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Old 11-22-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
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Fishless Cycle question

Hey guys. I have my new 40G breeder up and running. Started with 40 pounds of Pukani and 40 pounds of Ocean Direct Oolite, plus one dead shrimp.

Couple days ago the ammonia spiked to 4ppm million and is holding. The Nitrites showed at 2ppm, and Nitrates at 10ppm today.

My question is: There is a lot of shrimp left to decay. Should I remove it now? If I leave it in my assumption is that the cycle would be prolonged as it keeps adding ammonia and the bacteria would grow more to eat it all? in the long run would this be better because it would create a larger bacteria colony to handle bio-load?

Thanks for any advice you guys have,
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:00 PM   #2
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Do not remove the shrimp..... leave it in to continue feeding the bacteria.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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+1 leave it in till it stinks really bad then leave it in longer! Lol
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:36 AM   #4
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Yep, leave it in. The bacteria that eats the nitrite takes a lot longer to grow, and you'll need the ammonia source for the ammonia-eating bacteria while the other bacteria grows. Don't want the ammonia-eating bacteria to die off while waiting for the other bacteria to grow.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
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That's awesome thanks guys.

In it will stay.

I scheduled this whole cycle poorly. Going away for a couple weeks at the end of the year and now hoping the cycle finishes quickly and I can maybe get some cleanup crew in. I don't want to add fish then trust my tank levels to my freshwater fish feeder for that long. And with the evap I have been getting they'd all die off

Although... Suppose I could just add another shrimp before I leave and ask them to add some RO every couple days.....
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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Personally, I'd maintain a shrimp in there and keep topping off until you get back and are ready to give your attention to the system. IMO, no sense starting off with problems.....

Your nitrates are likely going to be crazy high, and the tank will need a complete system flush when you get back, but you won't be worried about it the whole time you're gone.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phranque View Post
Personally, I'd maintain a shrimp in there and keep topping off until you get back and are ready to give your attention to the system. IMO, no sense starting off with problems.....

Your nitrates are likely going to be crazy high, and the tank will need a complete system flush when you get back, but you won't be worried about it the whole time you're gone.
Yeah I think you are right. I was going to do a complete water change after the cycle anyway, so that would clear up the nitrates and leave all the lovely bacteria behind.

I have never done a complete change before in my FW tanks so doing it in SW will be a first. It's my assumption that the 30 minutes or so that it will take me to drain the tank and then fill it back up again won't kill all the bacteria that has started living on the rocks? I figure I can't get "all" the water since the sand is in there.

I've all ready taken so long to get this system started I am in no hurry. If there is one thing I have learned in this hobby is that slow and steady wins. I have run into to many people at the my various LFSs that did all the fast cycle stuff and pushed to get livestock in and have had die off after die off.

I really appreciate your guys' advice.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:43 AM   #8
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Having the tank drained for 30 minutes will not harm your beneficial bacteria at all.... Yes, there will still be water in the sand, so you're not going to be able to get it all out, but you can figure on getting most of it. When I drained mine, I used a large kitchen spoon to push back all of the sand out of one corner, allowing me to run the siphon all the way to the bottom to get as much as I could.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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Today's numbers day 10 of the cycle.

Spec grav 1.024

PH 7.4 (this is totally crashing. I put a new top on last night and I wonder if that contributed. It doesn't matter at the moment, but I am going to have to find a solution to this.

NH3 .25ppm looks like this is about to hit zero!

NO2 5.0ppm here is the real spike in this

NO3 5pmm I think I messed up the test last time. I had a reading of 160ppm last time but got this now. Will retest tomorrow.

PO4 .5ppm Because I am using the Pukani rock I wanted to start keeping an eye on this. I also have the red sea PO4/NO3 treatment if needed.

So that is day 10 of the fishless. Any ideas on the PH?

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:42 AM   #10
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you probably didn't mess up the test, spikes like that in the nitrate can occur, i rememeber when i was cycling some dry lace rock i had it take a few weeks and i had unreadable nitrate levels then closer to the end of the cycle the nitrate levels dropped off to about 10 ppm
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