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Old 03-21-2008, 05:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Live sand "could have" cycled the tank... but it obviously didn't.

Cycling is the process of building up bacteria to meet the bioload needs of your tank. Live sand won't "cycle" a tank really, but it will provide an initial bacterial population that *may* reduce the length of your cycle. It all depends on how "live" the sand was.

In your other post, you say your ammonia levels are "high". That means the tank is cycling. The live sand may help it happen quicker, but you're still seeing an ammonia spike. Next will be the nitrite spike.
Thanks Kurt. Yes, the ammonia is high right now for sure. I am changing some of the water (2 gallons out of 20), so I am adding new saltwater, although I was told I didn't "have to".

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Old 03-21-2008, 06:46 PM   #12
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If you have a fish in the tank and ammonia tests show a level above zero you need to remove the fish a/o do a partial water change. 2 galons is only a 10% change in a 20 gallon tank. You should be doing 20% -30% changes once or even twice a day to keep the levels acceptable. Yes, that will prolong the cycle. Or you could let the fish die and then leave it in the tank to get the tank cycled. At that point it's the same as a raw cocktail shrimp. Sorry if that sounds cruel, but please read below.

From various sources...
Ammonia even at low levels will burn the gills of fish and choke off their oxygen supply.

Next comes nitrites which prevent the blood from carrying oxygen. Brown blood disease occurs in fish when water contains high nitrite concentrations. Nitrite enters the bloodstream through the gills and turns the blood to a chocolate-brown color. Hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood, combines with nitrite to form methemoglobin, which is incapable of oxygen transport. Brown blood cannot carry sufficient amounts of oxygen, and affected fish can suffocate despite adequate oxygen concentration in the water. This accounts for the gasping behavior often observed in fish with brown blood disease, even when oxygen levels are relatively high.
Nitrates are harmless to fish in low doses (under 40ppm).

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Old 03-21-2008, 10:09 PM   #13
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Cmor, although the facts you give are correct it should be noted that even though marine fish are susceptible to NO2 poisoning, it is uncommon due to Chloride and possibly other factors such as overall health status, previous ailments, D.O., etc. Studies have shown that marine fish can survive at over 100ppm of NO2 without incident. NO3 is also reasonably nontoxic to marine fish and elasmobranches even over 100ppm (have seen many elasmobranch aquaria way over 300ppm without incident). Most of the time, ime, elevated NH3 concentrations ("new tank syndrome" during cycling) can have acute toxicity effects by causing respiratory distress due to fusion of the gills or "ammonia burn."

Overall, I do agree with others to return the fish (depending on NH3 measurement, damage may already be irreversible) and cycle thoroughly before continuing.
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Innovator View Post

Overall, I do agree with others to return the fish (depending on NH3 measurement, damage may already be irreversible) and cycle thoroughly before continuing.
Since this is the "Getting Started" section, this seems to be the important point to hammer home.
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:23 AM   #15
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I did not want to get into the upper limits of what can be done in a 'Getting Started' area. I have seen some of the research you speak of, but do not want to rely on that when starting a new tank. I would like to see a tank properly cycled before adding any livestock. Even using fully cured LR I would like to see some ammonia added to cause a mini-cycle just to be sure the tank can handle a new increased bioload. It should only take 2 weeks for that to happen.

I won't even start with the fish have no feelings of pain due to their brain/nervoous system. I just want MY livestock to be as healthy as possible. I have personally witnessed the curative effects of daily 10% pwc's helping diseased fish recover in both fw and sw. But this is way off topic for this thread.

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20 gallon

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