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Old 11-12-2004, 12:59 PM   #1
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Not understanding cycle process

Week 1
Set up tank on day 1 with live sand and saltwater purchased from LFS. Tested water daily and noted ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate at 0. Ph was around 8.2

Week 2
Added 10lbs cured live rock and 2 damsels(I read about cycling without live fish after I had done this so please don't chastise me). Tested water daily and noted ammonia at 0, nitrate at 0, nitrate went from 0 to 5 at the end of the week, and PH dropped to 8.0.

Week 3
Added 10lbs cured live rock. Tested water daily and noted no trace of ammonia, nitrite still at 0, nitrate still at 5, PH dropped to 7.8

Week 4
Tested water daily and noted ammonia at 0, nitrite at 0, nitrate rose from 5 to 10 at the end of the week, and PH at 7.8. I lost both damsels at the end of this week. They looked as though they were breathing very hard for 1 1/2 day before they died.

This Week
Did a 40 percent water change on Monday. Tested water daily and noted ammonia at 0, nitrite at 0, nitrate dropped to 5 with water change but has crept back up to 10, and PH at 8.2

I have never seen the ammonia or nitrite go above 0 in my tank but the nitrate climbed to 10. Why is the nitrate at 10 but I have never seen any presence of nitrite. When will my tank cycle?
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Old 11-12-2004, 01:36 PM   #2
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What test kit are you using? Try taking a water sample to LFS and see what they get for readings. Damsels are very hardy fish, that's why they are used in cycling. Still weird you had no Amonia spike. Now that the fish are gone, just throw in a raw
shrimp and let it go. Unfortunately the 40% water change will add some more time to cycle. Just top off to keep water levels the same and be patient.
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Old 11-12-2004, 01:47 PM   #3
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See this article on this site:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=15

Cheers Shelton.
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30gal tank, 20kgs Fiji + 4kgs Madagascan LR, bare bottom, 2 x Maxijets 900, AquaC Remora skimmer, 10W D&D UV using a spraybar on surface for return,Maxijet 600 + spraybar behind LR, Ecco 2234 running RowaPhos/GAC, 150w visitherm.
Custom Built lid; 2 x T5 megatwin (4x39W Aquablue+); 4 moonlights.

IKS with temp & PH probes, controlling lights,heat & cooling fans.


Percula Clown; Banggai Cardinal; Firefish; Mandarin
2 Cleaner Shrimps; 3 Peppermint Shrimps; 1 Blood Shrimp
1 Large Feather Duster; 1 Hard Tube Coco Worm; Yellow Cucumber.
6 Red Legged Hermits; 1 Green Emerald Crab; 16 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermits; 3 Zebra Hermits; 3 Popsock Hermits
22 Turbo/Astrae Snails; 20 IO Snails
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:06 PM   #4
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I'm pretty new at this too but I think what happened was since you used cured live rock you had enough of the nitrifying bacteria to handle the bio-load that you added. So basically any ammonia was converted immediately to nitrate. I think of cycling as the culturing of enough bacteria to handle current bio-load. If you already start with the bacteria then you are immediately "cycled". I think this is called cycling with LR.

I think one of your problems may have been not performing any water changes for the 4 weeks?...looks like that was effecting your PH.

That is of course assuming your test-kit is working correctly

Like I said I'm new too so take this for what its worth.

-Ron
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:15 PM   #5
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My tank cycled quickly (10days) but i did add 20kgs of cured lr all in one go & a couple of fresh dead prawns, I still saw ammonia for 2 or 3 days, then nitrite & finally nitrate.....

I would follow the above "fishless" cycle & see what happens testing once a day from about day 2 or 3

Don't worry about the PH whilst cycling as it will be all over the place.
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30gal tank, 20kgs Fiji + 4kgs Madagascan LR, bare bottom, 2 x Maxijets 900, AquaC Remora skimmer, 10W D&D UV using a spraybar on surface for return,Maxijet 600 + spraybar behind LR, Ecco 2234 running RowaPhos/GAC, 150w visitherm.
Custom Built lid; 2 x T5 megatwin (4x39W Aquablue+); 4 moonlights.

IKS with temp & PH probes, controlling lights,heat & cooling fans.


Percula Clown; Banggai Cardinal; Firefish; Mandarin
2 Cleaner Shrimps; 3 Peppermint Shrimps; 1 Blood Shrimp
1 Large Feather Duster; 1 Hard Tube Coco Worm; Yellow Cucumber.
6 Red Legged Hermits; 1 Green Emerald Crab; 16 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermits; 3 Zebra Hermits; 3 Popsock Hermits
22 Turbo/Astrae Snails; 20 IO Snails
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:50 PM   #6
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Do you not change water during a fishless cycle? Maybe that is why it took me so long to set up mine.
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Old 11-13-2004, 06:11 AM   #7
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Nope, you leave it alone whilst its on going as the good bacteria etc has to build up, just top up with fresh RO for evap if you get it, you don't evenneed the lights on whilst cycling....

Cheers Shelton.
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30gal tank, 20kgs Fiji + 4kgs Madagascan LR, bare bottom, 2 x Maxijets 900, AquaC Remora skimmer, 10W D&D UV using a spraybar on surface for return,Maxijet 600 + spraybar behind LR, Ecco 2234 running RowaPhos/GAC, 150w visitherm.
Custom Built lid; 2 x T5 megatwin (4x39W Aquablue+); 4 moonlights.

IKS with temp & PH probes, controlling lights,heat & cooling fans.


Percula Clown; Banggai Cardinal; Firefish; Mandarin
2 Cleaner Shrimps; 3 Peppermint Shrimps; 1 Blood Shrimp
1 Large Feather Duster; 1 Hard Tube Coco Worm; Yellow Cucumber.
6 Red Legged Hermits; 1 Green Emerald Crab; 16 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermits; 3 Zebra Hermits; 3 Popsock Hermits
22 Turbo/Astrae Snails; 20 IO Snails
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Old 11-13-2004, 01:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
So basically any ammonia was converted immediately to nitrate
Still should have seen nitrites though
Quote:
you don't evenneed the lights on whilst cycling
Correct, this will help keep the brown algae down a bit.
Quote:
I'm pretty new at this too but I think what happened was since you used cured live rock you had enough of the nitrifying bacteria to handle the bio-load that you added
As noted, where did you get your LR, most of the LR from a LFS isn't totaly cured, so you would still have a bit of die off.
Quote:
you leave it alone whilst its on going as the good bacteria etc has to build up, just top up with fresh RO for evap if you get it
exactly what I had said earlier, just let it go and things should be fine. Good Luck
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Old 11-13-2004, 02:22 PM   #9
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I would say test kit was crap!
Has to be a reason why the fish died and it would not be because of 10 15 PPM Nitrate. Although, I do agree with above, you need to be confident with your test kit to make sure you can deal with a spike in Ammonia or Nitrite etc!
Just my 2 cents
<ost test kits that I have encountered have expiry dates
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