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Old 11-18-2010, 07:39 PM   #1
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Is my cycling complete already??

Hi guys,... I just started to cycle my75 gal tank a liitle over a week ago , R/O water ,80# of live sand and close to 80#'s of live rock,...after a week so of running my system the most I ever saw my ammonia spike up to was .25 ppm,..beautiful clear water with no bad smell at all,..curious I went to talk to my LFS guy who told me that a client had brought in a couple of hundred pounds of cured live rock from his system a day or two before and I had received a whole lot of that rock,....in the last day or so I have gotten a very rapid growth of diatoms covering my live rocks,....if I've read right ,these diatoms start at the end of the tank's cycle and signals the end.,..I also read that they will disappear on their own also.
He stated that the LFS usually always start up their tanks up using "cured" rocks from established aquariums so they do not have to run thru the curing cycles everytime and can start loading their tanks with critters right away for sale.
Does it sound like I got really lucky here?? I just want to make sure that this is the case before I do a PWC and start adding a critter or two.
I plan on letting the tank run another week or so on it's own anyways even it has run it's course,...thank you all
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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I dont think it`s had enough time. From what I gather it`s been two weeks. Let`s see what happens this week.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
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I dont think it`s had enough time. From what I gather it`s been two weeks. Let`s see what happens this week.
....what's with all the brown algea ( diatoms ? ) two or three days ago there was nothing and now it's over just about everything rocks,heater etc.... I also have noticed a bunch of little mini looking feather dusters emerging everywhere also....very interesting.....
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:10 AM   #4
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80 pounds of fuylly cured LR could eman a very short cycle. I would feed the tank (small pinch of food, piece of a raw shrimp) and look for any signs of a new spike.
The appearance of feather dusters is also a good sign.

Have you tested for nitrite and nitrate too?
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:34 AM   #5
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I`ve seen cycling tanks with algea and diatoms. Those being in the tank does not mean the cycle is over. I too would do as Cmor said and feed the tank something and see if it produces an ammonia spike.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:38 AM   #6
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From my experience, the best test is to take some pure ammonia (I got mine from ACE Hardware, make sure it has NO surfactants, meaning it does not foam when you shake it) and add it to your tank until the concentration is at least 2 ppm. If you use the ACE Hardware stuff, that will probably be around 7 mL. Test again in 24 hours. If your ammonia and nitrite readings are zero, (and you see an increase in nitrate) your tank is cycled. If not, every 24 hours, boost your ammonia back up to 2 ppm and check after a day until you see that.

Just my advice from my personal experience with my tank. If you need some reading to put you to sleep, I actually kept a blog during this process in my 150G tank (it was a fishless cycle, but it's the same concept as what I just described). The link is in my signature, and the relevant entries are October-November 2009.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:00 PM   #7
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I`ve seen cycling tanks with algea and diatoms. Those being in the tank does not mean the cycle is over. I too would do as Cmor said and feed the tank something and see if it produces an ammonia spike.
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80 pounds of fuylly cured LR could eman a very short cycle. I would feed the tank (small pinch of food, piece of a raw shrimp) and look for any signs of a new spike.
The appearance of feather dusters is also a good sign.

Have you tested for nitrite and nitrate too?
I was thinking the same thing so I put in a shrimp and a half into a mesh bag and left it in the tank for 24 hours,....I wasn't really sure how long to leave it in,but 24 hours later I removed the shrimp,...and it smelled like you know what,....I tested my ammonia level using the trusty API kit and it looked to be somewhere in the nieghborhood of around .25 ,.....24 hours later I just retested everything and it looks like the ammonia level is either at the same level plus or minus, it's kinda tough to read those cards,...my nitrites are 0 my ph is about 8.3 and the nitrates are super low ,....as you can probably tell ,it's been a long time since I have had to go thru this again so everything is kinda new again,....very interesting to watch this whole process unfold before your own eyes,....next week I'll bring in a sample of my water and have the LFS check out the water and see what they come up with,...I'm sure they have a much better testing system,.. I'm a little wiggy about throwing dead stuff or ammonia into the tank but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do,...I'm really not in any big hurry or anything like that,...but just wanna know and learn from everyone what's going on..... Thanks, Dary
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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Well, I did a water test last night and decided I'd bring down a sample of the water to the LFS and have them double check everything,....my SG was 1.022,PH was 8.3, my ammonia was 0.0 my nitrites were 0.0 and my nitrates were almost zero also,...I got a a handful of hermit crabs and snails to eat up some of my diatoms,...all in all they gave me an "A"..., they want me to do a 20 gallon water change before I get my Humu,....I sort of feel sorry for my clean up crew cuz I'm sure my humu is going to eat 'em up,....oh well they have a week or so to enjoy the feast,....getting kinda excited.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:15 PM   #9
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A little update here,...everything checked out beautifully in my tank regarding the water parameters but there was an out growth of aiptasias out of one of my live rocks or two and some hairy green algea so I decided to handle it naturally by adding my first fish,a merten's butterflyfish,....wow !! What a little vacuum cleaner he turned out to be,..within a couple of days he had cleaned up the whole tank no more aiptasias nor the hairy green algae.,...I added a " sunset" butterflyfish to keep him company and they think I just dropped them in Hawaii ,they seemed to be quite content as they graze all day long on the live rocks.
So throwing caution to the wind I decided I'd try the big experiment by adding a little picaso triggerfish, yeah I know these are not suppose to be compatible per se but so far they have been totally cool with one another( the butteflyfsh are bigger) so these three little fish will have to do for a little while everything settles in,...got fingers crossed and the forum on speed dial,...thanks to all,...I'm up and running!!! Dary
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:24 PM   #10
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Keep an eye on your water parameters. Adding three fish over the course of just a few weeks is one of those things that often shows up on the "what not to do" lists.
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