back from that, but i've heard if i loose the tiger tail cucumber it can destroy the whole tank and i work 10 hour days and by the time i get home i could be dead for a solid 12 hours before i would see it. My wife keeps telling me i made a mistake on switching out the substrate and should have keep my factory haha (You gotta love the wife) since it worked for 2 years even though the nitrates where always at 20ppm. Sorry i had to add that tidbit. thanks for the help.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaRick
For ammonia and trites API is good enough. After cycling there really isn't a need to test for ammonia or trites unless a mini cycle occurs. I'd suggest red sea or as kelly mentioned, salifert, for anything but ammonia and nitrite.
Aquarick, when starting corals what extra tests do I need to get? Do I need to add anything special to the water?
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:57 PM   #7
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I'd get a good reef test kit. Alkalinity, Calcium, and magnesium tests are must. Personally I'm a fan of the Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro test kit for this. Others like Salifert. Both are higher quality test kits than API.

If you are keeping stony corals (SPS,LPS) you may have to eventually dose your tank by adding calcium & magnesium. This can be done with a 2 part doser (2 part pump/drip), or by adding kalkwasser (powder that's mixed in with RODI water and used in topoffs).

However, with a good reef salt you won't have to start dosing until you add a lot of corals and/or purchase large corals.

The best thing would be to get yourself a good reef salt, test your water parameters before and while you add corals. If you notice your regular PWCs aren't doing the job anymore of keeping your levels up, then it's time to dose. Dosing, unfortunately, is trial and error. Start with a conservative dose and then test a couple times a week. Increase or decrease your dose as needed based on the testing you do etc.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #8
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when i got home i tested the nitrites again and it is now 0.3-<0.3. I dont know if it is actually going down due to the cycling process winding down which i doubt or if it is because of the prime i put in to detoxify the nitrites which is my best guess.

Also read my above post for further details and questions that i still have. Thanks
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaRick
I'd get a good reef test kit. Alkalinity, Calcium, and magnesium tests are must. Personally I'm a fan of the Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro test kit for this. Others like Salifert. Both are higher quality test kits than API.

If you are keeping stony corals (SPS,LPS) you may have to eventually dose your tank by adding calcium & magnesium. This can be done with a 2 part doser (2 part pump/drip), or by adding kalkwasser (powder that's mixed in with RODI water and used in topoffs).

However, with a good reef salt you won't have to start dosing until you add a lot of corals and/or purchase large corals.

The best thing would be to get yourself a good reef salt, test your water parameters before and while you add corals. If you notice your regular PWCs aren't doing the job anymore of keeping your levels up, then it's time to dose. Dosing, unfortunately, is trial and error. Start with a conservative dose and then test a couple times a week. Increase or decrease your dose as needed based on the testing you do etc.
Can you gvive me an example of a stony coral? Also what is a good reef salt?
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:19 PM   #10
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Can you gvive me an example of a stony coral? Also what is a good reef salt?
You wil get mixed opinions on what is the best reef salt. My best answer would be do a search on AA and decide for yourself after you have read what people have said and debated back and forth on as this has already been brought up. My opinion though. I use instant ocean and birdsnest.
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