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Old 07-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #81
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My last 2 water tests the ammonia level was -0- but I am skeptical.

Could the raw shrimp have done their job that quickly? They have been in for nearly 2 weeks. (put in on June 25th) I did a water test on July 1 and ammonia was -0- Tested again today and still -0- I really expected to see some ammonia along the way.

Question 2: should i put a heater in the water now or wait til fish?
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That's why i use bottled ammonia easier to dose to 4ppm Add the heater now it will speed the cycle up a bit.
+1 I used pure ammonia on my FW tank. Got it from Ace hardware. You shake the jug a lil. If no bubbles, then it should be pure ammonia w/ no other surfactants/cleaners in it. I'd say if you never had an Ammonia reading, it didn't build up enough Ammonia to get a bacterial colony going. I forget, did you have any live rock?? I know it used to be, but all of it has been dry for months, right??

And yes on the heat, IDK about saltwater tanks & live rock, but I think you can crank it a lil higher than normal to speed up the process as long as there's no animals--gotta research that. Good luck!!
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:59 PM   #82
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Still more questions!!!

I found my initial ammonia reading and it was .5 on June 25...the day I put the shrimp in. I didn't measure again until July 1 and it has been zero ever since.

Nitrites have been 5.0 every time possibly 2.0 yesterday (it was in between colors)

Nitrates have been 80 every time

I started with 80 lbs new CaribSea brand carribean aragonite live sand

I added 65 lbs of new live rock..45 lbsTonga, 20 Fiji and 5 Pukani just because I liked the shapes of some individual pieces. I added no telling how much of the old rock that had been sitting dry in the garage (I'd guess at least 50 lbs if not more. I started with all of the old stuff and took 20 lbs out when i finally arranged stuff this past weekend because their wasn't gonna be much room left for fish to swim.)

Suffice to say I started the tank with a lot of new live stuff! Maybe that helped the ammonia pretty quickly???? I wish I'd had another reading during that first week.

Yesterday I found some things growing on the rock. Today there's even more. I see at least 4 different things in there. What is a good source for identifying what is growing?

If I dose it with ammonia now, will it affect the growing things?

How high on the heat? And does the heater go in the sump?

Still so many questions!!!!
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:00 AM   #83
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I found my initial ammonia reading and it was .5 on June 25...the day I put the shrimp in. I didn't measure again until July 1 and it has been zero ever since. Nitrites have been 5.0 every time possibly 2.0 yesterday (it was in between colors) Nitrates have been 80 every time I started with 80 lbs new CaribSea brand carribean aragonite live sand I added 65 lbs of new live rock..45 lbsTonga, 20 Fiji and 5 Pukani just because I liked the shapes of some individual pieces. I added no telling how much of the old rock that had been sitting dry in the garage (I'd guess at least 50 lbs if not more. I started with all of the old stuff and took 20 lbs out when i finally arranged stuff this past weekend because their wasn't gonna be much room left for fish to swim.) Suffice to say I started the tank with a lot of new live stuff! Maybe that helped the ammonia pretty quickly???? I wish I'd had another reading during that first week. Yesterday I found some things growing on the rock. Today there's even more. I see at least 4 different things in there. What is a good source for identifying what is growing? If I dose it with ammonia now, will it affect the growing things? How high on the heat? And does the heater go in the sump? Still so many questions!!!!
Take pics & post in the Identification forum for new growths. Aiptasia, glass anemones are pretty common... I just had some Who-know-what sponges & a Pineapple Sponge. I've got Spirorbid Polychaetes growing on the back of my powerheads & on the walls of my refugium.

Here's a guide to some things you may find: http://www.lionfishlair.com/hitchhiker/hitchhiker.shtml

