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Old 05-30-2008, 06:03 PM   #1
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55gallon sudden cycle surprise

ok so i set up my 55gallon a couple months ago but hadnt added any ammonia or food/dead shrimp to it untill a week ago and i could never get any ammonia readings on my test so i decided to test for nitrates today and got a reading of 10 ppm lol so i guess it cycled without me knowing any input on this or do i just have natural high nitrate sin my water, im going to test the tap water to check.
:edit: i tested my tap water and it came out as 0ppm so i guess its cycled ill still take input on this lol man i feel like a newb even though ive been doing this for 10 years.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:10 PM   #2
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Have you tested for nitrites? Did you seed the tank at all? Otherwise it does not seem to be likely that the tank is cycled.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:10 PM   #3
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The key for determining that an aquarium has cycled is that Ammonia and Nitrite are 0 and Nitrates are rising. Unless all three of these are true then your aquarium is not cycled.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:03 PM   #4
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Nitrites are at 0ppm as well as ammonia and nitrates are at 10ppm, as stated earlier my tap water is 0ppm nitrates so i guess its cycled? would you guys agree? The only seeding i did was squeezing the filter media from my other tank into the water
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:40 AM   #5
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Not convinced it is cycled Ryan..... At the end of the cycle, NitrATES should be MUCH higher than 10ppm from my own experience.

You say you set up the tank a couple of months ago and (presuming) at that time, you squeezed filter media to seed the new tank. But if you have not been feeding the bacteria with an ammonia source since then, then the bacteria you added would have died by now.

In the last week, what have you been adding as an ammonia source and how much?
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:40 AM   #6
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in the past week i have added 2 dead shrimp into the tank(frozen shrimp) and Im starting to tthink it isnt cycled either because this has never happened before im just wondering where the nitrates are coming from.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:04 AM   #7
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Add 3-4 more and see if that makes a difference. I used 2 raw prawns (king size!) in my 15g which took me to around 4ppm of ammonia.

There might be a small amount of ben.bac which is processing the ammonia in there already. When I started cycling my 15g, I originally added only 1/2 a prawn. I got an ammonia reading of 0.5ppm and then after 3-4 days it went back to 0ppm, and at that point I had around 5ppm of NitrATE.

Sounds a little like what is happening to you. Get more raw prawn in there. Don't be shy Aim to between 2ppm and 4ppm. If you can do that, at the end of the cycle, you'll have a tank ready for a full bio load.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:20 AM   #8
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2 is fine and will make a big enough mess when you try to get them out. If for some reason you *think* you need more add a bit of flake food or ammonia. Piling tons of raw seafood in there isn't going to make it go faster. It will be a mess when you try to get it out though.

The idea is to see some amount of ammonia and nitrite 2-3ppm), then both drop to zero with nitrates being created. The amount and duration is based on the bacteria colony size.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:34 AM   #9
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I think i may add one more shrimp and maybe try seeding my tank a b it more with sand from other tanks and rocks etc.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:38 AM   #10
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If you have another tank, use some of the filter media from the other filter. also, consider moving some of the decorations over temporarily along with maybe some of the gravel tied up in an unused pair of pantyhose.

That's if you want to 'speed it up'. Otherwise, 2 shrimp and time.. and you'll get there

BTW: sand and rocks? This Fw or SW?
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