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Old 01-04-2006, 03:51 PM   #1
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Cycle problems

I have started my tank 4 weeks ago. It is a 55g AGA with overflow, I am using bioballs in the sump, Temp 74, SG 1.022-1.024, Ph 8.2, I have a 2 inc live sand base with 50lbs LR, I added the LR (it came next day air so there was minimal die off) and the nitrate peaked with in the first week and has been undetectable since. The Ammonia peaked and came back to near 0. The LFS sold me 3 damsels, 10 snails and 5 blue leg hermits to clean up the green algea. Since then the Ammonia spiked again and has stayed around 0.5--1.0. I have the skimmer on, and did a 15% water change last week. still no change in the ammonia. Any ideas?

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Old 01-04-2006, 05:27 PM   #2
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Nitrates should not have peeked in the first week NH3 and NO2 should have been what registered. I sounds like your tank never cycled due to minimum die off on the LR. The LR and LS should have controlled the NH3 better than you stated. I would have held off on the livestock purchases and tried throwing a shrimp in the tank to see what the levels did. If you do not get the NH3 down your livestock will probably not make it. It sounds like they kicked off the cycle. Will the LFS take them back until you can properly cycle your tank?

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Old 01-04-2006, 10:18 PM   #3
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The LFS will not take them back. They have done a great job cleaning the tank. They are active and seem to be tol the NH3. I did note the snails did produce a lot of waste, can this be causing the build up and if so why are they producing so much waste.
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Old 01-05-2006, 07:11 PM   #4
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In order to save these ammonia sensitive animals, you will need daily water changes. The amount of old water changed for new will directly impact those levels. 15% weekly will only reduce the ammonia slightly and nowhere near enough to safe levels. For inverts that safe level is undetectable. If your LFS won't take them back, try to find a local reef club that might be able to help in that direction. Baring that, massive water changes with well aged/aerated SW.

Unless the snails are dieing, they won't be contributing to your ammonia issues. Make sure any that do pass are removed and discarded as soon as possible. I would also suggest taking a sample of your water to the LFS to verify NH3, NO2 and NO3 levels. Faulty test kits are also a possibility.

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