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Old 02-11-2005, 06:19 PM   #1
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New Tank question

Just set up a 54 gal corner aquarium,amiracle maxi reef trickle filter/1 bag Boyds carbon,will run a remora aqua c protein skimmer after tank cycles and thinking about a uv sterilizer. Started tank on 1/10/05 aprox 4 weeks ago.Added 4yellowtails and 1 longnose hawk on 1/14/05 approx 3.5 weeks ago.(added Fritzime bacteria at local pet shops suggestion)Realize typical cycle takes 6 weeks depending on load.Question is should I be doing waterchanges to bring nitrites down(very high now) or let go through natural cycle?Next question is it ok to run diatom filter in this cycling process or do not disturb tank at this time?My first posting seems like cool site thanks in advance for response.Ed
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:16 PM   #2
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Hi Ed...Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!
If you have livestock in the tank, I would suggest doing water changes to keep ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels down. It is an outdated practice to cycle using fish. Water changes will make things easier on them but it will also prolong your cycle. Adding five fish at once to a very new tank is ussually not a good idea, especially if it has not cycled. I know it hard to stare at an emptytank but you need to develope a good biological filter in the tank before you add to the bioload. If not, you will just be playing "catch up" for a long time. It just makes things harder on you. I would skip on the UV for now, spend the money on more LR. Great call on the skimmer. If you choose to keep the livestock in the tank for the remainder of the cycle I would go ahead and hook it up now. Can you post a current list of water parameters? Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, Ph, SG, temp. Good luck and keep stopping by here...Lando
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:30 PM   #3
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New Tank question

Thanks for the response Lando! temp78 /pH 8.2/Sal,1.023/am-0/Nitrite 10+/Nitrate .2 From what I hear I should start the protein skimmer which the LPS said to wait till after cycle.I should add live rock?, which I have none.Will adding live rock at this stage mess everything up? The ammonia has already peaked and crashed.Ill have to look into live rock dont know where to buy ?what type? or how much ?Dont know if I have enough room?

Things have changed my last tank was back in early 90"s we sacrifised fish for the "break in",I wanted to only put 4 yellowtails but pet shop insisted fritszime would save fish so I gambled and purchased a $30 longnose hawk.So far all is ok.

I was tempted to clean loose debre with diatom filter but didnt know if this would only stir things up and cause problems?
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:44 PM   #4
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New Tank question

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Old 02-11-2005, 08:55 PM   #5
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Wow, a $30.00 fish in a new tank... I am in the minority here as I use damsels to cycle a tank (Never lost a damsel to tank break in). I would wait awhile before adding anything more to the tank (especially live rock unless you know it is fully cured) as it can really spike the ammonia on a new tank. You can add some live rock a little at a time imho after 4-6 weeks. But mind you the live rock can house some nasty things too. Good luck...
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:59 PM   #6
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Good info, thanks. With a nitrite of 10 is would say yank the fish ASAP. Time to let your tank cycle properly. Take the fish back to the LFS and get some LR. Adding now will not really hurt anything and it can help the tank cycle. Check out the "Articles" section at the top of the page for good info on doing a fishless cycle. When I reentered this hobby a couple of years ago after six year break I was amazed at all of the changes. Looks like you are also experiencing n algea bloom. Noramal part of the cycling process and it will die out shortly. Good luck in getting through this cycle, you are on the right track just need some better direction...Lando
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:43 PM   #7
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definitely return the fish, and cycle the tank properly (meaning, without fish).

Using live rock which hasn't been fully cured is a great way to cycle a new tank. the die off on the rock creates the ammonia, which starts the cycling process.

No need to start the skimmer until the cycle is complete.
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:53 PM   #8
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No need to start the skimmer until the cycle is complete
I agree with that, unless you decide to keep the fish (which I hope you do not). If you do, they can use all of the help they can get.
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:38 PM   #9
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New Tank question

OK guys .now I am totally, totally lost! Ive been reading frantically for the past hour as much as I can about live rock.It is encrusted with all types of "goodies" that will get trashed through the cycling process I assume?These are all sensitive creatures that will probably not make it..but the rock itself contains "friendly "bacteria that will help the cycling process and later maintain water quality.What is live rock ultimately used for 1)breaking a tank in and later adding to with coarls,zoos ect or 2)waiting till the tank has cycled then adding live rock&its goodies?????????????From a cost point of view if I remove the 4 yellowtail @3.99 and hawk@40 and give them to the pet shop for free Im out about less than $60 it still seems cheaper to let her ride then to purchase 50lbs live rock at $5.5o=$286.Does anyone want to buy a 52 gal corner real cheap? Im only kiding I love this stuff ..you guys are great please help me out .For me the process of learning is the fun part and you guys are provoking that .I guess im not totally understanding the concept of live rock and what its used for??
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:04 PM   #10
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Okay, here is the skinny on LR. LR's primary benefit in an aquarium is to provide biological filtration. The LR surface is a great enviornment for benifical bacteria to grow, this bacteria is what actually does the biological filtering. Some LR (depending on where you get) also comes with visiable life on it. Things like sponges, algeas, corals and etc. It may also be harboring common hitch hikers like crabs, stars and shrimp. When you get LR home, it will either be cured or uncured. Cured LR is ready to go right in the tank. It has a lot of life and bacteria on it. Uncured LR is generally LR that has undergone a long shipping time (two to three day). Because of this time out of the water it will have significant die-off on the rock. When starting a new tank puting in uncured or pre cured LR will help jump start the cycle. The ammonia produced by the decaying die-off is what will start the cycle. You can also use cured LR to start a tank. However, high ammonia and nitrite levels produced by the cycle can kill some of the visable life on the rock. In order to preserve this life, you may end up doing water changes to keep levels down. It will help save some of the life on the rock but it will likely increase your cycle time.
HTH...Lando
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