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Old 08-20-2014, 12:40 PM   #1
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Could my tank have cycled in 4 days?

I set up my 12 gallon cube on Sunday and today I tested the water and I found:
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5/10. (It's hard to tell)

I have been testing the water daily and on Monday and Tuesday my ammonia was 0.5 but my nitrite has stayed at 0. My nitrate also read 0 until today. I have 17lb of cured, established live rock from a friends tank and 10lb of live sand. I really don't know what is going on so please could someone help me out! I'm not going to get any livestock soon and I'll keep testing my water to see what's happening.
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:44 PM   #2
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The nitrates could be results from die-off from the live rock, but what are you using as an ammonia source? Live rock helps cycle faster, but 4 days seems too fast. If you can get ammonia and dose to 4ppm and it goes back to zero within 24 hours (or close), then you know you are good. Places like Ace Hardware (unscented and can't have bubbles after you shake it) or Dr Tim's sells it. I used the Dr Tim's as dosing is easier.


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Old 08-20-2014, 03:32 PM   #3
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I used fish flakes and let them decay to produce ammonia. There isn't anyway in the uk that I can get ammonia I don't think so I'll just leave the tank for a bit and see if I get any ammonia or nitrite spikes
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:29 PM   #4
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Use a raw table shrimp, but I'd put it in a media bag or pantyhose for ease of removal
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:29 PM   #5
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Does fish food not work?
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:30 PM   #6
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I have some kenya tree and button polyp on my live rock. Will they die during the cycle?
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:31 PM   #7
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It will take a lot and add a good amount of phosphate to your system.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:32 PM   #8
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I'll see if I can get a table shrimp tomorrow. How long should I leave it in the tank?
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:36 PM   #9
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Until you get a good ammonia spike, usually 3-5 days
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:37 PM   #10
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Ok. Should I leave the fish food or try and get it out with a turkey baster or something?
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:09 PM   #11
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Doesn't really matter, up to you.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:14 PM   #12
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What is this? Are they diatoms? Does that mean that my tank is cycled?
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:58 PM   #13
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The hard algae, mostly the purple/pink, is coraline algae. It is a good algae, but some don't like it since it is hard to scrape off as it is calcium based.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:11 PM   #14
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I know the purple stuff is coralline algae, I was asking about the brown algae on top but thanks anyway
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:03 PM   #15
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looks like diatoms to me. cycling tanks and newer tanks tend to get them.

As far as a cycling standpoint, you probably are cycled but its not a very strong one. I would do the shrimp method to build up a bigger beneficial bacteria base.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:43 AM   #16
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What do you mean it's not a very strong one? Like if I add fish I'll get an ammonia spike?
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:32 AM   #17
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Yep. you most likely have a small beneficial bacteria base, so a tiny bit of a bioload will be all it can take. But as you add things, slowly, the base will grow and eventually you will have a strong colony of beneficial bacteria.
I would add your inverts first, couple at a time...if you add too many or feed too much you will get an ammonia spike. I have started tanks with nothing more than live rock and added fish every few weeks and never saw any spikes. But also keep in mind that is in a larger tank so a smaller tank like yours will show a larger effect with a smaller amount of "waste". Thats why they say a bigger tank is better, spikes take longer to happen cause of the volume of water.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:24 AM   #18
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Ah ok. The only inverts I'm getting are hermits and a cleaner shrimp but the shrimp is pretty sensitive right? I'll get a couple of hermits this weekend probably
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:22 AM   #19
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Shrimp are a little finicky, be sure to acclimate him well. They dont like ph swings or nitrates.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:46 PM   #20
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I'll wait to add the shrimp. My ph has stayed at 8 since I set the tank up and my nitrates are about 10. How long does it take to drip acclimate them?
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