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Old 05-22-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
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Slow Cycle?

I've just recently purchased a new kit of testers (drops, not strips) to double check my progress. I feel like my tank is taking a looooong time to cycle. It has been set up for at least one month. Last night I tested my nitrites and they were at the color just above zero (at work so I can't remember the numbers). This is a 15 gallon tank, 11lbs of cured live rock, 2-3 inches of sand (regular, not "live"). Filtered Fluval 105 and I've been running 32 watts of light over it while I wait to figure out how to raise my lighting (will be 64 watts). The lights have been on an increasing schedule starting with 3 hour a day and now close to 5 hours a day over the last few weeks. Nothing except three little specs of algae have grown on the tank walls (and by specs, I mean pin size and I just found them two days ago).

Now, I have been overly cautious and the water has been topped off or had 5% change every day, or every other day. Right now it has been three days since my last real maintenance. I am hoping to pick up another 7 - 10 lbs of cured live rock today, maybe this weekend.

Am I being impatient and my tank is on track or am I not doing something correctly? I keep expecting an algae bloom and or the dreaded red slime because I've been told this is just what happens.

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:24 PM   #2
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What are you using to cycle the tank? What's the ammonia source?

If you're using cured live rock, there probably isn't much die off to fuel a cycle. The tank has to have an ammonia source (cocktail shrimp, fish food, etc) for you to see a cycle.

Also... doing PWCs during a cycle will just prolong it. Unless you have critters in there you're trying to keep alive, I'd just stop with the PWCs.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:39 PM   #3
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I agree the PWC`s are just prolonging the cycle. I would not do them and just do a good sized one at the end.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:08 AM   #4
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Well, last night I added the remainder of my rock (totaling 17-20lbs, I lost track) threw in a dead shrimp to try and entice the crab out so I can put him in his new home and this morning the nitrites were up to 1.0 . So cycle has been pushed in to full swing. I did remove the shrimp. The crab picked at it last night, but only from a claw's reach away and never totally leaving his cave which kept me from catching him. He's earned his home for now while there isn't anything else in the tank he can harm. *sigh*
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:24 AM   #5
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When you are ready to catch the crab, you can use the tilted glass trick.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:58 AM   #6
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tried it two nights in a row this past week. He is a smart bugger.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:41 AM   #7
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Do it during the night. If you have it tilted enough you should catch him.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:43 AM   #8
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well, the problem was he didn't even go for the shrimp. It wasn't touched. And the glass was tilted a little more than a 45 degree angle. Again, both times at night. But, I will keep trying a little later.
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