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Old 05-21-2013, 12:20 AM   #1
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New 29G Nano Cube...Live Rock and sand question

Hi all. I'm a long time AA forum visitor and lurker. I've spent the past 2-3 years lurking in the Cichlid section as I have been breeding various species of mbuna for years.

I have recently decided to dabble in marine with a reef tank. And have a few questions regarding cycling live rock...

More specifically cycling with a raw shrimp. I constantly see people suggesting uncooked shrimp as an ammonia source (I have always used pure ammonia to dose the tank.) My question is how much ammonia does a single raw shrimp produce? And for how long?

The reason I ask is that is because a LFS is currently having a special on live rock $2.49/lbs (Fiji Premium) and want to take advantage of the price since I've only ever seen Live Rock as cheap as $3.99/lbs at other local stores. My dilemma is that I will be leaving on a two week vacation starting June 1st and won't be able to monitor the water conditions while I'm away. I contacted the store regarding whether the rock is considered cycled or simply cured and they assured me it is cycled. I also inquired if I could purchase the rock now at the discounted price and have them hold the rock until I returned from my trip (this option being the most ideal in my mind) but wanted to get opinions on whether leaving a shrimp( or several) in the tank during my vacation would also be a viable option if the LFS won't hold the purchased rock.

Anyways, just throwing it out there! Any feedback is appreciated!
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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Is it live cured rock or live dry rock?
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:20 PM   #3
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Live and cured Rock
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #4
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TO be honest, I have cycled three tanks now in the last three months all with a good, cultured live rock and never once saw any spikes, except when I was using very little LR. The key is to use as much as you can and to make sure they are fully cured. If you do that, add some flake food or pellets, you're tank "should" be cycled in a day or two. Other's are going to to tell you to wait, but like I said, I've done this now 3 times since January with no loss of fish from spikes.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:25 PM   #5
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Cycling - Week 2

Recap...So I went ahead and bought the live rock from the LFS at the discounted price. I ended up buying 25lbs of LR and 20lbs of LS.

I wanted to also wanted to provide Cycling update for my tank...

To start I added 4ppm (pure) ammonia that first night after getting home from purchasing the LR and LS, initial water parameters levels were:
4ppm-8ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrites
0ppm Nitrates
PH 8.2
Temp 85

The following morning I tested the water. Levels were:
0ppm Ammonia
.50-1.0ppm Nitrites
5.0-10.ppm Nitrates
PH 8.2
Temp 84.5

I dosed the ammonia back to 4.0ppm and continually test the water parameters 2x a day 6am and 6:30pm. Since the 2nd day of cycling, the tank has been converting 3ppm Ammonia to Nitrites, and slowly Nitrites to Nitrates. I just performed 2 back to back 90% water changes to get the Nitrites and Nitrates back to readable levels...and dosed the Ammonia back to 4ppm. Fingers crossed.

Here are some pics of the tank thus far in the cycle.
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I'm hoping my Nitrites will drop to 0ppm real soon and I'll have completed the Cycle. This is my first Reef tank, and getting more excited by the day.

Is it too much to hope I'll be through the cycle by this weekend?
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