Few questions regarding cycling tank

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Howzit again.

Just to refresh, I bought a new 375ltr tank with 100ltr sump. Been running for a week and still hasnt started cycling. Got about 10 kg live rock in it. I was advised to put 2 cooked shrimp into a stocking in the sump to kick it off. Is the correct? Should I buy a blue damzel tomorrow for cycling? Also, Ive been doing topups with tap water this whole first week. Been told to stop. I'll get RO water, but is my normal water purifier (Brita) good enough for these top ups?

Nitrates and Nitrites 0 after a week. Tank looking really good, just doesnt seem to be doing much.
 
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It is cycling trust me! The shrimp are just to provide food for the bacteria colonies to feed on while the tank cycles. Alternatively you could buy more Live rock and it will cycle with the live rock.

DO NOT buy a damsel to cycle your tank. This is an old fashioned CRUEL practice that isn't necessary anymore.
 
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Oh also purified water (with a Brita etc) will not do. We use RO water because it is pure and should have a TDS (total dissolved solids) value of 0. If using tap water or Brita filtered water you will end up struggling with nuisance algae.
 

Rory

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It depends on which Brita filtering system you use. Are you just talking about those jugs or a better filter?

Most of the filters they make are just carbon, so you'll remove chlorine and stuff but still be left with phosphates/silicates etc. I have however seen some Brita filters that use DI and with those you should get a 0 TDS but I imagine they get exhausted pretty quickly.

If you've been putting tap water straight in with no dechlorinator it would have killed off any bacteria anyway so the tank should look as clean as a clean swimming pool. You don't need much to start off the cycle, any bit of shrimp or even some fishfood will do. Best would be to get a bit of tank water from someone else and possibly some live sand. You could also use Seachem Stability or Organic Aqua. And then of course, more live rock. Try to get some "fresh" live rock - will be pretty smelly, then give it a rinse with salt water and stick it in the tank. Run your protein skimmer if you have one.

Oh yeah, you definitely don't need 2 whole shrimp either, just a bit of one. I don't see any reason for cooking it...
 
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Where can I get good live sand from in CT? I live in Sea Point and work near the airport.
 
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Been running for a week and still hasnt started cycling. Got about 10 kg live rock in it. I was advised to put 2 cooked shrimp into a stocking in the sump to kick it off. Is the correct?
Actually, the shrimp or prawn should be uncooked. After being caught, the food shrimps & prawns are quick frozen on the factory ships, thus preserving real live marine bacteria in their intestines (and elsewhere on their bodies, I suppose...). From what I've read, these bacteria remain alive, and when thawed they provide an ideal 'starter culture' for the tank. I'm pretty sure that the live rock also supplies filter bacteria starter colonies, so kooking the shrimp is not the end of the world, but when you start every bit helps...

Be patient - if after another week or so you still don't have any ammonium or nitrite reading it would be an indication that either the filtration bacteria in the LR are sufficient to handle the bio-load of the decomposing shrimp, or the test kits are faulty (you are using marine grade test kits???)

Hennie
 
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hey Brendan, If you live in Sea Point, you should go over the Marine Biology aquarium on the bantry bay side, next to the circle at the bottom.. Its the weird grey building. Its NSW, but it has had some filtration I believe, and its free.
 

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Hi Brendan - if you don't know about any fellow reefers close by to you, there's always your LFS. Can you get to either AQuality (in Montague Gardens), or perhaps Aqua Concepts or even Northern Aquatics? I am quite sure that one of them would assist you with some (a cup full even) live sand.....
 
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Hey Guys

When starting a new tank i assume, as with tp ups, the mix with the salt is best with RO water?

Also, what is the difference between 5 and 6 stage RO? I am tghinking of putting in a unit at home also for families benefit not just the fish :)

Thanks.

Sean
 
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