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Old 12-05-2010, 08:22 PM   #1
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took some advice from some members and decided to restart my tank.

Hi guys

I took some advice from some members and decided to restart my tank. This time I used the RO Di water. My water was full and started to run Wednesday night. Yesterday morning I decided to buy 3 shrimps and place them in my tank. I then went and bought some test kits. I just did some tests and recieved the following results.

NITRATE 25
AMMONIA .25

The test kits i am using are Salifert.

Are these levels normal for a new cycle? How long should I leave those raw shrimp in the tank??


100 Gallons
FOWLR
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:02 AM   #2
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Not sure why the nitrAte is that high from RODI water.

You should let the ammonia rise to at least 1 ppm, but I would let it go higher (like 4 ppm) before removing the shrimp.

Do you also have a NitrIte test kit? You need to test all three.

Waste is broken down to ammonia, then to nitrite, then to nitrate, then to nitrogen (completed the full cycle) or removed via pwc's.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:14 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response.

Yes I have a nitrite test kit as well. I will test that this evening and let you know the results.

I will leave the shrimp in for the time being.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
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Looks like everything is going right along. Just as scheduled.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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Actually i dont have a nitrite test kit. I have a phosphate one. That reading is about .025
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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The phosphate is a bit high. Right now all you need to test is Ammonia and Nitrite. You are looking for ammonia to spike and start to fall. At that point the ammonia level should continue to fall to zero as the nitrite increases. As the nitrite peaks and starts to fall the nitrates will climb.

When ammonia AND nitrite are reading zero you are almost there. Add an ammonia source and look for the ammonia reading to be back at 0 within hours (or never move above 0). When the tank has been stable for about a week it's time for 30% partial water change. Test again in a week and if the tank is still stable you can start adding livestock.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:35 PM   #7
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So i keep those shrimp in still, right? Been in since Saturday.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:52 AM   #8
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Here is an update on water 1 week later.

(salifert test kits)

Ammonia <.25
phosphate 0.25-.1
Nitrate 25-50

My friend a local hobbyist came by to see my tank. He told me that the LR i had in the tank was basically 'dead' because I let it sit in my abandoned tank for 2 years with no water flow, etc. He gave me about 15 pounds of LR from his running system and told me to just put it in my tank and eventually organisms and other stuff will start to spread and revive my old rocks.

I also removed the raw the raw shrimp I had put in last week. Man did that stuff stink when i threw it out.

Are those numbers consistent with a new cycle? So now do I just sit and wait this out?
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:58 AM   #9
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So the rocks were in the tank, with water and no flow for 2 years? Or was the tank dry?
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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The rocks were in my tank.. and i kept water high so they were never "dry" although i never added salt, tested water or had any skimmers running etc.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:40 AM   #11
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u have result for nitrate....that will make your rock 'live' back....just have a sit and wait for ammonia and nitrite become 0...then u are ready for water change.....lets the nature do their business....
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:05 AM   #12
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Well, was the water it was sitting in saltwater, and you just added FW to it to keep it submerged, or was it always 100% FW? If it is the latter, the bacteria won't survive the switch from SW to FW. If it is the former, I wouldn't be surprised if the rock is still live.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:14 AM   #13
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it was originally SW but all the water i added over the course of 2 years when my tank was idle was FW. So based on abdhalim's comment... since i have nitrate according to my test this morning.. things are running as they should and my rock will thrive again?
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:22 AM   #14
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You are cycling the tank right now. The rock will all become LIVE rock in time due to the nitrogen cycle. Food, detritus, etc. breaks down and produces ammonia. Bacteria break down the ammonia and produce nitrIte. A different strain of bacteria consume the nitrIte and produce nitrAte. Another form of bacteria that lives in the deep recesses of coral rock and in the lower layers of a deep sand bed consume nitrAte and produce nitrogen. The nitrogen leaves the tank as small gas bubbles, if there is enough area for this process to happen. Normally nitrate is removed through partial water changes every week or two.
So the cycle starts when you add a source of ammonia (shrimp/industrial ammonia).
The ammonia level in the tank rises until the ammonia eating bacteria population has grown large enough to eliminate it, thereby causing the ammonia level to drop and the nitrIte level to jump. A different strain of bacteria feeds on the nitrIte and its population explodes to the point that the nitrite is reduced to 0 and the nitrAte level goes up.

At this point you do a 30% partial water change. Add a small ammonia source ( a few flakes of fish food perhaps), and test the water for another week. If you do NOT see any spike in ammonia or nitrite your tank is cycled and you can add ONE fish.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:02 AM   #15
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hye shel...patience is the key here...juz wait and monitor your water parameter....u will see the magic then....as cmor explain above, the last cycle would be nitrate process...wait until your ammonia and nitrite reach 0 then u can do 30-50% water change...after that,u can add 1 or 2 fish...
u are on the track.....good job....
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:51 AM   #16
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Ok, sounds good. On a side note, as I waiting this out, is it of any value to keep my lights on during the day or night? I have VHO lighting and was wondering if that being on would have any value to the LR.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:53 PM   #17
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Lights would be good on maintaining the pH and kH.....even reading on pH should be taken 1hour before the lights is off and of course any living creature includes the bacteria needs light to survive....IMO, u can switch on the lights maybe for 12hours....juz my 2 cents....
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shel View Post
it was originally SW but all the water i added over the course of 2 years when my tank was idle was FW. So based on abdhalim's comment... since i have nitrate according to my test this morning.. things are running as they should and my rock will thrive again?
Since you started with SW, it is very likely that just topping it off with FW (as long as it wasn't chlorinated) kept some of the bacteria alive. With no source of food, much of the bacteria would have died off, but from their death others would feed and that cycle would continue for at least a while. I would say that since you left it in SW, it's not completely dead, there will probably be a few remnants of life, but I'm guessing that it will cycle relatively fast compared to dry base rock, and you might end up with a few surprises in 6-12 months!

One comment on the Nitrate - do you have any NitrIte? If so, that throws off the NitrAte test.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:44 PM   #19
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Hi guys, another update. Unfortunately I dont have a nitrite test kit, I will go get one this weekend.

I just did another water test.

Ammonia seems to be much less that <25.. not sure i would say 0 but based on this test kit there is no 0 marked. It very well could be zero but the water isnt clear in the testtube.. slightly couldy.

Nitrate seems to be 50 which is higher than a week ago.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shel View Post
Hi guys, another update. Unfortunately I dont have a nitrite test kit, I will go get one this weekend.

I just did another water test.

Ammonia seems to be much less that <25.. not sure i would say 0 but based on this test kit there is no 0 marked. It very well could be zero but the water isnt clear in the testtube.. slightly couldy.

Nitrate seems to be 50 which is higher than a week ago.
Sounds like ammonia is coming down, which is a good thing.

Testing Nitrate at this point is pretty useless since you don't have a Nitrite test.

You really need to get a Nitrite test and post those results. The results may or may not have something to do with your high Nitrate reading.
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