When has a tank gone through it's cycle?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by vatso, 10 Jan 2010.

  1. vatso

    vatso

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    Hi all

    I have not found any info on how one knows when a tank has completed is cycle

    lets have it for the pro's

    when do we know the cycle is done?

    My tank is just over 3 weeks old

    Mark

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. maj

    maj

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    you stocked your tank fairly kwik with livestock hey.
    cycle is over when params are stable namely ammonia,nitrites are zero,while nitrates are very low as 0.01.
    but lets here what the gurus say,as its good to cycle for 8 weeks or so.
     
  4. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    When your test kits tell you.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. vatso

    vatso Thread Starter

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    My water was 0 after 2 weeks??

    then again I did put stuff in my tank - sand boost & other little things to help with the cycle
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Your green lawn is showing you that all not too good. Ok I have some green on two small rocks myself (as you saw it) but they came out of my refugium or frag tank with way to much lightning period.

    But in your display like this one, it should die off as the tank mature.

    Also check that dark sponge growth. Could be very agressive, or maybe not, depending on species. It looks like an encrusting type - Taking over the world. If it spreads to quickly you have to do something. There are special snails for example that eat sponge, for example Umbraculum, but you will not find them in the trade. And mostly they are specialist eaters, only one type of sponge, or they die. Now that is a great pity.
     
  7. Tony

    Tony

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    Howzit. What is sand boost? You have some algae on the rocks which is from phosphates. Are you using RO (reverse osmosis) water for top ups and water changes?
     
  8. vatso

    vatso Thread Starter

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    I am using RO Water - the LR I got had the green grass on it so I just left it - will start pulling it off

    Mark
     
  9. crispin

    crispin

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    Hey vatso:)

    ive just been reading throuigh a few of your posts etc and it really is great to have new people here to learn and develop as reefers. There is so much to learn that i am afraid it takes years and one needs repeated lessons to get some things to sink in I am afriad. Well i certianly did and do.

    seeing you have GHA 'green grass' which you dont know how to id just yet, it makes me think that there is a little more you could learn and understand before putting additional LS in there:)

    A tanks cycle period always varies and there is a slight difference between a cycled tank and a mature tank. The maturation of a tank really takes ages and to my understanding (often faulty at the best of time) that when the biological filtration and the mechanical filtration are all in synch. I have left my tank to cycle through a 9 week period now, However my tests are still reading slightly, so i wont add anything for around 4 weeks or so.


    i dont have any signs of algaes yet (the stage you are at) and i am half expecting them, but also hopeful the long cycle and careful water managment i have done will avoide them. You need to get a hand on that GHA now, any coral you would add now would be a mistake in my personal view as that GHA can and probably will spread covering the coral and killing it.

    Give your tank a little more time and enjoy the LS you have in there at the moment. Patients really is your best remedy at the mo.
     
  10. vatso

    vatso Thread Starter

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    Thanks Crispin,

    The LR with the GHA "Green Grass" will be coming out of the tank tonight to be pulled off!

    nothing is growing on the rocks except the grass.

    I am enjoying the tank & loving how it is taking shape. I am like most I think where time & I do not get on!
     
  11. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    My opinion on the matter is really just to elaborate a bit on what Crispin has said. Let me answer your question with another question:

    If I were to start a brand new system, by taking / buying fully old liverock, getting my substrate from an established tank, getting "old" water from fellow reefers, and buying a 2 year old DSB and algae scurbber, how long would my tank cycle?

    As you can see the answer is not just so simple. As Crispin says, it depends a lot. The above question is basically how I set up my tank. By doing this, you shorten the period of cycling a lot. Yes, it is ALWAYS better to rahter overcycle than introduce LS to a system where the livestock will suffer and die so that must be noted...

    Another issue to remember, and many of us forget this is that you will always have cycles in the tank, unless you never introduce anything else. What I mean by this, is that many reefers just doesn't have the funds to buy the 50kg LR they need to finish the tank, so, they buy 10kg's every second month or so. Basically your tank goes through the initial cycle, and just when all settles, you throw in another 10kgs of "dead" LR. Then another cycle starts.

    Normally, this is when you see more algae blooms, cyano etc. Even when you have finalized all your scaping with LR, and then go to buy fish, and you add five fish to the tank, you have a cycle.

