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Old 08-05-2013, 10:38 PM   #1
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Question about my cycle.

I am on my mid 3rd week and these are my readings. Is this on the right track.. Almost done?


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I used uncured live rock for my cycle. It gave off this foul smell around the first week. It is a 20g salt tank.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:24 AM   #2
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I'd say you're on track. You'll be done once the ammonia and nitrites hit zero so its looking like you've got a little ways to go. Are you testing your PH levels as well?
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:02 AM   #3
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I'd say you're on track. You'll be done once the ammonia and nitrites hit zero so its looking like you've got a little ways to go. Are you testing your PH levels as well?
Should I be doing anything else water changes or anything Else? 7.8ph. The first week the ammonia spiked. Second week it leveled out. Now I just tested it this morning and it's almost at zero ppm. But the nitrite and nitrates Are still up there. There more so leveling out now They were last week.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:24 AM   #4
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With the ammonia at zero, put a raw cocktail shrimp in old pantyhose and drop it in. That will keep feeding the nitrifying bacteria. Eventually, ammonia and nitrite will zero out and nitrates will climb. When the ammonia and nitrite are zero for a week or two, you're done. Dump the water, add freshly mixed water and you're set.

Don't do any water changes until then. If it gets stinky, run carbon in the tank. Just make sure you have a heater and good flow in there.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:34 PM   #5
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With the ammonia at zero, put a raw cocktail shrimp in old pantyhose and drop it in. That will keep feeding the nitrifying bacteria. Eventually, ammonia and nitrite will zero out and nitrates will climb. When the ammonia and nitrite are zero for a week or two, you're done. Dump the water, add freshly mixed water and you're set.

Don't do any water changes until then. If it gets stinky, run carbon in the tank. Just make sure you have a heater and good flow in there.
I agree 100%, but why dump the water if it reads good? I understand he may be missing a few ppm in alkalinity, calcium, magnesium... But isn't it cheaper to put in a cap of supplements?
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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I'm thinking he meant do a big water change to drop the trates after cycle is complete.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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I agree 100%, but why dump the water if it reads good? I understand he may be missing a few ppm in alkalinity, calcium, magnesium... But isn't it cheaper to put in a cap of supplements?
There can be a lot of dissolved organics in the water, esp if curing rock or using shrimp to cycle. Doing a complete dump will get rid of them.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:14 PM   #8
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You have to change the water to lower the nitrates. I don't think there is a chemical or critter that will lower them. I had to do a major water change 80% or so then a few more smaller ones after that to get my trates down low. I got them at or below 5 but I read that under 20 is ok for adding fish.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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If you cycle a tank without your nitrates going down you don't have any bacteria and means you did something wrong!
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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You have to change the water to lower the nitrates. I don't think there is a chemical or critter that will lower them. I had to do a major water change 80% or so then a few more smaller ones after that to get my trates down low. I got them at or below 5 but I read that under 20 is ok for adding fish.
Your tank is cycled when your water perimeters read good
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