Trying to get cycle going, but no ammonia...

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Dlaria, 3 Aug 2011.

  1. Dlaria

    Dlaria

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    Hi there. I set up my first marine. Used prime. Let it set a couple of days. Tested ok for everything, so I threw in a live rock (Cured at the LFS), bottled beneficial bacteria, a couple of hermits, a snail and two fish. (Don't hate me for it. Read I could use a couple of fish to get the cycle going. I won't let them get too stressed. I'll do partial changes if needed.) I'm constantly checking water quality and am seeing no signs what so ever of any stress on the fish. My problem is, it's been 5 days and no ammonia what so ever is showing up. PH is steady at 8.2, Alk is good, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite. The fish are active, happy, eating, etc. Why is there no ammonia showing up?
     
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  3. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Welcome to MASA:thumbup:
     
  4. Dlaria

    Dlaria Thread Starter

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    Thank you so much for the welcome

    Thank you so much for the welcome! :)
     
  5. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    welcomeani
    How big is your tank, I don't think you should worry as you don't have that much Live Stock, you have cured LR and you dosed with bacteria. If you are still worried take a water sample to reputable LFS and get that tested as some test kits pass their sell by date or just go bad.
    HAVE FUN, I know I worry a little extra when my tank is looking good and everything is fine, that's when it gets boring for me.:p
     
  6. Dlaria

    Dlaria Thread Starter

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    It's a 60 gal tank. I thought that if the LR and bottled bacteria I put in was working, I'd see some nitrate or nitrite. Those are 0, too. I did get some water with the fish/cleaners, and the live rock; from the LFS. Maybe with all of that, and the water prep. conditioners; things are just slowed down?
     
  7. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Good size tank, few livestock= low readings, or no readings. Things haven'tr slowed, it's just like I said above.
    Tanks also cycle much quicker these days, I am sure there are one or two threads that will confirm this, what do you think @Leslie hempel?
     
    Last edited: 3 Aug 2011
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    If you got good quality live rock, that is already cured. What is there to cure? Cycle is done.

    Think about it - What is the cycle?
    the cycle is the time you need to get rid of all the dead organisms in the live rock. Dead due the rock being dry when imported. Only wrapped in wet newspaper. So once all the dead has been eaten or rotten away, there are nothing to give off ammonia.
    So if you buy completely cured rock from the LFS, and you transport it to your home under water. Then the only thing you need to check for is unwanted hitch hikers.

    And , Welcome to MASA
     
  9. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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  10. Tony

    Tony

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    Welcome first of all. As mentioned you have added cured rock so there wont be any pollution from there. Prime is also a ammonia, nitrite and nitrate neutraliser along with a dechlorinator so you wont have toxicity there at least initially. You are adding bacteria which is boosting the bio filter and your feeding the fish in the tank is also feeding the bio filter through wastes. A lot of guys have cycled tanks overnight (myself included) but it takes a lot of experience (not trying to show off).

    What bacteria product are you using?

    What fish are you cycling with?

    If you have no ammonia then carry on with what you are doing but take it easy with the feeding and check your ammonia regularly. Add Prime if you spot any ammonia. Dont do water changes till your biological filter is more stable as there is bacteria in the water column especially if you are not skimming. Add a little bacteria everyday to help the bio filter. There is no harm there but turn your skimmer off for a few hours after adding the bacteria
    .
     
  11. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA, hope you enjoy it here. Some reading for you below ;)
     
  12. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    welcome to MASA
     
  13. Ghaydeen

    Ghaydeen

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    Welcome ... Share some more specs of the tank and your filter.
     
  14. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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  15. Dlaria

    Dlaria Thread Starter

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    Ok, but you'll spot me for a noob for sure! I've done fresh water for a long time, but I'm a fish out of water with marine. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.) I've got the cheap otc stuff. I'm sure I'll go broke later. Right now, I've got a topfin 60 with the dual charcoal filled bags. (My 'plan') is to alternate changing the bags, so one stays covered with bio-material at a time. I've got one whisper 40 running an airstone, in front of an Aqueon Circ pump, and an Oceanic biocube 29 protein skimmer. This weekend, I'm going to get a 'real' skimmer for the other side of the tank, and pick up another Circ pump. I'll be looking at getting a sump, (because I'm not really thrilled with all the gear hanging down the sides of the tank.) I've got to find one that is somewhat low profile, as the tank is in the living room and on a stand that has little room in/under the cabinets. I've already pitched the first bottle of biomaterial, so I'm not sure what brand it was. The next was Instant Ocean, I think. My thought there was that if the first didn't take, or was missing something good; the second would pick up the slack. I've used the prime. If I see a nitrate/nitrite spike that's too high, I'll hit the tank with a partial dose. I've got Instant Ocean Marine stabilizer and an Alk buffer on hand, if I need them. I'm keeping the lights off, except when I can't help myself - no more than a couple hours a day. It gets indirect daylight. I'm only running the skimmer for 2 hours, one hour after feeding. I'm trying to get some bio built up, but not let the water get bad.
     
