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Old 04-04-2009, 01:21 PM   #1
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Hi All,
Brand new to SW aquaria, a few questions. We have a 15 gallon tank, cycling since the 1st of Feb. Question is, does the cycle stall? Can we do anything about it?
Ammo 0.0
No2 1.0
No3 20.o
PH 7.8
Temp. 73
SG 1.022
Initially, we started with 2 Scarlet Cleaner, 5 Blue Hermits, 4 Nassarius Snails.
Finally we got a clue, bought 2.5 lbs. LR. Ammo spiked 3/25 dropped to 0 on 3/29. NO2 went to 1.0 on 3/22 and jumped to 5.0 for a couple of days. It's been at 1.0 since 3/27. NO3 has been up and down but holding at 20.0 for the past few days.
We lost a cleaner shrimp (Kane) post molting to an aggressive Emerald type crab on 3/22. The second cleaner (Candy) molted on 3/24 and survived. Last week we replaced the dead cleaner and added a Black Ray Goby and a few Astrea Snails. Candy molted again on 3/31 and then up and died last night! Our largest hermit crab (Dr. Banner) became food for the snails yesterday as well.
Now is this all nitrite poisoning and the cycle of life?
We have used Stress Zyme, Amquel +, Stress Coat, we check the water daily and are really confused! Did a PWC of 3.5 yesterday in an attempt to save our beloved Candy who looked like she was having epileptic seizures. Of course, we failed. What now? No more livestock until the levels are all reading 0? Any other advice? Have we stalled or just too impatient? Do we ask too many questions? Not enough?
Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:08 PM   #2
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IMO too impatient. Two things here. 1) Wait for your tank to completely cycle. I would double check your results by taking a sample to your LFS. Two and a half lbs of LR is not enough. You need about4 or 5 times that much. 2) Stop using all those additives. That might be a big part of it. A proper cycle and a PWC afterwards to lower the nitrates is all you need. What type water are you using?
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:09 PM   #3
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Mike,

Using tap water, adding salt and API Stress Coat to condition and remove chlorine, etc. We'll pursue the LR. Should we do another PWC or just sit tight and wait it out? Does the increase in nitrAtes indicate the development of the secondary nitrIte consuming bacteria? Just not enough of it yet? Is there anyway to insure the survival of the current inhabitants through the remainder of the cycle? I feel terrible having placed them in harms way. After seeing the ammonia drop off I thought the nitrites would follow automatically. It's not fun to find yourself mistaken with little lives on the line.

Thanks,

James
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:56 PM   #4
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That`s the proper attitude to have. You can do one of two things. 1) Take anything live in your tank to your LFS to hold or put in a QT if you have one. 2) Do some PWC`s to lower ammonia and nitrites. This will slow down your cycle but will make it tolerable for your livestock. Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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Proper cycling should only last a month's time. The main parameter to watch is NH3 (Ammonia) and your readings show it is at 0. The fact that you recently bought some liverock, added it to the tank, and your NH3 spiked and quickly dropped to 0 tells me you cycled correctly the first time around and the bacteria is sufficient. Your NO2 and NO3 readings are nowhere near a detrimental state towards the livestock you are currently interested in, but a 25%-50% water change wouldn't hurt. Try to keep a 25% water change regimen biweekly or monthly. My question is, do you acclimate your livestock? Also, the temperature needs to be raised to at least 78F. What kind of filtration and/or water movement do you have?
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Old 04-05-2009, 02:00 PM   #6
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Innovator,

Thanks for the response. As Mike (thanks as well) recommended we added more LR yesterday. This mornings readings for NH3 are still 0, good on that. N02 & 3 have held steady at 1.0 and 20 respectively, pH is still lowish at 7.8. The LFS recommended using an additive to boost pH but I've been reluctant because, as I understand it, NO2 is more toxic at higher pH. True?

In regards to acclimation, yes using tank drip over an hour or more. Filtration is a Whisper 10-20 HOB with Seachem Matrix filling the input side. "Bubble Wall" and a standard air stone handle aeration.

Our intent is to use this tank for seahorses. As I understand it they prefer a rather low flow scenario so I've set the Whisper to low. Temp wise I was shooting for something in the middle of their range 72-78, depending on species, until we make a decision about which we'll go with. Is the lower temp causing problems for the inverts?

Any advice welcome and appreciated,

Lazy J's
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Old 04-05-2009, 02:56 PM   #7
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If you're using it for seahorses, better be sure you have a chiller, because if not, your seahorses wouldn't tolerate for fluctuations of temperature.
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:14 PM   #8
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Not only what Jenny said but they like cooler temps like around 72-74.
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:18 PM   #9
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OMG do I hear ya! I have sat on the floor in front of my fishless tank just looking at it and wondering WHY ME! WHY WHY WHY! I LOVE MY TANK, I bought it for my husband, but I take care of it, and I have fallen in love with it far beyond his attachment to it! I have just been through so many couldn't avoids with my tank that it is unreal. My sump BROKE, that was the worst of it, when I had to shut down my entire system overnight, and lost so many of my fish, then the others came down sick, and died. I wiped out my ENTIRE population and omg where they beautiful. A huge yellow tang; Bubbles, A Brown tang (which aren't brown lol); Shark Bait Nuhahaha, A hippo Tang; (Dorri of course), 2 sets of small mated Clowns; (Merylan and Tom) both times, 2 Mandarine Gobies (didn't name them), and I just cried and cried and laid in the bed for a whole day... couldn't even come in the tank room.

We have our big screen over our tank, so that I can watch my fish at all times. What did survive? My Corals, anemones, and all shrimpies... I love those little guys too. I have the fire red ones. They are so funny. My lawnmower Blenny lived as well. Needless to say, omg his belly is sooooo huge all the time.

I have found that the little black snails do not do great in my tank. I don't know why, but they don't. They clean the glass and all, my the white snails with the pointy shells thrive in my tank and do a darn good job cleaning my rock.

Here is what I am doing. I have velvet in my main tank and I am sure as heck gonna let it cycle out before I put anything else in there. I can't really treat it very great, because of my shrimp, and all of my corals and LR. So, I have bought one of these very cool smaller tanks that have the pendant light over them. My fish store owner is super cool and she is pulling water out of her coral aquarium as well as live rock, so that I don't have to go through the establishing stages. My new emperor fish came in this last week, and I couldn't let it get sold, so I just said... set me up something new, and I will later put him into my main tank, and make the new tank the more aggressive tank... I am dying for a lion fish.

I live in a smaller type of town... I mean it is Savannah, but there are only two stores, that deal with reef stuff.... but how involved do you think you could get your lfs owner? Might they sell you some of their real real real established rock and water? Anyway, I just wanted to tell you, I so know what your going through, it is so frustrating when you put all that time and effort into something and some unknown is taking it away. Stay with it though, don't give up. Be more stubborn than your tank is my saying. I added a pic of where my aquarium is so you could see what I meant about having it under my big screen lol.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:34 PM   #10
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What seahorse species are you interested in? Most seahorse species available to hobbyists do quite well in 76-78F. I would not bother with a buffer at this point in time. Depending on the average temperature you may or may not need a chiller with Summer temps. being the ultimate test. Most aquariums do not accumulate the amount of NO2 to be toxic, even to invertebrates.
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