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Old 10-04-2006, 11:54 AM   #1
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Cycle Time

So I've had a saltwater tank in the past, but I've recently moved and now I'm starting up again.

I've just purchased a 26g bow, have an Aquaclear 70, an excal skimmer, heater, powerhead etc.

I'm going to get about 25-30 pounds of live rock and at least 20 pounds of live sand froma tank that has been established for around 8 years. I was also planning on taking 10-15 gal of water from that setup as well.

All my filter media is new, but that is it.

How long should I wait before I put my cleanup crew and then fish in? Usually I would just take my sweet time doing this, but since everrything is established, I thought things might be different.

Any opinions?

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Old 10-04-2006, 12:09 PM   #2
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If the rock is in an already established tank with powerheads running (oxygen), and filtration going (ammonia and nitrates down), it may not cycle and you could likely add a fish and a clean up crew.

I'd do the following: premix your salt water in the empty tank (leave 3 or 4" at the top in case you need fresh water to get it right), let it age for a day and put a powerhead in there. Add the rock and sand (and water if you'd like, but not necessary IMO) from the established tank. Keep the powerhead going. Check for ammonia and nitrate for the next 2 days. If the rock is still OK from the previous tank, it'll serve as the media for the preferred bacteria and there won't be any. Probably don't even need that filter media. You'll likley have an instant cycle and can add a fish and cleanup crew after the 2 days of ensuring the water is stable.


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Old 10-04-2006, 12:11 PM   #3
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If you are already putting cured LR and LS in there you`ll probably experience not much of a cycle and it should be much quicker. But you`ll need to do some testing to be sure. I would not add the 10 -15 gallon of water from the tank as the water does not carry the beneficial bacteria just DOC`s and excessive nutrients that will fuel bad algeas.
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Old 10-04-2006, 12:17 PM   #4
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Both excellent points! It might be cool if you record what goes on, I'd be really interested. When I set up my tank, I didn't have any test kits and just added cured LR and sand and waited a month or so (i had the LFS test my water and when the parameters were at 0, I added fish, so I don't know how long it really took my tank to cyclke), so I missed out.....
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