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Old 01-29-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Houston
Posts: 10
3 week old tank, questions

Good evening,

I started this hobby with an old 30 gallon hex with freshwater years ago, upgraded to a 125 South American tank 2 years ago, and recently decided to try my hand converting that old hex into a fowlr system. I get my water pre made from a great LFS. I started with 20lbs of live sand, 20 lbs of purple coralline covered live rock and then bought 10 more lbs of liverock from an established aquarium getting torn down. I wanted to do a fishless cycle.

I started testing a week after setting up the tank and my numbers were

Ammonia .25
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0
Ph 8.0
Temp 77 degrees

My Ph had been dropping and as of yesterday my numbers were:

Ammonia .25
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0
Ph 7.4
Temp 77 degrees

I moved my powerhead all the way toward the top next to the return for the reef octopus HB-1000 so there is a ton of surface agitation and aeration and today when I got home from teaching I tested my numbers and they were all the same but the ph had moved up considerably to 7.8. I also went out and got a Bunch Of house plants that output oxygen at night instead of during the day. I've also bought another powerhead and am moving that toward the bottom of the tank so that there is adequate circulation around the rocks since it is a tall tank. It should be here in a few days.

Some people say my tank skipped its cycle, some say it hasn't even cycled yet,
But today I notice pink and purple and red coralline algae growing all over the live rock that wasn't covered when I put it in. Does this type of algae grow during a cycle? I don't see any hair algae or nusissance algae, but I'm colorblind and the only things I really notice are the bright purples, pinks, reds and maroons.

I'm using an old tank hood that has lots of airspace, it's one of the old plastic hex ones, so I had to tear out the original light unit and retrofit stunner LCD strips into the old lighting hood. It looks fine and works great.

Anyway, that's everything. I have been waiting patiently, and I'm aware I should have seen a spike in ammonia and then zero, then a spike in nitrites and then zero and then nitrates, but the tests don't seem to be moving yet life is continuing to grow.

Thoughts or comments are greatly appreciated. I'm one of those guys who must research all and everything about any project or hobby I get into.

Thank you much,


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Old 01-29-2013, 11:07 PM   #2
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Try putting in a table shrimp and letting it rot. See if that will boost your cycle. Since you said fishless cycle you will need something to continue to add to the ammonia source for the cycle to happen. I let my tank cycle for about 40 days before I added any livestock just to be sure. I also had my lights on for 8hrs a day during and my tank was a forest! I would suggest lights off during the cycle to prevent any excess algae growth.
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