    Basically, it works like this. You have 100 "baddies" in the tank, and your good bacteria needs to grow to eat this 100 baddies. So, you now have 100 good bacteria, then you add more LR or LS, and your baddies count goes up to 150. Now you need another 50 good bacteria to cope with this etc etc etc.

    So, you must always take this into consideration when adding, well, anything to the tank. Your bacteria MUST first catch up with the load, other the cycle will be huge, and you will have the algae you see before you now.

    The fact that you have this algae, says that they are getting food somewhere. Give it while and you will see it just disappearing (if the food source is depleted by your good bacteria though) If your tests read low, I will recommend you may add you CUC (clean up crew). Search the web, as there are CUC's that are made up to help deal with this algae.

    Hope this helps...
     
  12. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Looking at the tank photo again, I see you already have LS in there and an Angel at that... :p

    My suggestion is to really give it another two weeks or so just to get the bacteria balance right. If you add more LS now, you might lose it all.
     
  13. crispin

    crispin

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    1 day ago vatso, Jaco expressed surprise at you having LS in a THREE week old tank. We (masa) gently explained the cycle and how it works and then today you post a thread about 'when do new fish feed' as youve just thrown a new fish in there, and a NASO TANG at that.

    we dont give advice and help becasue we want to be mean to you and stop you enjoying your tank fella, we do it because its in YOUR best intrest to follow OUR collective experience and so that hopefully you wont harm and kill LS by having it in unsuited environments!
     
    Titanse likes this.
  14. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    I must admit I am with Crispin on this one.

    A Naso Tang, in a three week old system? I won't rip open those cuts any further you got from Crispin ;) but Vatso you must understand that we do not keep marines just cause they look cool and your friends envy you, but because there is a large part of us wanting to preserve these animals. When a fish or coral dies, it's not just a matter of "ah well, **** happens..." Whether that be a "stupid" chromis or an amazing stingray, a living creature is a living creature.

    Crispin is VERY strong on this, hence the hiding he gave you.

    Please take our advice, as we do not guess these things, we know this, from years of experience and research.

    I know that it is SOOOOO difficult to keep your hand out your wallet when you see a nice fish you want, but there is the biggest mistake you can EVER make. The safest bet, if you ever buy anything again, to first run it by the guys on MASA. Even if you need a contact number of someone, ask, before you buy.

    Anyway, to rectify this situation, I would suggest finding a reefer that would take this fish off your hands and keep it for you till the tank is really mature. I am no Tang expert, but they need quite a mature system to live in - not a three week old tank. Once your tank is settled, then you can have this fish back - no prob. ;)

    In a nutshell vatso, we really aren't here to scare you off, or crucify you, and we ALL make STUPID STUPID mistakes. I also took a bite from Crispin a few times, and many others, cause of the stupid things I did, but we learn, keep our heads high and move on.

    Move the fish to keep it alive at least, and take it back in a few months time... :)
     
  15. crispin

    crispin

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    sorry if i was harsh, truth often is a little difficult to hear.

    but i'm afraid i dont agree that vatso should get this fish back once he has released it. his tank is simply too small for such a fish. tangs are not something vatso should be buying, even in a mature system.
     
  16. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Yes, sorry, I missed the size. DEFINETLEY too small. Take it out!!!
     
  17. vatso

    vatso Thread Starter

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    Hi all some info I found


    Top Saltwater Aquarium Myths


    Stan and Debbie Hauter have been working in the aquarium fish field since 1989.
    Experience:

    Stan and Debbie established and ran a reputable fish collecting business in Hawai'i for 10 years before relocating to Kinston, NC. They now manage the fish department at Animal Jungle pet store.


    Since the beginning of time, successfully keeping a saltwater aquarium has seemed a total mystery to a vast majority of people. Over the past few decades, the science of saltwater aquaria has increased by leaps and bounds. In spite of the new knowledge, many of the old myths which arose during the years of experimentation are still professed by some as facts. Here are some of the most popular myths which are still in circulation:
    1. It takes at least 6 weeks to cycle a saltwater aquarium.

    MYTH:
    It takes 6 weeks to cycle (establish the biological filter) a new saltwater aquarium.
    FACT:
    The original method used for cycling a tank consisted of putting a fish or two in a new tank, then waiting up to 6 weeks for the nitrobacter and nitrosoma bacteria to form and grow. It is now known that there are a number of methods which can cycle a tank in as little as one day.
    2. Water changes are the only way to reduce nitrates in a saltwater aquarium.

