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Old 03-29-2007, 10:03 AM   #1
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Cycling??

At the moment I am in the middle of cycling my 125 gal. I have had the live rock(45 lbs w/ 100 lbs base) in for a little over two weeks and added 4 shrimp a little over a week ago. At the moment the shrimp are just about gone and I have been testing the water about every other day. I have seen no ammonia spike at all yet and these are my water parameters as of yesterday.
p.h.- 8.2
ammonia- .25
nitrate(no3)-high range-250, low range- 50
nitrate(no2)->1
alkalinity-2.9-3.6 high

I have been using the Red Sea Marine Lab to test my water. I have no idea what all these numbers mean or what I need to do to correct them. My ammonia level has been the same since I started. I have all equipment running(protein skimmer, powerheads, heaters, and biowheel)
My temp is holding at around 77.5- 78.3 and my salinity is 1.024-1.025. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:19 AM   #2
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Tiny raw shrimp or the larger (1 1/2"-2+") cocktail shrimp? The larger ones (1 per 30 gal) should have kicked your nh3 much higher.

Since your no3 is so high (I'd double check that with the lfs) it's possible you just missed the "spike" (typically 3-5+ ppm) and the lr within the tank could have just converted it quickly.

Since no2 is greater than 1 ppm I'd say your cycle is doing fine and should "wrap up" in a week or two.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:24 AM   #3
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Yeah I did use the small shrimp. Do I need to get larger ones and and add them to my tank to get the ammonia to spike?
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:40 AM   #4
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I'd check that no3 reading first against another test or lfs. Seems high for the amount of nh3 source in the tank.

You probably have built up a decent bacterial base at this point and could start off very slowly with stock (1-2 <4" fish per 4 weeks) to let the bacterial base catch up with the bio-load

You could drop in 2-3 large raw shrimp to increase your bacterial base even more (which will prolong your cycle a couple of weeks) but IMO between the lr (if uncured) and 4 small shrimp you should had enough of a nh3 source to create bacteria sufficient to start slowly with stock. (once nh3/no2 is at 0 ppm i.e. cycle is finished)

Also just noticed the bio-wheel was running and typically these take 4-6 weeks to cultivate bacteria but could also have contributed to not seeing a nh3 spike. Is the bio-wheel new or did it come from a cycled tank? Do you plan on using a QT? (bio-wheel will come in handy for "instant" bio-filtration if you are)
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:44 AM   #5
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Yeah the bio wheel was brand new and I haven't planned on using QT.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:51 AM   #6
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I'd rethink the QT, especially with such a large tank with tons of rock. Having to get a sick fish (or all of them) out of there would be a major pain and if you only introduce healthy fish/inverts, maintain good water parameters, have feed a healthy diet then they should stay healthy in the main.
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:04 PM   #7
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Excellent advice on the QT. It sound like you are just starting your cycle.
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:07 PM   #8
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You don't have a lot of live rock in a 125 lb tank--you need between 125-160 lbs for it to cycle enough for the bioload of that size of a tank. The base rock is not live rock--it will take about 3 months to become live with bacteria--therefore it is adding nothing to the cycling.
If you are test 25 with the ammonia then you are seeing a spike--it should be zero. This is evidence of the dead shrimp and that the tank needs to cyle alot more for the amount of rock you have added to cyle enough bacteria to take care of it.

IMO--I would not have added the shrimp just yet---snails and small hermits are more tolerant at this point--if you have lost the shrimp then add snails and hermits--they will eat the dead shrimp and lower the nitrate.
I would also start adding 5lbs a week more live rock to the tank
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:17 PM   #9
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He`s talking about cocktail shrimp to jump start the cycle.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...q=2&fldAuto=15

He has 145 lbs of rock in the tank which in time will be plenty once the nitrifying bacteria takes hold. Nothing wrong with adding some as you say but the base rock will be OK.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:21 PM   #10
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I agree with Melosu, sounds like you have enough LR. It doesn't take long to turn that base rock into LR. I would go ahead and put a few large shrimp in like tecwzrd said. It is better to get your bacteria base built up now if you can wait a little longer for your cycle to complete. Using the bio-wheel in a QT is a great idea!!!
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