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Old 03-12-2012, 08:23 PM   #11
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If you have ammonia being converting all the way to nitrates that fast, your cycle ought to be finished I'd think.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #12
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Short answer is that without an ammonia source, the bacteria go dormant for a while before they will actually starve. Three days will be fine. But, a decaying piece of shrimp will give you a better indication of the cycle than just dosing every few days because the ammonia being produced will be constant, but the levels in the tank will not as the cycle progresses.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:52 PM   #13
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Mac,

Would you please elaborate?
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:01 PM   #14
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Lets say on Day 1 you dos pure ammonia. By Day 3, all the ammonia has been converted to Nitrite, but not yet to Nitrate. At this point, the Ammonia eating bacteria have no food and will go dormant. Then you dose again, and it takes one day to convert it all. That means that the ammonia eating bacteria population increased, but then has to go dormant again.
Now, if you add a shrimp, it decomposes at a fairly steady rate, releasing a constant stream of ammonia into the water. You'll know the ammonia eating bacteria population is good when it converts faster than the decaying shrimp releases it i.e., you know the shrimp is rotting, but can detect no ammonia. You're cutting out the dormant period between dosings.
So while you can dose, then leave for three days, the cycle may be faster if there is a constant source.
Does that help?
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:24 PM   #15
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I just don't want to lose it all.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:08 PM   #16
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Well, three days won't kill the cycle. It may stall it for a couple days, but that's all. Your best bet is just to toss in a small piece of uncooked shrimp. I used two pieces of krill recently when cycling my refugium. Worked wonders. I also dosed the tank with Cycle to speed things up, and I had a complete cycle in under two weeks.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:15 PM   #17
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I have heard some negative talk about putting in a shrimp into a tank.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:18 PM   #18
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Biggest drawback would be the potential for smell. But if you're already so far along in the cycle that ammonia doesn't last more than a day or two, I don't think you'll have a problem. Also, you'll be gone, right?
IMO, it's the easiest way to cycle. Just make sure it's a small piece.
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