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Old 10-25-2013, 04:33 PM   #1
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New quarentine tank

I just set up a 20 gallon long quarentine tank last week, the live rock from my display that im using to cycle the tank are sprouting algae, my test kits read zero for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, even for phosphate.. Is this bad? Or a natural part of the cycle?
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:46 PM   #2
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With fully cured live rock there is no cycle so it's perfectly reasonable to not show those readings. If you don't have a fish in there for more than 2 weeks be sure to throw a little mysis or food in there to create ammonia to feed the bacteria.
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:57 PM   #3
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But theres algae forming on the rocks, so there must be nitrates or phosphates right?
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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Not necessarily, there is algae on the rock bc it's from the main tank right? Now it's in a new tank with fresh water so I would expect to see exactly what happened. I'm sure after a little while you will start to see nitrates but not having any livestock or food explains why your not seeing nitrates yet. The bacteria converts ammonia into nitrates so until you introduce something that produces ammonia (food or poop) its not going to produce nitrate. You're ready to put a fish in there.
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:31 PM   #5
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Are you using an internal of external filter on the QT? Why are you using live rock to cycle the tank? This could be giving you inaccurate readings and once the live rock is removed its possible your filter will go through a cycle.

Your rock could be growing algae due to an excess in nitrate or phosphate. Even if they aren't detectable one or the other or both could be causing a problem. Algae feeds off nitrate and phosphate and thrives in high levels therefore giving you a zero reading.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Why not cycle a tank with live rock? It enables you to use a brand new tank instantly! It is no different than leaving a sponge filter in the sump to use in a qt or ht when needed. The bacteria colony will move from the rock and colonize on the tank walls, heater, filters an powerheads. Technically there is no "cycle" bc the bacteria o already present. Its The same principle as when you buy live rock to start your tank or seed base rock.

If you later remove the rock the bacti will remain. If you treat with anything in this tank don't put the rock back in the DT.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:58 AM   #7
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I suppose it all depends on how long the live rock will be left in there to seed the filter. If its a considerable amount of time then yes this could work although you'll need some ammonia source like a fish or even a prawn to keep bacteria levels up.

My concern here is that the rock might be removed before the filter has a chance to colonise the bacteria thus sending it into a cycle. The should be removed if medication like copper is being used.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:45 AM   #8
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I agree it takes time and you're right it would need ammonia to stay alive. Personally I would not keep LR in a qt unless it was going to be permanent and I had a separate hospital tank. I would say to the op if you're not in a hurry put the LR in there with a cheap hob filter with just a sponge filter pad for a couple weeks. Put a little piece of food in once a week then move the Rock back to the DT and test the water in qt.

I guess I thought you were in a hurry to get this thing going which is why you put the LR in the first place.
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erichm20 View Post
Why not cycle a tank with live rock? It enables you to use a brand new tank instantly!
Live rock helps to add bacteria, but it is not an instant cycle. I've always looked at it as kick starting the cycle, as it is not starting off from scratch. If you want to know for sure, dose with ammonia (3ppm) and see if it goes down to zero within 24 hrs.
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