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Old 08-10-2010, 09:43 AM   #151
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The food might have gotten stuck somewhere and is taking awhile to degrade. You could try putting the same amount of food in a really fine mesh bag in front of a strong source of water flow. Should help it degrade faster.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:25 AM   #152
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The food might have gotten stuck somewhere and is taking awhile to degrade. You could try putting the same amount of food in a really fine mesh bag in front of a strong source of water flow. Should help it degrade faster.
I actually put it in my sump - it was small pellets. They are not there any longer but perhaps they moved on and have not degraded yet. The food will have been in for 48 hours when I test tonight which I would think would be enough time?

I am starting to wonder if my tank has just skipped its cycle - or IS cycled. I added 150 lbs of well cured live rock. Because I was careful during transportation (keeping it submerged in 76-80 degree water until I put it into my tank) it has had no or very little die off. So I put in quite a bit of bacteria into my tank that can deal with any small amounts of ammonia I have put in (food) or any that has been generated within the tank (die off of the rock). Could it be that because of all the rock that my tank is cycled?

I think I have enough (maybe even more than enough) bacteria to deal with the current bio load. Obviously when something new is added like a fish it would increase the bio load so I would need to be really careful how much I add.

Thoughts? Is my thinking messed up? If my theory is correct, could I be starving some of the bacteria I do have (assuming I have more than needed for the current bio load)? Should I be adding fish food or something on occasion to increase the ammonia slightly until I put a fish in?
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:39 AM   #153
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No your thinking is sound, by all means it should be fine. But if it were me I would want to see some proof that it is still cycled. I would add about a decent feeding of a meaty food like mysis or brine. It degrades a little bit faster and is a better ammonia source. If it is cycled you will see your nitrates rise.

If you are planning on adding like 2 fish to begin with, I would continue to add a little bit of food every other day to keep the colonies in check. If you are just going to put one, once or twice a week feeding should do fine.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:56 AM   #154
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Jimbo,
Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your and everyones advice!

I agree that more proof is needed. One benefit of living in the boonies my closest LFS is two hours away so I am forced to be patient and go slow since I only bake it to the big city (Yes Boise is considered a big city for me lol) twice a month.

For the reason mentioned above I don't have access to brine or mysis right now.. how about a a couple small bay shrimp?

If things continue to look good I will be adding two fish to start but not for another two weeks or so. I want to maintain the bacteria I have so you think adding some fish food every other day is the best way to do this?

I also am starting to wonder about my day one water tests... I had a reading of .5 ammonia and zero since then. Im not sure where that ammonia came from on that first day but perhaps the bacteria I had was able to deal with it by day 2?
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:04 AM   #155
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Jimbo,
Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your and everyones advice!

I agree that more proof is needed. One benefit of living in the boonies my closest LFS is two hours away so I am forced to be patient and go slow since I only bake it to the big city (Yes Boise is considered a big city for me lol) twice a month.

For the reason mentioned above I don't have access to brine or mysis right now.. how about a a couple small bay shrimp?

If things continue to look good I will be adding two fish to start but not for another two weeks or so. I want to maintain the bacteria I have so you think adding some fish food every other day is the best way to do this?

I also am starting to wonder about my day one water tests... I had a reading of .5 ammonia and zero since then. Im not sure where that ammonia came from on that first day but perhaps the bacteria I had was able to deal with it by day 2?
How soon after you put the LR did you do the testing? There was probably a lot of crap, literally, on the rocks along with some die off of the bacteria. I would imagine this is where your ammonia was from. The only thing that concerns me is that there has been no change in nitrate levels.

Raw, uncooked, unseasoned shrimp are safe to add. Add them in a fine bag of some sort so it is easier to get the remains out.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:15 AM   #156
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How soon after you put the LR did you do the testing? There was probably a lot of crap, literally, on the rocks along with some die off of the bacteria. I would imagine this is where your ammonia was from. The only thing that concerns me is that there has been no change in nitrate levels.

Raw, uncooked, unseasoned shrimp are safe to add. Add them in a fine bag of some sort so it is easier to get the remains out.
I tested the water about 6 hours after I put the rock in.... Thats what I figured too, just some die off or crap in the water. I just figured I would get that same or higher reading for ammonia on day 2. Could the cheto and caulerpa be helping maintain low nitrate levels?

I will buy some shrimp today and try to find a fine mesh bag.

You think I can start running lights yet? Continue to skim?
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:19 AM   #157
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Yea, I hadn't really considered that, forgot you had some. Your macro probably is keeping the nitrates down. I would still do the shrimp even if you can get the nitrates to come up just a bit. Its probably overkill at this point, it seems like you are ready to go, but better safe then sorry.

The guy at our local produce store just gave me a big jumbo shrimp when I cycled. I had to try and explain to him for like 5 minutes that i just needed one not one pound :p

Yea, you are probably safe to start running the lights, and the only time you will probably stop skimming from now on is when you have to clean it.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:59 PM   #158
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Day 4
More of the same... The only thing that changed is my temp went up to 78.5... from 78 and thats probably because I had the lights on an hour before testing the water.

SG = about 1.025 +/-
Temp = 78.5
Ammonia = 0
PH = 8.4
Nitrate = 0
Nitrite = 0

So taking Jimbo's advice I went to the grocery store asked the meat guy for a single shrimp and had to say "yes, just one shrimp" three times. lol. I put 1/2 of a large shrimp into a clean nylon sock and it is in my sump right now.

So any predictions for my tests tomorrow?
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:37 AM   #159
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So since it seems as I may be getting close to actually beginning the stocking of the tank - here is my first potential stock list. Please critique.

2 Ocellaris clowns - black or regular (had a breeding pair before, hope to again)
Blue tang (got to have Dorie)
Tribal Blenny
Sailfin tang
Yellow or red clown goby
Yellow watchman goby
2-4 Kaudern's Cardinal
2 dartfish - firefish

2 Peppermint Shrimp (one in sump one in display)
1 pistol shrimp
Dersa Clam(s)

Corals - depends on whats at the LFS and looks healthy.

Anemone -Carpet. Have kept carpets in the past with success and its what the wife wants again - although when I tore down my tank last I ended up with one wrapped around my arm. It stung me many times over until I was able to slowly pull it off my arm.... they are so sticky and it was about 12"+ across. Will need to be fore careful in the future handling them, don't really want to go through that again.

clean up crew
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:10 AM   #160
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The sailfin is going to get too large for that tank, they really like to blast down 6' tanks. The tank is going to be too small for 2 tangs anyway.

Hopefully we'll see some nitrates comin up, then you are home free!

When adding fish, stock least aggressive to most aggressive, adding one fish every 3-4 weeks.
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