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Old 03-31-2008, 03:58 PM   #1
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QT nitro cycle too easy?

Hello all.

I enjoy reading the posts here and I’ve gotten a lot of good advice. I’ve had saltwater aquariums for nearly 20 years and it’s nice to see so many enjoying the hobby. My first post, so be gentle.

I recently set up and have been working on the biological filtration on a 20 gal QT. In order to cycle it, I filled up my new Eheim pro 3 with the mechanical and biological media and added roughly 6 lbs of rinsed, live rock to the QT for the biological “starter”. I ran the filter for a day to let the temperature stabilize, then added 2 Tomato clowns. I’ve checked ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates from day one and all have been below the resolution of the test kits - essentially zero.

Is it possible that the two clowns do not produce much waste/ammonia so the spike was immeasurable and the nitrates haven’t yet built up?

Mike
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:16 PM   #2
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If you used cured live rock it's possible you won't see a cycle.

How long ago did you add the fish? Seems like it always takes around 5-7 days for ammonia to start showing up on the test kits.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:51 PM   #3
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It will be two weeks tomorrow.
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:19 PM   #4
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I agree with Kurt. How old are your test kits and what kind are they? Do you have a LFS that can test your water, just to make sure?
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Good reading about:
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:25 PM   #5
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I agree with Kurt. How old are your test kits and what kind are they? Do you have a LFS that can test your water, just to make sure?
All three test kits are fresh. Iím not worried at all about the accuracy or validity of the tests, but more the reason(s) for the low readings. I always went with live rock and fish to cycle tanks, always with good results. I purposely added only two small fish initially so as to NOT overload the system - I think this is the key to my success. Iím really just curious to hear various opinions and feedback from people that use live rock and a few fish to cycle a tank versus the many that recommend cycling a tank over a few weeks with a raw shrimp.

Am I simply lucky or is success with live rock and a few fish the norm?

Mike
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:29 AM   #6
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Well, the fishless cycle is more humane since they poor fish don't have to endure the highly toxic stages of ammonia and nitrIte poisoning. Your fish may been lucky if you have added enough LR to to skip the cycle. This would be no different than upgrading to a larger tank with already established beneficial bacteria (at least enough to support the current bioload). I'm not bashing, but the cycle with fish is kind of outdated. It sounds like you got enough cured LR in there to skip your cycle. I would still keep up with the water tests and have some PWC handy.
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