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Old 04-15-2015, 08:10 PM   #1
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CaribSea Arag-alive Oolite sand cycling

Hey everyone. I'm on day 6 after adding sand (see subject line for brand) to my new 55 gallon set up. pH is 8.1, salinity 33ppt, and temp maintaining at 77-78F. All lights are off, water is aerated with an air stone, in-tank circulation pump and external SunSun canister filter are running. I've been adding some frozen brine shrimp about every other day, so ammonia has been creeping up, currently at ~0.50. However, I still haven't got any nitrites (and subsequently haven't bothered to waste reagents on testing nitrate).

How long does it typically take for the bacteria to come out of dormancy for this sand? I expected to see at least some nitrites by now. Possibly because ammonia hasn't spiked yet?

Thanks!


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Old 04-15-2015, 09:05 PM   #2
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I would not be expecting any ammonia to be coming out of the sand. Live sand's claim is that it already has bacteria in it to consume ammonia and nitrite.
From what you are describing, your brine shrimp are your current ammonia source and that there is a bacteria base being formed at this time as you can only detect ammonia.
A cycle takes about 3 weeks-a month with a good ammonia source. I always suggest a cocktail shrimp in some pantyhose for easy clean up.
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:34 AM   #3
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I wasn't questioning the source of my ammonia 😂 I'm aware of how long it takes to cycle. My question was referring to the dormancy of the bacteria. The bacteria CaribSea adds to this sand is supposed to "wake up" under proper conditions. Proper conditions have been provided, and i should have nitrites since I've got ammonia. From what I've read about this sand, the bacteria should be out of dormancy and producing by now.

I just wanted to get some feedback from people who have used this product.


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Old 04-16-2015, 10:37 AM   #4
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you need more ammonia in order to really get it going.
a shrimp as suggested would help or dosing ammonia, either way you want to notch the ammonia up around 2 ppm and then let it do it's thing.


those products also have a shelf life, I assume what you used was still good and not past it's "use by" date.


how many pounds of sand did you use and did you add any "live" rock as well?
you should have at least 60-70 lbs.
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Old 04-16-2015, 05:55 PM   #5
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Personally I would dose to 4ppm with pure ammonia and monitor levels. to me .5 is not enough ammonia to make the bb really work. You want to simulate the bioload that you will have with fish and corals in there. You cant regulate the levels of ammonia with shrimp or other decaying matter. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:39 PM   #6
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I've got 80 pounds in there now, plus an extra 40lb bag (I overestimated how much I would need.) The sand has not expired. I suspected that the ammonia was too low, thanks everyone 😄


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