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Old 03-03-2005, 09:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisiana
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New Questions :)

Got a few more beginners questions...
Tank has been cycling with rock/sand now for about 3 weeks. I have been running the powerheads, return pump through sump/fuge (havent added lr rubble yet to sump where return enters and skimmer is turned off

Tank params
temp 79.5
salinity 1026/35
40lbs aragonite dry
25lbs aragalive
60lbs base rock hirocks.com
70lbs keys rock lr.com

Last week before adding a shrimp for 3 days the water was
ammonia 0.0-0.1
nitrites .1
nitrates 1.0

Now they are
ammonia 0.0-0.1
nitrites 5
nitrates 10
and I have removed the shrimp two days ago. Is it normal to not see my ammonia levels go up but see my nits go?

Also, I have been running my lights manully for varied times - just basically to give some light to see what's going on - nothing for more than four hours (4xT5's). 3 days ago or so, I noticed a rusty looking color - orange even - barely appearing on the sand only. Today I came home for lunch and turned the lights on and left them on all evening until after work and when I got home - that rust stuff (not hairy like algea is) was everywhere! It looked like someone had sprinkled chili powder all over most of my rocks and in the front corners of the tank on overflow and on the sandbed. Very ugly... I am guessing it is a type of algea, but don't know what kind. Will this be the stuff my cleanup crew will feast on when I add them? It also has created a TON of small (not micro) bubbles everwhere. If I tap on the stand - some disconnect from the rocks/algea/sandbed and surface. Are these small bubbles normal - will they go away? Tank water is still beatifully pristine clear... just bubbles on stuff that wasn't there yesterday. I know that they are not good for corals, etc..

Also - do bristleworms molt? I have been seeing one stuck in the back corner of my tank since last night which is rather large... he seems in good health but really struggling and looks really translucent compared to the ones Ive seen before. It looks as though he is stuck to a exoskeleton and keeps turning around and tugging and pulling. I can barely see him because my rocks are blocking him but I get glimpses every now and then with the flashlight.


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Old 03-03-2005, 10:52 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're getting close the end of your cycle. When Amm and nitrites are 0 and the nitrates are 5ppm < you'll be ready to go.

That rusty stuff is called diatoms....it's is a type of algae the is very common in new tanks. Give it some time and it will burn itself out on it own. Just keep the nitrates and phosphates in check after your cycle and it won't be a problem. Cleanup crews usually won't do anything to it. The bubbles are most likely nitrogen from the de-nitrification process from the bateria....a good thing and it may not completely go away but shouldn't be as noticable later on.

I don't think bristles molt as they don't have an exoskeleton. Not sure what his problem is. I'd just leave him be and let nature do it's thing. HTH.

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