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Old 10-04-2011, 01:05 AM   #1
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Saltwater (fishless) cycling and protein skimmer question

Hi I've got my 46 bowfront up and running and fishless cycle started. I'm starting to see lower ammo and am now getting nitrites too. Right before I tested my water for ammo and nitrite I turned on my protein skimmer for the first time (SWC 120 cone). My question is will the skimmer mess up the cycle by removing stuff that should be turning into trites and then trates or does the skimmer only remove the stuff after it has been turned into trites but before trates.

So kind of what I mean is

Ammonia turns to nitrite then skimmer removes DOC
or
Ammonia then skimmer removes DOC thus bypassing any trites spike and therefore no trates spike.

Basically I don't want to mess up my cycle since it's going so good already. Should I wait to it cycles before using skimmer? The only reason I have it running is I'm off for a couple days so I thought I'd let it try to break in while I'm here to watch it
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:21 AM   #2
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Using the skimmer during your cycle is fine, just like doing water changes is fine.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
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I know traditionally people say that water changes will prolong the cycle, but I've read with water changes during your cycle, you are able to keep a great amount of critters/material on LR by doing smaller water changes during the cycle.

However, I've also read this somewhere, and I quote:

"The ecosystem has to stabilize without much intervention initially, otherwise future problems can occur ("mysterious" livestock deaths, unhappy or dying coral). So, in effect, you may "cheat" the nitrogen cycle and stabilize the tank quicker, but you may also can end up with a tank that has a smaller bacteria population, giving the tank a smaller capacity for managing organics and the resulting byproducts."

I guess it's one opinion on things vs. another. Neither one of these ways has to be the wrong answer.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:45 PM   #4
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Skimmers and water changes during cycling are certainly controversial topics. Perhaps even more so for us newbs.

All the LFS in my area (that I've interfaced) recommended not skimming and not changing water during cycle. Regarding skimming, it's been suggested to wait weeks to months. The forums are full of mixed opinions.

It would be nice to have something definitive (LOL)...

For me, I'd just as soon get all of the hardware build done and behind me. My cycle started 10-days ago, but now just adding an DIY ATO. Realized last night that this would have been lots easier BEFORE adding saltwater insofar as setup and testing - just a lot cleaner on the build side. And, easier on my living room.

Same rationale I was given by the LFS on not skimming is what they say about not doing water changes: 1) nothing to skim at the early stages (before livestock, etc.); 2) better not to remove the protein needed for establishing the ecosystem.

Frankly, same was also advised for not adding the macro/microalgae to the refugium at this stage.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Skimmers and water changes during cycling are certainly controversial topics. Perhaps even more so for us newbs.

All the LFS in my area (that I've interfaced) recommended not skimming and not changing water during cycle. Regarding skimming, it's been suggested to wait weeks to months. The forums are full of mixed opinions.

It would be nice to have something definitive (LOL)...

For me, I'd just as soon get all of the hardware build done and behind me. My cycle started 10-days ago, but now just adding an DIY ATO. Realized last night that this would have been lots easier BEFORE adding saltwater insofar as setup and testing - just a lot cleaner on the build side. And, easier on my living room.

Same rationale I was given by the LFS on not skimming is what they say about not doing water changes: 1) nothing to skim at the early stages (before livestock, etc.); 2) better not to remove the protein needed for establishing the ecosystem.

Frankly, same was also advised for not adding the macro/microalgae to the refugium at this stage.
X2 on the skimming advice. As far as hardware that was a challenge to say the least getting it all together and figuring out what I wanted/needed. I got mine all setup though before getting any water going because I was sick of worrying about it. the last piece I need now is also a ATO system. I'm only losing about 1 1/2 cups of a large drink size cup from a fast food joint a day but am seriously thing about getting the Tunze Osmolator. It's expensive but very accurate it seems and not much to go wrong, or the one with the least that could go wrong I guess. And I don't have a whole lot of places where an ato floats would fit but if I had the magnet mounting option that would open up a couple good spots for me. At first I didn't think I need one but its one less daily thing to do albeit a very quick one and second it will keep the sump return section constant for the protein skimmer in there(it's the only place for it on my setup). Plus it includes the pump and I figure may as well get the best now then buying a cheap one and having problems or fitment issues and up buying the one I want anyway. Still thinking about it. Gonna ask the lfs what there suggestion is. They specialize in saltwater and reef.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunk View Post
X2 on the skimming advice. As far as hardware that was a challenge to say the least getting it all together and figuring out what I wanted/needed. I got mine all setup though before getting any water going because I was sick of worrying about it. the last piece I need now is also a ATO system. I'm only losing about 1 1/2 cups of a large drink size cup from a fast food joint a day but am seriously thing about getting the Tunze Osmolator. It's expensive but very accurate it seems and not much to go wrong, or the one with the least that could go wrong I guess. And I don't have a whole lot of places where an ato floats would fit but if I had the magnet mounting option that would open up a couple good spots for me. At first I didn't think I need one but its one less daily thing to do albeit a very quick one and second it will keep the sump return section constant for the protein skimmer in there(it's the only place for it on my setup). Plus it includes the pump and I figure may as well get the best now then buying a cheap one and having problems or fitment issues and up buying the one I want anyway. Still thinking about it. Gonna ask the lfs what there suggestion is. They specialize in saltwater and reef.
Best suggestion I can make is to double and triple check information and recommendations unless you truly know the source and have seen either their tank and/or photos. The best intentioned well meaning people (myself included) have been known to steer people wrong.

There are lots of experienced reefers/fowlrites (is folwrite a word?) who make themselves a great resource. I think we're all on a learning curve about one thing or another.

I was venting some about some of the LFS advice I've been given but that can also be said about advice and information I've seen or heard elsewhere.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
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Using the skimmer during your cycle is fine, just like doing water changes is fine.
I've now heard this from multiple sources. Based on that and some other research I've gone ahead and purchased a skimmer while only 11 days into my cycle. Knowing what I know now, I'd have done it from day one...the build would have been simpler and faster!
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:11 PM   #8
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