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Old 11-16-2016, 10:08 PM   #1
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A little help to start things off.

Well, I have purchased my R/O unit and have nearly 3/4 of my 120 gallon tank filled with water. No salt, sand , rocks added as of yet.

Can you guys lead me in the proper direction in the steps needed to properly get my system cycled?

I have had a FOWLR tank in the past but it was many years ago.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

S
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:35 PM   #2
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You need to get the rock and salt in your system before you can cycle.
Don't add anymore water as you will experience displacement.
If you provided an ammonia source now, you would have a cycled freshwater tank. Adding salt would then kill it off and the tank would be uncycled.
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:39 PM   #3
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Ok, so i will stop putting any more water in it.

Should I add salt now or wait until I buy some live rock?
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:24 PM   #4
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Either is fine in reality. You can't start your cycle without any type of live/macro/base rock or salt.
Once this happens, get yourself a cocktail shrimp and toss it into some old pantyhose. Tie it off and toss it in. Nature will do the rest.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:35 AM   #5
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So the tank is up and running and 'cycling'. I added the salt, sand and about 85 pounds of live rock on Friday night.

Temp is about 79 and salt is 1.22.

I still need to purchase lights.

Do i need to test the water during this process?

Were you serious about dropping in a shrimp ?
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:50 PM   #6
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:51 PM   #7
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I'm very serious about the shrimp. It is the easiest ammonia source one can put in.
You will need to test your water to see where the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are so you know how your cycle is going. It doesn't have to be an every day thing as a cycle can take several weeks.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:46 PM   #8
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Ok guys, I will go buy 3 shrimps for the 120 gallon tank I have and let nature take its course
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:05 AM   #9
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Can i just drop the 3 shrimp in without the pantyhose? I don't really have any spare pantyhose lying around lol
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:23 AM   #10
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Is your salinity at 1.22??? Way too high. 1.022 is better, but shoot for 1.025. That zero is important.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selbycups View Post
Can i just drop the 3 shrimp in without the pantyhose? I don't really have any spare pantyhose lying around lol
You can, but when you are out getting your shrimp get yourself one of those 98 cent eggs. This is a huge help for clean up.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:32 PM   #12
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I am not at my tank right now but I am pretty sure its 1.022
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:35 PM   #13
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That's good for now. But never hurts to check, we have seen table salt used, kalc powder dosed directly to the DT, marine fish put into fresh water etc. People do crazy things without realizing it.
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Old 11-23-2016, 03:55 PM   #14
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Yes salt at 1.022

So now that the 3 shrimps are in the tank when do I start testing the water? Am i testing for ammonia? nitrates? nitrites?

Will the shrimp need to be taken out at the end? Will they just disintegrate through the cycling process?

Also, my tank currently has no light on top... I am looking to buy that. Is that ok for the live rock I have?
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Old 11-24-2016, 11:36 AM   #15
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Yes, as the shrimp decomposes it will turn into ammonia. Bacteria will begin to colonize your rock and turn the ammonia into nitrite. More bacteria will colonize and turn the nitrite into nitrate. Your nitrates will be managed by your weekly water changes. When the cycle is over, you want to see no ammonia or nitrite levels.
The shrimp will decompose. Hence why I like to put them in panty hose for easy clean up.
Light doesn't matter for the cycle. It will only cause unnecessary algae growth.
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Old 11-24-2016, 12:30 PM   #16
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Awesome, thanks for all the help, much appreciated!!
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:30 PM   #17
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Question - Week 4 of cycle.

What tests should i be running? I have salifert test kits.
All i have been running is nitrate tests and they are still high, 25-50 according to the chart. Is that normal deep into the cycle?

I haven't plugged in my canister filter yet, should i?

Help always appreciated

Thanks

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Old 12-15-2016, 07:20 PM   #18
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What are your ammonia and nitrite levels? If they are at 0 you are done. Then water changes will bring down your nitrate levels and you can add a fish.
Once you have a fish in the system, then you can start up the canister.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:09 PM   #19
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Ammonia is high, 1.0 on the salifert test kit
Nitrate still high between 25-50

I am wondering if I did something wrong. Cycle is 5 weeks in.

I have 3 maxijets ( I am not sure what model number they are ) and 1 MP10 doing my flow.

LFS i called said thats not enough current for my 120 gallon tank and that could be an issue. They recommended I buy a Sicce Xstream 2120 Wave Pump Powerhead 2120gph, I guess I will this weekend. They also suggested to get the shrimps out of my tank and go with Stability solution and Pro Bio solution and the tank will stabilize.

Should i ignore and just stay the course?
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:32 PM   #20
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Stay with the shrimp. It is providing the ammonia source your beneficial bacteria are consuming. Cycles take time. The one in my 55 took 6 weeks I think. Was a frustrating wait, but everything in this hobby is about patience.
When it comes to the flow in the system, you want to aim for at least 10x turnover of the water column. I personally go for much more, but you wouldn't want more than 40-50x. So, for a 120 gallon tank, a minimum of 1200 gph would be the goal. I think that your LFS is right about the flow in your system. Though not knowing anything about the maxijets, the MP10 is way undersized for a system of this size. I actually run 2 MP40's on my 55 gallon, just tuned down and patiently awaiting a future upgrade. The MP10 would be a much better fit in terms of a system of my size rather than yours. The powerhead recommended would be a very nice fit into the system as a main source of water movement. You could then most likely take a maxijet or two offline as you fiddle with the flow to get it to where you want it.
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