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Old 01-07-2007, 02:51 PM   #1
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Cycling with flake food (and new tank updates)

Hi everyone. I just started a 25 gallon SW fish tank a few week ago and have been cycling it for a couple weeks now. I have 2 small pieces of LR in it from the LFS because I got impatient from waiting on my order of 35lbs of LR which should arrive early this week (FINALLY...ordered it nearly a month ago!). I've been adding flake food daily to the tank to initiate cycling. At which point should I stop adding flake food? Is there a point where adding food will keep ammonia levels too high? Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-07-2007, 04:17 PM   #2
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Once the LR gets in it will be your source of ammonia and will go thru its cycle.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Packagerat. I'll stop adding flake food...I think my tank actually went through it's cycle because I had no nitrites and about 20 nitrates but adding the food was giving me high ammonia levels.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:06 PM   #4
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I agree stop adding flake and add your LR when it gets there and it will cycle off the die off. When your LR comes in I would scrub it off real good with SW and then place it in your tank. You will still have enough die off to cycle your tank. Also in the future when you add flake food to cycle your tank just put it in every 3-4 days. Every day is too much.
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips melosu58. No more flake food. I'm also getting a lot of brown algae (or diatoms?) so maybe the excess food is contributing to it although I've read on this board that this is a sign that a tank is near the end of it's cycle. Anyway, if anyone's interested, here is my near empty tank. Hopefully it will have more LR by tomorrow or Tuesday and I will post again when I finish the rockscape. I also have a lot of bristleworms I think.



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Old 01-08-2007, 12:43 AM   #6
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Looks pretty good.
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:57 AM   #7
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Nice tank, nice gear too! Try to catch that bristle worm and pitch him if he is that friendly with light.

Lot's of DIY type things online to catch those guys. I've seen a glad plastic container cut at the top (Big "X") for them to drop into and not get back out. Bait them with food.

If you remember during your aqualandscaping you might want to make your heater horizontal near the bottom behind rocks. (I did that on my 55 Gal tank and it was hidden for the most part). After all heat does rise. I moved the heater to the sump when I got that setup.
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for the nice words.

Oh...that's a great idea with the heater and I'll definitely do that. I also might turn the PH's 90 degrees so when you look at the tank head on, it looks like it doesn't take up as much space.

In the future, do I even need the HOB filter? What do you think about taking the sponge out of the filter eventually and filling the chamber up with LR rubble for extra biological filtration?

As for the worms, I'll try some DIY traps in the future. I've also read on this forum about people using pvc pipes and such. But for the time being, I might keep them in there as filter feeders and start removing them if they really take over the tank. I believe I already have at least 6 of those bad boys.

Oh yeah, do you know what baby mantis shrimp look like? I have these little shrimp-like looking things running around. Unfortunately, it would be impossible for me to take a picture of them. They are about 1/4-1/2 cm long that are sort of brownish. They have 2 long antennae. I already saw a molted exoskeleton and am worried that they are baby mantis shrimp. But maybe they are just amphipods/copepods (don't really know the difference!).
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:52 AM   #9
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Most likely pods then. Molting. Hmmm. Not sure if pods molt.

If it was a mantis shrimp it wouldn't be running around. It would be parked and you wouldn't seem him until night time, and only if you had a red light looking for him.

HOB is a life long argument depending on who you talk to. Some folks swear by them. I'm not against them. The more biological and mechanical filtration you have the better. It does add to your clean up list of things to do. As your live sand/rock matures the need does tend to move away from that.

If it can grow pods and such then I'd keep it just for that fact. Once you start to populate with fish they will most likely snack on your little critters running around. Some fish won't eat anything else. (picky ones)

You appear to have TWO HOB's? One looks like a skilter filter and another is just a prizm protein skimmer? You NEED to keep the protein skimmer. I can't say enough good things about them. Just keep up your maintenance on them (Clean out the top often)

As for the powerheads. I like pointing them to the back wall. That is where I like my Coraline algae growth to show up. Plus it hides your back wall if it's not painted or black.
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:32 AM   #10
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Ok...that's reassuring about the mantis shrimp only coming out at night. These guys are pretty active and run all over the rock going in and out of holes.

Yeah, I have 2 HOB's. One protein skimmer and the other is a Whisper power filter with the sponge cartridge with carbon. I originally used the power filter to clear up the water when I was starting up but I think as the tank matures, I don't really need to use it other than keeping flow and/or trying to put LR rubble in there for added biological filtration.

I like the idea of pointing the PH's toward the back wall. So having flow in a certain area increases coralline algae growth? I would like to have the back covered as well because I'm not a big fan of using the various backgrounds.
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