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Old 08-10-2011, 01:25 PM   #1
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New to fishless cycling

It has been 20 years since I have had SW tanks. A lot has changed. This is my first attempt at cycling a new tank without live fish for the ammonia supply.

I have a 100 DT with a 30 gallon sump. During this process, I have not been running any lights and have been running my skimmer. I have 80 lbs of base rock and 30 lbs live rock. Live rock was from LFS and had lots of life, heavy coralline, etc. Out of water for about 10-15 minutes for drive home.

The tank was started on 07/25 with all the above. 1.026 salinity, 8.0-8.1 PH, temp 80. I placed an uncooked jumbo shrimp in on that day. I tested about every other day and never saw ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. Using a new API kit. The shrimp decomposed to nothing, only a bit of the tail left.

On 08/04 still no readings. I dosed ammonia direct to the tank to 2ppm. On 08/06 I tested and ammonia was down to .25, no nitrites. On 08/07 all three readings were zero. I then dosed back to 2ppm ammonia. On 08/08 ammonia was down to .25 again, zero nitrites. I tested again today and ammonia, nitrites and nitrates were zero.

Any thoughts? Should I keep repeating the ammonia dosing until I see a nitrite spike? There is a little amount of diatoms at the base of some of the base rock and on the sand, and some of the coralline is spreading to the base rock. I am not in a hurry to have this cycle, I just want to make sure I am doing this right. The soonest I could add fish would be 4-6 weeks from now anyways due to QT time. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:45 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like your cycle is done..I would stop dosing..the LR from your LFS was probably enough to allow you to have a nice short cycle,maybe even avoid one.This is probably why you didn't see any readings after the shrimp decomposed...Glad to see you are going to QT also,,that added time will be more time to let your DT further mature ...I think you could add some snails and or hermits ,maybe some pepps to the tank ..
Take a look into you tank tonight with no lights on it and see if you can see lots of pods and critters ..i bet your LFS LR is loaded with them
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Good thoughts, it must have happened that way. I have found critters on the live rock, some good, some bad. I think I have two gorilla crabs, but they are so small they are hard to ID. Also a few aiptasia that are going to be removed this weekend.

I will get a small CUC, but without fish and feedings will they have enough to eat until there are fish? I have never had a CUC without a bio- load. Do I need to feed pellets once every few days for them?
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:10 PM   #4
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Yeah,,just toss a little something in there for them every few days,,they don't need much ,and probably have enough on the LR ...if you want to get Peppermint shrimp chances are they will eat the aiptasia,,plus they are just fun to watch...They must be peppermints though,not camelbacks,,a lot of LFS's label camelbacks as pepps

Must be fun to be back into it after 20 years,,,enjoy.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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It is great to get back into it. So much new stuff out there. I can control things from my phone via a Reefkeeper and check temp, PH and the like also! It is also a lot more fun because I'm doing it with my nine year old daughter who is really learning and enjoying it. This hobby is great when you can share it with others.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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It is great to get back into it. So much new stuff out there. I can control things from my phone via a Reefkeeper and check temp, PH and the like also! It is also a lot more fun because I'm doing it with my nine year old daughter who is really learning and enjoying it. This hobby is great when you can share it with others.
How do you monitor temp and ph from your phone? I'm VERY interested
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:51 PM   #7
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I have the reefkeeper controller with the NET module. Digital Aquatics makes it. There is an IPhone app for it also. It was a bit tricky set up the networking, but once done it is great. It also sends email alerts. Several of the sponsors here sell them. I will pm you details on how it works.
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