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Old 01-16-2004, 09:23 PM   #1
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Am I cycling? And more dumb questions...

Hi there folks,

Forgive me if you've read my previous posts, this one is similar.

My tank (46 gallon bowfront) is up and running with 100 lbs of Old Castle sand, 20 lbs of LR and 20 lbs of base rock. Anytime I touch anything the sand storms up the tank. I'm just wondering if I can do anything to make the sand calm down. When the tank is clear, there is a noticable layer of silt on top of the sand almost an 1/8 inch thick in places, is that normal? If I move a rock, the tank becomes a cloudy mess.

Also, I'm really not sure if the tank is cycling, already cycled, or just not doing anything. Right now it seems like nothing is happening. It's been a week since I added the LR. The LR was fully cured at the LFS.

My readings as of yesterday are:
Ammonia - 0
PH - 8.2
Nitrate - 10
Nitrite - 2.0

Filtration includes a Fluval 304, BakPak 2R, and 2 MaxiJet 900's for water movement.

Any help would be appreciated.

Bill
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Old 01-17-2004, 12:18 AM   #2
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The sand problem is normal. Once the neccessary bacteria start to form in numbers it will add weight to the finer particles. No need to worry about the silty top layer either.

Until your ammonia and nitrites read a constant zero, the tank has not cycled. Right now, the 2.0 nitrites means it's moving along fine but will still need some aditional time.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:24 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The tank is clear, and I'm not touching anything for a while.

One more question. I've read a lot here about the need for critters to sift the sand and generally keep the sand bed healthy. What type of critters, and where would I get them?

Thanks.

Bill
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:45 AM   #4
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<<Detrivors>> will often come in with the addition of good LR but can take time to multiply and may need augmenting depeding on sand depth. http://www.inlandaquatics.com/ and http://www.ipsf.com/ usually come highly recommended.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:55 AM   #5
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Thanks again Steve. I'll check out those links.
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Old 01-19-2004, 06:18 PM   #6
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Yeah....as soon as ur ammonia and crud are 0 then u are good 2 go. A really good thing to put in ur substrate is a SAND-SIFTING STARFISH. The are about 15 bucks and literally move around underground in ur substrate and clean, clean, clean!!!
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Old 01-19-2004, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SALTFISHDUDE
A really good thing to put in ur substrate is a SAND-SIFTING STARFISH. The are about 15 bucks and literally move around underground in ur substrate and clean, clean, clean!!!
Their benefit or lack of is still much debated but IME with these types of stars I would not suggest one for a 46 gal tank. The available area for the star to feed is actually quite small and will eventually deplete it even if "re-seeded". Personally I thing a mix of nassarius and cerith snails will do a much better job and have a much lower impact of the sand fauna itself. If you do ever decide on this type of star, be sure the tank is well over 100 gal with the appropriate level of sand and properly populated animal life.

Cheers
Steve
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