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Old 03-06-2010, 10:56 PM   #21
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What they are asking by if the tank is cycled is that if you have an established colony of beneficial bacteria in your rocks/filters/sand. when a tank is first set up if it doesnt have any decaying matter in the tank you will get perfect results when you test because there is no source of DOC or amonia. when you add fish to an aquarium they poop/pee in the water, this is converted to ammonia then nitrite then nitrate and if you have a place where anerobic bacteria to grow it will turn into nitrogen gas and buble out of the water. the first three compounds of the "cycle" are toxic, the first two are the most toxic. If you do not have a good colony of bacteria these levels can get very high before you get a good colony and it can kill livestock. this is just a quick version of how a cycle works I would suggest reading these:
Ammonia conversion to nitrate talks about the nitrogen cycle
Cycle your salt tank talks about how to do a cycle without hurting livestock

and here is a link to multiple articles that will be useful to you
Articles

depending on where you got your rock/sand and if it already has bacteria colonies on them you might not get a big cycle. I would keep an eye on your ammonia and nitrite for now and also on your nitrate. your ammonia and nitrite should be at undetectable levels.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:05 PM   #22
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Usually you cycle with some sort of a fish or animal, usually innexpensive, to prepare the tank for hosting a community. If the water was in good shape, then I guess it is OK, just add fish in gradually so your tank and it's inhabitants are not overwhelmed.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixisnowixi View Post
well im only doing what the guy at the lfs told me to do, and hes pretty geniune and i dont think he wants his fish to die. i took a sample of the water in today and he tested in front of me and my wife and show us on the chart it was perfect in all 3 test. he said it was ready to have the clowns. did i do something wrong?
LOL, why wouldnt he want them to die? then he can sell you some chemicals and more fish.

Please read up on the cycle and do some regular water changes.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:49 AM   #24
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im just gonna keep it at the 2 clowns i dont plan on adding anything for a while at least a month or longer.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:00 AM   #25
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Let's not get out of hand here and start insulting each other. Cabezon was only trying to help in letting you know that there are MANY lfs owners out there only trying to make a quick buck, and unfortunately, we've seen this sad movie one too many times. He was not calling you an idiot nor trying to make you feel like one, he was just simply letting you know that the LFS owner could possibly be trying to take advantage of you.

A less crude approach could have been better, but that's why there are other people here as well to provide information. yetee has given you some excellent advice that i strongly suggest you look in to for the sake of your tank and its inhabitants.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:30 AM   #26
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Nice Zero. ixis, we just don't want to see a fish death. I recommend you do a 30% water change every day for the next 2 weeks otherwise your fish will die from ammonia poisoning. The tests are perfect because there was nothing to cause any ammonia, thus no nitrite and no nitrate. So to prevent your clowns from dying, your gonna need to do at least 30% everyday for two weeks.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:56 AM   #27
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so does everyone else agree with a 30% water change daily, and also i only have 1 heather, so how do i change the water everyday without upsetting whats already going on and not freaking them out anymore im already over paranoid about the whole thing
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:30 PM   #28
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ok well thank you very much guys im prepping for the water change now. i feel like ive been lied to, i have some more general questions. Do you guys keep distilled water laying around or just use tap water with a softner product like im doing. I also noticed the clowns are spitting the food out im giving them. This is a sign of stress?
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:41 PM   #29
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I and a lot of other SW tank owners do not use tap water because it has contaminants like chlorine, ammonia, nitrates, silicates etc.. All the things that can make a saltwater tank look and feel nasty. We use RO/DI water, which comes from an RO/DI unit(shocking, i know :p)

You can find some cheap units on ebay and it is completely worth buying one since it makes life SO much easier. Also, try to stay away from chemicals(the softener product) because chemicals can upset the balance of a saltwater tank easily if used even the slightest bit incorrectly.

About the clowns, i would say that they are just breaking the food down. My clowns used to suck in the food, spit it out, the suck it back in, and continue that until the food was a smaller size for them to eat. I would keep watching them, and if they begin to ignore the food completely, that would be a sign that something is wrong.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:59 PM   #30
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ok cool, but the food sinks right to the bottom so fast! how much are these units? i kinda dropped the remainder of my spending money on what i got. if the clowns die(which would really suck) should i just leave one to rot in there for a real cycle, and i just got done with a 25% empty refill, i read never do more then 20% at a time in 1 day.
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