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Old 05-19-2013, 08:44 PM   #21
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I prefer to use pure ammonia to cycle my tanks. Much easier to know exact levels and calculate how fast it is being processed. I would stop with the tap water and the additives. Use rodi water and salt. Also, just to be sure, you need to use marine salt and not aquarium salt. They are 2 different things.
Ok, and yea I use Instant Ocean.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #22
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How's the tank coming along?
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:49 AM   #23
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Not much has been done. I added a small powerhead to add some flow. I think I may have a mantis shrimp in my tank as I hear a ticking noise every so often, and I know it is not my equipment as I turned it all off for a bit and still heard it.

My test readings for the 17th was:
PH 8.2
Amm 0.25
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5

Readings for the 22nd

PH 8
Amm 0.25
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 10

Provided I matched the colors correctly. It is so hard to tell sometimes.

I decided not to go the shrimp method, as I did not want too big of an ammonia spike, thus killing the life I currently have on my LR. I may just start adding little drops of flake food and do it that way.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:41 AM   #24
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You want the ammonia to get up to 4 ppm to have a good strong cycle (buildup of the bacteria colony I believe). So doing it the other way will probably take longer.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:24 AM   #25
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Not longer, but the bacteria colony will not be as large/strong. When you start adding fish, you may see a change in parameters.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:25 PM   #26
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Not longer, but the bacteria colony will not be as large/strong. When you start adding fish, you may see a change in parameters.
Thanks for correcting me there
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:58 AM   #27
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Thanks for the input guys. I'll keep this updated to see if I'm progressing. I'll be doing another water test soon after adding a lot of flake food over the course of a few days.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:07 PM   #28
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I would test your ammonia and see where its at. I used straight ammonia to cycle my tank and it worked perfectly. The key is to make sure you get pure ammonia with no surfactants or perfumes. I got mine at Ace Hardware. I believe it says janitorial ammonia. When in doubt shake the bottle. If it foams up dont use it. Pure ammonia will not foam up.

Add a couple drops of ammonia and test until you get to 2 or 3ppm. This is where you want it. Remember just a drop or two at a time, then wait a few minutes and test until you reach this level. Record how many drops this takes.

Now you wait and test ammonia each day and record results. If nothing changes just be patient and keep waiting and test each day. One day you will see the ammonia level drop. Once your ammonia goes to zero you have to add more ammonia. Add ammonia one drop at a time to reach 2ppm. Keep testing and adding ammonia to 2ppm when it reaches zero. Once your tank can process 2ppm of ammonia to zero in 24 hrs then start checking every 12 hours. Once your tank can process 1ppm of ammonia in 12 hrs then start checking nitrites which should be high by now.

Keep adding ammonia to 2ppm every time it reaches zero which should be in about 12 hours. Keep testing nitrite. It will be sky high and it can seem like it takes forever, but one day you will see the nitrite drop. Remember to keep adding ammonia when at 0 to feed bacteria.

Once your tank can process 2ppm of ammonia and nitrite in 12 hours with 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite reading you are done. My was done in about 3 weeks. The good thing about this method is that you have total control over the process and you have built a large bacteria colony. Thsi allows you to add more fish at the start. Dont go crazy but i added 3 fish to start with no issues.

If you have any questions just ask.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:27 AM   #29
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Thanks for the information. I'm not able to go to ACE hardware as I don't think I have one here on island. I was dosing my tank with a lot of flakefood for about two or three days. I mean a lot. Yet, today when I tested my water, my readings were

Amm 0ppm
Nitrite 0.25ppm
Nitrate 0ppm

I'm at a loss as to what this means?
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:41 AM   #30
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By just using flake food you may have just had a weak cycle, if your nitrates go up in the next day and the nitrite gets to 0 you're cycled. But as mentioned before It may be weak, so stock very slowly and wait a few weeks in between each fish. Test daily for the days following your new inhabitants.
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