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Old 01-29-2005, 08:07 PM   #1
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Can you smell that smell?

Ahh...the sweet perfume of my shrimp doing its job in my sump on a 4" bed of live sand. I gave the shrimp a three-day head start using clear ammonia. I got my first light pink positive nitrite reading today. It seems like the shrimp is ready and willing to take over the ammonia production job. Time to light the incense in this room for a while!

Depending on how fast this "precycling" process goes, I will be adding live rock this week. I'm using a bio medium as part of the precycling phase, which I will gradually withdraw as the LR becomes dominant. I'll use it to set up a bio filter base in my quarantine tank.

I hope it all works according to plan. I'm going for record cycling time!! I need to have it all past the worst part of the phase in two weeks. I'm buying quality live rock from lr.com, which will be added post-ammonia spike. I hope the plans works...I mean, it can't be any worse than cycling uncured live rock in a new tank, can it?
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:49 PM   #2
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Re: Can you smell that smell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by midiman
Ahh...the sweet perfume of my shrimp doing its job in my sump on a 4" bed of live sand. I gave the shrimp a three-day head start using clear ammonia. I got my first light pink positive nitrite reading today. It seems like the shrimp is ready and willing to take over the ammonia production job. Time to light the incense in this room for a while!

Depending on how fast this "precycling" process goes, I will be adding live rock this week. I'm using a bio medium as part of the precycling phase, which I will gradually withdraw as the LR becomes dominant. I'll use it to set up a bio filter base in my quarantine tank.

I hope it all works according to plan. I'm going for record cycling time!! I need to have it all past the worst part of the phase in two weeks. I'm buying quality live rock from lr.com, which will be added post-ammonia spike. I hope the plans works...I mean, it can't be any worse than cycling uncured live rock in a new tank, can it?
Hmm... I put my 40lbs of live rock in along with 3 damsels. The fish seem to be doing okay (day 2) and my ammonia is 0.25.
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100lbs. LS - mixed w/ old castle playsand
Jager 200w heater
Fluval 404 Cannister Filter (carbon & lr rubble)
RO/DI Unit - filterdirect
Maxi-jet 1200 ph
(1) Hawaiian Red Lobster
(1) Yellow Tang
(2) Percula Clownfish
(1) Three Stripe Damsel
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Hmm... I put my 40lbs of live rock in along with 3 damsels. The fish seem to be doing okay (day 2) and my ammonia is 0.25.


Hey, you might be fine with that. I am staying away from damsels, though, because they are aggressive as h#ll, and hard to catch to get rid of. Also, I want to move as quickly as possible, because I'm going away in three weeks, and don't want to leave my tanksitter with too many responsibilities. That means I need to start with relatively high ammonia levels.

I used clear ammonia to put my level at .5. Others have gone as high as 3-5 ppm( ), but I don't want to risk killing my live sand. Again, from what I've read, ammonia is extremely toxic at our pH and temp levels, and anything above .25 puts the fish at some risk. Damsels are tough, though. I've been attacked by damselfish many times while scuba diving , so I know they can kick a#$ when necessary!

Keep me posted on how you're doing. We newbies need to stick together!
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 01-30-2005, 01:48 AM   #4
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Congrats on starting the process!! Glad you are precycling. That is what I did and my now that I put my live rock in...not even a little spike of ammonia as of yet!

The Shrimp did cause quite a smell...what is worse is when you get a mouthful of the foul water when try to siphon some water out...that was nasty!

If you wanted to speed things up...you could get a cupful of substrate from an already established tank...or my LFS sold me some Pre-seeded Bio Media ceramic rings from her sump to help add some beneficial bacteria. I got 1 ring for each 5 gallons...so I got 8 of them for my 40 gallon...for $1 each.

I did both of these and my cycle took 14 days. I thought that was pretty fast for a cycle. I am sure I may have shaved a week or 2 off.

Good luck and keep me posted!

