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Old 12-27-2009, 05:36 PM   #1
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taking my first steps in salt water

Ok, so i have had a 55 gallon take w/ fresh water for about 3 years, and decided to step to salt water. I have added live sand and am currently letting the salt cycle in the tank. sould i wait a few days to preform the PH and alk. test or could i get an accurate reading today?
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:15 PM   #2
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anyone?
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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I don't really understand what you are asking.

Are you mixing the saltwater in your tank? (adding salt to freshwater)

with the live sand in there?
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:07 PM   #4
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I usually wait a few days before I start testing since I know it will take a few days for the ammonia to start building up.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:44 PM   #5
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I would just let everything settle out for a week or so (maybe less if you rinsed the sand good xD). Just check the salinity and temp and make sure that's consistent. Then go get some cocktail shrimp or some other form of decomposable substance that can start the cycle in the tank. You can even use uncured live rock, the die-off will start the cycle and you'll be good to go. Don't worry about testing for everything till you start the cycle.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:38 PM   #6
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OK, i'll let it settle for a few days, can't get any fish/shrimp till wendsday anyway. salt levels seem good so far and temp is stable. thanks for the help.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:43 PM   #7
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Just to be clear... we're not talking about a live shrimp. Use a dead cocktail shrimp from the grocery store to cycle the tank. "Cycling" has nothing to do with the water, but the process of building up bacteria to convert ammonia to nitrates. As the shrimp decomposes, it gives you that source of ammonia. Only thing I'd test during the cycle is ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates... in order to watch the progression of the cycle. Salinity and alkalinity don't matter at this point, and your pH will swing all over the place during a cycle.

So you've just got water and sand in the tank? Are you planning on adding rock in the future? If you are, it might be best to add the rock now. If you add it later, and the rock is not fully cured, you'll experience another cycle in the tank as the stuff that has died off on the rock decomposes. If there are fish in the tank, you risk putting them through the cycle.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Just to be clear... we're not talking about a live shrimp. Use a dead cocktail shrimp from the grocery store to cycle the tank. "Cycling" has nothing to do with the water, but the process of building up bacteria to convert ammonia to nitrates. As the shrimp decomposes, it gives you that source of ammonia. Only thing I'd test during the cycle is ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates... in order to watch the progression of the cycle. Salinity and alkalinity don't matter at this point, and your pH will swing all over the place during a cycle.

So you've just got water and sand in the tank? Are you planning on adding rock in the future? If you are, it might be best to add the rock now. If you add it later, and the rock is not fully cured, you'll experience another cycle in the tank as the stuff that has died off on the rock decomposes. If there are fish in the tank, you risk putting them through the cycle.
i do plan to add live rock in the future the place i buy from has fully cured rock, dont have the money to get all the rock i want right now will have to add it over time, was planning to cycle the tank with 2 damsels, heard they are hardy and great fish to cycle with.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:26 AM   #9
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They may be hardy, but it's way nicer to cycle with something that is already dead instead of something that might end up dead.

Plus... you don't end up with 2 fiesty fish in your tank that you never wanted to start with.
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