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Cycling new tank - nothing is happening!
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msteele
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Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: 2004.01.06(Tue)7:38    Post subject: Cycling new tank - nothing is happening! Reply with quote

The tank has been cycling for 8 days:
I set my new 38 gallon tank up with filter, heat, powerhead, mixed the saltwater, put in an aragonite base and added approximately 30 pounds of live rock (fiji) which came with a beautiful purple algae growing on it. As recommended on several posts I added a cocktail shrimp to start the cycling process. I have diligently tested my water for the past week and nothing has happened! Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates have all stayed at 0. (pH is 8.2).
I thought that my ammonia would have started to build up by now. My rock has turned brown and is now started to turn green and a lovely brown film of algae has covered the walls of the tank. Again, I thought this growth would have indicated that the tank was cycling properly.
Am I missing something?
Thanks for any advice.
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Darthvadersmom
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Joined: 08 Oct 2003

PostPosted: 2004.01.14(Wed)15:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am confused. DON't you want your ammonia level at 0??? ammonia is bad. And the brown slime. IS it kinda purple ish?? and over a lot of your rocks? iF it is . it is cyanobacteria. WHich is bad. Cocktail shrimp? I never heard of that. May be I haven't been reading enough but I cycble my tank with just water and filter and a damsel.
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: 2004.01.14(Wed)18:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK first of all when your cycling you want the ammonia levels to go up! its only bad if you have it after the cycle! Also not sure why the cocktail shrimp isn't working maybe it was to small, try adding a couple more. also using a damsel to cycle your tank is cruel. sure it probably won't die but how would you like to live in polluted air for 4-6weeks? maybe someone else has a better idea why the cocktail shrimp isn't working because from what I have read on other posts it should.
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msteele
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Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: 2004.01.15(Thu)8:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have since been told (from other forums) that the rock I bought was properly cycled before I brought it home and contained the "good" bacteria that cycling the tank produces (the bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrite to nitrate). Enough good bacteria that the cocktail shrimp wasn't enough of a bioload to spike the ammonia.

The algae is normal algae (also gleaned from reading and other forums). When cycling a tank there will be several algae blooms - the first one being brown, then green and finally purple coralline algae should start growing on the rocks.

I agree with the damsel theory - I wouldn't want to live in polluted air, so why would I put a damsel in to live in its own waste until the proper bacteria has been grown. Especially since I don't want a damsel in my tank when I'm done cycling (they are supposed to be very territorial).

I have since added 3 turban snails, 2 peppermint shrimp and 2 really tiny hermit crabs. They have taken care of the algae problem and have not produced an ammonia spike either. I'm going to go out this weekend and get my first fish - yeah!

Thanks for replying.
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MotoHead
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Joined: 25 Sep 2003

PostPosted: 2004.01.16(Fri)23:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

in my opinion you are making a big mistake buying a fish this weekend.you're tank has NOT cycled yet and you need to wait.8 days is about 5 weeks shy of what you need.mine took 6 weeks to cycle and that was with damsels.obviously your cycle has not begun yet and it soon will.it takes a good while for this to happen,not a matter of days,it is a matter of weeks.you should wait a few days to a week then test again.you will find your levels starting to rise.would be wise for you to look up info on cycling on the net.
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karlas
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2004.01.21(Wed)9:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the fully cured lr it probably had enough bacteria to act with the cycle but it will still cycle. Hold off on buying critters until you are sure your water ammonia and nitrites are at 0. Your tank is still pretty new to be adding live stock.

nitrogen cycle
http://www.epetpals.com/cycle.htm

reefkeeping 101
http://www.reefcorner.com/reef%20keeping_101.htm
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msteele
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Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: 2004.01.21(Wed)20:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it has now been 4 weeks and all my levels are still at 0.
Is it safe to add fish now?
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karlas
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2004.01.22(Thu)2:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

There have been a few tanks that have had a shorter cycle maby you are one of the lucky ones but I would wait at least another week maby 2. Most tanks take up to a full month some have taken over that. But give it at least a week test again and if everythings still OK then go ahead and add someting. Its best to be on the safe side then to take a chance.
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bohica
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Joined: 10 Aug 2003
Location: western Ky.

PostPosted: 2004.01.26(Mon)8:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

msteele wrote:
Well, it has now been 4 weeks and all my levels are still at 0.
Is it safe to add fish now?


msteele, I would like to applaud your patience. Most people despite the advice they were given would have waited awhile, seen no spikes and rushed out and bought fish. You waited a month and came back to "check in" with your advisers. You are gonna be a succesful SW aquarist if you take it slow and easy and know sound advice when you hear it.

Now I will get yelled at but here is my personal opinion. Go buy that first fish. Why? Because if you are using quality test kits and you have seen NO sign of cycling at all in a month odds are you have experianced a rare phenomenon called snap cycling that sometimes happens with tanks seeded with live rock. I have experianced it twice. In a nutshell there were enough live organisms in your Fiji rock to snap cycle the tank literally overnight. You moved in a large quantity of "good" bacteria that did the trick for you. It is rare that the ratio is right and enough bacteria survive to do this but it does happen. Enjoy.

Bo
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msteele
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Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: 2004.01.26(Mon)9:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply and vote of confidence!

I've experienced a conflict of information and am awaiting my new lights before I purchase my first fish. I am hoping that I have the lights by the end of the week - I am getting a little antsy now!

I am pleased to say that my levels are still all at 0 and my cleaner crew is doing a good job of starting to clean up the tank.
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