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Old 01-31-2007, 11:22 PM   #1
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3 Week Old 15 Gallon

I was wondering if I could get any opinions on what is going on with my new saltwater setup. Here is what I've done so far. I added "cured" live rock on about day three after I had mixed my salt and had everything running for a little while. I also added live sand at the same time. I have gotten through the brown algae stage and am starting to see like a green seaweed algae produce on my rocks. In the bank of the tank I am seeing a lot of what I believe is "die-off" from the rocks. It is brown and looks as if it has just crumbled off the rock. So that's that, here is my problem.

I have been testing everything from Ammonia, Nitrites, pH, General Hardness and Nitrates since about day 5. I am getting readings of 0 on everything everytime. What should I do? Keep waiting or add something to the tank? Also I have been adding bacteria to the tank once a week as directed. It is Microbe-lift I believe. No other chemicals have been added and I have not done any water changes. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:42 AM   #2
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Hi RISEANDFLOAT, welcome to AA.

It's quite possible that your tank is done and cycled, since you used already cured rock and live sand. Since you didn't test before Day 5, its impossible to know if you had an ammonia spike. To test it though, I'd try adding a raw shrimp (like from the grocery store) to the tank and see what happens. The shrimp will start to rot, and you should see some ammonia. Then remove it and see how quickly your tank gets rid of it. If it removes ammonia relatively quickly, you are cycled and ready to slowly add some livestock.

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Old 02-01-2007, 01:03 AM   #3
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Ok cool. I have been reading about this shrimp cycle thing since I found this site two days ago. Would it hurt to just leave the shrimp in there and let it just cycle the tank until its almost unnoticable? The reason I ask this is because I plan to cycle the tank for two whole months and I'm not even past month one yet so I am taking my time.
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:03 AM   #4
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Agree with devilish... you might already be cycled. If you are, the dead shrimp won't cycle the tank again really... it'll just add ammonia which should promptly be converted to nitrites, then nitrates. You might not even see the ammonia or nitrites show up in a test kit if you have a good bacteria population.

I'd probably pop the dead shrimp in there also, just to give it an ammonia source to work with. If you're checking nitrates every day or so, I would only leave the shrimp in until you pick up a trace of nitrates. If you just leave it in there forever, it'll just drive up your nitrate level which you'll eventually want to get down as close to zero as possible before putting fish/inverts in the tank.

My tank started out just about the same way you're describing yours. My cured live rock had no detectable die off, and my cycle was at most a week long.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:31 AM   #5
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I agree with the rest. I am surprised you are not seeing any nitrAtes.
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:52 PM   #6
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Re: 3 Week Old 15 Gallon

Quote:
Originally Posted by RISEANDFLOAT
I have been testing everything from Ammonia, Nitrites, pH, General Hardness and Nitrates since about day 5. I am getting readings of 0 on everything everytime.
You should not be getting 0 readings on PH and general hardness. You might want to take a water sample to your LFS and have him do one just in case your`s is off. If his is the same as yours then you know you are right. Also I would check out the nano forum on this site also.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:13 PM   #7
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I'm sorry I meant I was getting 0 readings on my nitrites, Ammonia, and nitrates. My pH is a little above 8.0 and I don't remember what my gH was.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:28 PM   #8
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Oh, and don't forget to take pictures.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:27 AM   #9
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While I've still got this topic kind of active I was also going to ask about my glass top on my tank. I just read last night that having it on could alter my pH and not allow any gas exchange. If I just lifted the front half that covers half the tank up at night would that be okay and keep it closed during the day? Keeping it closed would still allow about 3 inches of room (between the end of the top and the back of the tank) in the back of the tank.
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:45 AM   #10
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Besides gas exchange, you also have to worry about the heat of your aquarium and lesser amount of light getting through. Right now it might not be a problem, but I'd look into taking it off when your cycle nears the end.

I'd look into eggcrate, which is what a lot of people use to cover their tanks that still allows a lot of light through, and keep the fish in.

http://www.lightingdiffusers.com/Sto...=EA%2D050%2D14

Ignore the prices on that page, that is crazy. Home Depot should carry them in sheets, relatively cheap.

HTH
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