Cycling Methods & Procedures

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marine_geek

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Jul 21, 2007
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I should have come to this site before putting damsels in my tanks -insert guilt trip-

I put 40lbs uncured live rock strait into my tank(50gal) after rinsing it off and scrubbing it a bit, 2 weeks later their was no ammonia an low readings for nitrite and nitrAte so i added a 2 damsels (one killed the other) -guilt trip-

its still cycling (week 3)
 

ithorse

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Jun 25, 2007
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good job, could anyone tell me how many days need let the prawn/shrimp stay in tank, i just set up a nano tank, i put the shrimp two days ago, now the whole room have crazy smell, so should i still leave prawn/shrimp in the tank or i can take out?
 

Sweetnezz7

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Mar 25, 2007
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110 Gallon Setup

Hey everyone...great bit of info on here...We just purchased a 110 setup...Wondering if you's could get me started on it...WHere do I start first...mix water, arrange live rock, add sand, fill tank..and add how many prawn for my size tank?...I do this all on same day?...Or is there a time method to this?...Any info you have is worth gold to me...
Thanks so much...Awesome sticky for us noobies..
SHannon
 

rdfriend

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Sep 9, 2007
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Seminole, Fl.
Ok, with all of this great info my head is swimming. (pun intended) I am cycling a 20 gal. I've put in a deep sand base and about 17 lbs. of uncured live rock. I did not clean anything off of the rock. I plan on adding a skimmer and powerhead but am just running an aquaclear 20 gal max power filter. My questions: Should I take the rock back out and clean off or let it go and if I do let it go will I have to clean it at some point later before stocking? Does lighting and temp have any importance while cycling? Should I add the powerhead now while cycling to get better circ? Will there be an issue when I swap the filter for the skimmer when the cycling is done? And how long should I expect for the cycling to complete? Thanks for any info!
 
Should I take the rock back out and clean off or let it go and if I do let it go will I have to clean it at some point later before stocking?
No, you can leave the uncleaned rock in the tank - it will take a bit longer to fully cure (depending on the amount of dead sponges, algae, etc. on the rock...) but in the end everything dead will decompose just the same. As they decompose the dead organisms will be consumed by microscopic organisms and bacteria, and will disappear naturally, so no need to clean the rocks later.

If you're lucky some "dead" organisma might even recover and survive the cycle.

Does lighting and temp have any importance while cycling?
Yes and no :y220d:

A higher temperature (within reason, obviously) will cause bacteria to multiply more rapidly, and will thus speed up the cycle IF there is enough oxygen in the water. A higher temperature will, however, decrease the level of dissolved oxygen in the water, and there will be an optimum temperature for any particular system (depending on water circulation, skimming, living algae, etc.)

Should I add the powerhead now while cycling to get better circ?
YES! The better the water flow (and surface agitation), the more O2 will be available in the water. With higher flow the availability of O2, food, and waste removal to/from the organisms/bacteria in the rock and/or deep sand bed will also be better, thus allowing for a higher concentration of bacteria/organisms per area of substrate.

Will there be an issue when I swap the filter for the skimmer when the cycling is done?
If you are planning to use live rock and/or a deep live sand bed as your "filtration media" you should not run any filter media in the Aquaclear - just use it to increase the water circulation.

If your LR has much dead growth on it, I would suggest that you start using the skimmer from the start of the cycling process. Although doing so might increase the cycling period by a few days, it will help to moderate the ammonium spike, and might thus save some organisms from being killed by the ammonium/ammonia - and after all, you paid good money for the "life" in the live rock...

And how long should I expect for the cycling to complete?
How long is a piece of string...

The ammonium spike should peak after about 2-3 weeks, with the nitrite spike peaking some 10 to 14 days later.

In my opinion a "cycle" is only complete when the nitrate level has peaked and returned to zero, and this could take another month or two.

Hope this helps

Hennie
 

psariandras

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May 18, 2007
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I have been using ammonium chloride to cycle my tank, my tank has some LS in the sand bed and DIY rock.

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 am concerned because the ammonia level has not come down very much - am I being impatient or should I do something (a water change?) Will the ammonia eventually be reduced to 0 by bacteria?

note that the first month I had no heater and the water was around 70 degrees. Now I have a heater, any advice on what to set the heater?

I read somewhere that 4-6 weeks is standard but I also read that at colder temps it may take longer.


The ph is and alk are low as well, and I don't know if I should address this now or wait. pH tests say 8.1 and my strip tests read slightly below 8.


thanks for any advice.
 
I have been using ammonium chloride to cycle my tank, my tank has some LS in the sand bed and DIY rock.

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 am concerned because the ammonia level has not come down very much - am I being impatient or should I do something (a water change?) Will the ammonia eventually be reduced to 0 by bacteria?
I have never used this method because I don't like doing things "unnaturally" - e.g. you are now adding extra chloride, which is not needed. More importantly, with DIY rock your only source of bacteria is the LS. Are you sure that the sand was really "live sand" when you bought it? Did/does it have lots of little critters in it? If not, you probably wasted your money...

note that the first month I had no heater and the water was around 70 degrees. Now I have a heater, any advice on what to set the heater?
This would have slowed the rate of bacterial growth, but not by much, so this is most likely not the problem.

pH tests say 8.1 and my strip tests read slightly below 8.
That's fine, and to be expected in a new tank.

I would recommend that you stop the addition of the ammonium chloride, and just add a frozen (food) prawn or two. As stated earlier, the bacteria in the prawn,s intestines will kick-start the cycle, and the decomposing prawn will provide all the nutrients needed for the cycle.

Remember, natural is better :)

Hennie
 

psariandras

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May 18, 2007
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I appreciate your advice New Reefer, however, 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 don't know what that shrimp was fed or what it last ate. I do not agree that using the shrimp is inherently more "natural" than using ammonium chloride. I am not sure, but I think there are other waste products, not necessary for cycling, that are produced as the shrimp decomposes. In my view, I would rather add the chemical directly.

What does happen to the chloride anyway, I thought it was some chemical process that got rid of it(not a chemistry person:))

anyhow, thanks of the feedback. :)
 
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