Cycling - step-by-step?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by neo, 7 Oct 2009.

  1. neo

    neo

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    Howdy,
    i'v read a lot on cycling/starting but seem to be missing something:(.

    what is the oreder in which i do things?
    What do i put in my tank when i start cycling and what do i add later ?
    when do i add the dsb sand, base rock, LR, DT substrate ???
    must i check water parameters every day from the start?

    I've read about cooking of the rock, is this for base rock only and can i do it in my tank while cycling.

    I thought of doing the following:

    1) Add base rock and do the scaping of it in DT.
    2) Add sand to DSB
    3) Add salt water over a week's time as I cant make 400l of salt water at once
    4) Run this for 3 weeks with skimmer and return-pump but nothing else (no lights)
    5) Add some LR and the substrate at week 4 and run for another 2 weeks, also start to switch on lights for about 5hrs a day at this point.
    6) After 5 weeks go with full lights, water changes, all flow pumps etc. - everything for normal running except no life added yet.
    7) run tank another 2 weeks like this testing water parameters.

    OK, i need another way of mixing the salt, can i do this all in one go in my DT while the base rock and DSB sand is in ??

    thx.
     
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  3. crispin

    crispin

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    1. take and empty tank and do all your plumbing. get all the pipes in place, skimmer installed, return with pipes on it etc etc.
    2. full it with water (i use tap water which will be thrown away later, or used on the garden...JUST NOT IN A TANK!) to check for leaks. Drain the tank and sump.Fix any leaks you might have
    3. Add substrate to the DT, aquascape (without water! :)) with the Bio ro0ck or base rock and put sand in for a DSB if its NOT live.
    4. then full the system with RO water and add salt. Check the SG and make sure you get it right. Switch on internal flow and return flow and check the SG again. Make sure you get SG correct! Simply add salt to the RO water amounts at a time. You can use rough guides on how much salt you need for the amount of water you have.
    5. Let that all circulate for a day or two, milkiness will setlle and salt will be properly mixed. Check the SG again :)
    6. Add LR (this is when you start the cycle) the die off from LR will cause the nitrogen cycles to begin and thats where the peaks and troughs start comming into play. Start testing NO2, NO3 etc after two weeks and map it on a graph.
    7. I like to run this cycling away for around 6-9 weeks, longer if you have the pacients. Test and when parameters are good you can look at adding Clean up crew. Then look at fish around 2 weeks later.
    8. Lights and stuff you can and should run in the cycle period.
    I have always found an amazing amount of life comming out of good qaulity LR and the quality of LR is not something i think you should skimp on. Its the heart and lungs on your system and as such you want as good quality as you can.

    Hope that puts it into a simplistic nutshell?
     
  4. SKnight

    SKnight chilling in alfred

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    Thanks Neo and crispin
    I was also looking for the step by step:thumbup:
    any sugestions where to find the best LR
    simon:slayer:
     
  5. crispin

    crispin

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    well i'm a LONG way from jhb, but last i heard both Idol marine and Dory pets had some good LR in.....go shopping fella :)
     
  6. dogstar

    dogstar

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    If you need cheaper LR, check the classifieds, there are usually people selling LR.

    Exciting times ahead, enjoy man, and be patient!
     
  7. maj

    maj

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    very nice breakdown of the cycling!
    i should be setting up my tank this week,depending when cupboards are done:(

    How do u identify the various types of LR and which are the best to use when cycling the tank?or are all the same?
     
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