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Old 03-18-2005, 01:38 PM   #1
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Uncured LR "cycle"

A newb question here:
Whenever anyone refers to doing a fishless cycle for SW, they seem to be referring to the dead shrimp method. However, as I'm learing about SW filter methods, it seems to me using uncured LR in your initial setup will provide enough die-off to get the bacteria going. Maybe this wouldn't great as big a spike and thus bacteria pop size than the dead shrimp, but as long as you add fish/inverts slowly enough, it seems to me you wouldn't need to do an additional dead shrimp cycle. Am I missing something?

Related questions:
If you start with enough cured LR and then add fish/inverst slowly, isn't it possible you would you never even see ammo/nitrite spikes (depending on how long secondary shipping took from the curing tank)? The existing bacteria on the LR would be able to filter the slowly increasing waste levels. Is it better for your tank to start with uncured LR and observe the cycle, or start with cured LR and assume you have at least a small filter already up and running (ignoring time or money differences)?

Thanks for your advice.

75 gal SeaClear System II wet/dry filter
4 Harlequin Rasbora
3 Clown Loach
2 Pearl Gourami (m/f)
2 Siamese Algae Eaters
Physa and Malaysian Trumpet snails
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Old 03-18-2005, 02:23 PM   #2
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i used incured lr (16lbs)and mixed cc and live sand in my 55gal.fowlr let it run for 2 !/2 weeks didnt bother testing.added 3 damsels(fish store told me to, i didnt know about the fishless cycle),started testing,2 weeks of testing and nothing all parimiters were good,not even a little spike.added my 3 inch grouper/basslet(dont have an id on him yet he was at the lfs for a month and a half after i removed him from my 75 gallon)that was tues of this week and as of yet still no spike in anything.only thing off is sg.which i'm sure will level out when i do a water change after i'm through giving him meds for fungus and an open wound.
i think i just got lucky though,the rock did have alot of die off . i'm not recommending anything cause i'm still a newbie to sw.just telling you my experience.it's liable to come back and bit me in the butt.

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Old 03-18-2005, 02:36 PM   #3
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biotoper you are correct on both.
I used uncured lr to cycle my 125 reef and all went fine. No shrimp..
I also used cured lr in my 55 fowlr and had fish in there after a few days of testing to make sure there was no die off. Never had a amm show up..
I would say that they are the same, just cost more for cured LR in most cases.
9/02-125 REEF, 125 lbs LR,LS 4x160 VHO, Reef Devil /Sump, Fuge
7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

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Old 03-18-2005, 03:00 PM   #4
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If I could tag on a question as I'm also about to cycle with lr ...

I'm planning on getting partially cured rock from my lfs (40lbs) and 60lbs Keys from lr.com to use for my cycle - but, lr.com shipment won't be here until 29th. I can get lfs rock Tuesday. Would it be better for the cycle to start NOW with the 40lbs uncured rock from lfs then add 60lbs keys rock on 29th - or just add it all together on 29th?

Sorry to squat on your thread, Biotoper.
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210 gallon aggressive tank in process.
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Old 03-18-2005, 03:10 PM   #5
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Yes you can cycle your tank with uncured live rock. Depending on the die off you can acually have a higher ammonia spike with this method than with a shrimp or two.

Yes you can start a tank with cycled rock, in ample qtys, and never experence an ammonia or nitrite increase. But its not common for folks to start lets say a 75 gal tank with 150lbs of cured live rock and 100+lbs of cured live sand. I always consiter rock that is shipped to be uncured until its shown no ammonia or nitrite production.

Skinnypete, if you feel the urge to put something in the tank now then by all means go ahead and get the rock from your LFS. Thsi will give you a week or so of entertainment as you wait for the Liverocks.com rock. Dont add any fish though. Wait until you have both sets of live rock and your not showing any ammonia or nitrite in your testings before adding your first fish.
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