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Old 03-24-2006, 09:48 PM   #1
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Making Live Rock, Exploded Nitrate?

Hello. I am trying to grow dead rock in to live rock. I seeded the dead rock with aerobic and anaerobic bacteria to speed it up. In 10 days I was able to break down all the ammonia and some of the nitrite. I am left with a rock that makes Nitrate like bioballs.

I was just told that True Live Rock has 3 bacterias.

Can I buy the bacteria to break down nitrate in to nitrogen in a bottle to seed the new growing live rock? Or does this only happen over time. I was pretty impressed to see all the ammonia vanish in 10 days. Nitrite was still high but dropping. Nitrate was not dropping at all!

I also have the seeds and eggs for the living creatures. I didn't add them in yet. I was going to wait until the cycle completed. Do I need them to complete the cycle. I think they are little worms, shrimp planton, some other living creatures and fungus looking stuff that I think grows pretty algee.

Please advise.

Thank you.
Dan
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Old 03-24-2006, 11:01 PM   #2
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Bioballs do not create nitrate. Food and debris that get trapped in them does. Anything "dead" rots causing the "3 stages" NH2. NO2, and NO3. If the tank has finished the cycle and you only have a NO3 reading you should do a WC or two to lower it. In time your tank will develop bacteria that will remove the NO3 as long as you do not overstock. A refugium will also help remove NO3. What you are describing..or at least what I think you are describing is a normal cycle. Nothing you can buy in a bottle will cycle your tank better or faster.
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Old 03-25-2006, 01:52 PM   #3
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I think the 3rd stage is good Fungi that eats Nitrate to grow. Buying wild Live rock should help seed as that spreads rather easily. Did a little more reading.
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenden
Nothing you can buy in a bottle will cycle your tank better or faster.
Also the “stuff” you are adding can contribute to higher no3 readings then if you had never added them.

What is your current no3 reading? What source of nh3 is in the tank? Have you read the fishless cycling article?
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Old 03-26-2006, 08:58 PM   #5
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I ran seperate tests on the fish food, rocks, Stability bio start, mixed with clean RO saltwater for 2 days. All seperate containers and seperate from another. I needed to know which factor was causing the Nitrate!

Dry dead Rock
Ammonia 1.5 ppm
Nitrite 2.5 ppm
Nitrate 50.0 ppm
Just after soaking for 2 days.

Rotting Fish Food
Ammonia 4.0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 0 ppm

Stability Bio new tank starup in a bottle
Ammonia 0.5
Nitrite 0.5 ppm
Nitrate 10.0 ppm
This did not come with Nitrate as high either, their was active nitrogen cycle happening because all bacterias were present as product was manufactured for.

As you can see from soaking these items seperately one of them was full of toxic stuff. My dead rock was Full of everything Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia even before I started this test. This rock was dried out straight from the store and never in my tanks. I placed it in a tank with moving fresh salt water and let it soak. The water was horable and smelled fishy bad after 2 days. This undoubtly is my problem.

There is no Nitrogen Cycle in dry rock. So the Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia were absorbed in to the rock from where they origionally came from.

Now I know the source. How do I clean this stuff out so I can put these rocks in with my fish? I don't belive something this simple is my problem. I can only hope the solution is as simple.

I am concidering placing the rock in boiling water to remove the bad stuff. For now I am just soaking them in RO water.

Dan
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:05 PM   #6
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Since your rock is still producing nh3 I’d put it in the tank (without fish or your “eggs”) to cycle the tank properly. Keep testing every couple of days for nh3/no2 and once both of those readings are 0 then do a 50% pwc and recheck your no3 readings. Keep doing pwc until you get a no3 reading <10 ppm and then add one fish or clean up crew to keep the bacteria alive. If you plan on using a qt tank I’d get a fish now and put in the qt tank so it’s ready to go once your tank stabilizes.
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