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Old 08-12-2004, 07:36 PM   #11
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Testing the water will give you a good idea how often to do the changes.

You should be aiming to keep ammonia and nitrites quite low.

Do you have test kits for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

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Old 08-12-2004, 07:53 PM   #12
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No, I don't have the test kits but my LFS does the tests for free so for now I'm relying on them. I also need to get a new salinity test kit and a new thermometer because the ones I have don't seem reliable. I'm low on money right now so my priority is to get a protein skimmer and some test kits.
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:08 PM   #13
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My LFS recommended Damsels to cycle. Of course they did. it sells fish.
I bet many people starting didnt even know you could cycle without a fish.
I didnt until I read about it here. The shrimp method makes so much sense.

I just used LR when I set up the tank. After a fishless tank for a month my tank conditions are excellent and I finally added my first fish.

Dont be in a rush, take your time
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:26 PM   #14
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A lot of people including myself have done what you are doing at the advice of a LFS. I bought 3 damsels and 2 of them died right away. I still have one of them now and its over a year later. And hes the friendliest damsel I have seen!!
I would do water changes every other day if you can for sure.
Also consider this. Why not get a small peice of LR and then add base rock to the tank later. Base rock is nothing more than LR that once was Live...Plus if you get a peice of LR it will help cycle the tank and then get base rock and let it seed. Takes about 6 months for this to happen but its a cheaper way of doing this. You dont need a skimmer immeditaley. I waited 4 months to get one and it was all ok. I buy peices of LR from the LFS every now and then. Over the past year I have accumulated over 95 LBS....doesnt take to long. Hang in there and read read read!!

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