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Old 07-17-2009, 06:28 PM   #1
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Tank Cycle - Everyone Has An Opinion!

So I'm quickly learning everyone is very opinionated in this hobby!

Over the period of the last few weeks my tank has been cycling and I have been testing water parameters most every day. As I tested the water I saw the ammonia and nitrite increase (however minimal) and now nitrate has risen from 5ppm to 10ppm over the last 3 days - - and I also have had my local LFS testing my water regularly as well. They confirmed what I thought and that with the volume of cured live rock I started with that the cycle was minimal and fast.

However, today I stopped at another local LFS and there they tell me "no way, no how" the tank cycled that fast and that I can expect a huge algae bloom and a period of 60-90 days before the cycle is complete.

Anyone have an opinion ?
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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60-90 days is off. Mine actually cycled in a few weeks, but I waited to add for another week and then did so slowly. It all depends on how cured the rock that you get already is.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Boulder View Post
So I'm quickly learning everyone is very opinionated in this hobby!
I learned a long tome ago that opinions are like armpits. We have two of them and they both stink. LOL. If you used cured LR then you might not see much of a cycle. It`s not that much that your tank has cycled but that your load of nitrifying bacteria on the LR can handle your ammonia and nitrites. One piece of advice is watch what your LFS tell you. There are some good ones out there but you have to realize they are out to make a sale. Some not all will tell you half the truth just to make a sale. As I said not all will but some will. HTH
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:45 PM   #4
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Thanks guys - appreciate the opinions.

My plan is to take another water sample to my LFS tomorrow (the one I visit regularly) and have them confirm my nitrates are rising as I am seeing when I test the water. Then do a partial water change tomorrow, let things settle through Sunday and start the search for some inhabitants early next week.
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:37 PM   #5
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Thanks guys - appreciate the opinions.

My plan is to take another water sample to my LFS tomorrow (the one I visit regularly) and have them confirm my nitrates are rising as I am seeing when I test the water. Then do a partial water change tomorrow, let things settle through Sunday and start the search for some inhabitants early next week.
How did you start your cycle? I used raw shrimp with live rock and it took my tank (120 gal) 3 weeks today to complete its cycle. Why don't you try putting 1 uncooked shrimp with shell in the tank and see what your water test tell you in a couple of days instead of using inhabitants just in case your tank isn't cycled. BTW is the value of your nitrate test from the tank the same as tap water you're using?
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:48 PM   #6
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Both LFS's may have been correct. I got lucky and got all my LR VERY cured. All very purple and from a tank that was set up for years so I saw basicly no nitrogen cycle at all. But the algae cycle was massive. from diatom to green to cyano. It is safe to start adding fish after the nitrogen but expect to see a algae cycle as well.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:34 PM   #7
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How did you start your cycle? I used raw shrimp with live rock and it took my tank (120 gal) 3 weeks today to complete its cycle
At the recommendation of my LFS (the one I really trust) I used fish food to feed the tank instead of a raw shrimp.

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BTW is the value of your nitrate test from the tank the same as tap water you're using?
I am using pre-mixed reef crystals made with RODI water as my water source.
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:16 PM   #8
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For what its worth; I was in no hurry, so I just used uncured rock and added a small amount. I was also luck that I have a smaller tank that I took some substrate and seeded my new tank. It only took 6-8 weeks.
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:42 AM   #9
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Both LFS's may have been correct. I got lucky and got all my LR VERY cured. All very purple and from a tank that was set up for years so I saw basicly no nitrogen cycle at all. But the algae cycle was massive. from diatom to green to cyano. It is safe to start adding fish after the nitrogen but expect to see a algae cycle as well.
I beleive that 2882 hit the nail on the head. It all depends on where you say a cycle ends. The nitrogen cycle may be over and it may be safe to add a fish, but the tank matures or cycles on through diatom blooms, algae blooms, cyano etc for a very long time if not always in some sort of change.
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:28 PM   #10
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I beleive that 2882 hit the nail on the head. It all depends on where you say a cycle ends. The nitrogen cycle may be over and it may be safe to add a fish, but the tank matures or cycles on through diatom blooms, algae blooms, cyano etc for a very long time if not always in some sort of change.
I would be concerned with using the word 'cycles' to represent the maturation of a tank through the various stages of algae in a tank. It can do nothing but confuse those that refer to these threads for information on starting a tank and the nitrogen cycle (commonly referred to as 'cycling or 'the cycle'). The fact that my 3 year old tank gets a hair algae spike should not be referred to as a 'cycle' as some may infer incorrectly .. IMO
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