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Old 10-20-2008, 04:54 PM   #1
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Hi i need some advice on how to start the cycle in my 68 gallon salwater tank!. I have coral gravel at the botton, over 40 KG of quality live rock ( Which has 3 stone coloured crabs with stripy brown legs, 2 small hermit crabs, 3 different snails. and various other things attached to it that i can only guess are palps? some have long brown things with what i would call tenticals! and when you tap the glass they curl up, All were on the rock when i purchused it, i did not add them. and tiny white star fish & brown starfish with stripes! the list is never ending!)
I have a fluval 450 external filter,1 internal filter ( came with the tank) , octopus BH-300 Protein skimmer, heater, 2 vecton uv sterilser.
I started with just setting the tank up with all the equiptment and added the water and set the salt at 24, temp at 25. I left it like this for a week to settle as advise by the store i bought from.
I then went back and purchused the full water quality chemical testing kit,some rowa phos to calm the phosphate down which we put in the internal filter, 1 KG live rock rubble for external filter and 20 KG of live rock ( as that was all i could afford at the time!)
We added all of the above to the tank then let it settle over night and took the first water test the fallowing evenning : 16/ 10 /08
calcium : 440
Nitrate just under 5
ph : 8.3
phos[hate: 2.5- 5
nitrite: 0.1
ammonia: nil

Ammonia : nil

Added 20 kg more of live rock to finish tank
phosphate : 1.0
Ammonia : 0.1
Iron : 0
KH : 230 ( i think thats very high?)
Ph: 8.1 -8.3
Nitrite : 0.1


Ammonia : 0.0


Ammonia 0.0
nitrite: 0.1
nitrate :5

My problem is i am trying to start the cycle of my tank with not much luck as my ammonia level is not really doing anything! my tank is crystal clear and the crabs and snail are all very happy! the full amount of live rock has been in the tank for 3 days now so when should the ammonia levels start to go up? or is it that im being to egar and it takes a few weeks for the ammonia to start to rise? I no yor not ment to have the snails and other things in the tank but they were on the live rock, shorly they would produce some ammonia?

also what tests should i be doing every day while i wait for the cycal to begin?
Thanks for yor time
sta x

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Old 10-20-2008, 05:06 PM   #2
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Moved to getting started forum. Check out our articles section in the SW area and it has a good article on SW cycle.

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Old 10-20-2008, 05:49 PM   #3
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Try adding a raw, unseasoned shrimp fro your grocery store to produce your ammonia. You can also use fish food, anything that will decay.
Have you tested your source water for phosphates?
Welcome to the site by the way!
Props on the more humane fishless cycle too!
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

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Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:08 PM   #4
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Will try adding some fish food, thanks. Its just i was told that the amount of live rock i have should easly start the cycle! I do not have any fish in my tank as i agree that its not fair on them but the crabs and hermits and snail were all living in the live rock so should i take them out? i have out the phosphate levels and all my others in my first post. my phosphate levels were 2.5-5 but dropped to 1.0 after adding phos remover to the filter.
thanks again
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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Have you tested your source water for phosphates? Having phosphates that high in the tank spells issues down the road.
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