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Old 04-14-2005, 06:27 PM   #1
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Confused with cycle test readings

What I am confused about is my Nitrate. I thought the only way for it to be reduced is by a water change?

I am getting close to the end of my cycle, below are my readings from my last 3 tests:

Date----Ammo----Nitrite----Nitrate
4/10-----0.25------4.5------120
4/13-----0.25------0.25------15
4/14-----0.25------0.1------8

The trate reading of 120 was my first test for that, it's possible I messed up and looked through the side of the vial or some other dumb mistake.
My sand is starting to turn brown (diatoms?) in the low flow area. I also added 40# of lr from lr.com on 4/8. My ammo was much higher and is on the way down.
Does this look like a normal cycle?
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Old 04-14-2005, 07:03 PM   #2
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DO you have anything in there to "fuel" the cycle? Dead shrimp? Fish?
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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 04-14-2005, 09:29 PM   #3
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I started with 2 shrimp on 3/13 but they're gone now. Now all that is in there is the lr (and hitchikers). I was going to wait until ammo and trite were 0 before putting fish in.
I just wasn't expecting my trates to drop like that
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Old 04-15-2005, 06:09 AM   #4
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It seems that you probably cycled your tank and the LR has caused a mini cycle. The process of removing nitrates is called denitrification. This process requires anaeroebic bacteria which can be found deep within LR. It is still best to lower high nitrates with water changes and it seems like that is a big drop between 3 days. It may have possibly been a false/contaminated test. Give it a couple of days for the amm and nitrites to hit zero and you should be good to go.
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28gal bowfront
40lbs livesand(bag from LFS), 30lbs live rock(LR.com)
2 O. Clowns
1 peppermint shrimp, 5 red leg hermit crabs,
4 mexican turbo snails, 15 nassarius snails
ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
super color polyps, hairy mushrooms
bubble coral, hawiian feather duster
coralife lunar 2x65, HOT magnum canister
10 Gal refugium(chaeto) & seaclone skimmer
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Old 04-15-2005, 06:49 AM   #5
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Still, you need an ammonia source to keep the cycle going. Many people "feed" their tanks until fish are present. I used sinking pellets and a few pinches of food.

Don't overdo, of course!!
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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 04-15-2005, 01:40 PM   #6
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But if my tests still show Ammo I shouldn't need to "feed" should I?

Also, at those levels, is it safe to add a small cleanup crew? My lr has crabs, snails etc and they seem to be doing fine.
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Old 04-15-2005, 02:06 PM   #7
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High Nitrite levels can give a false nitrate reading. Since the nitrate level dropped when nitrite level dropped that probably the case. What type of light are you in when you read the ammonia test. Different light sources can make the color more yellow than it real is. Also the difference in color is very close so you may have zero ammonia.
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Old 04-15-2005, 02:43 PM   #8
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I read the tests in my basement workroom which has fluorescents. I know your supposed to read them in dufuse daylight but I don't.
I do have difficulty matching the lighter colors - they all look about the same.
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Old 04-15-2005, 02:49 PM   #9
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Fluorescents will make it even harder to read. Take it near a window or outside (just not in direct sun). Its probably zero.
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Old 04-15-2005, 02:55 PM   #10
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Your probably safe to start adding clean up crew since others are doing well. Just do a slow drip to acclimatize them.
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