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Old 08-01-2003, 11:23 PM   #1
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Where in the heck is my Ammonia spike?

Ok, I set up my sump, 30 gallong tall, about a month ago with some LS, 20lbs, about 2 lbs of LR and about 225 bioballs in all the waterfall areas. I had the return pump just looping into the drain section of the sump because I didn't have my new aquarium yet.

So, I set up my new aquarium, set the sump up on it, added about 200 lb. (makes a 4" DSB) sand and 125 lbs. LR (120 gallon aquarium). I also added about 30 lbs. LS to the DSB. Some of the rock was partially cured. A little over half was not cured. Anywho, after 3 days of adding the LR, which was about 3 days after filling it with SW, I tossed in 2 large, head-on shrimp. They've been there about 8 days now and are really looking terrible with decay and such.

So, here is the problem. My ammonia has been at .3 ppm for about 3 days. Shouldn't it be on the rise by now? I mean, these babies are as decayed and falling apart as it gets, almost. Does anyone think that my cycle my be cut short? Or is the ammonia just taking its sweet time?

Temp is about 83 degrees F, 1.025 salinity, and my nitrates are reading pretty high, about 50 ppm. Any thoughts or advice?
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Old 08-01-2003, 11:27 PM   #2
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As a follow up, I have tested for ammonia every day since adding the skrimp. day two was .1 ppm, day 4 was .3 ppm.
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Old 08-02-2003, 01:27 AM   #3
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Since you have NO3 forming quite nicley it simpley means that the addition of the LS and some of the LR being cured, has accelerated your cycle somewhat. Not to mention a cycled sump. Where you feeding the sump to maintain the bacteria?

The fact that the NH4 is staying low and the NO3 is high, is actually a good sign. You have not mentioned NO2?

At this point of the game I would still leave the shrimp a bit longer to be sure you get a strong colony of bacteria. Once the ammonia stops rising, then remove the shrimp. The uncured LR should fuel it the rest of the way.

Are you using a skimmer?

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Old 08-02-2003, 01:42 AM   #4
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I have not tested nitrite yet, but I will first thing in the morning, well, I got get a kit from the LFS, although they only carry Hagen tests. Anywho, I did not feed my sump, except about half of the LS I put in it was in an open, not circulated bag for about a month.

So, I was going to wait another 2 weeks before I skimmed it, but I guess I'll go ahead, depending on the Nitrite readings. So, would you say that if my nitrites are up there, I should wait for them to go down before skimming? Or just hit it up right now?
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Old 08-02-2003, 02:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidifius
except about half of the LS I put in it was in an open, not circulated bag for about a month.
Most likley after that period of time the bacteria in the LS would not have survived unless still wet. Any dried parts left in the bag would no longer be live.

The use of the skimmer would moreso be for the die off from the uncured LR. You really don't need it when the tank is cycling. It will help remove the excess DOC that the LR will give off as the matter decays. Unless the tank has a foul smell, I would leave well enough alone at this point and keep going as you have.

Looks like a great start Update us when you have the NO2 results.

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Old 08-02-2003, 03:34 PM   #6
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Tested this morning:

.3 ppm NH4
.3 ppm NO2
50 ppm NO3

So, my cycle is cut in about half? I don't mind that so much.
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Old 08-02-2003, 04:17 PM   #7
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Well, as I said previous. Keep going as you have and all should go well.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-04-2003, 02:57 AM   #8
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Nitrates are already going down, but water is cloudy

Well, this is day 13 of my cycle, not including my 4 week sump cycle. Now, I missed the nitrate spike, and nitrite spike, and yesterday my nitrates were at about 50-60 ppm. I took out one of the two very large shrimp this morning, and tonight, my nitrates were at 20 ppm. nitrite still reads about .05 ppm, and amonia is about .05 ppm.

If my nitrates are still at 20 or lower by tomorrow, should I do a large water change and add some inverts?
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Old 08-04-2003, 12:38 PM   #9
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Re: Nitrates are already going down, but water is cloudy

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidafius
If my nitrates are still at 20 or lower by tomorrow, should I do a large water change and add some inverts?
No, you need to wait until the bacterial process completes itself. That will be appearant when the NH4/NH3 and the NO2 are zero and the nitrate reduces itself without the need for a water change.

Removing one of the raw shrimp has only reduced the waste being produced in the tank thereby reducing the levels. I don't think the process has gone to the point yet where you can add animals. Give it more time and allow the natural process to continue.

Even though you have many things in your favor since the set up, it has still only been 7 days since the main tank has started it's cycle. I would leave things be for another week and see how it goes.

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Old 08-04-2003, 06:38 PM   #10
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Another concern is many nitrate test kits will read very inacuratly if there is any ammonia present , which you said there was. It would be hard to imagine that you have enough anarobic bacteria going to start reducing the nitrates already. IME with out using live sand it can take as long as 8 months to get nitrates down to zero when using a 4" sand bed.
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