And I'd say you mostly cycled. But you need to wait until you get zero NitrIte readings before you consider it cycled. Also, if you plan to fully stock the aquarium at once, you will want to get the Ammonia dosed up quite a bit & have the tank process it in 24hrs, I believe. IDK if 4ppm Ammonia is the guideline for SW w/ live rock?? 4ppm is for FW. If the Ammonia gets too high it's also not good. And yes, heater in the sump but IDK how high of a temp the fishless cycling SW tank can handle... Maybe 82? Maybe 86?? Need somebody w/ experience to chime in. Also, the day before you add animals, you need to do a BIG water change & bring those NitrAtes down. Mine hang out around 5ppm, but I just made my sump a mini refugium w/ live rock, light & Chaeto, so I'm hoping to see my NitrAtes lower. I do a 10% water change weekly now while I'm introducing stock & trying to get this Used Tank in the state I want it.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:53 AM   #84
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Your close to being cycled set the heater at 80 degrees and test daily those nitrItes will drop to 0
Then it's time for a massive water change to lower those nitrAtes think 75-100 percent if you can. Add the stock slowly so the bacti base has time to adjust to the load
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:48 AM   #85
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Good advice everyone...thanks! Should I add anything to help the live rock/supplement the coral growth?
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:55 PM   #86
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Good advice everyone...thanks! Should I add anything to help the live rock/supplement the coral growth?
Do you have any corals in there yet? With just the live rock, just water changes help that along (edit: should I say, when you're done cycling the water changes restore the buffers need for healthy rock & animal stock). You can add Purple Up to get the rock covering coralline algae growth once you get it cycled. And once you add Corals, it's important to monitor the Calcium & Hardness & there are additives for that like Black Powder, etc. I don't have any corals yet just sponges growing naturally that everybody says you don't need to supplement for
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:21 PM   #87
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Use a good grade of salt mix it will have every thing you'll need only if/when your heavily stocked on coral will you need to dose And dont dose anything that you cant test for most times to little is better than to much.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:18 PM   #88
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I have a white "thing" that looks like cauliflower, probably 2 inches in diameter...don't know how I didn't see it before. It has a lot of little heads on it and some with small holes on them. I am having a terrible time at identification. Could this be a coral of some sort?
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:57 AM   #89
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I have a white "thing" that looks like cauliflower, probably 2 inches in diameter...don't know how I didn't see it before. It has a lot of little heads on it and some with small holes on them. I am having a terrible time at identification. Could this be a coral of some sort?
Probably a sponge. Is it ghostly or does it seem solid & opaque? Is it growing on some of the new live rock or on the base rock? Is it a "shady" area or would you say "Well lit?" My sponges are so tiny!! Like smaller than my pinkie nail & I essentially started my tank a week or two before yours (well, moved my used tank). But the water quality wasn't great & the sponges started popping up when I got the water quality back in check. But yours are 2"? Wow!
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:42 PM   #90
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Do you have a picture? I love the ID game.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:57 PM   #91
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You should mail it to me just to be safe Post a pic if you can it helps a lot
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:28 PM   #92
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You should mail it to me just to be safe Post a pic if you can it helps a lot
HA!! Yeah, let's see it!
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:01 AM   #93
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Here it is! Must have come in on the live rock. I looked at the calendar today.....I've only had water in the tank for 19 days ..... Can't be long enough to grow my own critter
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:03 AM   #94
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Looks like a sponge of some sort.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:03 PM   #95
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I really think I am cycled, although I still can't believe it. My tank has only been running for 20 days now.

Readings for 3rd day in a row are:
ammonia=0
Trites=0
Trates=80-160 (hard to tell for sure which color)

ph is a little low though=8.0 to 8.2 What is the best way to raise it?
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:39 PM   #96
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I really think I am cycled, although I still can't believe it. My tank has only been running for 20 days now.

Readings for 3rd day in a row are:
ammonia=0
Trites=0
Trates=80-160 (hard to tell for sure which color)

ph is a little low though=8.0 to 8.2 What is the best way to raise it?
How's your evap? Like are uou adding RODI a lot??

My pH was low when I got my tank & the previous owners were adding Distilled Water straight to the tank for evap. A few people said Don't just add plain RODI water to the tank, this will drop the pH. It's debatable but since I started just chucking a teensy bit of salt in my RODI water, not really changing the salinity just change the chemical composition of the water a smidge, my pH has come up nice. Plus just that major Nitrifying going on in your tank could be dropping your pH & your tank is telling you it needs a water change to restore the buffers. HTH!!
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:44 PM   #97
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You probably need more gas exchange / surface agitation. Point some power heads at the surface of your tank.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:54 PM   #98
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You probably need more gas exchange / surface agitation. Point some power heads at the surface of your tank.
+1 yes, this also!
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:49 PM   #99
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So many questions!

Water: I am adding to water from the grocery store dispenser. "Glacier" is the brand. I can't tell from reading if it is also distilled , but it hoes through a 7 step precess. I drove to every pet store and grocery dtore in town snd this looks like the best option other than 1 gallon jugs if distilled water off the gricery store shelf. The only other sources from the big machines are the " primo" brand dispensers that have minerals added and they are $13 per 5 gal jug! I think that the minerals are a no- no?

When I top off for the evaporation I have been putting the glacier water in the sump. No salt. I did add salt once because my salinity was low. Now it is up where it should be. So every few days I just top it off to make sure my pump stays covered

Power heads: I've only got one at opposite end of tank from where the water comes in. I have those 2 black nozzles pointed at different areas of the tank (what is that black nozzle thing that returns the water called anyway?). Do I need another power head? I've got another smaller one in my box of extra stuff.

Dead space : what do I do with the back corner of the tank where the black plastic box is ... (Pipes are inside) And what is that thing called?! I tried to put some live rock in the area yet still keep room for fish to swim back there if they want to. But I'm guessing there's not much flow back there

Next steps: near complete water change this weekend to get rid of trates? Maybe a fish? I've got to make the 100 mile trek to the semi local fish store to buy light bulbs. Can I bring back a fish assuming I get the nitrates taken care of?
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:54 AM   #100
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I wouldn't do more than 50% water change at a time.

In your circumstances you really need to invest in a rodi unit. No knowing what is in the water you are getting. If they use copper tubing in their process it could be contaminating your tank for instance.
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