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Old 02-09-2015, 08:20 PM   #1
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cycling help

question, when can I and what kind of clean up crew can i start implementing. I am on day 3 or 4 of cycling my first ever tank. My statistics:

tank: 48g
Sump: Amiracle 3 compartment wet/dry trickle filter with bioballs, I have since gotten rid of the bioballs and replace the middle compartment with live rock, golf-ball sized pieces. I am still using the drip plate with filter pad on top. I have a fluorescent bulb installed that I leave on all the time for the sump.
Protein skimmer: Coralife super skimmer 65 (still trying to find the sweet spot on this guy, not really getting any skinmate)
Powerhead: wavemaker 1150gph
Display tank lights: two fluorescent bulbs one of which is t5

So, I got my tank and set it up with tap water and treating with aquel water conditioner. I have about 30 lbs of live rock, and a bag of live sand, (and two bags of live sand that ended up being expired), I am going to add more live rock today. Yesterday I added Dr. Tim's all in one nitrogen bacteria in a bottle as well as I have added two clown fish to help assisting with the cycle. I have been monitoring levels religiously, I did have a spike of amonnia levels mid-afternoon yesterday, I added some amquel and tasted later in the evening and these were my stats:

Water temp: 77F
Ammonia: 1
Nitrates: 15
Nitrites (this one is always hard to tell): 3
pH: 8.3
Salinity: 1.021

I want to add some clean up crew because, the first live sand I added, which ended up not being live at all, and just caused a giant cloud mess. This sand has left a film over a lot of my live rock, I can use the powerhead and blow it off, but I would really like to employ cleaning crew.

Let me know your thoughts.
Cheers
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:58 PM   #2
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Don't worry about anything until the cycle is over. No critters, not even any lights.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
Don't worry about anything until the cycle is over. No critters, not even any lights.
I already have two clowns in the tank, I can't keep the lights off. And I was also told to keep the lights on 24/7 in both the sump and display because that would help foster bacteria growth.
Is this not correct?
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:18 PM   #4
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That is the opposite of correct. Fish could care less about the lights. All it is going to do is feed an algae bloom from the nutrients that are produced during the cycle.
Now, since fish in cycles are cruel if not monitored extremely closely, here is hoping that you have an API test kit to watch the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates along with lots of salt and water. You'll be doing daily water changes to keep from killing your fish as any detectable levels of ammonia or nitrites are toxic, burning fish gills.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:21 PM   #5
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I do have test kits, if I do daily water changes doesn't that prevent the tank from cycling. I am going to try my best to save these clowns, or put them in a new tank. I don't know what else to do.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:15 PM   #6
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You'll need to do daily water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrites at 0. It won't prevent the cycling as the clowns will be providing an ammonia source as they poop, but you don't want to be able to detect that ammonia level as it will be burning their gills. This is why it is normally recommended to use a cocktail shrimp or pure ammonia to cycle a tank rather than a fish in method. Cheaper and more humane. If you can return them to do that, it would be easier.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:54 AM   #7
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I'm also interested in a "clean up crew". What's your guys opinions? Do you recommend a good starter crew and then add as needed depending on what's happening in tank or only add the crew when needed. And how do you decide the amount needed for your tank? Mine is 40gal breeder.


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Old 02-10-2015, 09:34 AM   #8
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Clean up crews are completely unnecessary. You can have a perfectly healthy tank without a single crab, snail, or starfish. Most of the "cuc" will end up starving to death in a new system.
If you like crabs and snails and want some diversity, then add one or two here and there, but certainly not "X" amount per gallon like these popular websites recommend. It's nothing more than a way to market livestock.
To the OP: I would return the clowns and cycle the tank with no livestock, and no lights like Hank said. You are poisoning/torturing those clowns forcing them to swim through ammonia.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:45 AM   #9
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You've been given some good advice here. There's lots of opinions but I would add anything else until you've cycled and see if the clowns can stay somewhere until the cycle is donea


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