PDA

View Full Version : Newbie here with some questions about my cycling tank


Sumfingwong
06-17-2010, 05:35 PM
I have recently converted my 65g to salt about 1.5 weeks ago.
I am using:

- eheim cannister filter (2 days ago I packed it full of carbon, before that there was ceramic and bio balls for my freshwater setup)
- Aquamedic Turboflotor. I only turn it on when im home during the break in period.
- I added 15 lbs originally with cured/cycled LR from a LFS. 4 days later, I picked up another 8 lbs of live rock from another LFS. The LR was from a display tank, so it was packed with coraline algae and hitchhikers (1 crab, 3 hermit crabs)
- I added 3 yellowtail damsels this past sunday to help with the cycle

I have been feeding the damsels with flake food, and I also noticed when I picked up the first LR, there must have been a crab, because I found a claw floating at the water line.. and the body of the crab is at the bottom of my tank. I figure I would leave the body so it can add to the ammonia to kick start the cycle.

im also beginning to see the brown algae (which I have read to be a good sign of a cycle) Actually, its just brownish stuff hanging off the LR, so I am assuming its the brown algae.

The latest readings were
ammonia - 0
nitrite - 0 ppm
nitrate - 5

With these readings what does it mean? The tank is only 1.5 weeks old, would I be getting nitrate this fast? Was the LR I picked up recently packed with so much bacteria, my tank didnt go through a proper cycle?

bvlester
06-17-2010, 06:02 PM
by using LR and introducing it in steps it is possible to shorten the cycle When I cycle I also use live sand either from a friends tank or the LFS as they now sell Live sand it costs a tun but worth it if it's new stock the older stuff may have some live stuff in it but I would think that there is not much left. So if you get live sand from a LFS then get new stock.

A nitrate spike at 1.5 week is not uncommon when using live rock you at all should not add any thing to your tank till the full month has gone by. Two months if you can wait that long let the brown algae go through its paces it will grow and grow and one day if you have enough circulation and have done your water changes at the right time it will go away don't fight with it. Green hair algae will grow next don't fight it shorten the light cycle allot and it will not last as long as some people have experienced. The HA you have to pluck as much as you can because when it dies and it releases the phosphates back into the water.


the best thing to do is read as much as you can and ask questions and before you get fish setup a QT very important to have QT and use it.
Bill

Sumfingwong
06-17-2010, 06:25 PM
Sweet, thanks for the info.

As for sand, I will be going with no sand. Currently I have the 2 pieces of LR sitting on eggcrate.

I am also picking up 50 lbs from a fellow canreef member this weekend to add to the tank.

When should I do my next water change? I have not done one since I started the tank (only topped off the tank, because of the skimmer)

Here is a pic of what it looks like now. I added the eggcrate last night

Jfish
06-17-2010, 06:38 PM
From my limited experience adding a large amount of cured live rock can quickly cycle a tank. I think its best to add the majority of your live rock or as much as you can afford at the start so that in a month when you want to add more live rock you dont get another cycle. Sure its expensive stuff but good quality live rock houses all that benificial bacteria that keeps our tanks going and was one of the best investments in my tank.
Im not sure if the twenty some pounds you put in would cycle the tank that quickly, especially since you recently just added fish. Either way cycle or not the process has started and I would not add anything else for at least another month besides maybe a small clean up crew. Keep testing you water and reading as much as possible.

Sumfingwong
06-17-2010, 08:53 PM
Too late, I am picking up the live rock this sat. Ill keep everybody posted.

I may pick up a new testing kit, mine is about 1.5 years old.

Jfish
06-17-2010, 09:02 PM
Yeah, more live rock would be fine. If its coming from an established system and you keep it in water during transport there would be minimal die off and probably wouldnt cause a huge spike.

Sumfingwong
06-17-2010, 09:09 PM
ill try to keep it in water. He lives about a 5 minute drive from my house. So hopefully there wont be a problem.

naesco
06-18-2010, 12:06 AM
Sweet, thanks for the info.

As for sand, I will be going with no sand. Currently I have the 2 pieces of LR sitting on eggcrate.

I am also picking up 50 lbs from a fellow canreef member this weekend to add to the tank.

