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Old 05-23-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
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I finally got my SaltWater Aquarium running!!!

I've been trying to get this tank up for a awhile. been saving up and at last my 56 gallon tank is running and starting to cycle. just thought I would share if you have any questions about it feel free to ask. Here are some pictures!!
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:11 PM   #2
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Looking good, I would definitely add more rock and some rock rubble for your sump what's your plans for the tank? Livestock?
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:26 PM   #3
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I guess he is literally doing it slowly and also due to a budget constraint lol kd
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:43 PM   #4
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Oh yeah lots of more live rock is going in the tank
Just putting it together slowly. I plan on making it a reef tank. I have live rock from where I work plus live sand and also live rock from another SW tank hopefully that will speed up the cycling.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:55 PM   #5
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One simple way of cycling fast is put a raw piece of shrimp enclosed in fine mess such as nylon stocking and leave it there for 1 week to rotten. You will get high ammonia readings but good bacteria will start reproducing on your substrate and rocks. Once you get a good reading on ammonia and nitrate your tank is now cycling and you can add fish. I did mine just for 2 weeks with sand then added live rocks.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:13 AM   #6
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Thanks Jeff I'll probably do that, but when really is a good time for fish like what levels of ammonia and nitrites should my water be at?
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:20 AM   #7
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I don't test for Nitrites since it is converted to Nitrate anyway. Both ammonia and nitrates should have readings close to zero or yellow color if using API test kit.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:23 AM   #8
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When your tank is cycled, your amonia and nitrites will be zero and your nitrAtes will be high. Do a large water change to bring the trates down and you are good to add fish SLOWLY.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:36 AM   #9
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Okay well I'll add some fish food like shrimp or something to help. Tomorrow I'm adding more live rock. Right now I have 40lbs worth of live sand(Fiji pink)the sand bed is about 1/2 inch above the bottom of the tank does that matter or does it need to be thicker?
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:44 AM   #10
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Proper thickness of sand is about 3 fingers from the bottom.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:08 AM   #11
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Don't do fish food, do a shrimp...like from the seafood section at your grocery store (not cooked). Regular foods can rot or possibly add phosphates. Shrimp does the trick.

Are you testing your water regularly? You mentioned live rock "where you work". Are you at a fish store?
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:11 AM   #12
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Good thing I didn't use fish food. Right now there is a shrimp from HEB in there. I work at a aquarium store and yes I test regularly my ammonia is kind high, but not really high then again my tank has only been up for 2 days should I be testing for nitrites? or anything for that matter?
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:46 AM   #13
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I would test for amonia, nitrites and nitrates at least while it is cycling. Use the liquid test kits, not strips. You will see how all three fluctuate, with the end goal being the ammonia and trites going to zero and trates being high. Should take about a month...less if you have live rock and/or live sand added. After its cycled, I'd check nitrates regularly and I tend to check the others about every other week. Ph is good to check as well.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:46 AM   #14
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Since you do not have any inhabitants in your tank yet, there is really no need to worry how bad your water parameter cause that is expected to happen. No need to change water either cause that ammonia will serve as a good indicator later that your tank has cycled even without changing water and created enough bacteria. It will drop down itself when enough good bacteria munching them down to form nitrites and finally to nitrates. After a week without out changing water, remove that rotten shrimp and then start taking readings of ammonia. Once it goes down close to zero you can change water to get rid of that nitrates. Usually it will take another week and nitrite would be close to zero then that is the time you can add fish in your tank after changing water completely.
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