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Old 08-14-2007, 07:19 PM   #1
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Im Cycling and i am confused

As you guys prob know from my other posts i started cycling my 75 gallon tank with 90 pounds of live rock from live aquaria last wen. on thurs and fri i did no water changes. on saturday i changed aprox 4 gallons of saltwater, on sunday i checked my ammonia levels and they were high 7.5 ppm if not higher according to the color chart. Then sunday i changed siphoned out and added nine gallons of fresh saltwater. Then on monday i check the ammonia again and it read 7.5 ppm, i also check the nitrite which was 0.2ppm. i then proceeded to change out 8 gallons of water with fresh saltwater. Today i checked ammonia and it still reads about 7.5 ppm, nitrite reads bw 0.2 and 0.5, nitrate is bw 10 and 20 ppm. my ph looks ok but maybe a little high bw 8.2 and 8.4. my alk was high according to the chart bw 2.9 and 3.6( looking at the chart i would say it is alot closer to the high end of 3.6. my temp was around 77.5 when i checked today, however last week and through the weekend it was reading about 82 degrees. I am using a red sea marine lab test kit. i know i need to get my temp regulated at about 79 but i am having trouble with my heater. I am getting ready to change 8 more gallons of sw out. all the saltwater i have been using for water changes has been aged for 24 hours. i am running a sea clone protein skimmer which has been sucking lots of stuff out and a emperor 400 powerfilter which i am running with four filter cartridges.

Are these water parameters normal for cycling, and advice would be appreciated. Also there is no sand in the tank yet, just water and lr. Thanks guys for all the help
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:44 PM   #2
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Looks OK, but IMO you don't need to do all those water changes so soon. In a week you did 29g's of water changes. Let the cycle do it's thing.
You don't really need sand if you don't want it. Lots of ppl run bare bottom tanks. I did for many years and it's nice for real high flow SPS's.
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:12 PM   #3
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Let the tank cycle before doing water changes. Ammonia will go down when the bacteria gets going in the tank. You really shouldn't do any water changes until your ammonia is down to 0 and your nitrItes are at 0, then you should see pretty high NitrAte numbers and PWCs need to be done. Changing the water out now isn't really going to do much. The bacteria that breaks down the ammonia converting it to NitrIte and then to Nitrate needs to work on the tank.

Be patient, this process does take time. Trying to rush it will only cause problems down the road.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:56 PM   #4
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I think JoshsReef is doing water changes because the ammonia is really really high. 7.5+ ppm? I can see doing water changes if you have hitchikers on the rock that you'd like to keep alive during the cycle. But normally, yeah... I wouldn't do water changes until the end.

How exactly are you cycling, JoshsReef? That seems like a lot of ammonia from just normal die off from the live rock.
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:16 PM   #5
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Thats what i thought as well, ammonia seems way to high and that is why i started doing partial water changes. i thought ammonia level of 2 or 3 ppm would be plenty to complete the cycle however i cant get it down. I think i am just going to let the tank work itself out and check the levels again in a few days. The cycle is being done just with live rock, 90 pounds, nothing else in the tank yet and the temp is about 80 degrees.

thanks for the help guys
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:36 PM   #6
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With ammonia that high there was probably something in a hole in the rock that has died. Until the bacteria gets settled and caught back up your ammonia is going to remain high. I agree that those are very high readings but it will balance out.
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