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Old 06-20-2010, 12:08 AM   #1
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Is my tank ready?

This my first SW tank. Been reading a lot and been chatting with my LFS for advise, anyways here my setup.
Tank: Aqua Euro 34g
• 150 Watt 14K HQI Metal Halide
• 6 blue LED lights for nocturnal viewing
• Quality seamless curved glass for optimum viewing
• Built-in 5 stage filtration system:
- U.V sterilizer – 5 Watt
- Venturi Protein Skimmer
- Denitrator
- Filter Sponge
- Bio Balls
• Dual High performance 370 gph water pumps
• Dual Cooling fans
• 100 Watt Heater

1/13hp chiller
Light setting 6 hrs
Current measurement:
Temp: 77.8 F
Specific Gravity: 1.025
pH:8.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Nitrite:0

Day 1: Added 30 lb LR and 10 LS

Day 4: Started water test, all zero

Day 7: My LFS advise me to come pick up 4 snails 10 hermit crabs. Since I got all my tank and stuff from him it was free. Also preformed 10 gal water change.

Week 2: Test still read all zero except pH was 7.8. Performed 5 gal water change.

Week 3: Added1 green polyp and 3 green chromes, Performed 5 gal water change.

Week 3-4: everything tested zero, except pH is around 7.9 added buffer and after 5 day pH is back to 8.2. Also 1 chrome dead but his poor tail was completely bite off I assume it was done by the other 2 (which btw is a bit large then him).

Middle of week 3-4:: LR started to show a rusty color on it.

Week 4: Added 6 more turbo snail, took LR out and give it a good brush down, broke down the protein skimmer and filter for cleaning, and changed 10 gal of water. Water tested all zero, pH 8.2.

So now back to the issue on hand.
1st question: I checked my entire 4 weeks of record but there isn't a ammonia spike or nitrite spike so have my tank even started cycled or it done?
2nd question: I asked a 2nd LFS about the brown stuff that is growing in my tank. He say it's just an algae cycle nothing to worry. I read online ppl advise to turn down the light time and the feeding. But he say you can do that but it just slow up the process and not going to solve the problem. He advise actually turn my lighting time up to 8 hrs to help speed up the cycle. However just after 2 days those 6 turbo snail i added have already cleared up 30% of the rusty stuff on the LR. So question is what should i do about this?
3rd question: When is my tank be ready to start added some new live stock?
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:47 AM   #2
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Hello.
1. I'm no expert but I doubt your cycle has finished if you have had no reading at all. How often did you test? Every week?
2. The brown stuff is probably just a brown algae bloom(diatoms). They are normal for a first tank as it was for me. Overfeeding and light have a lot to do with it but they will soon be replaced slowly by more beneficial green algae. You should be fine.
3. I would hold off to make sure my cycle is complete. Putting livestock through the actualy is cruel and painful for them. Not to mention it may kill them. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:55 AM   #3
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The water is being tested daily for pH, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. And Specific gravity is tested weekly (24hrs after water change). Yes there is no read for 4 weeks now. Is it normal to have not reading for this long?
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:57 AM   #4
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And your testing with a liquid test kit, correct?
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:10 AM   #5
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Yes liquid test kit. "API Saltwater master test kit"
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:29 AM   #6
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Rather odd. The hermits and snails dont add much ammonia but the 3 green chromis should have created some ammonia after such time in a 34 gallon. I still wouldnt add any more livestock just in case. Patience is everything in this gig. Give it some time.
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:03 AM   #7
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If that 30lbs of live rock was cured and put right into your tank, then you likely had no cycle since the rock would have been populated by good bacteria. Light will not cycle a tank faster, only feed nuisance algae. Since you have corals in there, youll need to leave the lights on for 6-8 hours.

I would check each day for ammonia just to be safe. You should see some nitrates as well...

Id take it easy with adding anything until you see some nitrates showing up.

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Old 06-20-2010, 02:14 AM   #8
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I'm been making 5 gal (15%) water change every week and 10 gal (30%) every other week. Is it too much, should i cut down the water change?
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:18 AM   #9
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Id cut back on water changes long enough to see if nitrates build up. Id be concerned about seeing nitrates right now. My guess is that 30lbs of live rock should be able to handle the bioload you currently have though.

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Old 06-20-2010, 02:25 AM   #10
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Thank a lot guys, I'll leave it alone for a week or two, and call my LFS to see if those LR they setup in the tank for me are cured or not.

But as you stated above there we might not see a cycle if the LR are pre-cured? Then how can we tell if the tank are ready or not.
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