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Old 10-29-2004, 11:15 AM   #1
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new tank, strange cycle

I started a fishless cycle with bare rock and dry sand about 2 weeks ago. I can still see the two medium sized shrimp in the tank, though they're falling apart somewhat

It's 1.025, 75 deg

I've got one of the little stick on "Lil alert mates" which I've been using to keep an eye on the ammonia. It has been in the "green" range since the day after I put the shrimp in

according to the site:
"As little as 0.02 mg/L of free ammonia will produce a greenish hue on the detector surface. This corresponds to a total ammonia (both ionized and free ammonia) of 0.25 mg/L in marine water at pH 8.3. "

I figured I'd have to wait a few weeks, so I haven't been using any real test kits yet.

TODAY, the sensor went yellow, which is the safe range.

Does this mean the ammonia stage in the cycle is done? How can that be if there's still two big chunks of shrimp in the tank?

What should I do now?

is 75 degrees OK?

Should I be testing for pH yet? I have aragonite sand and rock,so I figured it wouldn't be too low, but I'm not sure..
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Old 10-29-2004, 11:25 AM   #2
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I'd recommend better testing equipment. Did the ammonia ever spike? Nitrites?
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Old 10-29-2004, 11:35 AM   #3
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ammonia never went into the blue "toxic" range on the scale.

I do have real test kits, I just thought it would be silly to waste test kits while I already knew what was happening...

Should I just wait for the shrimp to totally disappear, and then start testing for real?
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Old 10-29-2004, 11:47 AM   #4
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Maybe others ould tell you about those test strips vs. "real" tests. I've never used them, so I may be off target with my suggestion. Just seems like you may not have cycled if the ammonia and nitites never spiked IMO.
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Old 10-29-2004, 11:51 AM   #5
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Yeah, I knew it wouldn't be accurate, but you can just leave this thing in the tank and peek at it every now and then.. not a substitute, I know, but there's nothing alive in the tank right now, so I don't need anything fancy.

How can the ammonia be done if there are still chunks of shrimp rotting in the tank?
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Old 10-29-2004, 12:33 PM   #6
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I would give it another week or 2 to be on the safe side. You could bring your water to the LFS and have them test it to see if you get the same readings.

Mike
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Old 10-29-2004, 12:39 PM   #7
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is 75 degrees ok, or should I increase it? will it speed up the cycle?
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Old 10-29-2004, 12:45 PM   #8
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I keep mine at 78 degrees. I'm not sure if it will speed up the cycle, but it is a more consistent temperature in my house. Plus, my lights heat it up a degree or 2 as well.
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