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Old 03-22-2008, 11:24 PM   #1
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cycle question

My tank threw a curve ball at me.....once agian I thought I had it all figured out and I knew what was suppose to happen but it didnt work out that way. Here's what I did and what happened.

About three weeks ago I got my 135g tank set up and running and I put the dead LR that I got with the tank I waited about a week and the ammonia stated to rise and got to a little over one ppm and the nitrites were about the same and almost no nitrates so I added t about 30 lbs more LR. A week later I had a little higher ammonia and a little higher nitrite and about 30 nitrates so I did a PWC. A week later the LFS suggested that I add some life to it so I added 2 emerald crabs 5 hermit crabs 10 asrea snails 3 turbo snails and 3 yellow tail damsels and now a week later I have 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and about 10 nitrate???????? I dont know what happened. Three weeks????? Can the cycle be done????? Everything I have read says months not weeks. surely I did something wrong and stopped the cycle. Any thoughts??????....I am at a loss. I am afraid to add any more fish if the cycle is not completely done.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:15 AM   #2
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....I am at a loss. I am afraid to add any more fish if the cycle is not completely done.
Why did you add fish to the tank to start with when your cycle obviously wasn't done in the first place? Because the LFS said to? Guess I'm a little confused because you seem to understand the cycle wasn't done, but yet you added fish anyway.

If you're reading 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites, then it does sound like the cycle is done. I've found that while it takes a while for the ammonia and nitrites to build up, once they start going down it doesn't take long. If your cycle stopped (which I've never heard of) you'd still have ammonia and nitrites.

Sounds like you got lucky, but I'd still let things settle down in the tank for a month before adding more fish.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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It does sound like you got lucky but what did you add to cause the initial buildup of ammonia?
Are you sure you want the damsels in there? They can be very territorial.
How many pounds of rock do you have in total?
Are you relyin gof LR and a skimmer for your total filtration or are you also using a cannister filter or wet/dry?
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:14 PM   #4
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I added the fish because at the time the ammonia was only at about 1ppm and the LFS said that wasnt too bad and the damsels are a pretty hardy fish and would be ok with it that low. He did tell me that the damsels are a little territorial but he said that a tank that big they should be ok....well two of them are fine and get along ok. The other one is a little on the grumpy side so he may go back to the LFS. I havent seen him do anything to the others yet he just likes to chase them around. I dont know exactly how much LR I have but I put in what I got with the tank. I think it is around 50-60lbs. All of that rock was dead so that is what started the ammonia to rise then a week later I added the 30lbs of cured LR. All I have for filtration is the sump with a skimmer and some LR and LS and some plants....they called it mexicali....looks like a furn. I am definatly going to wait at least a month before I do anything just to be sure.
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:47 PM   #5
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I am definatly going to wait at least a month before I do anything just to be sure.
This is a good idea. Still do your water test results so you can see how the cycle is progressing. Also your LFS is not giving the greatest advice. Remember that he gets paid by selling you stuff. The guys at AA will you better.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:29 PM   #6
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1 ppm of ammonia is too high for a fish, but they are already in there, and they are hardy fish. They really should be the last fish added due to their aggresiveness towards other fish.

For proper filtration using just LR/LS and a skimmer you want tohave Ĺ-2 pounds of LR per gallon (200- 270 pounds). You can buy base rock from places like ThatPetPlace. It will become LR quickly and color up in a few months.

Dead rock should not have caused the cycle to start unless there was still organic material on/in it.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:33 AM   #7
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WOW!!!....thanks cmor....once again I thought i knew what I needed to do and was wrong again....I dont know what I would do without you guys here in AA so thanks everybody.....I was headed towards 1lb/g of LR I didnt know it should be 1-1/2 to 2. That changes things a little. I need about another 180lbs or so and I only have about 30 live now can I get 180lbs of that base rock that you told me about or should I split it up 90/90 with LR. With shipping I can get the base for a little over $1/lb and I have a LFS about 1 mile from my house that sells LR for $3/lb. I am not too worried about how long it takes because I am NOT going to add any more fish till I am sure that everything is ok. Although I would like to get a little more clean up crew because the algea is really getting bad...should I do that or just let it go. It is all brown and I have been told that it will go away but it sure is getting bad. Here is a few pics of what it looks like...maybe it is not as bad as I think it is.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:24 AM   #8
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If I was doing a new tank today I would probably get 2 boxes of base of and 1 box of LR (50 pounds each). At $3/# I doubt your lfs is selling fully cured LR. That means if will start a new cycle in your tank, one that your fish probably won't survive. Chedk with them to make sure.

That looks like brown daitoms. A normal part of cycling and they will burn out.
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