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Old 11-22-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
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Fishless Cycle question

Hey guys. I have my new 40G breeder up and running. Started with 40 pounds of Pukani and 40 pounds of Ocean Direct Oolite, plus one dead shrimp.

Couple days ago the ammonia spiked to 4ppm million and is holding. The Nitrites showed at 2ppm, and Nitrates at 10ppm today.

My question is: There is a lot of shrimp left to decay. Should I remove it now? If I leave it in my assumption is that the cycle would be prolonged as it keeps adding ammonia and the bacteria would grow more to eat it all? in the long run would this be better because it would create a larger bacteria colony to handle bio-load?

Thanks for any advice you guys have,
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:00 PM   #2
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Do not remove the shrimp..... leave it in to continue feeding the bacteria.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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+1 leave it in till it stinks really bad then leave it in longer! Lol
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:36 AM   #4
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Yep, leave it in. The bacteria that eats the nitrite takes a lot longer to grow, and you'll need the ammonia source for the ammonia-eating bacteria while the other bacteria grows. Don't want the ammonia-eating bacteria to die off while waiting for the other bacteria to grow.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
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That's awesome thanks guys.

In it will stay.

I scheduled this whole cycle poorly. Going away for a couple weeks at the end of the year and now hoping the cycle finishes quickly and I can maybe get some cleanup crew in. I don't want to add fish then trust my tank levels to my freshwater fish feeder for that long. And with the evap I have been getting they'd all die off

Although... Suppose I could just add another shrimp before I leave and ask them to add some RO every couple days.....
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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Personally, I'd maintain a shrimp in there and keep topping off until you get back and are ready to give your attention to the system. IMO, no sense starting off with problems.....

Your nitrates are likely going to be crazy high, and the tank will need a complete system flush when you get back, but you won't be worried about it the whole time you're gone.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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Personally, I'd maintain a shrimp in there and keep topping off until you get back and are ready to give your attention to the system. IMO, no sense starting off with problems.....

Your nitrates are likely going to be crazy high, and the tank will need a complete system flush when you get back, but you won't be worried about it the whole time you're gone.
Yeah I think you are right. I was going to do a complete water change after the cycle anyway, so that would clear up the nitrates and leave all the lovely bacteria behind.

I have never done a complete change before in my FW tanks so doing it in SW will be a first. It's my assumption that the 30 minutes or so that it will take me to drain the tank and then fill it back up again won't kill all the bacteria that has started living on the rocks? I figure I can't get "all" the water since the sand is in there.

I've all ready taken so long to get this system started I am in no hurry. If there is one thing I have learned in this hobby is that slow and steady wins. I have run into to many people at the my various LFSs that did all the fast cycle stuff and pushed to get livestock in and have had die off after die off.

I really appreciate your guys' advice.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:43 AM   #8
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Having the tank drained for 30 minutes will not harm your beneficial bacteria at all.... Yes, there will still be water in the sand, so you're not going to be able to get it all out, but you can figure on getting most of it. When I drained mine, I used a large kitchen spoon to push back all of the sand out of one corner, allowing me to run the siphon all the way to the bottom to get as much as I could.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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Today's numbers day 10 of the cycle.

Spec grav 1.024

PH 7.4 (this is totally crashing. I put a new top on last night and I wonder if that contributed. It doesn't matter at the moment, but I am going to have to find a solution to this.

NH3 .25ppm looks like this is about to hit zero!

NO2 5.0ppm here is the real spike in this

NO3 5pmm I think I messed up the test last time. I had a reading of 160ppm last time but got this now. Will retest tomorrow.

PO4 .5ppm Because I am using the Pukani rock I wanted to start keeping an eye on this. I also have the red sea PO4/NO3 treatment if needed.

So that is day 10 of the fishless. Any ideas on the PH?

