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Old 04-11-2006, 06:45 PM   #1
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volcanic rock

I recently found out (after losing 2 different sets of fish) that I had volcanic rock in my tank. I have since removed it but was wondering how long I needed to wait before adding fish once I get my tank better established. I added some live rock in place of the volcanic piece that I had in the tank. I am getting some live sand (a cup) from another aquarium this weekend. I have already added Biospira (live bacteria) after losing the first batch of fish. My water test perfectly but everytime I added fish they were dead in less than 12 hours. I know my tank re-cycled but even the LFS said that they should have lasted longer and even survived and I am wondering if it was due to the volcanic rock that I had in there. My tank has been up and running since March 17th. I was only able to add 4 lbs of live rock until I get paid again and was wondering if that would even make a difference with that small amount?
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:27 PM   #2
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I have never used volcanic rock but I do not see how it caused the problem as long as it was cleaned. It does not help buffer your water though. You might as well dumped the bio-spira down the toilet. It is a worthless sales pitch. Check out hirocks.com You can get 60 lbs of base rocked shipped for less than $100. Do not add fish to cycle your tank. Do it like this. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...q=2&fldAuto=15
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:13 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link. I guess what I am confused about is that I have already had the ammonia spike off the charts then go down and the nitrites were up. I added some Calurpa (I know that is misspelled) and waited another week for the nitrites to go down. Once everything was back to zero then I added some fish. They only lasted 10 hours and the ammonia skyrocketed again. I thought by what I was told and by what I read on the internet that the first time I added fish and they died (I realize now that was wrong) that it started my tank to cycle. Once the cycle was complete, I thought that it was ready for fish since the ammonia and nitrites and everything else was all at zero. The only thing that I did not have in the tank during the 2 fish mishaps was some live rock. I have now had live rock in there and it will have been in there a week this coming Sunday. What is my next step if my tank has already supposedly cycled but everytime I add fish they die within hours? That is why I was wondering if the volcanic rock had something to do with my water because everywhere I have read on the internet it states that volcanic rock is toxic to saltwater fish. Do you think I need to just add the raw shrimp and recycle the tank and go from there?
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:07 PM   #4
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You may have only had a small cycle. Also keep in mind that bacteria lives in the LR and sand not water. You need LR to maintain a large bacteria population. Only way I know that volcanic rock would be toxic is if it has iron in it. Any rust stains on the rock? If you want to do things "right" as in eliminate possible trouble later.. remove the volcanic rock buy some base rock from hirocks.com or similar etc. If you can afford some LR that is even better but not a necessity. Place in the tank and start a cycle with a shrimp. Once the cycle is complete add your first fish. If you keep getting NH3 readings your tank is not cycled.
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:22 PM   #5
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I am very new to this....what does NH3 stand for. All of my water is testing zero at the pet store where I get my water checked. I was thinking about adding some snails and a couple of crabs when I put the live sand in this weekend.

As far as a small cycle, the first round of fish when I added the Bio-spira, took over a week to two weeks to get my levels back to normal. This second round took about 2-3 days. I have not had my levels checked since I added the live rock.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:06 PM   #6
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NH3=ammonia
If it has no bio-load it will test zero. If the cycle completed correctly you should have a NO3 (nitrate) reading.
A cycle takes 4-5 weeks min on average. I say your tank did not cycle. One way to test it before buying more livestock and it dying is to put some mysis or a reg piece of shrimp in the tank. Not a lot, just pretend you are feeding fake fish If you get a NH3 (ammonia) reading, your tank did not cycle but it is now. The LR will help seed the cycle. If you have questions please ask before buying more fish.
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:59 AM   #7
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You should actually never use volcanic rock in a marine tank. There are so many metals bound up in it, you will never know what's being released. How long has it been in the tank? If awhile, there's a good chance it's done all the damage it's going to but I still wouldn't trust it.

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Old 04-13-2006, 01:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for the information. I will try putting in the shrimp and see what happens. How long do I wait before testing for the ammonia?
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
losing 2 different sets of fish
How many fish were adding at a time? Once you get your tank cycled start by adding a single fish or two at the most. Let them survive for a month before adding adding another one.

How big is your tank? What else is in there (substrate, filters, pumps, etc.)

You can start testing for NH3 in a day or two after adding the uncooked cocktail shrimp.

Oh, and WELCOME to AA!
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:52 PM   #10
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I have a 75 gallon tank with a Fluval 404 filter. I have 2 giant bags of CC. I have 4 lbs of live rock and 4 rocks that used to be LR. I have 1 plastic rock and 4 plastic plants and some Caulerpa. I do not have a protein skimmer or powerhead because I was told I didn't need them yet (I know now that is wrong).

I got 3 damsels and 3 clownfish (I know- how stupid but I got excited) and they lasted 24 hours. I then got 3 damsels and a clown goby on the second round and they lasted 10 hours. I realize now that because I didn't have the live rock between the fish disasters that my tank was not fully cycled and that is why nothing is living. I am getting a cup of live sand to put in my tank this weekend from a lady I have been talking to over the internet. I am hoping to be able to buy some more LR when I get paid next week.

I didn't realize how addicting this hobby can become!!!!!
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