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Old 07-07-2009, 04:20 AM   #1
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Nitrogen cycle for a 3 gallon

Hi,

I am attempting to set up a 3 gallon tank again for dwarf seahorses.

This tank was set up previously back in January 2009. I got a hold of a nematode and it wiped out the entire herd!

I tore down the entire tank and started all over from scratch. I added the sand to another saltwater tank where nematodes would not affect the inverts or fish. I bleached the entire sponge filtration system and plastic plants in a light 10% bleach solution. I then rinsed all the items until I could not smell the bleach and let it air dry.

I then went to the LFS to get dry sand and a small piece of live rock. I started rebuilding the tank. I added the saltwater and let it run for 1 day. I then added the dry sand and live rock and the sponge filtration system. Two days later I added a saltwater fish that I received from an aquaculture store. It was June 29 when things were up and running.

1) Due to the size of the tank will I have to wait the 4-6 weeks for the tank to cycle or will this be a shorter cycle?

2) Is there anything I can do to speed up the nitrogen cycle or should I let it occur naturally?

Parameters as of today:
Day 8 of the Nitrogen Cycle

Temp 74
pH 8.0
specific gravity 1.019
Ammonia .25
Nitrite Zero
Nitrate Zero
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:12 AM   #2
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any suggestions?

or was my post intentionally overlooked?
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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it's been almost 2 months, did it cycle?
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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nitrogen cycle for a 3 gallon

as a matter of fact it did cycle.

Today, I am now getting ready to do a fishless cycle on a 2 gallon using household ammonia.

I attempted to cycle this same tank earlier this month but I had used some dry purple colored play sand and household ammonia method.

The nitrates are clinging at 160.

I was told last night at the lfs that the colored sands will not cycle period!

So I added some Prime last night and will check parameters today to see if there are any changes.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:43 AM   #5
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BTW, I hope you raised the SG in the tank, 1.019 is low low low
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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Monitoring the cycle on a small tank will be very difficult. Dosing ammonia to an acceptable level as well. I assume you have another sponge filter? Can't speak to the colored sands though sand doesn't 'cycle' anyway. You would be getting a bacteria coat on the sand that would aid in filtration. Is colored an issue, don't know but I'd avoid it anyway. Play sand is fine though.

Nitrates at 160 are off the chart. Are you sure the test kit is not expired or that the test was done correctly?

If you don't mind, what are you planning on keeping in such a small tank(s)?
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:45 AM   #7
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nitrogen cycle for a 3 gallon

for sure it was raised to 1.024
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:51 AM   #8
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nitrogen cycle for a 3 gallon

i will be keeping dwarf seahorses.

on the sand issue--as a back up i purchased black marine sand with the notion that this purple play sand would not be sufficient.

would you suggest using live sand from my pod tank instead of the ammonia method?

yes i do have an extra filter in my pod tank that has been there for some time.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:56 AM   #9
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If you have media from another tank (that you can trust as disease free), that's always the best way to go. Cheap too. The filter is where most of the bacteria are, some sand would not hurt. Nor would all the sand.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainAhab View Post
Monitoring the cycle on a small tank will be very difficult. Dosing ammonia to an acceptable level as well. I assume you have another sponge filter? Can't speak to the colored sands though sand doesn't 'cycle' anyway. You would be getting a bacteria coat on the sand that would aid in filtration. Is colored an issue, don't know but I'd avoid it anyway. Play sand is fine though.

Nitrates at 160 are off the chart. Are you sure the test kit is not expired or that the test was done correctly?

If you don't mind, what are you planning on keeping in such a small tank(s)?
OK, then the SG is good now, but I do agree with the Capt., 160 is an insane number, what test are you using? I do think that 3g is too small for even dwarf seahorses, Im starting a dwarf seahorse tank that is 8g and thats pushing it.
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