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Old 10-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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help - Water is Cloudy During Cycling

ok here is the story am trying to cycle my 20 gallon salt-water tank there are no fish in the tank.....I have a liquid test kit but cannot dectact Anmmonia when I pour clear store bought Ammonia in the beeker. Hoever I added teaspoons of ammonia in my tank and cold cocktail shrimp in the tank (however this shirmp is cooked) My water now is coludy....is that an indicator that A) the cycle prcoess has started and will my tank eventual clear on ots own

Thank you
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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You should use an uncooked shrimp and let nature take its course. Glad to hear you are not using a fish though! Well done for that!

The water should clear up soon enough.

Are you testing for Nitrates and Nitrites as well as ammonia? If not you need to start testing for all 3.

How long has it been cycling?
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:51 PM   #3
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thanks for getting back to me I cant get an Ammonia reading even though I put liquid store bought ammonia i will do the other tests i couldnt find raw shirmp will cooked shirmp provide any help?
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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Don't assume water clarity as a sign that everything is ok. Clear water can still be deadly to fish. Let things run their course at this point. DO NOT ADD FISH. I use flake fish food to cycle a tank over the course of 4-6 weeks. Get some cured live rock from an LFS and toss it in there. Even if it is only 5-10lbs. It will help speed up the cycle and get the Ammonia converted to Nitrite then Nitrate. You are looking for nitrate which shows that you are nearing the end of the cycle. Nitrate is not very toxic to fish, althought in high rates it can have adverse effects. The important thing is to take your time and remember that a 20 gallon tank is a very small body of water and even one fish will be at risk of the swings that are associated with a 6 week cycle.

The live rock is the key. It introduces beneficial bacteria that your tank will take time to develop on its own.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:49 PM   #5
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What type of water conditioner are you using? I used one that did not affect test kits called NovAqua Plus(for freshwater) I had to read the back label to find this:

"NovAqua Plus will not interfere with the measurements of aquarium test kits"

Many conditioners remove ammonia.

Another important tip is to be positive your ammonia solution is pure with no scent or cleaners added, although you probably know this already. I used a 10% solution from Ace Hardware.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:29 AM   #6
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Ammonia surfactant is indicated by bubbles forming in the bottle and lasting for a few seconds when shaken. They are bad and may cause problems later on.
Pouring ammonia directly on a testing strip or directly on a vial won't give a good result as the result will be way off the scale of measurement. A 10% ammonia solution has 100,000 ppm ammonia and you test is designed for around .1 to 10 ppm. Probably won't work. Just test the tank water.
Many brand new tanks go cloudy during cycle. Part of that is from the smallest particles of substrate being stirred. As bacteria build n the sand bed those particles will stick together and stop floating.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:56 PM   #7
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Your tank should clear up given time.

Keep testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. You will find you nitrite will be very high towards the end of your cycle then very quickly will start dropping to zero. You will the get some fairly high readings of nitrate but again..... take time to let this drop.

When its all stable add a fish. Try not to go for damsels as they are agressive and hard to catch. Get a clownfish or a goby.

Add no more than one fish per month as this will help your system stabilise!
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