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Old 03-24-2005, 03:48 PM   #1
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Location: Near 'That Fish Place'
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Finished MY First Cycle But Tank Seems Strange

Hi everyone,

I just signed up with the forum (think its a great site) but I've been reading posts for the past few weeks and I finally need some help; couldn't find answers in other posts.

I got my setup on Friday March 11. I let the tank run until the following Tuesday which was when I bought my live rock. I decided to only cycle with live rock and not shrimp. It is now the 24th and I think my tank has finished its cycle.

I have a 15 gal tank with 14 pounds of live rock and coralline algae is just beginning to show. I might buy some nano live rock to give it more of a design later. But back to my point, it has only been 13 days for my tank to cycle. pH is 8.2. Ammonia is 0. Nitrite is about .025. Nitrate is about 2.5-3. Nitrite will probably be down to 0 by Saturday

Is my tank really some cycling because that seems pretty quick. Also I'm getting the diatoms that are signaling the end of the cycle but could someone just verify this for me?

Also I think I'm a bit lucky. I've used tap water treated with Stress Coat for the original filling of the tank and I've used tap water with Stress Coat for top-off; I have minimal aglee on my live rock and that worries me a bit because I wanted to start my tank off with a Blenny and a some clean-up crew.

Should I start with another fish because I don't have much algae? And do I even need a clean-up crew? My hair algae is more like an adolescant having peach fuzz.

Whew...Thanks for bearing with me in this long post

P.S. here are more tank specs
15 gal
14# LR
Double Strip Coralife lighting with 2 10,000K bulb (I only use 1)
Whisper HOB filter (I wash the pads daily)
3-4" of sand sustrate

TIA!!
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Old 03-24-2005, 03:57 PM   #2
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2-3 weeks on a small tank started with cured live rock doesn't sound so surprising. You're going to want to wait until your trite is all the way back down to zero before you consider the tank cycled and then give it a week or two to make sure that it is stable and not still in flux before you move forward. The burnout of your diatoms is closer to the end of your cycle. Again, wait for all the numbers to read zero before you start the celebration party I started my tank with tap also. I didn't get any algae at all. The start of hair algae this early on is probably not a very good sign. If that gets a foothold it will be a bear to get rid of.

Not sure about the blenny. Sorry I can't help you there. What is your final stocking list? From there we might be able to pick a better "first fish" for your tank. There's not a lot of room for fish in there so you're going to have to be really selective.

Make sure your washing those pads in SW so that you're not killing the good bacteria that's growing in there.

Sounds like you're off to a good start. Enjoy!
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:07 PM   #3
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My final list will probably be an O. clownfish or a true Perc (still deciding), a Bi-color Blenny, a Neon Goby or a cleaner shrimp, no more than 5-7 members of a cleanup crew, trying for an anenome by the end of the summer and maybe some coral by Christmas time.

For the phosphate, should I get Phosban. I know I should get an RO unit but its too much for my budget. Oh and I forgot to ask this question earlier, are the water filters in refrigerators considered RO units? If they are, then that would be awesome!! And can I just stick Phosban into my whisper filter?
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15 Gallon
2 O. Clownfish
4 Chromis
Coco Worm
Feather Duster
Cleanup Crew
21# LR
20#LS
----------------------------------
Coralife Aqualight
-36W 10000K
-36W Actinic
Coralife Super Skimmer 65
Aquaclear 50 filter
Aquaclear 20 ph
Marineland Visitherm 50W heater
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:28 PM   #4
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Someone locally said that the TDS out of their tap was around 150 and out of their fridge it was 100 (you want is 0-3). Not much of an improvement. Have you looked on ebay? You can get a great unit there for 70-100$. Also I think you can get RO/?DI water from walmart or similar local stores. Your LFS sells it, most likely, though mine wanted 50c a gallon for it. I don't know anything about fighting phospate problems so I'll leave that to someone with more experience in that area.

The clown is a good candidate for a first fish. Cleaner shrimp are excellent. I highly recommend them. I love mine. The shrimp will not want to see a big swing in parms so you may want to make sure you're good at the whole water change thing before introducing him.

You should aim for corals by summer and an anemone by Christmas, IMO. Switch those around and you're in good shape. The anemone is much harder to care for than most corals and the corals add a lot of "pop" to your tank. We've been up and running since October and I have a crew of corals in my tank, most of which went in during January. They're doing great. The anemone we're holding off on for a while yet. Need to have better lighting and more stable environment. My nitrates are running around 5 right now and I want to make sure I can sustain that long-term.

Welcome to AA, btw!
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Old 03-24-2005, 07:37 PM   #5
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i am also in the cycling phase, i have a 50 gallon tank with 30lb of base and 20lb of keys coming in the mail on tuesday. it will be up for two weeks when i add the LR. My concern is that i also used Tap water and i put some prime in the tank as i was recommended by someone on the forum. I plan to use RO water for top offs and water changes. Do you think i should have anything to worry about, i too dont have the budget for an ro unit yet, and didnt want to carry 50 gallons of water up the stairs and into my apartment. I also red that the initial fill up doesnt really matter, do you agree with this?
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50 Gallon Oceanic: 2 maxijet 1200's, 2 150 watt visitherm heaters, BakPak II Skimmer with PS & BT, Coralife Lunar 2X65 watt Power Compacts

Filtration: 50lbs LR.com, 60lbs sand

Swimmers: 2 O. Clowns, Yellow Watchman, Firefish, Yellow Tang, Dottyback.

Clean-Up: Several snail & hermits, Skunk Cleaner, 2 Peps.

Corals: 2 zoo colonies, yellow polyps, star polyps
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Old 03-24-2005, 08:06 PM   #6
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IMO if your using tap water then an anemone is out.... They are very delicate creatures and need excellent water quality and your tank should be at least a year old before you attempt one. IMO a RO/DI is needed to keep one of these...
Bicolor .... make sure it eats prepaired food before you get it. I have one and it will only eat algae.. In a small tank it may not produce enough food the it. IMO you need a mature tank for this fish also..
If your already getting hair algae then you may be in for a long battle if you keep using tap water.. have you tested your tap water for phosphates, nitrates, silicates?

Frig has only a filter nothing fancy.......
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Old 03-24-2005, 08:20 PM   #7
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Seaham, you bring up a good point about water quality and anemoes. I knew they needed good water but I never really put 2 and 2 together.

How is this filter

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...&N=2004+113075

I just need to get something started. And if anyone doesn't recommened this, I can always asks my friends. I work at a pet store and three of my co-workers and my boss each have at least a 55 gal saltwater setup. I'd just rather get a new one (but thats just me).

I just don't want to spend about $100 just to clean about 1 gal of water a week; granted it's probably worth it in the long run and it is with buying good equipment from the start for SW tanks but I just can't really afford one.

Oh and if you think since I work at a pet store, why not get it there with an employee discount.....well the owners aren't fond of giving employee benifits.
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15 Gallon
2 O. Clownfish
4 Chromis
Coco Worm
Feather Duster
Cleanup Crew
21# LR
20#LS
----------------------------------
Coralife Aqualight
-36W 10000K
-36W Actinic
Coralife Super Skimmer 65
Aquaclear 50 filter
Aquaclear 20 ph
Marineland Visitherm 50W heater
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