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  1. #31
    Its ALWAYS Ashes2Ashes Fault! Reefscape's Avatar
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    personaly, i think both methods are pretty good. And in reality, you cant get much more natural that something decomposing, as thats mother nature. But, thats just my opinion. I dont see any issues with using pure ammonia to do the cycle..

    On the shrimp, it does not matter what is inside the shrimps stomach, its the whole carcass rotting away which causes the ammonia, not just the stomach contents.

    Just my thoughts

    Niko
    Quote Originally Posted by neoprodigy View Post
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by psariandras View Post
    ... It has been one month, the ammonia level is at ~2.5ppm, nitrites are at ~1.5ppm and have come down from 2.5-3ppm in the last week, nitrates have come up but not by much based on the tests I have it looks like almost 1ppm...

    ... I do not completely agree with your assertions. First of all I question your use of the word "natural." I am adding ammonium chloride to the water -- but the chloride should be no worse than waste products in the shrimp...

    ...I do not agree that using the shrimp is inherently more "natural" than using ammonium chloride...

    ...In my view, I would rather add the chemical directly...
    Well, you're the one with a month old tank which has not cycled, and the advice I've given you is based on 10 years personal experience in setting up my own tanks AND many other newbie's tanks - so you make the choice, it's no skin off my nose in any case...



  3. #33
    Senior Member psariandras's Avatar
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    I didn't mean any offense to you New Reefer. That was why I said I appreciated your advice. I just didn't agree with the assertion that one way was more natural than the other.

    Either way, I don't want to take any skin off your nose.


    In my opinion(I am no marine biologist or chemist of course) I would rather put in the ammonia source directly instead of waiting for it from a rotting shrimp. Not to say that won't work, just I would rather use the direct source. My main concern about using the shrimp was that there would be a smell. Have you had any issues with smell from the shrimp?




    In your ten years of fishkeeping have you had difficulty using ammonium chloride to cycle tanks, or have you not used it before?


    The tank seems to be cycling now since I have added a heat source.
    Last edited by psariandras; 12-29-2007 at 12:34 PM.



  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by psariandras View Post
    I didn't mean any offense to you New Reefer. That was why I said I appreciated your advice.
    That's OK, I was not really offended, just a bit grumpy, I suppose

    I just didn't agree with the assertion that one way was more natural than the other.
    Well, look at it this way... decomposing is natural, adding inorganic chemicals is not...

    In my opinion(I am no marine biologist or chemist of course) I would rather put in the ammonia source directly instead of waiting for it from a rotting shrimp. Not to say that won't work, just I would rather use the direct source.
    Adding the ammonium chloride adds just ammonium (which will act as food for the filtration bacteria), and chloride (which will unbalance your sodium:chloride ratio, leaving you with an elevated chloride-ion level - not a good thing to start your tank with ion-balancing issues).

    Adding the shrimp will provide food directly for whatever microscopic life you might have in the tank (live rock...), and indirectly as ammonium for your filtration bacteria. In addition, being natural, it will have (been host to...) various microscopic organisms and bacteria which at some stage lived in the ocean. Many of these microscopic critters survive being frozen, and can "inoculate" your tank, thus boosting the cycle.

    My main concern about using the shrimp was that there would be a smell. Have you had any issues with smell from the shrimp?
    Yes, decomposing shrimps do smell rather bad, but not nearly as bad as uncured live rock, or two day old skimmate... it's one of those things that one just accept "for the long-term good" if you're serious about making a success with reef keeping.

    In your ten years of fishkeeping have you had difficulty using ammonium chloride to cycle tanks, or have you not used it before?
    Actually, I've been keeping fish for more than 40 years, I've only kept marines for 10 years. I have only personally used Ammonium Hydroxide to cycle fresh-water tanks in the past. I have, however, observed, communicated and/or mentored many novice marine aquarists, and enough of them have used this method for me to see that cycling a tank with a shrimp, of with uncured live rock, is *much* better than going the sterile chemical way ... after all, it's so much less painful to learn from someone else's mistakes.

    The tank seems to be cycling now since I have added a heat source.
    Good - even though I don't like the method, it should still cycle.

    Your name is a bit misleading though, after a decade of personal experiance you're still a new reefer.
    Well, ten years ago I WAS a "New Reefer", and hey, I'm still learning every day. For what it's worth, check the "Join Date" below the user's name - although it does not always say much, it does give an indication of how long someone has been a member (in my case, the July 2003 is misleading, as AC apparently reset the join dates of really old members after a system crash back in 2003.

    Anyway, good luck with your tank
    Last edited by New Reefer; 12-29-2007 at 3:11 PM.



  5. #35
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    Ok, I don't want to kill anything if and when I start a marine so, when you say ammonia spike, what is an approximate PPM you can look for to not nuke anything living on the LR?
    Tanks: 10g - FW: 3 Giant Danios, 2 Dwarf Gouramis, 2 Gold Gouramis, 2 Cherry Barbs, 2 otos,

    A lot of these will be getting new homes soon... MORE TANKS ! ! !

    CHECK THIS OUT !



  6. #36
    Its ALWAYS Ashes2Ashes Fault! Reefscape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pistolpete3521 View Post
    Ok, I don't want to kill anything if and when I start a marine so, when you say ammonia spike, what is an approximate PPM you can look for to not nuke anything living on the LR?

    Shoot for around 4 - 5ppm on the ammonia, and you'll be just fine....
    Quote Originally Posted by neoprodigy View Post
    its always Niko's Fault!... Thanks Niko!



