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Old 07-06-2004, 11:36 PM   #1
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Wow, my tank cycled and I didn't even know it!

Well, I began my cycle about 2½ weeks ago with two raw shrimp and have been diligently testing ammonia and nitrite - usually everyday, but ocaocassionally every other day. The ammonia was steadily rising but I never saw any nitrites. About 1½ weeks into the cycle, I added my live rock. The last couple of tests, the ammonia had sstabilizedbut still no nitrites.

Well, over the holiday weekend, I went a couple of days without testing. So tonight, I tested again but showed zero ammonia and zero nitrites. Now I'm thinking, what's going on...did I mess the tests up? Then it dawned on me that just maybe I should check for nitrates. Five minutes later, and you guessed it, I have 15 ppm nitrates.

I was expecting at least another week to cycle. Did the lr speed things up that much? Do you think the shift from nitrites to nitrates happened in just those last couple days?

So, I guess now for a partial water change and time to get a couple fish.
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Old 07-06-2004, 11:40 PM   #2
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im new but it sounds to me like u are good to go...i have heard the nitrite part of the cycle goes slower than the ammonia part but maybe u had a fast cycle maybe someone else can explain for u
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Old 07-06-2004, 11:43 PM   #3
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I think I would test again with another testing kit.....seems awful fast. I, myself would be suspect of the test kit. Which one did you use?

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Old 07-07-2004, 12:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sparky
I think I would test again with another testing kit.....seems awful fast. I, myself would be suspect of the test kit. Which one did you use?

Mike
I use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Master Test Kit, which I understand may not the best on the market, but should be better than test strips. I do appreciate the suggestion though, and would agree except that I am certain I performed the tests correctly, and they were not in the grey area. The ammonia was definitely zero, and the nitrite was definitely at zero. The only result that fell between colors was the nitrate; which was between 10 and 20 ppm.

On a side note, and this may be reflective of the cycling, I now have what I think are bristle worms showing up in my lr as well as snails around the tank.
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Old 07-07-2004, 02:36 AM   #5
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I have had two tanks cycle within a couple of weeks. LR really does help. I also dosed Fritz Zyme which really really smelled like rotten eggs
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Old 07-07-2004, 06:22 AM   #6
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my tank was cycling for 5 weeks, 3 days after adding some lr.com it was finished. lr can be enough to give the cycle a kick start. I would repeat the tests, and a water change and get a cleanup crew. WOOOHOOO
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Old 07-19-2004, 02:31 AM   #7
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I had almost the same thing happen, except I put my LR in about 48 hours after setup. I tested the ammonia faithfully for several days, never got a reading. Today, I tested the nitrate and I'm up to 20 ppm. I even repeated the test to see if maybe I had done something wrong, but got the same result, and I use the same test you do. I posted almost this same question in the forum, and consensus was that I had cycled.

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Old 07-19-2004, 04:45 PM   #8
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LR can speed things up, depending on the LR. Was it from a LFS or mail order? if its from a LFS and already cured it will certainly speed things up as it already has all the bacteria to handle the water waste. If it's from mail-order it depends on how well it was shipped and how fresh it was. Some times mail-order LR can have a lot of die-off and will provide plenty of ammonia for the cyle but won't speed it up too greatly, or it can be really fresh and help speed it up.

I think you're probably good to go on the tank, but I'd test again in another day or so (and leave the shrimp in there till you get some critters)
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:54 PM   #9
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What's the purpose of the shrimp?
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:56 PM   #10
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What's the purpose of the shrimp?
The rotting shrimp is the ammonia source. It basically replicates the wastes that would have been produced if you used fish for cycling.
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