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Old 05-03-2010, 06:32 PM   #21
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Bought a API saltwater master test kit today. Along with some cycle, one of those mag-floats and Phosguard to help eliminate the silicates in my tank. Hoping to post some test results tomorrow !!
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by milhous3er View Post
Kurt, He gave me a murky/sandy bag of water that came out of his sump that he uses for the tanks.
Most of the beneficial bacteria is living on the rocks, sand, and glass, and not in the water itself. There is no such thing as "cycled water".

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I was just going to add a couple hermit crabs. Would that be a ammonia source ??
No... by ammonia source I meant something that would rot and create ammonia. Most common suggestion here is to use a raw shrimp from the grocery store. You can also use fish food.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:02 AM   #23
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Test Results

Kurt, its hard to explain what he gave to me in that bag. It had alot of particles/debris floating in it. It wasn't substrate (or enough of it collected for me to see it) but it didn't look like plain water either. I was thinking of doing the fish food method to start my cycling.

Since I didn't have an ammonia source I guess my test results are null and void. Well here they are if it matters...

PH- 8.0
Ammonia- 0ppm
Nitrite- 0 ppm
Nitrate- 10ppm (right around that 5-10 ppm color)

Salinity from a hydrometer- 1.022
Temp- 79-80
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:36 PM   #24
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Picked up a sea-clone protein skimmer today !! Pretty excited to get it in my tank !! Can I remove my hang on filter now that I have a protein skimmer ??
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:43 PM   #25
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Hmmm. Sounds like an interesting bag of "stuff" you got. The fact that you have nitrates at this point give you three possibilities...

1. The nitrates are the end-product of your cycle
2. The nitrates were in your source water to start with
3. The nitrates came in with the bag of mystery stuff from the LFS

Just to be safe and know where you're at, if it was me, I'd throw an ammonia source in there and look for either ammonia/nitrites or an increase in nitrates. If you see ammonia/nitrites, then you aren't fully cycled yet. An increase in nitrates (assuming it isn't coming in from top-off water, etc) would imply the tank is cycled.

Regarding the hang-on-back filter... a protein skimmer and a HOB filter serve two totally different functions. One doesn't replace the other. A skimmer removes dissolved organics from the water before they can break down into nitrates. A HOB filter mechanically removes the big chunks, and can also be used as a place to put chemical filtration products like carbon, synthetic resins, etc. Many folks don't run any type of HOB filters on their tanks, but it all depends on how you use it.
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:47 PM   #26
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I've been using the HOB filter pretty much as flow in my tank. I did put the phosguard bag into one of the holding chambers in the filter. So I can just drop some flake food in the tank and check on it later on in the week ??


That mystery bag was very exciting to pour into a tank. When the owner of the LFS tells me my tank has been professionally cycled and will act like a 2 year old cycled tank, I was ear to ear grinning !!
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:49 PM   #27
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I'd check on it daily, but that's just me.
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:51 PM   #28
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Ok !!! Thanks for all your help !! Hopefully I'll have some results here soon. I don't mind waiting...

I did notice some apistasia on one of my rocks though, and a small snail was on the glass last night. He must have been a hitchiker !!
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:49 PM   #29
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Congrats.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:32 PM   #30
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Scratch the Seaclone 100 skimmer because it didn't come with all the parts (air valve was missing) and got the Coralife super skimmer 65. Drove about 25 minutes to find another store that had more skimmers to choose from. They seemed pretty sold on the quality of this skimmer and preferred it over the Seaclone.
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