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Old 04-27-2011, 08:45 AM   #1
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HELP...My tank won't cycle!

Hi all, I need help! My 55 gal saltwater tank will not cycle after 8 weeks. What am I doing wrong? Here are the details;

55 gal
2/28/2011 set up
live sand
fake plants
Protein Skimmer
heater
bio wheel filter...if that make sense
2nd day of cycling I put in 6 damsels to help cycle - only 3 remain...the other three are reacting to the readings below.

Readings for the past 2 weeks...no change, measuring them daily
water temp 80
Ph 8.3
ammonia 0ppm
nitrites 10ppm
nitrates 160ppm

Please, please help me out...almost to the point of giving up!
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:20 AM   #2
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Did you do any research or get any directions before starting ?
I think you may need to add live rock\base rock in there as your main bio filter. Maybe the bio-wheel is enough, I'm not sure.
Certainly should not have added any fish though.

Try searching for cycling a salt water tank, there is lots of easy to find info online that explains the whole process.

Good Luck
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA! Im a freshwater keeper, sorry I cant help you!
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:23 PM   #4
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I would agree with the other guy, live rock would help massively although its not essential in a fish only aquarium. If you've got the money invest in live rock and a protein skimmer. If not then you're going to need some more filtration systems (bio balls aren't great). Try getting some second hand external filters maybe, a biological filter and a mechanical one is reasonably effective and quite cheap to do. Day 2 is too early to put fish in especially salt water unless you got the filtration to handle it. If you lose the damsels try using black mollies instead as they pretty hardy, do better in salt water if introduced properly and don't dent the wallet if they die during cycling periods. And test your water regularly! Hope this helps!
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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Moving this to the SW getting started forum. Really not the most humane way to cycle your tank. Read our article on cycling in the SW articles section. You`ll find out why you only have three damsels left.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:51 PM   #6
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Cycle your salt tank

Great article.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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I do thank y'all for the replies! I did do my research and yes I also talked with a local store for proper start up. I followed his directions along with all post directions. I have a fish only tank so i discussed the live rock with our local store he said the fish would work just fine and he assured me that they were "hardy" enough to handle the stress...my local store advised me since it was a fish only tank not to put the LR in, but use the fish. That is my bad for listening. Otherwise, I would have chose the LR. I will go a buy some LR soon.

I do understand why I have three fish, but hey with all the cycling processes, Internet or not, still states that some fish are one of the ways to cycle a tank.

I really only came on here asking why my tank was not cycle not to be judged for the method I used!

Thank y'all again!!!!!
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:46 PM   #8
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I wouldn't worry about using fish to cycle a tank, that's exactly how its done in the freshwater hobby it just costs more to do in the marine one! Make sure you buy cured living rock if you buy some, because if you buy uncured you'll have big ammonia spikes. I would buy fijian cured as I think its the best! Good luck with it all
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:56 PM   #9
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Thanks sasharples, I will go tomorrow and pick some up! Do I keep the current fish in the tank? Do you know, estimate is fine, how long this takes using the LR?
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasharples
I wouldn't worry about using fish to cycle a tank, that's exactly how its done in the freshwater hobby it just costs more to do in the marine one! Make sure you buy cured living rock if you buy some, because if you buy uncured you'll have big ammonia spikes. I would buy fijian cured as I think its the best! Good luck with it all
How many lbs of LR for 55 gallon?
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