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Old 01-16-2012, 03:45 PM   #1
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cycling question

I'm about to start up a 55 gal fowlr. This is going to be my second sw tank. My plan is to set it up w/60lbs of crushed coral (I don't do live sand) and add about 45 gals of ro/di water. Then to cycle I'm thinking I'm going to do a 5gal water change in my 25gal reef tank and just dump the five gals from the reef tank into the 55. Let it cycle for like a week then add some live rock. Is this a solid plan or should I use the dead shrimp method?
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:56 PM   #2
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I wouldn't just dump the old water in. It won't really do much as far as cycling goes. The bacteria that create the cycle don't really live in the water column in any significant numbers. The bacteria need a surface to grow on. That is why we use live rock; it is very porous (has a large surface area). The dead shrimp idea is a way to start the cycle that many people have used, but it is not preferable because it does not provide a continuous food source for the bacteria at a level comparable to when you do have fish in the tank. Another way that starts the cycle and will keep the bacteria going is to feed the tank at a rate similar to having one or two fish in it. By "feeding" the tank a little every day the bacteria will cycle without the nitrosomonas bacteria (converts ammonia to nitrite) starting to die off because of lack of food while the nitrobacter bacteria (converts nitrite to nitrate) continue to have some food.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:02 PM   #3
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Thank you for lettin me know. I'm gonna do ur idea of "feeding" the bacteria until the nitrites break to 0 then ill introduce my first fish. Prob gonna start it with a firefish or three. That's why I wanted to know. They r a little more expensive than a damsel and I wanna avoid losing anything this time around
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