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Old 12-10-2014, 04:04 PM   #1
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Cycling my FOWLR setup

I have a 45 gallon tank that I am setting up as a fowlr. I got 50 lbs of live rocks, 20 lbs of live sand from carib sea. 2 hydor koralia nano 425 gph powerheads and a filstar xp-m canister filter with 320 gph.

I put water and sand in this weekend and let all power heads running. Ther eis no fish in the tank and I am planning to cycle it without a fish.

Here are my questions.

1. Having live rocks and sand do I still need to drop fish food or dose iwth ammonia to kick start the cycle or just sit back and relax and let the die offs from the rock slowly build the ammonia?

2. Should i raise my temps to close to 80 to help the cycle?

3. How long should I wait before I should see any ammonia? week 2 weeks?

4. Should I try dosing ammonia if things don't move in 2 weeks?

Thank you

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Old 12-11-2014, 06:32 PM   #2
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Im not sure about the ammonia and fish food dosing but I'd let it cycle for atleast 4 weeks, that's what I did with my tank and my tank is very stable now

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Old 12-12-2014, 06:56 PM   #3
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I believe that it depends on the amount of die off you get from your Live rock...I have never tried this method but most of the seasoned reefers on here recommend putting a raw shrimp in to help the cycle takeoff.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:06 PM   #4
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Well its been a week since i added live rocks and live sands. So far no ammonia or nitrites. The live rocks were bought from a lfs where they had been curing for more than a year. Is it possible that my tank is already cycled and I don't even know? Should I check it by dropping a shrimp and see ammonia spike only to see it go to zero shortly.

Guys please help. I did put some fish flakes in for 2 days and that was it.

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Old 12-12-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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I would put a shrimp in to see what happens. Though it sounds like the rock should have enough bacteria built up on it to support a fish, you don't really know. To make sure you want to present the ammonia source to see what happens. If your levels rise, then it wasn't cycled. If they do, then you should be good to go. The fear here is that a week of having no ammonia source the bacteria will start to die off. So the longer you wait without any ammonia present the less you will have in the tank.
So, toss a shrimp in some panty hose and toss it into the tank. Watch for a day or two to see if any levels rise. Nothing happens, then you are good to go. If they do, then wait it out until you can't detect any ammonia or nitrites. The nice thing about the shrimp method is that the ammonia source is always in the tank, so you don't need to keep dosing the tank to ensure there is enough to feed off of.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:25 PM   #6
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Yea I tried the shrimp method too. What I did was putting shrimp in the fish net. Then I would just let it decay it the water. Whatever leftover i found the next two days, I just threw out. Also there are bottles of bacteria in stores, but I think that's a waste of money.

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Old 12-12-2014, 11:33 PM   #7
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THank you fols for the advice. I was leaning towards dosing pure ammonia from Ace but now I'll just go a buy 1 shrimp from the store. I wonder what the sales guy will think of me (lol....) but who cares...
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Old 12-13-2014, 03:23 AM   #8
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I cycled my tank using just live rock without problems. Every tank is different though and you may need to add an additional amonia source. Good luck with the cycle!

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Old 12-13-2014, 01:56 PM   #9
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I got one dead fish from my fresh tank today :-( but I am gonna use its martyrdom to generate life in my saltwater tank. I will not let my dear guppy's death in vain. Its blood will propagate life somewhere else...

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