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Old 09-07-2004, 04:04 PM   #1
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new tank cycling

I have a new tank finially set up and beginning the cycling process. I have no live rock (planning on adding in the near future) wet/dry filter with protein skimmer, 2 sponge filter media, and bio balls. I have 80lbs of aragonite sand substrate. Measurements are 7.8 Ph, 80*F (will drop this to 79*) 1.022 salinity, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite. My amonia is at 0.8, and I have not added a damsel or raw shrimp yet. Is this normal, can my tank cycle with nothing in it? Do I need to add anything like flakes or anything for the bacteria to populate the sand substrate?

Also, I am planning on adding some live rock in the future (when funds become available), how will this effect my tank? If I have fish / shark in my tank will this create a mini cycle that will greatly effect them? Thanks.

-Bryan
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Old 09-07-2004, 04:17 PM   #2
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The tank can't cycle without a source of ammonia.. the fact that you are reading 0.8 is a little strange since there's nothing in the tank yet, but I suppose the sand could have contained something that contributed. I would add a raw shrimp to get things rolling.. I don't like using flakes for this purpose because of the high phosphates.

If at all possible I think it's always best to get the tank settled before any livestock is introduced.. by that I mean the LR mainly. But it's possible to add it later if cured in a separate container first. Even overnight delivery can be enough to cause significant amounts of die-off on occasion and it's just not worth the risk. Once the tests show no signs of ammonia and nitrite in the curing vessel, you can safely transfer the rock to the main tank.
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Old 09-07-2004, 04:39 PM   #3
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The tank can't cycle without a source of ammonia.. the fact that you are reading 0.8 is a little strange since there's nothing in the tank yet, but I suppose the sand could have contained something that contributed. I would add a raw shrimp to get things rolling.. I don't like using flakes for this purpose because of the high phosphates.
Well, I think the amonia source might have come from the sponge filters in my wet/dry; they were from my previous freshwater tank. My LFS told me this might add some beneficial bacteria to start the cycling process.

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If at all possible I think it's always best to get the tank settled before any livestock is introduced.. by that I mean the LR mainly. But it's possible to add it later if cured in a separate container first. Even overnight delivery can be enough to cause significant amounts of die-off on occasion and it's just not worth the risk. Once the tests show no signs of ammonia and nitrite in the curing vessel, you can safely transfer the rock to the main tank.
That's a good idea, curing it in a seperate container will allow the mini cycle to complete prior to adding it to the tank. You're a genius
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:54 PM   #4
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Yeah, the ammonia reading probably is a result of adding the sponge if it wasn't thoroughly cleaned.. AFAIK the FW bacteria cannot survive in SW.
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Old 09-07-2004, 07:35 PM   #5
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How many gallons?
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My LFS told me this might add some beneficial bacteria to start the cycling process.
Good idea but it is a different bacteria.
As for the rock. I agree with waiting on getting lr, a bit. The problem is that you need more surface for the bacteria to colonize. To accomplish this, I would add some dry base rock. It was $1/lb at my lfs. Let the tank cycle a bit, then add the lr. This will help keep hitchikers alive.
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