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Old 01-24-2006, 01:04 AM   #1
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cycling with rock and shrimp question

I have my 75g tank set up ready to go. It's been running for geesh 3 weeks, I'd say. 2 weeks ago I purchased LR, and am excited that so far I have some sort of algae (it's the good kind, I saw in a SW encyclopedia at the library), and I have 1 amphipod, and like 3 other things that are very small (but very fast as well). So far, I haven't managed a good look at them. Also I believe a featherduster, not sure yet.

I am sure that my tank hasn't cycled. I tested last night and everything was zero, except nitrates. They were at 5.

I bought my shrimp, been in the fridge a week, may have to get fresh? I am just leary of having an odor in the house, so haven't added it. Well, I guess that boiles me down to a couple questions. I bought about a 6 lb rock to start. That's the one with life on it. If I stick the shrimp in the tank to help get the bacteria started, will it kill off the life on my LR? If I just leave well enough alone (which I am satisfied in doing) will my tank have enough backteria to do a good complete cycle?

I've done tons of homework and read different ways. I had decided to do the shrimp, then I went to a SW store (exclusively SW) and asked. They said the cycle their tanks all the time with the LR only. So I went that route. I'm not against doing it this way, if it will work for sure. I will add the shrimp if i need to, just didn't want to harm the little guys I have found. I get a lot of enjoyment out of sneaking up with a flashlight watching them scurry around into a hole on the rock.

Rather, than decide myself I'd rather ask some advice here. A little more on my tank again, 75g SW, 2 65 watt PC lights, ProClear 75 wet/dry, 60 lbs aragonite, 20 lbs live sand (all the sand is carrib-sea brand).

Thanks to all in advance,
Sas
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:14 AM   #2
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unfortunately, rotting shrimp will smell a bit. you should use one full size shrimp if they're relatively small. It's fine to use ones from the fridge as long as they're uncooked. Ideally you want them as close to the ocean as possible.

There are two kinds of "life" on "live rock".. The first is bacteria, which will only grow more during an ammonia spike. The other kind is critters. Some people say that coralline makes LR "good" but while it does make it pretty, it really doesn't matter for filtration.

A HUGE ammonia spike could kill critters. One shrimp isn't likely to do this.

I think you should toss in the shrimp, keep the circulation and temp going and wait a couple weeks. You can test every day if you want to see the cycle, or you can just ignore the tank for a few days.

They may have success using LR only, and you might too, but a dead shrimp is going to give an AMM spike for sure. It certainly won't hurt, other than slowing things down for a couple weeks. You'll probably find that some of your critters will eat up some of the shrimp anyway. They are fun to watch
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:51 AM   #3
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I did the shrimp also on 50 lbs of LR, when the ammonia got hi did 100 % water change. had to do this 2 times over 5 weeks. had stars crabs and pods that made it all the way to the tank set up. and thanks for doing it with shrimp.
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:02 AM   #4
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I’ve never experienced any smell using shrimp to cycle. You only need about 2 small shrimp for a 75 gal. I’d advise against doing any pwc larger than 30% since you could create too much of a ph/sg change and damage the critters you do have.

The 6 lbs of lr you have probably wouldn’t cycle a 75 gal tank. Personally I would add 30 lbs of base rock from www.hirocks.com and add another 30+lbs of lr when you can afford it.

If you want to keep the life you have so far you will have to do pwc whenever the nh3/no2 reach 5+ ppm or you could loose them. Personally I wouldn’t since doing so will increase your cycle time by as much as 3 months.
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bamaboy2go
when the ammonia got hi did 100 % water change.
100% or 10%. I don't anybody would recommend doing a complete water change ever, even during the cycle. It's ok to do a small water change, but that large slows down your cycle.
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:39 AM   #6
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100% or 10%. I don't anybody would recommend doing a complete water change ever, even during the cycle. It's ok to do a small water change, but that large slows down your cycle.
http://www.liveaquaria.com/general/g...ral_pagesid=59

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Old 01-24-2006, 11:18 AM   #7
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Luckily I said 'ever' instead of never.

Excuse me, do you have a towel I can borrow to wipe the egg off of my face.
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Coral - Xenia, Devil's Hand Leather, Toadstool Leather, Green Hairy Mushrooms, Zoanthids
Inverts - (2) Peppermint Shrimp, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, (5) Turbo Snails, (4) Nassarius Snails, (10) Blue Leg Hermits, Emerald Crab, (3) Scarlett Crabs, some small starfish(hitchhikers)


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Old 01-24-2006, 12:15 PM   #8
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I am not positive that throwing in a shrimp is necessary. It is quite possible that the tank is cycled. As noted above, LR was added 2 weeks ago, and his readings are now showing 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, and 5ppm Nitrate. That would be an indication to me that the cycle is complete. You could alwasy throw in a shrimp and start another cycle, but I don't believe that is necessary.

Just my $.02

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Old 01-24-2006, 01:38 PM   #9
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Thank you to everyone! I threw in 1 shrimp this morning. I felt like possibly it had cycled but I want to be sure. I'm in no hurry for fish. I'm probably 3 weeks from even considering one. I am hoping that the life I do have on the rock will manage to survive since I am only doing 1 shrimp, but we'll see.

LOL, I read the 100% water change, glad you cleared up! I didn't think many would do a total change UNLESS, they got some serious issues! lol

Thanks,
Sass
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Old 01-24-2006, 11:23 PM   #10
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I added the shrimp this morning, and I am confused. 2 days I tested my water and I was amonia 0, nitrites 0, ph 8.2 salt, was fine too.

Have I cycled? I'm confused. My Amonia, Nitrates both 0, Ph perfect 8.2, and my nitrates are now a bit higher at 10.

Do I need to remove the shrimp? Any thoughts on this Nitrate thing?

Sass
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