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Old 03-22-2005, 03:17 PM   #1
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Strange Aquarium Cycling Behavior

I have a question which I do not understand.
4 weeks ago, I setup my salt water tank and cycling began.
After almost 2 weeks, ammonia had peaked and dropped to 0 as it should have.
Nitrite then became pegged at >6ppm and stayed there for quite a while and this was normal and expected. I did a water test this last Saturday March 19th and ammonia was still 0, Nitrite at 4ppm and Nitrate at 40ppm. All seemed normal up to this point. I expected Nitrite to drop soon as it had began falling.
Yesterday, March, 22nd, I did another water test to check the progress.
Ammonia was still 0 as expected.
Nitrite had also dropped to 0 as expected after 2 weeks.

What I really expected now was Nitrate to be pegged off the scale.
This was not the case. Nitrate also read 0. I thought at first I made a mistake, so redid the test. Nitrate again read 0.

I thought Nitrate could only be removed through water changes.
I have 60 lbs of LiveRock in the tank. Does Live Rock remove Nitrate?

Can anyone explain how Nitrate can go from 40ppm to 0 in 2 days without water changes and without chemical additives?

Oh. One more note: The water is still quite cloudy even though everything is at 0 now. The water is green tinted, so I assume this is an algae bloom due to the previous high Nitrate. perhaps the algae bloom removed the Nitrate. Does anyone know if this is possible? I have already cut the lighting to 8 hours per day a week ago to help control the algae during the cycle period.

All this said, how do I clear my water now? Shall I just do a big 50% water change or something or does anyone have other suggestions to clear the water?

Thank You,
Ed

Tank Specs:
50 Gal Tru Vu Acrylic tank
Eheim Pro 2227 Wet/Dry canister filter
Power Compact Lighting, Total 194watts, 1ea. 96w Actinic, 1ea. 96w white
60 lbs live rock
3/4 inch Live Sand
50 Snails and 3 damsel fish used for cycling.
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:29 PM   #2
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clear water

it is possible that the nitrates where used up by the algea growth. Backing off the light should help with the algea. I don't like to do water changes so close to finishing the cycle, but some might say it is ok. What kind of filter are you using and what type of media do you have?
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:36 PM   #3
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The filter is a Eheim Professionel Wet/Dry Filter 2227
It has both media baskets filled with the recommended EHFISUBSRAT.
I have added active carbon as well. I did this 1 week ago and it did not help with the water cloudyness.
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:46 PM   #4
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Some times the testing can be wrong. Water testing is not an exact science. That might have been the case here. If you have a skimmer, that might have been a major helper in reducing the nitrates.

I am not sure that I would buy that it was done by algae growth, which would have to be some really fast growing algae.

I think the best bet here is that you just had an erogenous reading.
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