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Old 10-10-2009, 10:03 PM   #1
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Cycling a tank with live rock: question

Quick question: I have a 150G tank with 30G sump/refuge that I'm starting over. Eventually I want it to be a reef tank. I want to use 250 lbs live rock as filtration, and I want to cycle the tank using that rock. Some of it was left over from my first attempt, and even though I couldn't figure out what the problem was, I wanted to kill everything on all of the live rock, so I let it sit dry for a couple of weeks, then I cleaned it off with freshwater, and I let it dry out again.

Here's my question:

Since I'm cycling the tank with LR and no other ammonia source, and since I've taken these measures to kill off everything that was on the rock, do I need to provide an ammonia source to cycle the tank? Or will the LR still take care of itself?

Thanks for your help,
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:21 PM   #2
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Depends on how clean you got the rock. Amonia is caused by decay. If there is nothing on the rock then I would suggest using the shrimp method. I might use shrimp anyway. It is cheap and will insure a good amonia source
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:24 PM   #3
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sdo a water test without adding the shrimp and if u have high amount of ammon, then don't need any raw shrimps, if not get some raw shrimps, and as mdaniel said its cheap and insure u have good ammon source for your bacteria.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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Just as the others said, I would use the shrimp too. Your rock is pretty much base rock now. If you cleaned the rock good enough, I'm doubtful there will be enough die-off to even support a complete cycle. HTH.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:50 PM   #5
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I agree with the others, but would use 2-3 shrimp for that size tank and amount of rock. Testing will be the only thing to give you real answers. Good luck on the new start!
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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It didn't E-mail me like it usually does when the replies came... weird...

Anyways, thanks for the advice. I'll use shrimps to make sure there's an ammonia source. My RO/DI has been on for two days straight now and the tank is still only half full, 75 gal/day my foot

When there's enough water for the plumbing to work I'll start it up and add some shrimps. I should have pictures of the new setup at that point... maybe tomorrow or Wednesday?
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:07 AM   #7
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pardon the newb question, but if you killed off all the "live" of the live rock, what is going to cycle? won't you end up with a cycled tank and 250lbs of base rock?
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:09 PM   #8
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cabezon-He is adding more live rock to seed the rock he soaked in freshwater. HTH.
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:49 PM   #9
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Even if he didn't add "live" rock to seed the rock, given an ammonia source and time (4-6 weeks), that 250 lbs of dead base rock would all be "live" in the end.
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:57 PM   #10
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I actually killed everything on all of the rock, so I'm going the 4-6 week route. I'm pretty convinced that whatever happened to the tank last time was because of new LR that I added, which is why I'm being extra careful with this rock and taking the extra time.
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