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Old 09-09-2003, 12:20 PM   #1
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cloudy tank during cycle

ok i'm cycling (4 days now)a 150 gal pre-drilled with a wet/dry filter, live sand and dead coral as aquascape. i put 7 3/4" damsels in there and two hermit crabs to help cycle it. the damsels died and i took them out right away. the hermit crabs are still alive and kicking. the ph went down a lot when i turned the light off and closed the glass canopy. the water was clear then but today the water went cloudy is that normal?
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Old 09-09-2003, 01:01 PM   #2
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it's no surprise the damsels died. This is something that happens quite regularly when cycling with fish. There is a much more humane way to cycle a tank. Check out our local article on how to Cycle Without Fish.

To cycle the tank needs a supply of ammonia, the hermit crabs wont supply that ammonia. They are ok for now but once the nitrates spike (towards the end of your cycle) they will be in a lot of danger. I would suggest taking them out and returning them to the LFS until your cycle is complete (as per the above article)

the ph took such a drastic swing as the amount of oxygen in the water likely dropped. This was due mainly from closing the canopy and may have been in part from turning off the lights (if there is an established amount of algae in your tank... any LR?) I would suggest leaving the canopy open or even taking it off entirely. The only thing on top of my tank are my lights. Make sure the surface water of your tank has a good amount of turbulance, this helps maintain the oxygen in the water and maintain the ph level.
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Old 09-09-2003, 01:13 PM   #3
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thanks BillyZ,
no there are no live rocks just live sand and there is turbulance on the water surface due to the pump from the wet/dry filter.
will i ever be able to close the canopy?
will the live sand be enough to cycle the tank with out fish?
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Old 09-09-2003, 01:19 PM   #4
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and yes i will take the hermits back to the lfs and will buy some unprocessed shrimp... i guess i could have left the damsels in there huh?
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Old 09-09-2003, 03:25 PM   #5
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slightly morbid, but for cycling purposes, yes you probably could have left them in. The hermits would likely have made quick work of them though.

by unprocessed you mean uncooked, right? just making sure you're going to get the right thing.

as far as closing the canopy... I must have missed the first time you said you had a wet-dry. The part of the wet-dry that the water trickles over the bio-balls should actualy give you plenty of gas exchange. The sudden ph drop was likely then just part of the many fluctuations your water levels will make over the course of the cycle. I wouldn't be too concerned over the ph until towards the end of the cycle. be sure to get that shrimp in there soon. If the tank goes too long without some supply of ammonia, the bacteria that processes it will die off and you'll have to start your cycle over again.
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