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Old 02-22-2009, 12:51 AM   #1
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Exclamation Ammonia

I have a theoretical question. From what I've read, Fish produce Ammonia through respiration and via detrius. The point of cycling a Tank is to build up adequate levels of Bacteria to 1. Breakdown Ammonia to Nitrite and 2. To breakdown Nitrite to Nitrate (And sometimes 3. to Breakdown Nitrate anearobically to Nitrous, but not part of the traditional cycle). If this is the case, Why does it take so long to build up Ammonia levels? I have a 90 gallon tank w about 90 lbs of cured live rock from established tanks. I have had the tank running over 5 weeks and fish in it for 4 weeks. My 3X week readings have been consistently 0Ammonia, 0 Nitrite 0Nitrate. Brought my water to my local Aquarium store for them to test and the results were confirmed. If the Fish are alive and respiring, why haven't I seen Ammonia yet? I understand why I may not have seen the nitrite and nitrate yet (The Bacteria maybe either 1. don't have enough substrate to breakdown yet OR 2. The Bacterial colonies are not yet established). You would think that your Ammonia levels would start to rise shortly after the addition of fish regardlesss of the state of your Biological filter since Ammonia is a byproduct of their respiration and waste. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:39 AM   #2
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if the rock was well cured and you had no die off its possible you still have the bacteria established on the rock. In that case you wouldn't see any ammonia or nitrites. It's usually not likely but i have heard it happening.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:20 AM   #3
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Like shane said, it's possible you already had the bacteria present, or at least enough of it to quickly react to the bioload and you'd never see it.

Also, how many fish? If it's a small amount of fish, they're not creating a large load anyway.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:42 AM   #4
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Neilanh is so right...I cured my LR in a tub in the house for 3 weeks and then put it in my tank along with the sand, with plugs from my old DSB to seed, and if I hadn't checked the time I did, I would still be waiting for the spike. It only lasted a couple of hours and then the ammonia and nitrites were gone.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:57 AM   #5
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I'm confused. From your "my tanks" info, it looks like you are trying to cycle a tank with a tang, lionfish, clown, and a clean up crew already in it? If the cured rock was indeed enough to prevent a cycle then you're very lucky. I doubt your inhabitants would have made it. Maybe the clown. As to whether 3 fish in a 90 gallon would be enough to get a cycle going I'm not sure.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:16 AM   #6
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That's a really expensive cycle!!
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:10 PM   #7
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Do me a favor and read this article so you can understand why it`s best not to cycle with fish. As others have said if your LR is already cured then it was taking care of the ammonia as it was being produced. Again read this.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html
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