Am I doing it WRONG?

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Peoplepc3, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Peoplepc3

    Peoplepc3

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    I have successfully set up a 150 gallon with wet/dry (synthetic filter w/bioballs). Only RO/DI water used. 120 lbs base rock and about 15 lbs of live rock.

    I was GIVEN two bottles of "smart start" by the owner of my LFS as sort of a "welcome to the hobby gift" (nice guy). I introduced this after adding the water. As I understand this product is marketed as "cycle in a bottle". Hmm??

    As prescribed, I introduced 2 uncooked shrimp in to the tank for about 6 days until they looked like they were about to explode. They smelled AWFUL when I removed them. Actually, my ENTIRE living room smelled awful.

    After removing the shrimp, I tested the Ammonia levels and was shocked to see my ammonia level was only 1.0. I couldn't believe this was so low so, I took a water sample to my LFS and they received the same result. After this rather low ammonia reading, I introduced about 10ml of pure (store bought) ammonia. 2 days later, the ammonia reading was STILL 1.0. I left it alone, hoping it would rise....

    2 weeks later my Ammonia was at .5 and 0ppm Nitrite, 0ppm Nitrate

    At the 4 week mark, my ammonia level is now at 0ppm, nitrite is at .25ppm and Nitrate is at 10ppm.

    I have absolutely ZERO algae growth of any kind. Live rock seems to be doing well. No diatoms.

    My pH is about 8.2 and water temp is about 78-80 degrees.

    I plan on completing a 50% water change to cut the nitrate's once the nitrites convert.

    Was this even a cycle?? If so, after the nitrites convert over to nitrates, do you believe I will have enough "good" bacteria to sustain the lives of a few small fish?

    I plan on completing a 50% water change to cut the nitrate's once the nitrites convert.

    Ideas?? Did I do something wrong? :frustrat: Advice please!!

    Thanks in advance!!

    Glad to be a new member, I am anxious to learn. I have a LONG way to go but I am having a BLAST!

    I posted a picture of my tank as well. As a newbie, I think I did a pretty good job with the rock!!!
     

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    Peoplepc3, Aug 24, 2011
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  2. Peoplepc3

    Waddi Shenanigans? VIP Member

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    Some people's cycles dont last long, some last months, all depends on what you do, like if you use all fully cured rock with little die, or if you use dry rock, and seed with live. It all depends on the variables.
     
    Waddi, Aug 24, 2011
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  3. Peoplepc3

    Smitty

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    Hello and welcome to the site...glad to have you aboard. As long as your tank has ammonia and nitrites, it sounds like it's still cycling. Wait until your ammonia and nitrites read zero, then do a water change before adding livestock.
    Btw, you did do a nice job with the rock work.
     
    Smitty, Aug 24, 2011
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  4. Peoplepc3

    Dana42078 Dana

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    My cycle lasted all of a week. +1 to waddi it depends on alot of factors....only thing I wouldn't agree with is that cycle ina bottle. Not to familiar with it but you could have just added te raw shrimp to Start your cycle. Do that WC and if your next to zero on all u should be good. I can't see your pic coz I'm on my phone. But welcome to the money pit.
     
    Dana42078, Aug 24, 2011
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  5. Peoplepc3

    Dana42078 Dana

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    And ninja'd by smitty. +1 to what he said.
     
    Dana42078, Aug 24, 2011
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  6. Peoplepc3

    Peoplepc3

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    Hey thanks for all the quick answers. I really do appreciate all your help. I am sure I will make mistakes but I can guarantee, I will only make them once.

    Sounds like my tank is in fact cycling however, there was never a HUGE spike in ammonia. I will just wait for the nitrites to dip to zero, do a 50% water change and then move along.

    Thanks again Waddi, Smitty, and Dana! I will keep you posted on how things go.

    I think the lesson to be learned in all of this is.....perhaps the folks at the LFS may sometimes give advice that would facilitate selling merchandise, rather than giving advice that would be helpful. Lesson learned. Didnt take long huh??
     
    Peoplepc3, Aug 24, 2011
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  7. Peoplepc3

    Dana42078 Dana

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    Totally agree with your last paragraph. You'll get better answers here if you have any questions about ANYTHING. GL in your adventures.
     
    Dana42078, Aug 24, 2011
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  8. Peoplepc3

    Smitty

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    Yep, a lot of us learned that the hard way...the lfs is in business to make money. Some give good advice, and some don't know what they're talking about. So like Dana said, when in doubt or before buying something, do a quick research and ask our opinion. That's why we're here. :)
     
    Smitty, Aug 24, 2011
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  9. Peoplepc3

    little_fish Moderator

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    Hello and Welcome!

    The boys have you covered
     
    little_fish, Aug 24, 2011
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  10. Peoplepc3

    Nanna Reef Freak

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    Sounds like you're off to a great start and your rock work is very nice. Be sure to keep those bioballs clean or consider removing them.
     
    Nanna, Aug 24, 2011
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  11. Peoplepc3

    Peoplepc3

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    How do you suggest I clean the bioballs? What would be a good alternative? I am up for suggestions!

    I have been watching my levels for the past 2 days. Have zero ammonia, .25 nitrites, and 10ppm nitrates...waiting....waiting....waiting...

    We have a Hurricane coming close to the coast of Florida on Friday and will most likely loose power. I am gonna loose CONTROL if my tank goes sideways while the pumps are not running. Glad I do not have any residents in it yet!

    Thanks again for all the help!
     
    Peoplepc3, Aug 25, 2011
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  12. Peoplepc3

    little_fish Moderator

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    i would just remove them and put some rubble into that area
     
    little_fish, Aug 25, 2011
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  13. Peoplepc3

    Smitty

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    +1 lil fish...you should remove them now, and put some rock rubble in there instead. You'll be glad you did later on.
     
    Smitty, Aug 25, 2011
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