  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pistolpete3521 View Post
    Ok, I don't want to kill anything if and when I start a marine so, when you say ammonia spike, what is an approximate PPM you can look for to not nuke anything living on the LR?
    Good question, and it's praiseworthy that you don't want to kill anything on the LR - unfortunately it's also not really achievable... No matter what you do, many microscopic (and not so small...) organisms WILL be killed during the cycling process, not only by elevated ammonium, but also (mostly) due to changes in light intensity, incompatibility to the temperature you keep the tank at (if the LR was collected from depth, or from a more temperate region), even due to the level of certain chemicals in the freshly made artificial salt water... but mostly because the organisms have been severely compromised by the curing and/or transport of the LR before it reached your tank. Fortunately enough 'critters' survive all of this to still make the LR usable.

    Regardless of the above, the smaller the ammonium spike, the more organisms will most likely survive. As Reefscape said, 4-5ppm will still allow many critters to survive, but if you have (say) some live coral on a piece of LR then the ammonium level would have to be much lower than 4ppm for the coral to survive.

    Personally, I would not be too concerned with some die-off, and would be quite happy with an ammonium spike level of 5-6ppm.



  8. #38
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    I just read through all the posts in this thread, which has answered some of my questions, but I still have many Newb questions:

    Okay, lets say I buy 2 lbs / gallon of live rock from a site such as this: http://www.liverocknreef.com/

    I would also buy live sand from said site. I would set it up in the tank, with the salt water, and nothing else. The live rock photos from that site are very color and are seemingly teeming with life. If I were to put this into a brand new tank, I assume there will be plenty of die off and probably a lot of smell, but if I let this run for a few weeks with good water movement from a power filter with no media in it, would this alone cycle the tank? Or do I still need to add a raw shrimp to start the cycle? At what point would I want to add a cleanup crew? Also, isnt the point of live rock that alot of life would make it through the process, or does "cured" rock imply that most of the life has been squeezed out of it?



  9. #39
    Its ALWAYS Ashes2Ashes Fault! Reefscape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geekpryde View Post
    I just read through all the posts in this thread, which has answered some of my questions, but I still have many Newb questions:

    Okay, lets say I buy 2 lbs / gallon of live rock from a site such as this: http://www.liverocknreef.com/

    I would also buy live sand from said site. I would set it up in the tank, with the salt water, and nothing else. The live rock photos from that site are very color and are seemingly teeming with life. If I were to put this into a brand new tank, I assume there will be plenty of die off and probably a lot of smell, but if I let this run for a few weeks with good water movement from a power filter with no media in it, would this alone cycle the tank? Or do I still need to add a raw shrimp to start the cycle? At what point would I want to add a cleanup crew? Also, isnt the point of live rock that alot of life would make it through the process, or does "cured" rock imply that most of the life has been squeezed out of it?

    Firstly, i would just buy normal aragonite (dry) reef grade sand....will be cheaper than buying live sand...the live rock will populate the sand with life, so no worrys there....

    If it was me, i'd still add a raw shrimp, and remove when the ammonia rises to about 4 - 5ppm, then let the cycle continue on its own accord...How much die-off depends on how far the live rock is going to be shipped to you..

    Add your clean up crew at the end of the cycle, when your nitrates have come down to about 5ppm and you do a good 50% water change...They can then tackle the ensuing diatom algae bloom which "most" new aquariums suffer...it passes in time though...

    Cured means that there is no die-off....BUT...once its removed from their live rock stocking bins, it will start to die, hence me mentioning it depends on how long it takes to ship it too you...

    Hope this helps...
    Quote Originally Posted by neoprodigy View Post
    its always Niko's Fault!... Thanks Niko!



  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reefscape View Post
    Cured means that there is no die-off....BUT...once its removed from their live rock stocking bins, it will start to die, hence me mentioning it depends on how long it takes to ship it too you...Hope this helps...
    Awesome, thanks! That was my single biggest question, the exact definition of "cured" live rock VS. "Uncured" live rock. Please make sure I have this correct:

    CURED rock, is rock harvested by a supplier, which has sat in holding tanks for X weeks, in which a certain amount of die-off has taken place and reached a point at which in those tanks there is no further die-off. When this same CURED rock is then shipped to you, there is additional die-off from it being out of water for X hours or days. This rock may then need to go through another mini-curing, in your own personal tank, while the die-off associated with the shipping decomposes. Inside your tank, once it has reached a point where there is no additional die-off, it is fully CURED. Is this correct?

    UNCURED live rock, is rock that has been immediately harvested and no time for the initial die-off has been allowed to take place. Placing this into your tank will result in substantial die-off, and all the mess and odor that may involve. Is this correct?

    What do we call formerly live rock that is so depleted of life from being out of water, shipping, abuse, etc, that is is virtually "Dead" and has no value for a tank until it is seeded with other cured live rocks? I see some live rock that looks basically dead in comparison to other rocks that have plenty of green and purple and little creatures and things. I would assume the rock that looks to have more life and exponentially better to use in the tank?

    My understanding of CURED rock in relation to the CYCLING process is that it helps the process along, but is it necessary? Would it be better to cycle a tank without live rock, and then add live rock in, and therefore create less die-off in terms of the creatures and microbes on the live rock? Or does a uncycled tank have no effect on live rock? I just don't want to spend $300.00 on live rock which I place in the tank in the first few days, just to have it all die-off and become lifeless.

    What do we call dead rock (like something found in my yard and boiled) which has been seeded with live rock? Is this now considered live-rock?

    Thanks for all the help.



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