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Old 02-15-2008, 01:41 AM   #21
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I'm still trying to understand the dynamic of the live rock.
Like what? The only dumb question is the one not asked!
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Old 02-15-2008, 02:31 AM   #22
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Like what? The only dumb question is the one not asked!
OK.....it's more like 2 questions.

1. I had what are by my figuring very low Ammonia and Nitrite readings during my rock cycle yet I had tons of die off. I'm fairly concerned as to the return of the algae. Does anyone think I need be concerned?

2. After nitrite was gone and nitrate appeared I did a 50% water change and a week later I have 10ppm of nitrate. Will the rock continue to produce nitrate at this rate? If so I don't see the benefit.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:26 AM   #23
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Without a clean up crew.... hermits, and snails there may be nitrate issues. That's what they do, eat up that waste that creates nitrates IMO. But 10ppm at this point is nothing to worry about. I knw of folks with very successful tanks that the nitrate never gets below 20ppm.

I'd add 3 hermits and maybe 3 wmall to medium snails. Maybe the firefish first, so he can claim his spot before the others come. Then watch the water readings. Add another fish after 2-4 weeks depending on how the water is doing.

And yes, go SLOW. Of course, I found that hard to do when I first got started too, but it is the best advice you can get at this point.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:46 AM   #24
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From an article on LiveAquaria.com...

"The nitrogen cycle is the process of various bacteria breaking down toxic waste into less harmful components. It involves 4 steps:
The first step is the decay of waste products of fish, plants, and invertebrates, along with any dead organisms or uneaten food. As these materials decay, ammonia is produced, which at even low levels will burn the gills of fish and choke off their oxygen supply.
Bacteria called Nitrosomonas consume this ammonia, and in the process, create a chemical byproduct called nitrite. Although nitrite is toxic (preventing blood from carrying oxygen), fish can withstand roughly twice the amount of nitrite in their water compared to ammonia.
Then, other bacteria called Nitrobacter consume the nitrite, and in turn, release a less toxic chemical called nitrate.
Nitrate requires anaerobic conditions to turn it into harmless nitrogen gas. The parameters needed to create this condition are not commonly present in most aquariums. Hence, water changes are necessary to dilute nitrate levels."

LR in sufficent quantities and of the right type (porous) provide the surface area for all three types of bacteria to grow. You probably can not have enough LR for the last stage of the process and where a DSB, macro algea, denitrifyer, and pwc's come into play. The bacterial population will grow and contract in relation to amount of waste in the tank. Less waste than normal and bacteria will start to die, more waste and bacterial population will grow. If the population can not grow fast enough for the increased waste then the water parameters will go askew. First ammonia, then nitirite, then nitrate -- a mini-cycle until the population reaches equilibrium.

The LR is not producing nitrate. It's actually helping to some degree. Nitrate under 40 ppm is acceptable for a FO or FOWLR tank. At nitrates of 10 ppm you can even have mushrooms and other softies. SPS require 0 or near 0 trAtes.

Just take it slow and you'll be fine. You haven't even had your diatom bloom yet
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:45 PM   #25
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Just take it slow and you'll be fine. You haven't even had your diatom bloom yet

Please don't speak of diatoms. I want no part.
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Old 02-15-2008, 02:36 PM   #26
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Diatoms are a normal part of a sw tank. They'll come and drive you crazy, then they're gone. 2-3 weeks maybe.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:59 AM   #27
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I have had 0 nitrates for a long time. I think partially due to my fairly deep sand bed.
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