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Old 11-26-2011, 11:29 AM   #1
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New to Saltwater

I have recently converted one of my freshwater tanks into saltwater and have a few ?'s on the cycle. Went through the cycling process 3 times at home and helped out 2 friends with freshwater. Although not a pro by any means I feel comfortable and kinda knew what to expect with ammonia, nitrate, and nitrates. I apparently was wrong.

I have a 29g tank, 45lbs of base rock, 15lbs of live rock, 20lbs of live sand. I am using a coralife venturi type protein skimmer and a whisper 30 hang on filter. With 1 Green Chromis in the aquarium.

Now the? The cycle started off as expected rise in ammonia then nitrite but I am still waiting on nitrates. It has been running a month now and parameters are:
Ammonia. <0.25ppm
Nitrite. < 4ppm
Nitrates 10ppm
These numbers have been consistent for 2 weeks with 2 water changes each about 20% w/ro water.

Is the cycle complete? If so why is the ammonia and nitrite #'s so steady. What can I do or expect?

Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:05 PM   #2
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I would try to add a bit more ammonia to the tank ( more food, whatever you used to start the cycle).. it seems its stuck, probably doesnt have enough Ammonia for the tank to completely cycle. The water changes remove whats remaining of the ammonia and slow down the cycle. The fact that you still have ammonia and nitrate means its not finished yet.

It could be that you may have added too much too, at once and it was more than what the current bioload ( ammount of good bacteria) could keep up with. At least the numbers are not high. Since you DO have a live fish, I would recommend doing lots of small water changes rather than one or two large ones.. this should help with the stress of the fish, and not take so much ammonia out that it slows down the cycle.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:23 PM   #3
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Thanks!
The large water changes was mainly to replace treated tap water with ro water. Probably got ahead of my self with that. I have also stopped running my skimmer hoping to increase the bio load a little.

Not really enthusiastic about using a fish in the cycle but the guy at the lfs convinced me. He actually sent me to a big chain pet store to buy the Chromis because it was on sale.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:00 AM   #4
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You could always return the fish. Itll probably die.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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I am not color blind but maybe "shade" blind. I had my wife look at my test samples and she had a complete different reading than I had of the results. So I have had my water tested by 2 different stores one of them 3 times by 3 different people and all of the readings were great. The green Chromis colors are vibrant and it is really active. Bought 2 O. Clowns and they are in quarantine now. Either way the tank should be ready in 3 weeks. My 4x24w T5 w/lunar leds came in and wow I have whole different tank.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:26 PM   #6
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So what are your parameters now? Just curious and dont go crazy with fish. 1-2 every 3-4 weeks. Just so you dont crash your tank. What does your filtrations system look like?
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:56 AM   #7
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Parameters:
Ammonia. 0
Nitrite. <0.5ppm
Nitrates. <10ppm
Ph 8.4
Sal. 1.024
Temp. 80f
I have the 2 really small clowns in quarantine. I figured they could go in the tank around Christmas and then maybe 1 more small fish still undecided on species. Trying to be slow and steady at it but it is kinda difficult with a 5 year old wanting to put Nemo in.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:40 AM   #8
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Personally I won't add both clowns at the same time add on and wait a few days and then add the other you need to let your bacteria catch up after each addition in a small tank.

Do you have any power heads in your tank for extra water circulation?
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:03 PM   #9
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Your nitrites are still high and are you wanting to run coral ever? Or just FOWLR?

+1 on adding a powerhead for circulation. You want enough circulation that there's no dead spots in your rock work.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:49 PM   #10
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I have a 500gph circulation pump and a powerhead somewhere around 300gph. I run the circulation pump all the time and the powerhead for 15 minutes 4 times times throughout the day. Don't like the intake for the powerhead it is really strong. Could by a filter for it to protect the possible inhabitants but it is about half the cost of a circulation pump.

I am currently reading 0's for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates ph 8.4 and alkanity around 300. Saline 1.024

But now I have a diatom outbreak which I going to say is probably from using tap water originally. My toilet and tubs are reddish now happens about 6the times a year. But I refill and when I mix my water for exchanges I use filtered water. The water is a $1.50 for five gallons and it goes through the following process: carbon filtered, uv light, micron filter, r/o filtered, and uv again. It would be really expensive for me to install but I wish I would have thought about in the becoming.
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