There has been some concern from a few members expressed about putting fish in so early on. Put it this way, if I was not going with LR
, and starting with a new mechanical biological filter I would certainly have used the shrimp method. Per the Concientious Marine Aquarist, "with well-cured live rock you may never see the usual nitrogen cycle progression". The was started with 30lb of cured FIJI LR
, and a cup of live sand from an established tank, a bottle of cycle and some marine flakes for an ammonia source and a water temp of 84 to promote bacterial growth. All measurements were very low before the damsels were added, indicating the rock was well-cured and did not spike the tank. In case you are not aware, well-cured means biologically sufficient, with loads of ammonia & nitrite eating bacteria. The day after the damsels were added, 20lb Tonga LR
from another LFS
(cured 3+ months) went in. The ammonia is 0 and now the nitrite level is an acceptable .25mg/l, PH
is 8.1. Soon I will remove the bio-wheels from the filter before they get really cultivated, and just use that for carbon filtration. There is almost 20cycles / hr circulation (not including hob
) through the live rock, I think that was a key to it's success also.
So I didn't just fill the tank and get damsels as some lfs
may recommend. I was very informed from many sources. I think it's those who assume, jump into this uninformed or don't spend the money and get the LR
or are advised by a greedy LFS
, etc., who get the bad lethal cycles. JMO
Also of note, I bought the cycle from a very busy store who does online sales, www.thatfishplace.com
, ensuring the bottle was fairly fresh. Although I believe the live rock is 99% responsible for this swift cycling, I would have to say I recommend Cycle, especially if you know it hasn't been on the shelf long.