    Last edited: 4 Aug 2011
  16. Dlaria

    Dlaria Thread Starter

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    Oh, finally saw a little nitrite and nitrate today. I know that's not normally a good thing, but with a new tank; I feel some relief. I think that tells me I've got a bit of biology going on, and the tank is on it's way to establishing it's biofiltering. The one lonely LR piece in there has color to it, and some little black polyp or barnicle looking thing. Can you say 'body snatchers'? Looks like one of those pods. Still no measurable amonia; but hey, we can't have everything! :) (I've been checking with strips and 3 different bottles to test amonia.) Guess we're just skipping that part. My ocd's going to go well with this hobby. I just keep testing the water. I'll have to do a top off soon, because I'm taking it all out to test it.
     
  17. crispin

    crispin

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    hey Dlaria, welcome to masa and to the start of your salt water hobby :)
     
  18. Tony

    Tony

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    If there's no ammonia then things are OK. Nitrite isnt bad for marine fish
     
  19. crispin

    crispin

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    Dlaria, I may sound a little harsh here but please read it with the fact that i have your best intentions (and of your live stock) in mind. My first post to you was going to mention this to you, but i shied away so as not to be the 'bad guy' all the time. But thats not going to help you or your tank so let me put my feelings down here ok....

    there are a few things that worry me a little with the way you have set this tank up and are going about it. Firstly cycling a tank with living fish realy is NOT required and is cruel on the fish. Regretably, often we can measure the accurate amounts of amonia, nitrite or nitrates in a system and we test to give us a general idea of where the levels are and where we know levels are dangerous for fish. but if there is amonia your fish will know it far before you do, the gills in particular get burnt and damaged. The fish dont have a decent life and they are not needed to cycle a tank (i have a feeling youve heard all this before). Seriously, fish are not needed to cycle a tank.

    From what i gather this tank has stretched your budget a little and you havent quite got the equipment you want or think you need, and perhaps as much LR as you need (one lonely piece etc). Thats all fine, one doesnt really need all the bells and whistles and marines can be very expensive if you dont watch yourself. the one good thing is that you can counteract much of excessive spending by going slow and letting the biology of the tank mature befre adding live stock. Id suggest adding all the LR (cured from a pet stores is great:)) that you want in the tank now, and then let it cycle a while. not reading amonia and nitrates etc etc are a good thing, but thats not a good enough reason (IMHO) to be ading fish or inverst to a system thats not ready for them. there are so many populations of organisms that need to be established way before fish and inverts-----just off the top of my head you have LR bacterial populations that need to grow and mature, even if its cured LR--substrate bacetrial populatons that need to populate and expand, micro critters in the sand, pods to keep the tanks algae down, bristle worms etc etc etc----.

    what I am trying to say is take your time, add your lr, get a decent skimmer in, add your sump, put in additional circulation, conroll the temp, learn about water changes and how your own husbandry will work into that. Get lights up and going etc etc. Do all that and then maybe then, add a clean up crew and then some fish.

    regreatbly people often want a full blown reef in 6 months. It can happen but the effect on the live stock, the tank and on the reefers time oftem mean that somethings going to give.

    drive slow fella, this tanks with you for the next 15 years, a few weeks now aint gonna hurt and theres lots to learn in the mean time.
     
  20. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    True. :thumbup:

    And when the time comes to add fish. Do it slowly. Depending on size, one a week only. Small fish, maybe 2. Bigger fish, wait 2 weeks before the next fish. Especially in the beginning. Allow the bacteria load to catch up. On a mature tank, the bacteria can adjust quicker to more waste. But even on a mature tank, adding 20 fish in one day is looking for trouble. Unless you got a swimming pool system. system
     
  21. Evo R

    Evo R

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    masahello
     
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