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Old 05-30-2011, 03:31 AM   #1
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Help with next step in setting up my tank

Hi everyone I was wondering if I could get some advice as to the next steps I need to take in order to successfully cycle my tank :Y

So far I have the following and done the following:

  • I have a 40 gallon set up with water that was tested for the correct salinity and added it to the tank
  • I added 40 lbs live sand and some live rock into my tank
  • My filter and heater has been running and is at 76 degrees I believe


My questions regarding my next steps and whether they are correct or not are the following
  1. I am going to buy pure ammonia tomorrow and begin dosing to get a reading of 3-5 ppm for ammonia, at which point I will leave everything alone until the levels drop below 1ppm , at which point I will add more ammonia.
  2. I will continue to do this and test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates until the cycle is at 0 , 0 , ~40?
Is this basically all I need to know for now?
Have I done anything wrong in regards to setting up my tank?
I am worried I am killing the good bacteria on the live rock because there is no source of ammonia (and it will be about 2 days since purchase until I can add ammonia)
Also I have only recently come across things such as testing for pH and the waters hardness(?) , could somebody explain these topics? I have seen some people say to adjust the pH while others say this is risky, could someone lead me to the right direction regarding this?

If anyone could please give me some insight on what I am planning on doing and whether it is correct or not, and also on the issue if the live rock bacteria is dying without ammonia I would greatly appreciate it :X

Thank you very much for your time and for any help you can provide
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:31 AM   #2
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I can give no advise about using pure ammonia, but would rather suggest instead of the laundry aisle, go to the seafood aisle and purchase a large raw shrimp. This will continually feed your cycle with ammonia. And if it is still around at the end either take it out, or I left mine in for my CUC to eat.

What did you use for your subtsrate? Some sand like aragonite sand buffer your pH for you (to some degree) which helps a lot in stablizing it. Some people go with crushed coral, which leaves a lot of area for waste to hide and requires a lot of cleaning.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
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I have Aragonite sand.

Am I killing the good bacteria on my live rock by not immediately having the ammonia/shrimp inside of there?
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:33 PM   #4
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I cycled my sw tank with live rock and pure ammonia. Only took a few days too cause I had nice live rock.

Your plan looks right to me. I would not worry about ph right now, as long as it is stable you shoulod be fine.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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If there is no ammonia source at all, the bacteria will starve to death.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:37 PM   #6
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You can add some fish flakes for now. that will work as an ammonia source
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:41 PM   #7
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EEEEEEEEE im gonna go buy some ammonia right now, have most of my bacteria died already since I purchased the rock? I purchased them on Saturday I believe - I really hope I didn't kill all my live rock and kinda waste money ): thank you guys

I kept asking if I needed ammonia for them but the LFS was no help :/
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:42 PM   #8
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You are probaly fine. The rock itslef is actually letting off ammonia from die off...Have you checked your water parameters? I have cycled with only live rock as well so its possible. I just think it was faster with my ammonia dosing.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:43 PM   #9
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Not interested in trying the shrimp method? That way you don't have to worry about testing to see when you need to dose next. Like Carey said some fish flakes will work for now. I don't know how long it takes them to die, but as some die the die off will help feed the other rocks.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:55 PM   #10
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I've always cycled using raw shrimp but I'm pretty certain you dont keep adding the ammonia source.I would have thought just the once and wait untill amm and trites are 0,then add some fish food,and test again the next day to make sure amm and trites are still 0.
As for your live rock,are you sure it was live,was it totally submerse while you transported it.The beneficial bacteria will soon come back.(when amm,trites are 0)
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