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Old 11-21-2011, 07:31 PM   #1
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Starting Cycle - Help on Testing water

Just filled my new tank last Friday to start cycle. Using live Rock filter box. Do I need to also put dead shrimp in Live Rock box for cycle? What is a good test kit to use for water and how often do I need to test water before putting live things in?
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
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what is a live rock filter box? API makes decent enough ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test kits.
i would wait a couple weeks and then start testing. a cycle could last up to a month or more depending on the amount of ammonia.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:57 AM   #3
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Can't think of any possible reason why you would intentionally add dead shrimp...
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:29 AM   #4
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bighabeeb, people add dead (raw unseasoned) shrimp to start the nitrogen cycle.

api is a very popular and cheap test kit. they work, but certainly not my fav. salifert is nice but spendy.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:21 AM   #5
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what is a live rock filter box? API makes decent enough ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test kits.
i would wait a couple weeks and then start testing. a cycle could last up to a month or more depending on the amount of ammonia.
Just learning so let me try to explain my set-up that was done by installer.

It's a cylinder tank with the overflow box straight down the middle (surrounded by artificial reef form). We put Caribsea live reef sand (argonite) in the tank and salt mix. The pipes go to a filter box in my basement where the water circulates back up to tank. There is a UV (told me not to turn on yet) and a Protein skimmer connected to that box. The box currently has live Fiji rock in it. I read that the live rock was the best way to start the cycle process. Tank has been running since Friday so not sure when/how to test before trying to put something in. Thanks for any help you can offer
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:50 AM   #6
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The box in your basement is called a sump. How much lr was added? Do you have any ammonia source for your bacterial colony?

How big is the tank? With enough live rock you could be done cycling in a few days. Your skimmer shouldnt be on while cycling either.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:15 AM   #7
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The box in your basement is called a sump. How much lr was added? Do you have any ammonia source for your bacterial colony?

How big is the tank? With enough live rock you could be done cycling in a few days. Your skimmer shouldnt be on while cycling either.
My guy said he put in about 100lbs of live rock. Didn't put anything else in the sump box. Is this where the dead shrimp comes in for ammonia source?

My cylinder is about 5.5 ft tall 27" diameter. I think it holds about 150 gallons. Thank for the help
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:42 AM   #8
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It is, as organics beak down the release amonia, raw shrimp just happns to break down easily, is commonly found everywhere and cheap so it makes a good choice. I prefer to dose ammonia from a bottle, but eithr way gets results, dosing is immediate whereas the shrimp needs time to break down.

With 100lbs of lr, youll probably have 0ammonia, 0 nitrites, and nitrates climbing fairly quickly. Get yourself a test kit (if you dont already have one) add an ammonia source and test. If using the shrimp method like 2-3 days after you add, if dosing wait 1 day.

Dosing ammonia can reqire some math because you dont want much more than 5ppm. I have the math in a long forgoten thread and saved on my comp but not handy atm. Ace hardware janitorial seems to be the prefferred stuff. No surfactants perfumes or dyes is what to look for. Adding a tiny bit and testing after youve let it mix is a good option as well.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:51 AM   #9
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bighabeeb, people add dead (raw unseasoned) shrimp to start the nitrogen cycle.

api is a very popular and cheap test kit. they work, but certainly not my fav. salifert is nice but spendy.
No kidding - wow. Learn something new every day!

So this is advantageous because it gets things rolling quicker, correct? I mean, there's no other advantage to it that i missed out on by doing it the old "Get one fish in there and make it poop" way?
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:58 AM   #10
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The main advantage is not subjecting your livestock to poisonous chemicals such as ammonia and to a lesser extent nitrite.
Its called fishless cycling and you will find a ton of info on it if you look.
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