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Old 11-13-2013, 11:10 PM   #1
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How can i tell if my tank is almost cycled or hasnt started?

Started my 75 gallon reef 1 week ago. Contains about 100 pounds of live/base rock. I did some tests tonight and here are the results.
Ph: 8.0
Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Now my question is, has my tank already basically cycled or is it stalling? I just don't want to put a fish in and then it all of a sudden start the cycle.
Let me know what you think.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:30 AM   #2
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Do you have live and base rock, or just base rock? Have you put ammonia in the tank to start the cycle?
With 0 nitrates, it looks like your cycle is just barely beginning. I would toss a shrimp (raw from the seafood section of the grocery store) and let it do it's thing. That is how I cycled my tank, it took about 3 weeks, but I had quite a bit of cured live rock in eith my base rock.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:18 AM   #3
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This is the nitrogen cycle *(ammonia->nitrite->nitrate) autotrophic bacteria are responsible for this. To much of any of these substances can be deadly or cause illness. That's why it's important to have enough of these bacteria present so that these levels remain near zero as much as possible. Until you get a reading of nitrate you have not finished cycling. If you have live rock-(from the ocean) that isn't cured-(has been out of water long enough for creatures in it to die & is realizing ammonia) then these levels will continue to rise & finish your cycle. The dead fish or shrimp is one way to add ammonia making the process speed up but, the easiest way is to buy bottled bacteria. Their is no way of over dosing. The more, the better. You could probobly use at two bottles for your tank's size. Their's no waiting you just add the bacteria, wait for it to mix well through out the water & bam! Your done... just add fish. Some good brands are instant ocean biro-spira which you can find almost anywhere including petco & another is dr. tim's aquatics one & only over the internet.
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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I disagree with the idea of dumping bacteria in and adding fish right away, if you can avoid it. These companies says you can, but your tank still cycles, so there are levels of ammonia and nitrite as ammonia from fish waste is added. If you can add ammonia after the BB, that is better. , IMO. Your tank will cycle in Days, not weeks. If you add fish right away, they need to be hearty (clowns, damsels) so that they can take a few days of having ammonia and nitrites.

I just used Dr Tim's in my 240g, but got their ammonia to add. Tank cycled in less than a week.
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:49 PM   #5
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I'm using micro lift special blend and started putting it in my tank yesterday. What do you think about that?
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
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What ammonia source did you use? If in fact that bacteria in that bottle is not bogus, it will need ammonia to consume.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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Doesn't the bottle create the ammonia source?
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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The bottled bacteria usually just has the bacteria. Those bacteria need ammonia. The Dr Tim's that I used came with a bottle of ammonia, which I put into the tank to get it up to 3-4ppm. A few days later, I could dose the tank and within hours, the ammonia was back down to zero. That's when you know you have all the bacteria in there doing their job.

It concerns me when I see "for fresh and saltwater". The bacteria is different for both, so I don't understand how they offer a product that covers both.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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Could you post a link of the thins you would think I need that aren't too expensive?
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:29 PM   #10
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For a simple ammonia source, go to the grocery store fish counter and buy an uncooked shrimp. Toss that in your tank, it will decompose, which creates ammonia. Another option is finding pure ammonia at a hardware store (I've heard Ace carries it). You can dose your tank with that, but you need to test to make sure you have enough, but not too much. I believe Dr Tim's sells bottles and that tells you how many drops (or capfulls) you need for your size tank.
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