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Old 05-08-2005, 01:37 AM   #1
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Strange readings? Help! =)

Well... after throwing in that LR.com rock, and doing some testing, my Amm is at 0, Trite is at trace (at most... not even .25). What's getting me confused is the fact that 4 days ago, Nitrate was at around 30 ppm. A couple days ago, it was around 20. Now, they are at 10 (this last test with the current 0/trace readings).

Is it normal for Nitrates to go down? I didn't do any water changes, other than normal top-off with fresh water (cuz salt doesn't evaporate) to make sure that my sump pump didn't dry up. I moved the overflow boxes in the tank up a bit so that you couldn't see the water line, so I had to add about 2 gal of newly mixed saltwater. Other than that, didn't do anything different. Is my cycle 98% done now?

It's been since 4-22-05 that it was started with shrimp, sand & base rock.
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Old 05-08-2005, 03:09 AM   #2
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If the new rock pieces are large enough they will provide an anaerobic condition for denitrification to occur. I would think that it would take some time for the beneficial bacteria to establish itself though.
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Old 05-08-2005, 03:14 AM   #3
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So what should I do when the trite goes down to 100% zero? I'm guessing it'll be sometime tomorrow. Does that mean my cycle is done?

Large water change & ready to go? If so, how large? 20%?
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Old 05-08-2005, 10:35 AM   #4
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Once the ammonia and nitrite have spiked and returned to zero you are complete. The water change at the end of the cycle is to reduce nitrates and replenish some trace elements. Many people suggest a large water change. I would say if the nitrates are not high then a 10-15% change will do fine. Good luck
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28gal bowfront
40lbs livesand(bag from LFS), 30lbs live rock(LR.com)
2 O. Clowns
1 peppermint shrimp, 5 red leg hermit crabs,
4 mexican turbo snails, 15 nassarius snails
ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
super color polyps, hairy mushrooms
bubble coral, hawiian feather duster
coralife lunar 2x65, HOT magnum canister
10 Gal refugium(chaeto) & seaclone skimmer
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Old 05-08-2005, 10:41 AM   #5
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Also, I believe you would get an artificially high false reading if you're testing for nitrates and your nitrites are still high. So now that your trites have dropped so will your trate readings. I'm at the same exact stage as you. It's been reading somewhere between .25 and zero for the last 3 days.
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Old 05-08-2005, 01:09 PM   #6
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Yay!

So what should I add in first? Two clowns or a few clean up crews, or both?

Thanks for the fast advice!
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Old 05-09-2005, 12:44 AM   #7
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bump.
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Old 05-09-2005, 08:29 AM   #8
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Go with your clean up crew first.

Rachel
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Old 05-09-2005, 01:48 PM   #9
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I'll add in a few snails & a few hermits for sure... but will that be enough to keep the ammonia levels going?

I'd add in a fish or two... just need to find a good place to get them from. LFS store has small perc clowns for $8 each. Might be worth a look
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Old 05-09-2005, 02:32 PM   #10
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The clean up crew doesn't produce significant bio load. If you add them and only them you'll need to continue to feed the tank. I would go ahead and add a fish (or 2 if you're going to get small percs). LR.com rock is amazing stuff packed with plenty of bio bearing capability. It doesn't surprise me at all that it drew your cycle to a quick end.
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