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Old 08-25-2008, 07:44 AM   #1
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Quick Cycle?

Hi all,

Just a quick query. I'm part way through cycling my system, and have been taking daily readings on the key water parameters. I've added in Nitrobac to get the cycle started, been feeding with Marine Flakes and have been monitoring for a little under 2 weeks.

Whilst I've seen a brief spike in Ammonia to 0.5ppm, Nitrate rose to 10ppm, all readings have been at zero for the past 4 days. I'm just curious as to whether the tank has cycled fully or has not even started yet, as I was expecting a 4 week period? Are marine flakes sufficient to cycle the system thoroughly?

Current readings are:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrate - 0
Nitrite - 0
Ph - 8.0
Specifc Gravity 1.024
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:15 AM   #2
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What is in the tank? Any live rock? You need an ammonia source to start the cycle. How many flakes are you feeding the tank?
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:39 PM   #3
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I've got a considerable amount of live rock, that has (or is) going through the curing process, as it was only partially cured when purchased from my LFS.

The theory goes that the curing process would have started an ammonia spike, and the marine flakes would also break down to allow ammonia to be present. In terms of numbers, I'm not sure I can answer that as they are small, so I'm just adding a large pinch every day.
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:16 PM   #4
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dont add flakes to the water, it just makes a mess of things, if yo have sand in your tank, it will make it look grungy, and if you dont have a protien skimmer that alot of that will make a mess as not all of the food will be filtered by a standard filter.

go to a hardware store and get a small bottle of ammonia, look at in contence, dont get ammonia that contains " surfacants " " fragrance " or anything else, it should just read for ingredients/contains " Ammonia " or " ammonia hydroxide "

i dont know how big your tank is, but for a 20 gallon, just put in no more then a cap full for the first day, wait 24 hours and check for ammonia levels, if there is still ammonia then wait another day, if your tank is cycled the ammonia reading should be zero, and your nitrIte level should be zero,

if you can add 5ml for each 10 gallons of water, minus live rock just total water volume and have the ammonia and nitrite readings reach zero in 12 hours, then your biological filter should be strong on and once complete you can add a few fish of 3-4 inches of fish per gallon of currently existing water.

your biological filter will decrease in size to adjust to a smaller bioload, you can do the same thing to some ceramic rings on another small filter on a one gallon tank and keep cycling that tank, through out the week add some ammonia to it, and when you get a new fish from the store or a new coral or invert, get a few of the ceramic rings out and place them in your filter for your display tank, be sure to never clean these rings. this will give you a small boost in biological bacteria that you need to help accomidate for your new fishes/inverts waste.

for my 20 gallon tank, with each new addition i add a half hand full of these ceramic rings,

if you go to a pet store, look for where they sell filter media, look for the ceramic rings used for a fluval canister filter, these will work just fine.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:05 PM   #5
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Either the LR was fully cured or you did not add enouhg flaked. Get a raw shrimp from the supermarket (cost less than a dime) and add that to the tank. Put it in a mesh bag first to make it easier to remove later. If after a week you are still not seeing any ammonia then I would say your tank is fully cycled. You will most likely see a good jump in ammonia. You can remove the shrimp at that point and let the cycle continue.

It is best to only add 1 or two fish at a time and allow a 3 - 4 week adjustment period before adding additonal fish. Corals and inverts do not really add much to the bioload.
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:48 PM   #6
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Guys,

Great advice. Will try out, and let you know how it goes, thanks very much!

Jason
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:14 PM   #7
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I agree with raw shimp idea. Worked for me and many others.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:43 PM   #8
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I use 1 unseasoned, raw jumbo shrimp per 30G of water. Worked every time.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:49 PM   #9
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ok cool. My tank is approx 211 gallons (800 Litres UK) taking into account LR displacement. I'll pick up 7 raw jumbo shrimp and a mesh bag tomorrow.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:07 PM   #10
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2-3 large shrimp should do. 7 is definitely overkill IMO.
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