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:42 AM   #10
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you probably didn't mess up the test, spikes like that in the nitrate can occur, i rememeber when i was cycling some dry lace rock i had it take a few weeks and i had unreadable nitrate levels then closer to the end of the cycle the nitrate levels dropped off to about 10 ppm
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:51 AM   #11
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hmmmm, ph dropped out- probably with the spikes nitrates and phosphates killed off some of the organisms living inside your rock... I have a 10g nano starting out. You can try to buffer your tank with some shells, crushed coral and also make sure that you are keeping up with replenishing iodine, calcium and trace elements. good luck!!
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #12
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I have used Kent's Buffer. It worked well for me, not too pricey.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:28 AM   #13
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I have seen someone on here that had bad salt that made his ph drop real low. There is a recall on the instant ocean reef crystals.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:56 AM   #14
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Beengirl: I think I might just pick some of that up.

boniewoodruff: I used Red Sea Coral pro, everything was ok for over a week. I have been doing a better job of keeping it filled so less waves and then it crashed when I added the top so I think it might be that. But I will keep your advice in mind.

ktomminello: would trace be an issue during a cycle? I thought that was only an issue with growing coral?

Today's Numbers

PH 7.4 (thus the seeking a solution. lol)
NH3 0.00ppm!!!! woohoo and look at the enormous amount of shrimp left. looks like a strong cycle
NO2 2.ppm this is going down, we will see if that is a trend or my ability to read the color chart is bad
NO3 0.00ppm I must have messed that test a bit ago up? or its just super fluctuating.

skipping PO4 today. lazy.


Here is the shrimp and a FTS for the heck of it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earlgrey23
Beengirl: I think I might just pick some of that up.

boniewoodruff: I used Red Sea Coral pro, everything was ok for over a week. I have been doing a better job of keeping it filled so less waves and then it crashed when I added the top so I think it might be that. But I will keep your advice in mind.

ktomminello: would trace be an issue during a cycle? I thought that was only an issue with growing coral?

Today's Numbers

PH 7.4 (thus the seeking a solution. lol)
NH3 0.00ppm!!!! woohoo and look at the enormous amount of shrimp left. looks like a strong cycle
NO2 2.ppm this is going down, we will see if that is a trend or my ability to read the color chart is bad
NO3 0.00ppm I must have messed that test a bit ago up? or its just super fluctuating.

skipping PO4 today. lazy.

Here is the shrimp and a FTS for the heck of it.
The tank looks nice. I like how you have some crevices for the fish to hide.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:19 AM   #16
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I have had 2 dead shrimp in for about 3 weeks now. Nitrate just started dropping. Good luck!
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:02 PM   #17
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Beengirl: thanks! I got the Pukani from BRS and is it just gorgeous with so many crevices. I was also able to saw it to even out the bases and used a chisel to carve a cave all the way through one piece and open up that archway.

boniewoodruff: good luck to you too!

todays numbers

Salinity: 1.024 seem to have this dialed in. Will 1.024 be ok or should I try to get to 1.025 which I can do with just a bit of evap.

PH 7.8 not going to worry about this, I think it will even out.

NH3 0 ppm so done with this part of the cycle

NO2: 5ppm at least. I think I am just having issues reading the purple on the chart. I dipped a multitest stick and it actually showed this up at 10ppm. I think I have a long way to come with Nitrite. I have heard that Bio-Spira works for the nitrite portion of the cycle. How long should I give it for the NO2 to come down to think about that? The nitrite portion is the longest part.

NO3 0ppm

now I just wait for the nirtrites.....
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:35 PM   #18
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WooHoo!!!

0ppm ammonia, 0ppm Nitrite, 5ppm nitrate!! salinity 1.025

omg... now what?!?!

so should I start with some CUC? I wanted an assortment of snails to start the coraline seeding and maybe some hermits. they can eat what is left of the shrimp. to early for a shrimp? and I figured no fish till I get back from vacation in January.

Help? first time i've had a cycled salt tank.....

bit nervous....
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:20 PM   #19
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While I can't offer advice...I just put shrimp in my tank and am excited to see the tests...how long did it take for you to get an ammonia spike?
Right now my salinity is stable at 1.026 with a ph of around 8.3-8.4...love my ac3 controller with ph probe.....

I tested yesterday..and everything is still zero.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chbix
While I can't offer advice...I just put shrimp in my tank and am excited to see the tests...how long did it take for you to get an ammonia spike?
Right now my salinity is stable at 1.026 with a ph of around 8.3-8.4...love my ac3 controller with ph probe.....

I tested yesterday..and everything is still zero.
It took me to about day 6 to top out ammonia.
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