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Old 10-12-2011, 04:07 PM   #21
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Here is a good link to an article that explains the conversion cycle from ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate. It is going to take a while for the tank to cycle so these article are good to read in the meantime. Helped me tremendously. Might be a bit over the heads of the younger students but the older ones should get some good out of it. Wow, this is fun.

Ammonia conversion to nitrate

Several years ago, I taught a class for electrical apprentices. It was second year which is very heavy on math and electrical theory. I had no idea how much I would enjoy watching the faces of the young (and not so young) men and women when they had that moment of understanding. Have fun.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:26 PM   #22
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Thank you for the link. I'll print it off. This is going to be great
hands on science, not to mention fun! The children will be charting the
tanks progress through the cycle, and coming here with any questions they
may have. It's nice to have a community of friendly hobbyists that can
answer any questions.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:33 PM   #23
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What should the pH be?
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:21 PM   #24
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It should be around 8. What test kits are you using?
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:48 PM   #25
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They are API test kits. How can we bring up the pH?
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:05 PM   #26
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Not entirely sure but if you are just cycling, I wouldn't worry about PH too much. Wait it out until you are getting closer to completing the cycle. One thing I do know is that the PH will start out low after the lights have been off for a while but will be higher after the lights have been on for a while. The API are the ones I use but I have been told they are not the best. But I think they will be fine for you. Once in a while, run your own test and also have a local fish store (LFS) test the same sample. That way you can see how close you are to their readings.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:08 AM   #27
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a good way to raise the ph is by adding a powerhead and pointing it at the surface of the water to aerate the water raise your ph, also gives the tank some water flow witch is needed.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:16 AM   #28
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Thank you. We'll put in a powerhead this morning. We may pick up a small bag of crushed coral to have on hand as well. We read an article last night that said that crushed coral can add KH to help prevent a pH crash at the end of the cycle.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:20 AM   #29
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Should I remove the carbon cartridge while cycling the aquarium? The filter has a "bio sponge" for bacteria to live and grow on as well.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:15 AM   #30
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I have heard that the crushed coral can give you nitrate problems down the road. I went with sand (at the time because I liked how it looked). If I were you, I would also get a piece of live rock and put in. It will hold a lot more Beneficial Bacteria (BB) then the filter media. Never hurts to have lots of BB.

Here is another article that gives a good explanation of Live Rock, Base Rock, Cured Rock and Uncured Rock. When I set up my tank I did it with 1/3 base rock and 2/3 Live Rock. A lot of people will use mostly base rock and just one piece of live rock. That is much cheaper but takes a while before it really starts to look nice.

Curing live rock? I didn&#039;t even know it was sick!
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