    MYTH:
    Water changes are the only way to reduce nitrates which are the end product of the nitrification process in a saltwater aquarium.
    FACT:
    There are a number of methods which can be used to reduce or even prevent nitrate build up without performing a water change.

    3. The ideal reef tank temperature is between 72° and 78° Fahrenheit.

    MYTH:
    The ideal reef tank temperature is between 76° and 78° Fahrenheit.
    FACT:
    The water temperatures of most of the reefs where your corals came from are a lot higher than 78° F. Read about it in: How High is Too High?

    4. Tangs (Surgeonfish) are very sensitive to nitrates.

    MYTH:
    Tangs (Surgeonfish) are more sensitive to nitrates than other fish.
    FACT:
    Surgeonfish are no more sensitive to nitrates than any other species. Tangs have endured nitrate levels of hundreds of ppm for extended periods of time with no ill affects.

    5. Massive water changes are harmful to saltwater fish and invertebrates.

    MYTH:
    Massive water changes to quickly reduce nitrates and other toxins are harmful to saltwater fish and invertebrates.
    FACT:
    While a rapid change in salinity, temperature or pH can be harmful to fish and invertebrates, a rapid reduction in nitrates does not adversely affect them.

    6. Coral Banded Shrimp kill fish.

    MYTH:
    Coral Banded Shrimp kill fish.
    FACT:
    The Coral Banded Shrimp is a scavenger as well as a parasite picker, and may attack other shrimp, but will not normally attack fish. Many people who find their Coral Banded Shrimp consuming a dead fish or invertebrate assume that it was killed by the shrimp. However the shrimp is just doing what it does for a living: Scavenging.

    7. All LFS people are knowledgeable and always give you good advice.

    MYTH:
    You can depend on the people in your LFS to be knowledgeable and to give you good advice.
    FACT:
    There are a great number of LFS owners/employees who are well experienced in saltwater aquariums and will give you good advice. However a majority of them (usually younger workers) have little or no knowledge or experience in this subject which requires time to learn.

    8. Bio-Balls are nitrate factories.

    MYTH:
    Bio-Balls or wet/dry filters create nitrates in a saltwater aquarium.
    FACT:
    Bio-Balls and wet/dry filter material can trap detritus and other tank debris which break down and eventually create nitrates. If the Bio-Balls are cleaned regularly, they don't create any more nitrates than a substrate with the same materials in it.

    9. Micro Bubbles in Aquarium Water Cause Popeye

    MYTH:
    Micro Bubbles in Aquarium Water Cause Popeye
    FACT:
    Popeye is caused by secondary bacterial infections in a fish's eye(s), caused by ammonia burns or other physical damage.
    Popeye Causes & Treatments gives more information.
     
  18. davidfr7

    davidfr7

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    Vatso are you testing your water ? what are your Ammonia and nitrite NO2 readings. As these Two will kill fish.

    If we all lived on an island in the middle of the Pacific we could all stock our tanks with fish from Day one.
    Remember the guys on MASA do this for free. They will always advise you from experience.

    I started with no knowledge and without MASA I would not be able to keep marines.
     
  19. vatso

    vatso Thread Starter

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    I test every 2 days & they are both 0 I am using 2 different test kits

    They have been 0 for the last 2 weeks already they did spike to 5 & then down to 0.
     
  20. durleo

    durleo

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    The main thing that will cause spikes is die-off from the live rock - if you bought cured live rock from an existing stable tank and moved it wet in a short period of time then you probably wont have alot of die-off - so adding bacteria like stability and microbacter 7 will decrease spikes. Do not rush livestock in cos the bacteria must increase sufficiently to cater for the waste of new livestock.
     
  21. davidfr7

    davidfr7

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    If those two spike its part of the cycle. Now your system has to grow so when the fish take a crap that waist can be eaten up by the bacteria. If your bacteria has not grown you will start to get build up PO4 and NO3 and you will land up getting slim algae. This stuff can pop up over night and you sit for months trying to get rid of it. I read that you added stuff to boost this, now give it time to grow, the longer you wait the better. Also alot of fish will be able to live off live food that has grown in your tank. If you put fish in you don't give it time to grow. A mature system keeps things very stable. A new tank is not that stable and when it comes to sudden changes you will loose your fish.
    Just take your time and watch your tank grow. There is alot that will happen just sit back and watch. A stressed fish will get white spot and it can spread and wipe all your fish.
     
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