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Old 01-20-2009, 04:24 PM   #1
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Need Advise. My tank didn't cycle?

I'm new to this and I just started a 20 gallon salt water fish tank. I wanted to start small. I have filter setup, heater. I have no live rock. I have no live sand in tank I have Caribsea Aragonite sand at the bottom. I let tank run for 2 weeks without fish. I just added 2 pecular clownfish. The so purpose of my salt water hobby is to just own 2 clownfish, I don't want to add anything else. At least that is my intentions right now. The more I read the more I realize my tank never cycled. Big rookie mistake. The good news for now is that my fish are acting very good. There eating and swimming and looking very happy. Again the more I read the more I'm little scared that something bad is about to happen. My test levels that I just took are:
Nirate= 0
Nirite= 0
PH= 8.0
Amonia= .50

Any advice on what to expect? and if its bad how can I get my fish through it?
Thanks
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:27 PM   #2
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Lots of testing and water changes or (even better) take the fish back and cycle properly.

You need to continually test for ammonia and nitrites until cycled which will probably be 4-6 weeks. Probably daily water changes so mix up that saltwater in bulk.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:30 PM   #3
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Well with .50 ammonia reading your tank is starting to cycle now. Your clowns might not make it through the cycle. Make sure you read our cycle article and you`ll understand.

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Old 01-22-2009, 01:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by njphin View Post
...Again the more I read the more I'm little scared that something bad is about to happen. ...
Well... the cycle is going to happen, so it's just a yes/no question you have to answer: do you cycle with, or without the fish. If you cycle without fish, nothing "bad" will happen at all. If you cycle with fish, something "bad" *may* happen. The absolute easiest way to get through it is take the fish back and cycle the tank without them.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:40 AM   #5
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i made that mistake as well. i had two maroon clowns before the tank was cycled, and one died that night, the other a few days later during an ammonia spike. my tank took about 2 1/2 weeks to cycle properly. i would say take the fish back to the lfs. if you have become attached to the fish, then just ask them to hold them till your tank is done, so as to keep the beautiful fish alive.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:37 AM   #6
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Cycling with fish is the exact opposite of what aquarists are about. Finding ammonia is not hard to do. GOOGLE!

Oh, you can probably expect your fish to die from ammonia poisoning.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:57 PM   #7
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I prefer to use 1 raw (per 30 gallons), unseasoned jumbo shrimp for the seafood section of my grocery.
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:43 PM   #8
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Eat the shrimp. Cycle with ammonium chloride! $5.00 will buy a lifetime supply.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:46 AM   #9
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I never wanted to cycle with the fish and now my lfs won't take them back. So I'm kinda stuck. My ammonia was .50 and now it went down to .25. Being that I have no live rock or sand and 2 fish could .50 possibly be the peak now that it's going down? The fish seem well swimming and eating with no problems.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:00 AM   #10
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With no live rock, I doubt that was the peak of your cycle. Cycling, starting with no bacteria, normally takes 4-6 weeks, regardless of how you do it. I suppose the bright side of this is that your tank is only 20g, so doing water changes to keep your ammonia low won't be too tough. I'd try to keep your ammonia no more than 0.5ppm to minimize the stress on the fish.

Are you planning on adding live rock at some point? And what exactly is the filtration you have now?
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