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Old 12-29-2003, 12:43 PM   #1
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Cycling Questions

Hey everyone,

I have a 55-gallon reef-ready tank, with sump. I am looking at
doing live rock with fish-only to start. I am currently (since
Dec. 20th) cycling with 70 lb of live rock.

I have gotten conflicting advice, but would like to hear your
opinions. Here are my questions.

1. If you are not using fish--do I need to do water changes?
2. Do I run my Protein Skimmer? How long?
3. Do I run my lights? How long?
4. Is the only thing I need to test for Ammonia and Nitrite?
5. How often do you test?
6. When Ammonia and Nitrite levels are zero--am I ready for fish?

If you have any other things I should be looking for, please let me
know.

Thanks for your help.
Steve
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:20 PM   #2
steve-s
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Re: Cycling Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelblue2121
1. If you are not using fish--do I need to do water changes?
Depends on the rock used. If uncured, do the water changes. It will help preserve the hitchikers, keep the DOC reduced and the ammonia at a more tolerable level. If using primarily cured LFS rock, you won't really need to do the water changes as the die off will be minimal.
Quote:
2. Do I run my Protein Skimmer? How long?
Same answer really. If uncured LR was used,yes 24/7. If not then there probabley won't be much in the way of organics to collect.
Quote:
3. Do I run my lights? How long?
You can run them a few hours a day to keep coralline and other possible light demanding hitchikers going but not more than 2-3 hrs/day. A full photoperiod will just spur more unwanted nuisance algaes associated with a cycle. If there is not much need in the way of animals, then they can be left off or just use the actinincs.
Quote:
4. Is the only thing I need to test for Ammonia and Nitrite?
In the beginning yes but you will also need to test for nitrate. Once NH3 and NO2 are zero, the nitrate will be on it's way down and an additional good sized water change should bring the NO3 down to an acceptable level. You can then consider the addition of clean up critters to deal with whatever algaes remain. Before you start adding animals though, be sure you leave the tank for a week after the nitrogens are in good shape to be sure of stability. Also check for proper ph (8.1-8.3) and salinity/temp (1.025/80°).
Quote:
5. How often do you test?
Once the ammonia has spiked and nitrites are forming, you can test every few days or even weekly. In the first few days of the set up, check daily to ensure the tank has gone through the proper nitrogen spikes for ammonia and nitrite.
Quote:
6. When Ammonia and Nitrite levels are zero--am I ready for fish?
Once they are zero you are ready to <<quarantine>> your first new addition. By the time the fish has gone through that process, the display tank should be ready to go.

Quote:
If you have any other things I should be looking for, please let me
know.
Wouldn't hurt to read through the forums <<article section>>... I would also suggest picking up a copy of this book.



Cheers
Steve
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