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Old 07-05-2004, 02:10 AM   #1
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Have I cycled yet?

This doesn't seem right to me, but this is my first SW tank and first time I've used LR. Given the following set of data, has my tank cycled? I thought the ammonia and nitrites would get higher. Is it the LR that has kept it down, or will there be more to the cycle in the next few weeks?

Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate data is in ppm.


29 gallon tank
20 lbs LR from liverocks.com
30 lbs sugar-fine carib-sand (bottom layer)
15 lbs reef-grade carib-sand (top layer)
Aquarium Pharmiceuticals "Saltwater Master" kit for all tests except pH. Using an electric pH probe for pH tests.


Thanks for your help,
Kurt
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Old 07-05-2004, 02:19 AM   #2
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y did u remove the shrimp? (im a newbie.. just wondering)
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30gal / 2: maxijet 600s / 150w heater / CPR Bak Pak2 (maxijet 1200)/FOWLR

30lbs base rock
6lbs Brazilian LR
35lbs sand (20lbs of lfs ls i think it cycled my tank faster)

3 blueleg hermits
4 turbo snails
royal gramma
gold stripped maroon clown
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Old 07-05-2004, 02:22 AM   #3
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I would give it a couple more weeks. It took mine about 6 weeks to cycle properly. Damsels are more tolerant to cycle spikes than most fish, but I would wait on putting any more fish in there until the bio load can catch up. Chances are, you might go through another Ammonia and Nitrite spike before it is over. Good job using the piece of shrimp method! I wish more people would.
Also, keep an aye on your ammonia. In a tank of this size, it will be challenging, but can be done.
HTH

Mike
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Old 07-05-2004, 03:23 AM   #4
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Re: Have I cycled yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KFEdaddy2k
This doesn't seem right to me, but this is my first SW tank and first time I've used LR. Given the following set of data, has my tank cycled? I thought the ammonia and nitrites would get higher. Is it the LR that has kept it down, or will there be more to the cycle in the next few weeks?

Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate data is in ppm.


29 gallon tank
20 lbs LR from liverocks.com
30 lbs sugar-fine carib-sand (bottom layer)
15 lbs reef-grade carib-sand (top layer)
Aquarium Pharmiceuticals "Saltwater Master" kit for all tests except pH. Using an electric pH probe for pH tests.


Thanks for your help,
Kurt
I'm right in the middle of cycling myself (fishless). From what I have read, you should expect about 30-45 days cycling time at a minimum. I started with 2 raw shrimp about 2 weeks ago and I am up to about 1.5 ppm ammonia right now. I am anxiously awaiting any trace of nitrites, but I won't waste any of my money on livestock until the tank has fully cycled. I may spend a few bucks and get a bacteria boosting product. There are several on the market but I can't vouch for their effectiveness yet. I do know that bio-spira worked fantastic for fw; although I don't expect to have results nearly as impressive with SW. Anyway, just be patient. You have invested too much time and money at this point to go and sabotage your efforts by trying to stock a tank that simply isn't ready yet.

BTW, I'm talking to myself here as well. Good luck!
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Old 07-05-2004, 04:49 AM   #5
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your cycle may be over, with lr it can be over in days (ie. already beneficial bacteria introduced with lr)

what other filtration are you using? you should have at least another 20lb lr in there or your bioload will be limited to just a few damsels, imo
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Old 07-05-2004, 02:01 PM   #6
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I'll answer a couple questions at the same time here:

I removed the shrimp after two days due to the smell. Rotting shrimp doesn't smell too good. I removed it the evening before I got the LR. I don't think it would have hurt any at all to leave it in, I just didn't want the smell to get out of hand or my wife would kill me. It wasn't terribly bad, you had to stick you nose under the tank lid and take a deep breath to smell it, but like I said I just didn't want it to get out of hand. I also knew the LR would probably do more good that the shrimp, the shrimp was just something to look at until the LR got here.

As for other filtration, I have a large wet/dry with bio balls. The wet/dry is designed for a 125 gallon tank. I've put a few rocks in the sump to take up some space in the sump itself. This helps get the water level in the sump up to where it should be, yet there's not too much water that it would overflow the tank should my siphon overflow box not work.

The damsel and the few crabs that came along with the LR seem to be doing quite well. Every now and then I hear a single click, so I think I've got a pistol shrimp too. I haven't seen him yet, so that also helps confirm my pistol, not a mantis, shrimp thinking...I hope. My next addition will be two small perc clownfish, you know nemos, at the request of my 3-year-old. As for the blue damsel, I'm not sure if he'll go back to the LFS or not. I've heard they are a little aggressive, we'll have to see. I don't anticipate any more fish for now, as a 29 gallon tank and a new SW hobbyist like me needs a low bio load.

It will be at least a week to a week and a half before I get the clowns, as I need to wait for pay day. I will contine to keep my log for that time and see if there are any other ammoinia spikes. If so I'l wait again. It's funny how pay day plays a big roll in delaying the addition of fish to a SW tank. I never seemed to have that problem with a FW tank.

p.s. As for adding LR, I will be adding some more base rock (not live) as soon as it arrives from hirocks.com, bot no more LR is planned.

Thanks your everyone's help again,
Kurt
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Old 07-05-2004, 02:29 PM   #7
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I think by removing the shrimp after 2 days you didn't really allow the cycle to get going, and you now in effect will be cycling with the damsel.
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Old 07-05-2004, 05:29 PM   #8
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the shrimp probably didnt start decomposing at all... i put my shrimp in 3 days ago and it still doesnt show any sign of rotting or decomposition
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30gal / 2: maxijet 600s / 150w heater / CPR Bak Pak2 (maxijet 1200)/FOWLR

30lbs base rock
6lbs Brazilian LR
35lbs sand (20lbs of lfs ls i think it cycled my tank faster)

3 blueleg hermits
4 turbo snails
royal gramma
gold stripped maroon clown
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:35 PM   #9
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No, you're right, there wasn't much decomposition on the shrimp at all.

My original question stems from the fact that the ammonia went up (just a bit) then came back down to 0. Now I'm starting to see nitrates. That is the definition of a cycle, I just thought the numbers on the ammonia and nitrites would be greater before the dropped.

Kurt
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:40 PM   #10
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There was probably a little bit of decay that caused a mini cycle. You really needed to let the shrimp decompose and disappear entirely to build up enough bacteria to handle the kind of load fish produce. Keep testing regularly and make sure conditions don't get too harsh for the damsel.
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