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Old 04-23-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
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Question cycle question

So I've got my 36g up and running, no fish yet, just 25lb live rock, 20lb live sand and mechanics.

I added some raw shrimp to start the cycle and ammo is up to .5 ppm, i pulled the raw shrimp after 3 or so hours because i didnt want the levels to get too high. nitrates are still reading 0. should i wait to see the nitrites jump and the ammonia drop now? and then the nitrites drop and nitrates jump?

From my understanding the purpose of a cycle is to ensure you have sufficient ammo and nitrite eating bacteria. so that when livestock introduces ammo to the system it will be metabolized into nitrates that can be removed via PWCs or through macroalgae growth.

So my question is... if I just wait now, and if the system processes the ammonia does that mean my tank is cycled or should i dump the shrimp back in for a longer period of time?

Any feedback on my understanding of the process is welcomed as well.


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Old 04-23-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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In my opinion, leave your expendables in there until you start realizing the cycle. Keep doing the 3 tests, (ammo, nitrite, nitrate) in that order. First you should see an ammo spike. Wait. Then you should see the nitrites show up. Wait. When you see the nitrates, your tank is cycled. You might lose some of your shrimp in the process, but that's whats expected, means they're doing their job. Then you can join the everlasting battle of keeping your nitrates at acceptable levels like the rest of us. Hope this helps.

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Old 04-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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Personally, I would leave the ammonia source in there and just watch the tank. No matter the level of ammonia being produced by the source, the bacteria will adjust. Watch for the ammonia to go down and nitrIte to go up. Then the nitrIte will drop and the nitrAtes will go up. When you are down to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrIte and high nitrAtes, you remove the source, do water changes to get the nitrAtes down and you are done. This will build the largest and strongest BB that you will need.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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ammo has dropped back down to .25ppm, trites are reading 0 still, but trates are up to .5ppm.

I'm confused.... if the bacteria are converting ammo to nitrites to nitrates, shouldn't i be seeing nitrites in the tank? its almost like the bactieria process a bunch of ammo and are "full" now so the cycle stalled?

I have a bottle of nite-out II, i was thinking of adding a bit to get things rocking in there, thoughts? If my LR and LS experienced little die off is it possible that i am good to go already? at any rate I'm going to wait until a bit later, re-test and then decide on what to do.

Thanks all
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:36 PM   #5
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If you added that much live rock then you will only deal with a mini cycle...since you already have some bacteria your not gonna get the spikes like a lot of new tanks with less LR would but you would be best off strengthening your colony by giving it 4 ppm of ammo a day and once it can convert that in 24 hours then your good to go
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:56 PM   #6
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ok so added nite-out II, I'm gonna wait til tonight, re-test params, and if ammo is lower than .25 ppm ill know that the bacteria are up and running. if thats the case i will add the shrimp back in and leave it til tomorrow morning, pull the shrimp and test levels. this should give me a good idea as far as the maturity of the bacteria colonies.

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cycle, question

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