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Old 09-05-2005, 08:34 PM   #1
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Questions on cycling with live rock...

First, the basics:

29 gallon tank, no sump.
30 pounds of Caribe Sea (sp?) aragonite substrate.
35-40 pounds of base rock.
25 pounds of Solomon Islands live rock. Doesn't smell at all.
2 Maxi-Jet 1200 power heads.
Small HOB filter for mechanical filtration.

Set up the tank with water/salt only 6 days ago, let it circulate.
Bought the live rock 2 days ago (Saturday), and added the aragonite, base rock, and LR then.

Water parameters on Sunday, and today:
PH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20 to 40 (hard to read the test)
Salinity: 1.021

I've seen a couple of small 'creatures' crawling on the LR so far, looks like a tiny crab-like thing, and a tiny shrimp-like thing.

So, some questions:

A) When can I expect ammonia to start appearing? Of course, I'm assuming that this rock isn't already cycled, the guy at the fish store said maybe in 3 weeks. I'm wondering if I should add a dead shrimp.

B) Should I do water changes while it cycles, or just 'let it run'?

C) The PH should be around 8.2, right? Mine is too low, how can I raise it? Simple baking soda?

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-06-2005, 07:35 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Posts: 3,294
If there is nothing to feed the cycle then you won't have one. it sounds like you had no die off on the LR. But having high levels of Nitrate already after only a few days is strange. Are you using tap wate? have you tested your tap water for nitrates?
You may want to add a shrimp to get things started. If after adding the shrimp you still do not get any ammonia then I would say the LR you got has plenty of bacteria on it.
I would not worry about the pH right now, after doing a water change or 2 it may fix itself.
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cycling, live, live rock, rock

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