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Old 07-09-2003, 12:57 AM   #1
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Is this OK for starting the Nitrogen Cycle?

Hello,

I have a 55 gallon saltwater fish only tank (with no fish yet). I am using the "shrimp" method for cycling my tank. I do not have any bio-filtration yet (I have a 7 inch BIO-wheel on order), and I am using the Magnum 350 for chemical and mechanical filtration. I have my protein skimmer turned off.

Here is my data:

Date,Temp,Salinity,pH,KH,ammonia,NO2-,NO3-,CO2,Notes
6/29/2003,78,1.022,8.0,10,0.0,0.0,0,3.0,Added 1 shrimp
6/30/2003,79,1.023,8.0,9,0.1,0.0,0,2.7,Added 3 more shrimp
7/1/2003,79,1.023,,,1.5,0.0,0,,Smells link rotten fish and cloudy
7/2/2003,79,1.030,,,2.0,0.0,0,,
7/3/2003,79,1.030,8.0,8,3.0,0.0,0,2.4,Cleaned inside walls of aquarium
7/5/2003,78,1.023,,,3.5,0.0,0,,Smells better
7/6/2003,79,1.024,,,3.5,0.0,0,,Added 2 gallons of water
7/8/2003,80,1.023,7.8,8,4.0,0.0,0,4.0,

NOTE: I have also attached a picture of my spreadsheet containing this data, which will make it easier for you to read.

Is this a normal start for the cycle? I was expecting nitrites by now. Do I just to give Mother Nature more time? Will adding bio-filtration help? What about those bateria chemicals that say they will speed this process up? What about adding live plants to my tank -- does this help?

Thanks for your help and expertise.

Tony
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:03 AM   #2
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tell us a little about your tank as far as type of substrate, depth of substrate, how many pounds of LR, ect....?
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Old 07-09-2003, 04:00 AM   #3
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I have 40 pounds of crushed coral (2 to 3 inches) with no live rock.
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Old 07-09-2003, 08:25 AM   #4
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I would expect the nitrites to start building up within the next week, but until you get mor biological filtration media, you probably won't have the surface area for enough bacteria to process the ammonia in the tank.

Quote:
Do I just to give Mother Nature more time? Will adding bio-filtration help?
Yes to both, the first part of the cycle usually takes 2-3 weeks.

Quote:
What about those bateria chemicals that say they will speed this process up?
IME they are a waste of money, there is one product that looks promising, but it is just for FW right now.

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What about adding live plants to my tank -- does this help?
At this point, no, you could seed your crushed coral with a cup or two of cc or sand from an established tank.
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Old 07-09-2003, 09:38 AM   #5
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Thanks reefrunner! I just wanted to make sure things were moving along correctly.
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Old 07-09-2003, 09:58 AM   #6
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Everything seems in order to me, Mother Nature will ride the wave into the shore now. No worries.

Good looking speadsheet BTW.
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