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Old 06-20-2005, 02:58 AM   #1
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Is this the right way to cycle my tank?

I have started a 72 gal tank and I am using the fishless method to cycle my tank. The tank has been set up for two weeks now and we added 50 pounds of live rock and 3-4 inch sand base with about 40 pound of this being live sand. I also used about a cup of live sand that I took from my quarenten (sp) tank that has been set up for 6 months now. I have a lot of brown algae in my tank. At the same time we added the live rock we also added the 3 shrimp to the tank. Now I have been testing EVERYDAY for ammonia and the levels ARENT going up at all. All the research I have done said that I should have seen my ammonia levels go up and peak by now. Why are my levels not going up? Shouldnt they have gone up by now? I also have tested a few times for Nitrite and Nitrates and I am not getting any readings at all. I think that my tank is fine because I finding more and more every night little worm like things that live in my live rock. It looks like they are eating the algae off of the rock. Anyone know what these might be?

I am heading to the live fish store to get another 30 pounds of live rock and I am going to take a water sample with me to see if they are getting the same reading with their test kits. I am using a Saltwater Master Liquid Test Kit by Doc Wellfish. Is this a good test kit or should I be using a different Kit?

Also, with all of the brown algae I have in the tank, I would like to get a few snails and hermits, is this ok or are they just going to die anyway?


Starting 72 gal FOWLR
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:33 AM   #2
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If you added fully cured liverock to the tank, you may not ever see a cycle. I use the same test kit, have for years and it's a decent kit. Depending on what the lfs tells you on your water, I think you'll be ok to add some snails and hermits. The brown algae sounds like diatoms which is normal in new tanks.

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Old 06-20-2005, 08:30 AM   #3
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The master test kit won't be the best for calcium or phosphate testing (if it even includes those) but it should be sufficient for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH (and alk/Kh if it has that).
Always wise to have an 'independent lab' (a.k.a. LFS) do a second test, but as Fluff stated, if you got your hands on cured live rock, you could have plenty of bacteria already, adn a complete nitrogen cycle. To verify this, test for nitrites, and then nitrates. If nitrites are 0 and nitrates are more than 0, try fluff's idea of some snails and hermits. They tend to be more sensitive to ammonia and nitrite, so if you do have some, they'll be your indicator.
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Old 06-20-2005, 11:47 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for all the info!! I will update when I get home from the local fish store and see what they say about my levels with their test kits.
I am going to pick up some snails and hermits. What are the best kind to use? Turbo and regular hermits?
Starting 72 gal FOWLR
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Old 06-22-2005, 01:41 AM   #5
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Update on visit from lfs

I took a sample of water to the lfs and the said they tested my water but I know they never did b/c my sample never left the spot I put it in. The guy tried to tell me that my Nitrite and Nitrates where at the top of the scale and I should wait about a week to add hermit and snails b/c they would just die but if I wanted to it was my money. Sooooo..... since I know they didnt test the water, I took it to one more place and just as I had thought I didnt have any AM or Nitrite and Nitrates. This was the reading that I was getting at home also. The place that I took the water to said they think that my tank is just now starting to cycle in it still going to be a few weeks.

So I guess I wait, wait, wait and wait some more. Isnt that the name of the game?
Starting 72 gal FOWLR
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:57 AM   #6
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Typically when your tank is cycling you will notice that it becomes quite cloudy (foggy'ish I guess) and clears up in 3 or 4 days. This is a pretty clear (pun intended) way to tell when your tank has finished its cycle. 8)
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Old 06-22-2005, 10:35 AM   #7
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The live rock may have prevented the bacteria bloom that Schoeplein mentioned (I freaked when I first saw that happening and panicked again when the diatoms arrived). The Diatoms are also a good sign that your cycle is complete. I'm thinking you're ready to add fish. If you start *very* slowly you should do well. What are your stocking plans?

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Old 06-22-2005, 11:09 AM   #8
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this is what my cycle is looking like so far:
day 1 cured LR and live sand go in along with 1/2 a bottle of phyotplex...... gotta have something rotting in there.
day 3 tank was completely covered in diatom
day 6 added a 3 lb uncured piece of LR.
day 7 16 billion pods everywhere (they still are too)
day 8 entire tank is neon green
day 10 tank clouded up
day 12 tank still green and cloudy.
day 13 only the moon lights were on when I left for work so i don't know

from day 6-current the ammonia has been .25 nitrite has been 0- nitrate has been 0. these are my test and the LFS test.
I never TESTED like I have been cycling, but I think it is very obvious that I have been. So maybe you just have an abundance of denitrifying bacteria already. that stuff can completely colonize hundreds of pounds of liverock in a matter of hours.......

Oh, Did you use agralive sand by any chance? If you did, that's why you aren't testing a cycle. I haven't TESTED like I have been going through a cycle on any of my tanks and all i can guess is that it was that sand.....they do say it cycles fastest LOL. I have set up 5 since september of last year, and they all did the exact same thing got nasty and cloudy and never once tested for nitrite or nitrate the entire time they were cycling.

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cycle, tan

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