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Old 03-22-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
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A bit of help please.

About 10 days ago I started my tank. I'm still pretty new at this. I did lots of reading before starting. I've got a 40g with about 50lbs rock. 10 dry the rest live. I've got the heater running at around 80. Two filters running (not sure if I should have them both on). One is a fluval c4 and the other is a h.o.t. magnum and I have what I believe is called a wave maker. Has the little propeller.

Ok, what I need some help with is understanding my test readings. I read about cycling. My levels seem odd. Maybe not. I'm using the API master kit.

Ph-8.0
Ammonia-.25-.5(hard to tell)
Nitrite-.25
Nitrate-20
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
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I tested again and attached a pic of the results. Has it cycled? Or possibly not cycled yet? Should I do a water change? I didn't do anything but add all the live rock. Was going to do the shrimp thing but was waiting for my test kit in the mail.

And also this is my first time posting. Having no replies I have to ask if I did something incorrectly.

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Old 03-23-2013, 08:03 PM   #3
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I think it would be wise to add an ammonia source. You really want to see ammonia spike at around 4ppm to create a healthy bb colony.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:09 PM   #4
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Go ahead and add the shrimp, but you are correct that the tank is not cycled. Good on you for having lots of rock, a test kit, and asking questions!
When you have nothing but nitrates, do a water change and add fish slowly. Like one at a time with at least a week before the next, watching levels daily.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:59 PM   #5
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Thank you both! I'll definitely add it and keep an eye on the levels.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
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I would really appreciate some more help. My tank project was pushed on the back burner after my last reply since we recently had to take my daughter in for major surgery. I periodically checked the levels. I did add the shrimp the next day. And we noticed we had several snails and they seem to be doing fine. I just tested my water and the amm and nitrites are at 0 and the nitrates are pretty much as high as the card shows, like 80 or more. So again im not sure how to tell if it has cycled. Do the high nitrates mean it has? If so can someone explain the water changes a bit to me. Just mix my water in the bucket to the right salinity, siphon tank and replace? And keep testing probably too?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:58 PM   #7
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Yeah I would say you may have cycled, how long was it? Also wise to add a heater and leave over night before adding to the tank...
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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Because you have a40 gal tank with 40lbs of live rock, you may have only had a small cycle. With the shrimp in and only nitrates present after 2 weeks, sounds like your done. Time for a big water change to lower nitrates and your good to go. don't get a turbo snail when you have nitrates. they're pretty whimpy when it comes to that.
Time to start thinking about fish.
Good Luck, and I hope your daughter is doing well.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:03 PM   #9
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If you can, I would dose to 4ppm ammonia with pure ammonia and see if it goes away in 24 hours. If that happens you will know for sure it is cycled and wont endanger any livestock.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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Both of the above posts are excellent advice!
If you've finished cycling, you can add fish. If you only had a small cycle, you can add one fish but will need to watch the ammonia and nitrite levels very closely.
Either way, fish should be added slowly. Start with the least aggressive fish you're planning to add and wait at least a week before adding a second.
You are on your way my friend!
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