WC
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40 Gallon Breeder Salt Water: 4 inch DSB (2/3 Agaramax & 1/3 Sea Flor), Bak Pak 2R Skimmer w/ BBX, 2 x JBJ PHs, Coralife Lunar Aqualight (2x96w), 30lb Base Rock and 40lbs of Live Rock.
Inhabitants: Purple Firefish, Pygmy Angel, Lawmower Blenny, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp(HH), 1 Emerald Crabs, 3 Porcelin Crabs(HH), varying amounts and varieties of hermit and snails.

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Old 01-30-2005, 10:52 AM   #5
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That sucks about the water in your mouth.. Sorry to hear that, im glad I bought a pre drilled tank so i dont have to do that. I just started my cycle 6 days ago and my ammonia is down but my nitrites are way too high. Good luck w/ your tank
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:57 AM   #6
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Looks like you are well on your way. Once your nitrites start to go down and your nitrates climb, I would do a water change before adding the cured LR. Where are you getting the rock from?
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
I did both of these and my cycle took 14 days. I thought that was pretty fast for a cycle. I am sure I may have shaved a week or 2 off.
I'm trying to match (or beat ) your time using an elevated initial ammonia level and higher temp, but I don't have access to filter material. SInce I'm going to get my lr from lr.com, I think I will (sadly) have to wait until I'm back from my trip to order it (I'm leaving for a week-long trip on Feb 18th, and I'm BARELY reading positive for nitrites as I type this). If by some miracle I could get nitrites to peak and withdraw in the next few days ( ), I might add the LR before I go, since I'll have a tank sitter in-house who can top off water and empty the skimmer.

Realistically and sadly, though, it looks like a delay. Ironically, the use of an accelerated cycle may require me to "rent a damsel" or two to maintain the ammonia load in my absence. At least they won't have to suffer the cycle!
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midiman
Quote:
I did both of these and my cycle took 14 days. I thought that was pretty fast for a cycle. I am sure I may have shaved a week or 2 off.
I'm trying to match (or beat ) your time using an elevated initial ammonia level and higher temp, but I don't have access to filter material. SInce I'm going to get my lr from lr.com, I think I will (sadly) have to wait until I'm back from my trip to order it (I'm leaving for a week-long trip on Feb 18th, and I'm BARELY reading positive for nitrites as I type this). If by some miracle I could get nitrites to peak and withdraw in the next few days ( ), I might add the LR before I go, since I'll have a tank sitter in-house who can top off water and empty the skimmer.

Realistically and sadly, though, it looks like a delay. Ironically, the use of an accelerated cycle may require me to "rent a damsel" or two to maintain the ammonia load in my absence. At least they won't have to suffer the cycle!
For those who believe fish can feel pain here's an article on it:
http://www.cotrout.org/do_fish_feel_pain.htm
__________________
55 Gallon FOWLR tank
40lbs. LR - www.liverocks.com
100lbs. LS - mixed w/ old castle playsand
Jager 200w heater
Fluval 404 Cannister Filter (carbon & lr rubble)
RO/DI Unit - filterdirect
Maxi-jet 1200 ph
(1) Hawaiian Red Lobster
(1) Yellow Tang
(2) Percula Clownfish
(1) Three Stripe Damsel
(10) Zebra Hermits
(3) Snails
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:18 PM   #9
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That's a nice theoretical exercise, but based on the simple reaction of a fish to ich or external parasites (i.e., rubbing on rocks, gravel), it is obvious that fish can feel a sensation that is unpleasant and needs relief. It is therefore not unreasonable to assume that fish are capable of perceiving unpleasant sensations: PAIN.

I think that reasonable doubt would have us err on the side of caution and spare the fish from needless suffering if it is in our power to do so.
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:35 PM   #10
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Is adding pure ammonia to a tank considered normal practice for cycling? I belive my tank is fully cycled but I do not yet want to add fish. I have some other things to deal with first. I thought some ammonia added every other day will keep the bacteria happy?

Thanks,
Pete R.
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