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Old 09-12-2008, 06:27 PM   #1
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Newbie -Need help with my cycle- N02-N too hi

Hi gang,
I set up a 37 Fish Only aquarium for my 6 year old the old school way on 8/10, used U/G filter( I know) run in reverse on powerheads. Crushed coral substrate, HOT mag w/ carbon, bio wheel and Nova T-5 Light. 3 damsels went in, lost one 2nd day and continued with 2 tiny damsels for the duration of the cycle up until last week's death, now only one fish. I have been doing tests every 2 to 3 days and it's been 4 weeks and 5 days and my Nitrites have been hi since Aug31 when they hit .4. They have stayed at .4 since. I did add some Prime to detox the nitrates a week ago when I saw signs of stress.
Questions I have:
1)Should I do a PWC at this time or let it ride?
2)Do I need to add another damsil to get the cycle in motion?
3) Is it fine-leave it alone?
4) If I choose to add LR ( I know I should have done this with LR from the start)must I cure it for a few weeks in seperate tank, or can I add 5 pounds per week to the nearly cycled tank straight from the LFS with out harm to the fish and water quality?
Here are my tank readings as of now:
PH- 8.1
Amonia-0
Nitrite-.4
nitrate- not quite 10 ,color matches about half from (clear)0 to 10
SG-1.022
Alkilinity-3 MeQ
temp 79
Note: tank saw spike in amonia to .2 on Aug18 and lasted to the 23rd. Then on the 27th Nitrites started to climb

Thanks in advance, and please don't flame me about the old school way, I just went with what I knew from the 80's due to the fact I was confused about curing LR and all the contridicting information I was getting from fish stores, along with the fact they were trying to sell me 80#'s of LR and $100 worth of live sand addding to the cost.By the time I got some good advise I had already ordered my set-up.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:03 PM   #2
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:09 PM   #3
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How much rock is in it now? IMO that will determine how much uncured rock you may be able to add.

Also, I'm not a big fan of crushed coral either. After time, they seem to harbor an accumulation of nasties that vacuuming can't remove. Nitrates climb and stay up.
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:00 PM   #4
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I don't have any LR in it now, I cycled with fish using only U/G filter with powerheads.

PS: I am aware there is a better way to start a tank, as I have started a small Pico reef tank going that in 2 weeks time with LR is testing fine and ready for corals. Hind sight is always 20/20

what about the nitrites at .4 for this length of time... water change or leave it alone? I want to make my tank mate as comfortable as possible with out prolonging this cycle.
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Old 09-13-2008, 01:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyfromlawrenceville View Post

what about the nitrites at .4 for this length of time... water change or leave it alone? I want to make my tank mate as comfortable as possible with out prolonging this cycle.
It's a catch 22... water change would obviously be better for the fish, but will prolong the cycle.

You've started the cycle already, so the fish in there isn't needed anymore. You could take it back and still finish up your cycle without it.
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:44 PM   #6
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I agree with the rest, especially Kurt. Just add a pinch of food about once a week to finish out the cycle.
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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OK ,Thanks, I might pull the green chromis out and put him in my hospital tank for a week until the nitrites come down. If my daughter had not named him and drew a poster with her fish "bubbles" on it I would take "bubbles" back to the store. Not an easy sell to a 6 year old... but better than another buriel service
Thanks all.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:59 AM   #8
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I take it the QT tank is also not set up and cycled at this point. That means the QT tank will require a couple of water changes every day until it cycles too!
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:46 PM   #9
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That is correct, however I can monitor amonia , feed carefully , and easily do a 50% PWC every few days if necessary.
However my tanks nitrite has come down from .4 to .3, so maybe I have made it o the other side.I did add some more prime to the tank to de-toxify it last night.

I now know why my experience back in 1988 with my first SW tank seemed so easy, my wife reminded me that she took some gravel from tanks at the fish store managed, and bio balls from their system to start our tank( 135 gal... first tank ) at home. That would explain why I don't remember any casulities , cause there weren't any. Live and learn I guess, I have since started a Pico 3 gal for my office with LR and it's doing great, I just remembered my past experience as something different than it was, that was 20 years ago, I'm getting old so my memory isn't so good.
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3 gal Pico mini reef.( for me)
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:10 AM   #10
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The thing with adding the Prime is that even as it detoxifies the ammonia and nitrites, you'll still get readings for it. Not sure of the chemistry behind it, but I think you'll find that noted somewhere deep within the FAQs on the Seachem website.

[Edit: Found the info on Seachem's site... http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Prime_faq.html ]
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