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Old 07-25-2007, 02:44 AM   #1
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Cycling But No Spikes??? Please Help

I am new to this forum and saltwater aquarium too. I have had my 75-gallon tank with 25lbs ground coral substrate, 25lbs cured live rock and 13lbs of live sand up and running for a little over 2-weeks now. A couple days after I set up the tank I added 2-damsels, so they have been in there about 2-weeks now. My ammonia level has always been between 0-.25 and my nitrite and nitrate has always been 0. I have been testing the water every other day for the past.

After week-1, I had to do a 20% water change because a little paint dust got into the tank through my A/C vent from a painter in my house painting a different room. That morning before I did the water change, the ammonia looked like it was wanting to go slightly higher than .25, but then I changed 20% of the water. Now it has been over a week since that change and the 2-damsels are doing fine but I am still not seeing any rises in anything at all. In fact, after I tested the water today it looked like the ammonia level was closer to 0 then .25 and nitrite and nitrate are still 0.
Can somebody please help me out with some infromation on this? Do you think I should add some more fish or crabs to help get things going?

I went to a fish store yesterday and the guy was telling me that everything is fine because the cured live rock, and he was trying hard to sell me a Tang. However, I think he just was looking for a sale.

My filter is a combo cannister filter and trickle filter. It has all 3-types of media.... filter pads, carbon pad, activated carbon, bio balls and ceramic cylinders. I also have a protein skimmer, producing minimal foam in the collection cup.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:37 AM   #2
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hmm, suggestion #1, read up on the fishless cycling method. Much more humane AND you are positive of the results. I think that 2 damsels in a 75 are not going to produce enough ammonia for you to see uch more then what you are. Crabs will not help the cycle. My suggestion is to catch the fish, return them to the store. Go by the grocery store and pick up a couple of frozen cocktail shrimp from the seafood counter. Throw them in the tank and then your cycle will happen.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
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I 100% agree with Hara. There is likely not enough NH3 to kick off a good hard cycle. The addition of the cured LR will help, but with that amount I would not consider it enough to decrease your cycle time. The "fishless" cycle is much easier and much more humane. If you follow Hara's instructions I expect you will notice a difference.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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Have you been adding any "cycling" products to the tank. These may be SeaChem Stability, Stress Zyme or Cycle. Those products add saltwater bacteria to the water and claim to speed up the cycle process. The cured live rock you are using likely is helping cushion the cycle.

I would have thought a bit of die off from the live rock would have caused for some ammonia to kick up the cycle but with only 25 pounds matched against 75 gallons of water maybe not.
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:20 PM   #5
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I agree with the others that your tank has not cycled yet and the two damsels are not helping. Your LFS is not too knowledgable on this subject. Try the fishless cycle

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...q=2&fldAuto=15

You`ll need more LR for your tank to keep up with the bio load once it really gets going.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:22 PM   #6
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I would be very very wary of that store if the guy tried 'hard' to sell you anything living, or even more than suggested anything living to you for that matter. Thats very bad practice imo.

Trying to sell you a tang when he knew you had a 75? Sounds like he doesn't care at all for the well being of the animals.
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
I would have thought a bit of die off from the live rock would have caused for some ammonia to kick up the cycle but with only 25 pounds matched against 75 gallons of water maybe not.
If the rock was bought locally, with minimal transportation time and kept damp, there would not have been die off.

Quote:
Trying to sell you a tang when he knew you had a 75Trying to sell you a tang when he knew you had a 75
While I agree that the guy at the fish store has been giving garbage for advice, there are several species of tang that are acceptable in a 75 gallon tank.

I would also quit using the protein skimmer for now. The whole idea is for there to be nastiness in the water at this point in time. Remove carbon as well for the same reasons.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:22 AM   #8
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You are right, I did buy the live rock locally and tried to keep the rocks as damp as possible and transportation time was 15 minutes tops. There may not have been enough die off. Maybe I should just take the rocks out for 30-minutes
I appreciate everybodys advice.
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