Cycling questions

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Jacojs, 17 Dec 2015.

  1. Jacojs

    Jacojs

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    Hi Everyone.

    Probably same old questions again so apologies up front.

    1. To cure or not to cure dry rock.
    Curing prevents algae from forming in your tank during the cycling process right? Would it be that bad not to cure the dry rock and wait for the algae to die off on its own? I am not in a rush to stock my tank. I want everything to be right.

    2. How crucial is the right salinity/gravity during the cycling process?

    3. Arag Alive, I like the black sand, a lot of people dont, now I read that the black sand is not aragonite but basalt/volcanic ash or something, any downside to using just hawaiin black or mix it with one bag of real aragonite just because? How many kgs of sand do I need for a 60x50x50 cube?

    I also noticed that most of the bags of hawaiin black have little to no water in the bag compared to the white sand which has a lot of water? is this normal? I also know theres debate whether it is actually beneficial to use this wet sand compared to dry.

    If I think of anything else I will post it later.

    Thanks for any input and suggestions in advance.

    Jaco.
     
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2015
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  3. valdero

    valdero

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    1. Curing in tank will cause more algae yes because of all the dead or dried out organisms within the dry rock. If you have time then it's ok to bring the nitrates down at a later stage starving algae growth.

    2. Not sure regarding salinity but I would assume it's best to stay within normal parameters so that beneficial bacteria can populate

    3. I've heard Hawaiin black can attach to magnetic glass cleaners
     
  4. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Thank you valdero, any other input? Surely everyone here has cycled their tanks :drool5:
     
  5. Juan27

    Juan27

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    1. Its actually very difficult to get rid of algae once it gets going, rather read through @4age thread to see what he did with his rock. I actually really like the method he used. 4age project 2

    2. Mix your salt to a SG of 1.025 and let your tank cycle. This way you can keep an eye on salinity and know how much to top up with RO and when. Its easier to do this now without any live stock that might stress and die.

    3. Don't know much about Arag-Alive as I've never used it. But depending on how deep you want your sand bed, I'd say about 15kg would be a good start in your size tank.
    I used wet/live sand in my system, so I can't really tell you if its better than the normal substrate or not.
     
  6. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Thanks I will read the thread. And I am getting 12kg so should be just enough or just too little.

    I actually thought one wants to get algae so that it can starve before adding life. Like I said, will read link. Thanks a lot!
     
  7. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Next question.

    Why is there such a big difference between what water you use in a marine aquarium and a tropical aquarium?

    Using normal dechlorinated tap water for a tropical aquarium does not result in all kinds of freaky algae problems and in fact I have read that you cant use RO water to cycle a tropical tank. The cycle wont start for some reason.

    Why is it the opposite for a marine tank?
     
  8. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Because in a marine tank you start with pure RO water. Which is just H20. The salt has all the minerals needed.
     
  9. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Okay but why so much algae problems in marine? Because of higher light spectrum/too many wattage used? Or are actinics the culprit here?
     
    Last edited: 18 Dec 2015
  10. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Algae isn't really a problem. Once your tank is stable you should be fine.
     
  11. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    So curing rock is to prevent algae during the cycling process. Using non cured rock will give algae during cycling but the algae will burn itself out when there are no more nutrients for it to feed on?
     
  12. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Anyone?
     
  13. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Yes, although that it not the sole purpose of curing live rock but it is one of the reasons we do, due to die off on the rock during the time it leaves the ocean and gets to you a lot of organisms that were attached to and live on and in the rock may have died, putting this rock straight into your tank will cause excess nutrients which are food for algae to grow.
    Using un-cured rock will not always cause algae to grow, but there is a good chance it will feed algae growth. Once the rock has cured it then can perform it's filtration purpose.

    You can tell if rock is un-cured as it will have a very unpleasant smell to it.
     
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  14. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Thanks Viper.
     
  15. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Hey everyone, another question.

    I started my cycle yesterday, I have 5kgs of dry rock and 4kgs of live rock purchased from a lfs, whats strange to me though was that they were trying to say that I was buying too much live rock and that 9kg was already a bit much? My display is 60x50x50. Is 9kgs really too much for my tank? I still have a whole compartment open in my sump with nothing in there at the moment!

    Secondly how long can my tank run without ANY livestock and just live rock? How do I keep the bacteria and stuff in the live rock alive? Reason I ask is we are going on holiday in April, I know its still long until then, but I dont want to put livestock in a month or 2 before going away and coming back to a dead tank. And everyone says take it slow so if I can not put in any stock until after our holiday in April would that be good or bad?

    Thanks.
     
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  16. DrewZA

    DrewZA

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    Well, simply put, whoever said 9kg was too much doesnt know what they're talking about. 18kg's is around the right quantity of rock for your size of tank (roughly 1kg/10l rule of thumb). and if you want more in the sump, go for it - when it comes to filtration, you can never have too much, only too little.

    With regard to getting your cycle going and keeping it going, without adding livestock, just throw in a piece of dead prawn to start the cycle off properly, and leave it. The prawn will decompose, resulting in an ammonia spike, then after about ten days, nitrites will come as a result of the presence of ammonia, and lastly, nitrates will come from the presence of nitrites. Cycle complete in about 30 days.

    In your case, with going away, I think you're playing it nice and safe by not adding livestock until after your return. However, you will need to feed the bacteria something to keep it going while you are away, so I reckon throw a little flake or pellet fish food in every couple of days just to give the tank something to consume.

    Well done on having the patience to do it right!
     
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  17. DrewZA

    DrewZA

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    Oh - and with regard to your holiday - if there's no livestock and you're away for ten days or less, I think you'll be fine without the tank being fed.
     
  18. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the good response and explanation!

    Yes its weird about the live rock!! Plus they are a MASA sponsor too and when I asked them about the 1kg for every 10 litres they said they have never heard of it :y13: I will be phoning again today and speak to someone else, just to be sure if it was related to one person or not.

    When you say prawn do you mean prawn prawn or tiny shrimp? Do I leave it in there and let it rot away or do I remove it at some point? I have brittle star on the live rock somewhere(saw it in the bag but was missing when I put the rocks in my tank) will the cycle kill it? I do have pure ammonia 35% concentration. Can I use that instead? I know its essentially the same thing though.

    With regards to feeding the tank can I use the ammonia for that maybe?

    Thanks for the positive encouragement!
     
  19. DrewZA

    DrewZA

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    Noooo - dont add ammonia to the tank. You have the time to work with, so let it do it's thing completely naturally. This will result in a stronger bio filtration system further down the line.

    With regard to the prawn or shrimp - either will do, the cycle just needs something rotting to produce ammonia to start things off. Just a small piece (R1 coin size) will do fine, and there will be nothing left by the time your tank has cycled.

    Oh, and a tip - leave the lights off while the tank cycles - it helps with algae control during cycling :001_cool:
     
  20. DrewZA

    DrewZA

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    Instead of extra live rock for your sump - look at Seachem Matrix. Does the same job, but much more effective, kilo for kilo. If you put 1 litre of Matrix stones in your sump, it will be roughly equivalent to 25-30kg of good quality of live rock in terms of bio filtration...
     
  21. Dexter

    Dexter

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    I'm to impatient to wait this long for a cycle. If you already have liverock going, add stability to tank, follow the week course and you good to go. Just saying:thumbup1:
     
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