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Old 02-19-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
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Carib Sea moon sand...not cycling

Has anyone else used this substrate? I've got it in my 29gal and am having a hard time cycling. I've had some advice (I trust the help I've been given) that perhaps the bacteria that comes with this sand is keeping the good bacteria from growing. I'm just wondering what anyone else has done or if anyone has been able to cycle with this. Thanks for all input....I appreciate all help!!!!
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:14 PM   #2
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What trouble are you having?

How long have you been at it?
Are you doing a fish-less or fish-in cycle?
If fish-in, what is your stock?
What is your filtration?
What are your water parameters?

I have never used that particular substrate but chances are it is not an issue with any bacteria that may have been in the bag. These things are usually bunk as any bacteria that may have been in there when it was packaged was likely dead by the time it got off the shelf and into your tank.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:25 PM   #3
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Hi Blert! I have a 29gal with an aquaclear 50 and I'm doing a fishless cycle. My problem is that my nitrites have been super high for a week or more now and my ammonia isn't dropping as fast as it had been. Finally starting to get some nitrates showing up....pretty close to 40ppm
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:27 PM   #4
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I started my cycle on January the 15th and today my water tested at ammo 1ppm, trites were over 5ppm, trates almost 40ppm and Ph is 7.6
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:40 PM   #5
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Cycling could take four to eight weeks (or more). It actually looks like you are doing well if you have nitrates showing up. Have you tested your tap water so you can gauge the amount of nitrates that are being produced? If your nitrites are off the chart then I would suggest a PWC to bring them back down to a readable range, it's not going to hurt your cycle as the bacteria you are growing is in your filter, substrate and on your decor/plants not in the water. Make sure to redose ammonia after the PWC. If you can add an air stone or more surface agitation that would be good too as well as maybe bump the heat up a couple of degrees. The nitrite phase take the longest as that particular bacteria grows slower than the ammonia eating ones.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:45 PM   #6
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Thanks....my tap tests 0 nitrites and 5ppm nitrates. I've done a few LARGE water changes so far....I'm not giving up yet as like you said it can take up to a couple months! Might have to try an air stone as well....thanks for the input. If you think of anymore suggestions I'm always happy to hear them
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:54 PM   #7
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Your doing well. With 40ppm nitrates you are probably very close. I wouldn't bother with PWCs unless nitrites are off the chart or the pH starts to crash.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:57 PM   #8
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That's just it....my nitrites are usually always off the charts. Lol! Usually a rosy pink....
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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You're on schedule with the nitrite; my concern is that the ammonia is no longer dropping. Usually ammonia drops to 0 first, then the nitrite spike happens. Because your ammonia has slowed my thought was that the sand was playing a role. I could be wrong, but that's my best guess. The nitrite spike usually takes up to 3 weeks so you may just need a bit more patience and see if things can progress on their own. It's up to you, as I mentioned before you could drain the tank and stock slowly and try a fish-in cycle, but with only 4 weeks into a fishless cycle it's hard to say for sure whether there's an issue with the sand, I only mentioned it b/c as I mentioned the ammonia conversion has slowed. Personally I'd wait it out a couple more weeks and see if anything changes.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:40 AM   #10
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Thanks so much for your help librarygirl! I take all your advice with confidence and its appreciated! I think I'll stick with it a couple more weeks and hopefully things will turn around and I'll get cycled.
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