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Old 10-23-2013, 01:00 PM   #11
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ok, still leaving light off and with a bit of hemming and hawing i decided to add 4 drops of pure ammonia to my tank last night. Will check ammonia level tonight around 24 hours later and if "high" 4+ then I will only add 2 drops, if still less than 4ppm I will add 4 drops again.
Will begin to "fishless" cycle my SW tank exactly the way I did with my 10 gallon FW. Should take about 3 weeks (give or take a day or two) with no water changes.
Guess my only question is: saltwater also needs a bunch of lil copepods etc for the live rock, is this different than the bacteria I am establishing with the cycle? or are they one and the same?
My sand was CaribSea live pink fuji (dry when I opened it) with some separately envelope of bio magnet stuff that I had to mix and add to the tank. Now CaribSea is supposed to be a top supplier of aquarium supplies so I am really hoping that the sand did in fact have what it should have...
This IS my first saltwater tank and I am not sure what to expect. I have set myself up with a source of RO/DI water for future water changes and will monitor the cycle closely. Is there anything else I need to do aside from regular water testing?
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #12
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ok, still leaving light off and with a bit of hemming and hawing i decided to add 4 drops of pure ammonia to my tank last night. Will check ammonia level tonight around 24 hours later and if "high" 4+ then I will only add 2 drops, if still less than 4ppm I will add 4 drops again.
Will begin to "fishless" cycle my SW tank exactly the way I did with my 10 gallon FW. Should take about 3 weeks (give or take a day or two) with no water changes.
Guess my only question is: saltwater also needs a bunch of lil copepods etc for the live rock, is this different than the bacteria I am establishing with the cycle? or are they one and the same?
My sand was CaribSea live pink fuji (dry when I opened it) with some separately envelope of bio magnet stuff that I had to mix and add to the tank. Now CaribSea is supposed to be a top supplier of aquarium supplies so I am really hoping that the sand did in fact have what it should have...
This IS my first saltwater tank and I am not sure what to expect. I have set myself up with a source of RO/DI water for future water changes and will monitor the cycle closely. Is there anything else I need to do aside from regular water testing?
Copepods are different than the bacteria. They are tiny crustaceans that live in your rock, usually if you look at your tank at night you will see them scurrying around. They are a good natural food source for fish and a sign of a healthy tank. The Caribsea sand is good but idk if I'd consider it alive, it does sit on a shelf for a while and most of the bacteria die. However your live rock will turn it live again soon.
Expect awesomeness! Nope just regular water testing, topping off evaporation with fresh water and rock watching lol. Once your cycle finishes you do a good water change and then you are set.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:33 AM   #13
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YaY! My Salifert test kits came in today and I played with them tonight

temp = 82
salinity = 1.022
pH = 8.6+
ammonia = 1.00
dKh (alk) = 10.2
Phosphate = 0.00

I still don't see any critters in the tank but I have faith they are there, just shy!
Patience, add nothing, test, watch, wait, watch, wait, watch, wait, test
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:44 PM   #14
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journal entry

Today tests:
sg = 1.023 (added salt water on top up trying to get salinity to 1.025)
temp = 80F
ammonia = 1.00 (added 3ml and will check again in a couple of hours)
nitrites = 1.00 (now I know the cycle is gearing up)
I swear my "colored" rocks look more colored today than they did yesterday. I will be eyein my tank with a flashlight again tonight in hopes of glimpsing some critters (but not holding my breath)
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:03 PM   #15
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picture update

some pics of the tank today. Thinking a couple of my rocks are getting more color
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:07 PM   #16
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some pics of the tank today. Thinking a couple of my rocks are getting more color
Looks good! I like the nice caves there are.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #17
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From one newb to another good luck!


Just had a discussion with my boss about small saltwater , cant wait to show him the thread it can be done. I jumped a few replies but fyi, if rodi is hard to come by you can get distilled at target for a great price of 86 cents a gallon. Normally its over a buck and has been a savior for topoffs in my 29g.

Big thumbs up and good luck!
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:40 PM   #18
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RO/DI cost...

Well, I went to our local walmart and they have an RO/DI machine and a 2 gallon jug (refillable) cost me 4.97, first fill was 1.97. ALL 2 gallon refills after are again, 1.97! Thought that wasn't too bad, until I came across a different RO/DI machine right next to our local farmers market stand..... 5 gallons for $2!! YES, it IS RO & DI, I checked
Thanks for the well wishes. I am hoping that this goes really well except NOW I have to spend another $40 + taxes on another 10g starter for a QT but will give me the bare necessities for it so could be worse!
Sometimes I stare at it for an hour in the dark with just a flashlight in hopes of seeing some "live" rock critters but so far (7 days after setup) still haven't seen anything
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:54 PM   #19
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Well, I went to our local walmart and they have an RO/DI machine and a 2 gallon jug (refillable) cost me 4.97, first fill was 1.97. ALL 2 gallon refills after are again, 1.97! Thought that wasn't too bad, until I came across a different RO/DI machine right next to our local farmers market stand..... 5 gallons for $2!! YES, it IS RO & DI, I checked
Thanks for the well wishes. I am hoping that this goes really well except NOW I have to spend another $40 + taxes on another 10g starter for a QT but will give me the bare necessities for it so could be worse!
Sometimes I stare at it for an hour in the dark with just a flashlight in hopes of seeing some "live" rock critters but so far (7 days after setup) still haven't seen anything
Good work with the rodi! It took me a couple of weeks before I started seeing critters popping up, check the sand bed too I usually saw them there first!
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:59 PM   #20
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Ok,
BIG questions:
how much does the pH of the water matter?
Does and/or will it change at all if I am NOT doing water changes during my cycle?
Does it even matter at all while cycling a tank?
I ask all this because I am now paranoid that the constant high (8.8+) might be detrimental to getting live rock/sand critters to thrive, reproduce and populate my tank. All my other water parameters that I have checked seem quite good!
Also, can ANYONE tell me if the color I see on my rocks is actually coralline algae?
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