When should I do my next water change? I have not done one since I started the tank (only topped off the tank, because of the skimmer)

Here is a pic of what it looks like now. I added the eggcrate last night

You should never use live fish to cycle a tank. You are putting them through necessary stress
Please return the fish to the LFS. Did they tell you to use damsals to cycle a tank?

bvlester
06-18-2010, 12:58 AM
cycling with live fisg also burns their gills. you can do a small water change before you get the new rock then I would weight till after the 1 month mark. For a tank to fully cycle it can take upto 6 months to establish a tank completly. useing cured live rock will speed up the cycle but not much a 4 week cycle time maybe sped up to a 3 week cycle time.
Have to run and pick up me daughter but I will keep an eye on this thread.

Bill

Sumfingwong
06-18-2010, 05:59 AM
He told me I can use Damsels, and I have read where people can use them. They seem happy, and not stressed.. they are super blue right now. If I see any signs of stress, I will return them. However, this weekend.. my 2 buddies are doing a water change, and they said they will drop some buckets off at my house when they are done. Both tanks have been running for 2+ years. Would it be a good idea to use their water?

Thanks for all the help

Jfish
06-18-2010, 06:40 AM
It is possible to cycle with fish however it is frowned upon because when the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels rise it becomes stressful for the fish. They are hardy fish and may appear healthy now but after several weeks of unfavorable levels they may start to stress.
Im not 100% sure on adding mature water from other systems so i'll let someone else help ya with that one. I guess it could contain some beneficial bacteria however it could also include other nasties you dont want to add to your system.

Sumfingwong
06-18-2010, 06:48 AM
very true. However, both their tanks are in pristine condition. They baby the sh!t out of their tanks lol

bvlester
06-18-2010, 07:15 AM
You would get some beneficial bacteria from the water see if you can get some 200 micron filter socks as this will catch some of the nasties that you would not want in your tank. I would ask them if they have had any fish show signs of ICK or any other sickness as they could have very healthy fish that can fight off ICK. But it can still be present in the tank water and seems you have fish in yours it would give the parasites a place to grow and reproduce. You could have done a cycle with a raw shrimp tail, all the biological bacteria need is something to feed on and grow as your system starts to mature. You have read some stuff but a tank can take several months to mature to a point where you can put just about any fish in it. Some fish need a very stable and establish system or they will not make it. just like a Nem you should not put one in a tank until the tank is fully established. There are a few Nems that will survive and thrive when in a tank that is not very good but it is still not a good idea to put one in.Some fish need certain conditions to survive long term and that is what we are all looking for. Too recreate the oceans reefs be it a passive, tang , or predator tank. Just make sure that you provide and establish the right things for the fish you want to keep before you add the fish.

Bill

Coleus
06-18-2010, 08:14 AM
I think be patient is the key here. We all know the rush feeling of get a salt water tank setup and have nice fish swimming around. But doing that quickly will make you pay a bigger price if your tank did not go through a complete cycle.

You will face many challenges such as fish dying, high nitrate level, all kind of micro algae to deal with. Like Bvlester said, let the tank fully cycle before you start adding fish or coral. You will then enjoy the benefit instead spending more money to battle the problem

Short term pain is long term gain.

Cheers and good luck!

naesco
06-19-2010, 02:07 AM
He told me I can use Damsels, and I have read where people can use them. They seem happy, and not stressed.. they are super blue right now. If I see any signs of stress, I will return them. However, this weekend.. my 2 buddies are doing a water change, and they said they will drop some buckets off at my house when they are done. Both tanks have been running for 2+ years. Would it be a good idea to use their water?

Thanks for all the help

He was wrong and if he is a LFS run don't walk to another LFS. If you are new to the hobby it is easy to make mistakes when you rely on people who should know better.
The ARE being stressed.

fishytime
06-20-2010, 03:03 PM
water contains zero beneficial bacteria........all you will be getting from your friend is used water.....as soon as that rock hits the air it will have die off and adding 50 pounds to a tank that has already started cycling will cause another cycle......I agree with naesco.......bad lfs advice about the damsels....

Sumfingwong
06-24-2010, 03:28 AM
Just a small update.

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20

So..I am still waiting for the ammonia spike, but every time I test the water, its 0.

I am currently prepping some water for a small water change, to lower the nitrate levels. If the nitrate levels continue to rise.. does it mean my tank is cycled?

My skimmer is pulling in some brown gunky stuff every time i throw some flake food into the tank for the hermit crabs and snails