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Old 12-20-2010, 01:35 PM   #51
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Ok update, all the fish in the QT are going strong and water chemistry is looking good, continuing with the twice daily PWC.

I've set up a 45gal tub in my spare bathroom with 40lbs argonite sand about 10lbs of BR and 5lbs of LR (I'm making more BR as well, but it won't be ready for at least a week). Tested the water this morning and it was showing 1.0 ppm Amm 0.5 ppm NI and 5.0 ppm NA (that's up from 0 NA just yesterday) I'm planning a PWC today. Should I add an ammonia source again or wait until the ammonia levels have gone all the way back down to 0?

Once I have the rock cycling well, I'll need to move everybody back to the 40gal tank at school, any suggestions on the best way to do that? I can work in stages if I need to.

On a related note, I mentioned way back that I wanted to possibly move up to a much larger tank over the summer. The one MAJOR problem I am forseeing with keeping a really big tank is summer vacations. Would it even be possible to get everybody home safely for summer and if so how would you manage it? I only live about 15 miles from my school so it's not a long drive.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:59 PM   #52
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If you are going to make your own base rock make sure your cure it in a seperate container because it will cause large changes in your PH. It will take quite a while for it to finish curing as well.

If you wanted to start a large tank it would probably have to stay at school. Moving a large tank can be done but it is a ton of work and not something you want to do at the begining and end of each school year.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:47 PM   #53
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And you would need a similar size tank at home for the summer.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:16 PM   #54
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It depends on whether you want to keep one big tank, or two, leaving one empty all the time. You could to a tank transfer at the end and beginning of the school year relatively easily (it's just labor) if you had 2 similarly size tanks. If it was just one tank, it becomes more difficult. I'm guessing it's the latter. You could keep the smaller tank (that you're upgrading from) at home, and transfer what you can, empty the big tank and move it, then transfer everything back to the big tank. That will essentially double the stress on the fish, but the LR and sand, etc, should all be fine if you do the transfer correctly (keeping everything submerged in 5g buckets during the 15 mile move). Get some students to help you out. Those young bucks and their strong backs...
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:36 PM   #55
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Ok, that's more or less what I was thinking. I can use the 40 gallon, and I'll have a bunch of empty 20 gallons as well since my student tanks won't be in use during that time of year. I'll have them help me clean and set up tanks, move everybody, then just mad dash to get the tank LS and LR moved to the house and set up. I can probably space it out some what so that it's done during the last week of school. Since most of my students are seniors they'll be exempt from the final anyways so no need to study!
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:44 PM   #56
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Quick update, everyone is still going strong in the QT so no worries there. I have the 40 lbs of argonite sand 5 lbs of live rock and 15 lbs of base rock curing in a 45 gallon tub along with some small chunks of salmon to add ammonia. I've been testing daily and here's what I've got:

12/19 Amm - 1.0 NI - 0.2 NA - 0
12/20 Amm - 1.0 NI - 0.5 NA - 5.0
12/21 Amm - 1.0 NI - 0.5 NA - 5.0
12/22 Amm - 1.0 NI - >1 NA - 10
12/23 Amm - 1.0 NI - >1 NA - 20

So it seems to be cylcing, but it looks like maybe it still needs some more bacteria before it will drop all the way down to 0 on the Amm and NI? Any thought on about how long I should keep it going before I'm ready to move it back in to the tank at school?

Also, my DIY base rock is "curing" seperately in the bath tub, pH is reading at 8.6 still, when it drops down to safe levels should I add it in with the rest of the rock?
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:01 PM   #57
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pH will swing all over during curing/cycling. Don't worry about it unless it tanks down or spikes way, way up.

Don't bother to test Nitrate until Nitrite is 0. Nitrate tests convert Nitrate to Nitrite and then test for that so it throws off the test.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:29 PM   #58
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Oh, I'm just testing the pH on the DIY base rock, I was told that the concrete "curing" (not cycling) will mess with the pH in my cycling tank so I should make sure it's stable. I'm just wondering what pH I should be aiming for with the concrete before I add it in with the rest of the cycling LR and BR?

Is there anything else I should do to help move the cycling along? I've got the PH's going and the temp around 85.
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