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Old 02-24-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
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My 20 long FOWLR build - not cycling for me

Freshie trying salt for the first time. I set up a 20 galling long. 16lbs live rock and 20 lbs live sand.



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Having issues. Salinity keeps reading low or 0 on my hydrometer..I need a refractometer I know, just waiting for it to arrive.

Also after 4 days no Amonia, nitrate or nitrite. Any tips besides a rotting shrimp? The tank is in our bedroom and my wife will flip. Lol
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:21 AM   #2
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Any takers?
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
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Yup, def invest in a refractometer. How did you mix your salt or did you buy it? It would be best to add an ammonia source to kick start the cycle, shrimp is best but I believe you can add pure ammonia ought from a store. I have never done this but I believe you just have to make sure it has no other chemicals, I heard if you shake the bottle and there are no bubbles? Hopefully someone else can confirm this any other questions just ask!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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I can't help you here, but I'm following this thread because I want to try my hand at salt too. Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:21 PM   #5
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I tried shrimp once, and the smell can get pretty ripe in just a few days Pure ammonia is probably the quickest and easiest way to kick start things. Not sure on where you live, but Ace Hardware sell a pure ammonia that I use and a number of people here recommend. Seems to be the about the safest option for bottled ammonia.

Is that actual live rock or base rock? With live rock you should see your tank coming along pretty quick, but base rock will take a long time without something else to help seed it. I ended up with about 35lbs of base rock in my 20g long and then added a 5lbs piece of live rock later on as the base rock was just taking an age by itself.

And what kind of HOB is that?
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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Thanks I may go pure Amonia. 25 lbs live sand 16lbs of live rock. The filter is a Aquaclear 50 with carbon in it. Thinking I should pull that out? Would that cause salinity issues?
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:27 PM   #7
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I don't think the filter would really cause any salinity issues, but I think with 16lbs of live rock you'd still need some form of mechanical filtration. If you added in additional live rock, maybe you could forgo one, but one of the challenges of a small tank like a 20g is you don't have much margin for error in terms of keeping the water parameters in the optimal range. I moved to a canister filter, which I was in two minds about, but I'm finding the water quality is much more consistent. It does still require regular maintenance, but I've been happy with it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:20 AM   #8
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I finally took the plunge on Saturday and bought Amonia from ACE. Dosed to 2ppm, a few days later I am seeing the cycle happen slowly.

Ordered a skimmer and this weekend converting my AC to a refugium.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:24 AM   #9
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Ammonia 0ppm

Nitrite 0ppm

Nitrate 10ppm

Dosed more Ammonia to 4ppm tonight to see if it breaks down in a day.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:21 AM   #10
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Wow..it broke down in 12 hours! Added a clown and a few snails tonight. So far so good.

Time to pull the 750gph power head out I had in during cycle and stick to the 425 gph head. Will clean the large one well and toss it in my 100 gallon flowerhorn tank to give that guy a little extra movement.

Waiting a few weeks to add another clown and a watchman goby.

Pics coming soon!
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