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Old 09-14-2012, 07:28 AM   #1
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Help cycling new salt water tank

Hi, I am new to this and this is my first tank. I have a 20 gallon setup and its been cycling with live rock for 8 days now. Is it normal that the levels are unchanged since day one? My ammonia is 0.25 nitrite 0 nitrate 0 ph 8.2 and temp 24. I have also found a small white starfish 2 baby shrimps 3 snails and what I think
Is a slug. There is also lots of tiny white dots running around the glass on the back of the tank. Are all of these things ok or should I get rid of any of them before getting fish. Any advice of help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:37 AM   #2
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There can be lots of cool animals in Live Rock, you found some! Since they are surviving your water conditions are good. I would add a couple of Hermit Crabs and see how they do. Next add a couple of Damsels and a Snail. After a few weeks your cycling should be complete.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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Ok thanks how long do you think I should
Leave it before adding some damsels is 0.25 ammonia to high and will the ammonia levels spike if I add them then if the tank isn't cycled properly will this then kill all the life in the tank?
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:16 AM   #4
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DISCLAIMER: This is my opinion

It sounds very similar to how I did it. Where is the live rock from? When you got it, was it transported wet? And do you have live sand as a substrate?

If the live rock was in fact "live", you may not be seeing high ammonia levels because there is already established bacteria which is good! This will help lessen the dramatic cycling experience... Especially if you have live sand in there too.

Have you had a diatom algae bloom yet? It's brown sand like lookin stuff... It's completely harmless, but is a good indicator of a cycle nearing it's end. Also a good snack for crabs...

I agree you should add a hermit crab or 2, but not a damsel. They're mean little fishies and are near impossible to remove if you wanted to. My first fish was a clown goby. Something small and hardy but something you see yourself wanting is ideal. So add a hermit and see how it fares for a week or so, maybe even less, and then add a fish.

While you do this, be sure to keep an eye on water parameters before you do add a fish.. I would wait until you do actually see a NITRATE reading... Good luck! Any questions ask!
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:43 AM   #5
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The rock came from the lfs I got the tank from it was wet from a cycled tank with purple alge all over it. It was probable put the water for about 2 hours max before adding to my tank. Unfortunately it wasn't live sand. I initially got 5 kg of live rock then brought another 3 kg from a diffrent shop and this came out of the display tanks they had fishes in, so I guess it's already cycled rock.
I want to add things soon as the rock is starting to get green Alge growing all over it and some of the purple alge is starting to fall off. Any ideas on what the star fish and pink snails might be? The star fish is about 1cm indiameter and has a orange/brown marking ontop.
Can't see any brown alge growing on the subtrate yet.
I was thinking of getting some clown fish as first to put in as I read somewhere that they are quite hardy. I would like to put some coral like pulsing Xenia, should I with until my tank is mature before doing this?
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piercy87
The rock came from the lfs I got the tank from it was wet from a cycled tank with purple alge all over it. It was probable put the water for about 2 hours max before adding to my tank. Unfortunately it wasn't live sand. I initially got 5 kg of live rock then brought another 3 kg from a diffrent shop and this came out of the display tanks they had fishes in, so I guess it's already cycled rock.
I want to add things soon as the rock is starting to get green Alge growing all over it and some of the purple alge is starting to fall off. Any ideas on what the star fish and pink snails might be? The star fish is about 1cm indiameter and has a orange/brown marking ontop.
Can't see any brown alge growing on the subtrate yet.
I was thinking of getting some clown fish as first to put in as I read somewhere that they are quite hardy. I would like to put some coral like pulsing Xenia, should I with until my tank is mature before doing this?
Honestly I don't do corals, but from what I read you want to wait until the tank is established. You could do a clown fish, I added 2 as soon as my nitrates showed up I would stick with a couple Hermits and check the water for the next few days. As long as ammonia doesn't skyrocket you should be ok to add a fish... I JUST cycled my tank this way in June so if you have any questions just let me know..
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:54 AM   #7
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Am I right In thinking that the ammonia should
Drop to 0 then the nitrites will spike then nitrites go to 0 and nitrates will spike then I will do like. 25/50 % water change then add fish. I was expecting to start seeing the ammonia levels drop by now. Is 0.25 high? I know it should be 0 but if I had fish and it went up to 0.25 would
That be a worrying thing or would you just do a large water change and keep a close eye on it. I'm just worried that if I add anything the ammonia will spike to high. How long
Would you expect these levels to come down in a cycled tank?
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piercy87
Am I right In thinking that the ammonia should
Drop to 0 then the nitrites will spike then nitrites go to 0 and nitrates will spike then I will do like. 25/50 % water change then add fish. I was expecting to start seeing the ammonia levels drop by now. Is 0.25 high? I know it should be 0 but if I had fish and it went up to 0.25 would
That be a worrying thing or would you just do a large water change and keep a close eye on it. I'm just worried that if I add anything the ammonia will spike to high. How long
Would you expect these levels to come down in a cycled tank?
Yup Ammonia, Nitrites, then Nitrates. .25 isn't too high, mine only got up to .5 because of the live rock and sand I had, it was a very smooth transition to nitrates. That's why you can add a hermit crab, and maybe drop a very small amount of food that way you don't end up with an ammonia spike... The bacteria in the rocks should convert the ammonia to nitrates. I actually never even saw a nitrite spike due to the bacteria in my tank.. And yes, once nitrates are present, do a big enough of a water change to get them below 10.. 0 if you can... It's usually about 25-50%, but I only needed a 10%. Unfortunately there's no cut and dried method in this hobby...
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:21 AM   #9
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Another question is does the amount of
Rock you put in the tank change the amount of volume in the tank. For example if I have a 20 gallon tank and add 8 kg of rock should
I then treat it as a 15 gallon tank to compensate the loss of water.nor does te benefits of te live rock outweigh the loss of volume and you could treate it as a 22 gallon tank. If that makes any sense.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Or am I just talking a load of crap and it Dosent equate to anything and it's actually still just a 20 gallon tank with good filtration.
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