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Old 04-17-2007, 11:51 AM   #31
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The ammonia will be converted to nitrIte and then to nitrAte. The end result of not having ammonia and nitrItes and low nitrAtes is a good thing. The ammonia provided the start of the cycle and would eventually decline, to 0, once the nitrItes started to consume it and then the nitrAtes comsume the nitrItes. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:55 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by surjer
I have another question.. Sorry

I took out the the shrimp so I am curious what will keep my cycle going? If I wait to add fish for a while will my cycle die with no life in the tank to provide the amonia?...
You are correct that eventually, your tank will need another ammonia source. But for now, all you needed was an initial "innoculation" of ammonia. That ammonia then will allow the bacteria to grow that convert ammonia to nitrites. THEN, the presense of the nitrites will allow another type of bacteria to grow that convert nitrites to nitrates. The first bacteria that "eats" the ammonia is still alive and well while the second bacteria gets going. By the time your ammonia AND nitrites are at zero, you have the correct beneficial bacteria in your tank to keep it healthy.

At this point - after you ammonia and nitrites have peaked, and when you have both zero ammonia and nitrites - you'll just have nitates. Those you can only get rid of via water changes. Do a couple 25-30% water changes and then you're ready for a fish. That fish will create enough ammonia to keep you bacteria happy.

If you don't add a fish right away - say within a week - then you will need to "feed" your tank to keep an ammonia source present. You can either use flake or frozen fish food, but just put a little in - you don't need a lot. Maybe just a flake or two.
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:31 PM   #33
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OK - I am going to pick up some buckets to pre-mix some salt water for the water changes. I Will also pick up another ph to cirulate the water. (Maybe I can just use an old fw filter withought the media in it to cirulate the water...

Anyways - Tonight will add More Live Rock and mix up the sw for the pwc.

Another ? I have is can I just use Distilled water for my top offs? I am thinking Tap water for the saltwater mix I make for changes but distilled for the top off's...

I also need to figure out what to feed the tank. I have read variety is best but I have to read that thread a few more times. (Its a bit confusing to read the 1st couple times) lol
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:33 PM   #34
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Kurt brought up a good point, that I forgot to mention. Once there is a fish in there, that will provide the new ammonia source the feeds the bacteria.
Personally, I use RO/DI water for mixing and top offs. You can use your method. II would test your tap for ammonia, nitrItes and nitrAtes, and phosphates. That will tell you if you need distilled or not.
Feeding will depend on your critter's needs.
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:41 PM   #35
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To test the tap water should I mix up a batch of SW in the bucket and cirulate it for a couple of days before testing or can I test the water straight out of the tap? I ask because my Masters Test kit says its for SW only...
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:44 PM   #36
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New Tank started by a n00b

I thought the API was FW and SW? I would test out of the tap. I wouldn't worry about testing the pH.
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:20 PM   #37
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A couple things...

Quote:
Anyways - Tonight will add More Live Rock and mix up the sw for the pwc.
Whoa... I'd hold off on mixing up the SW for the water change. According to the water parameters you posted yesterday, you still have measurable ammonia AND nitrites... and fairly good quantities of it. I'm guessing your nitrites haven't even peaked yet. Not sure when you started the cycle, but I'd say you have at least two weeks until your cycle is done. Doing a PWC while you're cycling will take away the ammonia and nitrites that those bacteria need at this point. No PWCs until the cycle is complete - unless your ammonia goes sky high, but that doesn't seem to be a problem.

Also... if you're adding uncured live rock and there's any die off from the rock, this will again boost your ammonia levels. Just be aware of that as you're adding rock and checking your parameters. If that happens, it just means your cycle will last a little longer. But if you're going to add more rock, I think it's best to do it now rather than wait.

Quote:
To test the tap water should I mix up a batch of SW in the bucket and cirulate it for a couple of days before testing or can I test the water straight out of the tap? I ask because my Masters Test kit says its for SW only...
Assuming it's the API test, as roka64 mentioned the ammonia/nitrate tests are good for both SW and FW. The only difference is a slight variation in the colors at some of the levels. I believe the "Saltwater Master Kit" only comes with the SW color cards - so they kind of mess you up for using it on freshwater. Buy the tests individually, and you get both FW and SW color cards. Go figure. BUT ANYWAY... you don't need the FW cards because you're looking for ZERO levels for both ammonia and nitrates and the colors at the low end are pretty much the same for both FW and SW.

So... test the water straight out of the tap. Just be aware that there can be other nasties in the water too. Phosphates are often in there, and will cause issues with algae. Depending on your plumbing system, you could have minute amounts of copper which over time could accumulate. (I know some salt mixes have stuff in them to "knock out" the heavy metals, but I don't know if they all do.) In addition, even if your tap water tests OK right now, it doesn't mean it's going to stay that way 6 months from now. I learned that one the hard way. I'm not saying you have to use RO water or buy distilled water, I'm just saying you should be aware that your original water quality will dramatically impact the health of your tank and that you should know up front what all you could be putting in your tank.

And regarding feeding, to expand on Roka's point, once you settle on a stocking list, that will determine what you feed. Some fish only want meat, some only what veggies, some want both. It all depends on the fish you plan to keep. Now is a good time to think about what you want to keep - and research to make sure that your inhabitants can get along with each other.
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:31 PM   #38
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I may have been confusing. (I would rather BUY the distilled water just for the warm fuzzy feelings of knowing I am putting in good water for top offs. Its only a 20 gallon tank so its not going to be alot of $$ to keep up with it. We keep distilled water around the house anyways.

I didnt know if the distilled water would have all the stuff in it that you want to put back into your tank. I heard somewhere you do PWC's for a couple reasons.

A.) To get rid of Nitrates
B.) To put back in trace elements

Kurt - thanks for the heads up on the PWC. I didnt know what kind of schedule this should occur at. I will not change the water untill the cycle is complete. At what schedule should I do this at once the cycle IS complete? I really really do not want algea issues. my last fw tank was horrid for this nasty brown algea that I just bleached my rocks every month to get rid of it..

I do understand that the LR will have die off that will create more amonia but I am hoping it wont spike too high as to kill everything off?
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:21 PM   #39
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Oh... from your comments I thought you were going to use distilled for top offs, but tap water for your PWCs. That was the only reason I mentioned testing your tap water and knowing what was in it.

Quote:
I didnt know if the distilled water would have all the stuff in it that you want to put back into your tank.
Distilled or RO/DI water has nothing in it... and that's the point. You get the "good stuff" like calcium and trace elements from the salt mix itself - not the water. The whole idea of using "pure" water to start with is that it makes your salt water consistant from batch to batch, and that you're not introducing something in your tank that snuck into your water system unknowingly.

Once your cycle is complete, I'd recommend maybe doing a 25% water change every 2-3 days, until you get your nitrAtes down to where you want them. How many changes that'll take will depend on your final amount of nitrates.

Oh... and shortly after your cycle is done, you will probably get a bloom of diatoms. This will look like a brownish/rust colored dust all over your rocks and sand. Don't worry, it'll go away on it's own. If you get some snails at that point, they'll eat it up and make it go away even quicker.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:23 PM   #40
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Well - I just ordered this...

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...catid=1949&N=0

and now this

http://www.marineandreef.com/shoppro...mmers_rio.html
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