Did I avoid a cycle??? I'm so confused... help.

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Piscean, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Piscean

    Piscean

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    Hey everyone,

    I've had my 10gal tank cycling for....ATLEAST 4 weeks now. I used highly inhabited live rock (15lbs), which was packed with tons of little critters and growth. I also used that Carrib-sea live cultured sand. I have tested ALL the water perameters every 4 days, since the get-go.

    My ammonia has only ever been SLIGHTLY detectable, my nitrates have stayed around 30ppm with absolutely no visible change( I think if i did a water change they'd go away completely though, the only reason I think they're high is because I got some misleading advice to put some thawed brine shrimp in the to kick up the cycle, and I haven't changed the water since). Nitrites are undetectable, and ph is PERFECT!

    I have a few bristle-worms, many many coco worm/feather dusters, amphipods, and aiptasia that seem to be thriving just fine. MY coraline algae is spreading like CRAZY. I actually had a blue legged hermit hitchhike on one of my live rocks, I never took him back and he seems fine.

    Do you think since I used all live stuff, that I avoided a cycle?????
     
    Piscean, Jun 6, 2011
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  2. Piscean

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    It sounds like you skipped a cycle. The advice to add some food isn't misleading -- it's a test to see if your tank is ready for fish. If your parameters spike after the addition of food, it means your tank doesn't have the bacterial populations necessary to process waste and keep parameters non-detect. If they don't spike after the addition of food, then it means you are good to go for fish.
     
    Bifferwine, Jun 6, 2011
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  3. Piscean

    Nanna Reef Freak

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    You are correct about doing the water changes to reduce your nitrates. Get those nitrates down and you should be ready to move forward. Congratulations, you've made it through the hardest part, waiting on the cycle!
     
    Nanna, Jun 6, 2011
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  4. Piscean

    hairyman1

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    Hello Piscean. Don't worry you haven't skipped anything. Everything that happens in a reef tank will happen. All tanks go through a nitrogen cycle and end up with nitrates as a result. Now if you had a deep sand bed or some fancy denitrator your nitrates would go away as well. In a small tank this would likely be externally done. If you don't do something soon far beyond a mere water change you will soon experience a massive algae cycle that you wish you could miss. A small denitrator could be cheaply made for a 10 gallon tank by using a small aqua clear filter adjusted for minimum flow and have the chamber filled with Sea Chem matrix denitrator or reef sand in nylon bags/stockings. KEEP THE FLOW 50 GALLONS A HOUR OR LESS and it will work. Changing all the water first gives the filter a chance to keep up with the bio load. After that you need to control phosphates. A good hang on back skimmer can help with that. For your tank preferably one that has its pump within the skimmer to maximize your tank space. If you size it correctly you need not have any other circulation in the tank. So that means no nano skimmers. Skimmers rated for 50 to 100 gallons should work well. I would avoid skilters and seaclones, but octopus, warner marine and aquamaxx as well as others should be ok. You could also use a xenia colony and or macro algae as well as dripping lime water to control phosphates or any combination of these as you decide. If you don't do nothing than green and perhaps other species of algae will grow everywhere despite the nitrate filter working perfectly. Nitrates and phosphates together need to be controlled for algae to be controlled. Have fun and less us know how it works for you.
     
    hairyman1, Jun 6, 2011
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  5. Piscean

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Welcome to the site, Hairyman :D Not bad for a first post!

    But +1 Biff -- assuming there was no die off from the live rocks, then you might not see a cycle, but it would be a good idea to test this by putting in food, like biff said.
     
    wontonflip, Jun 6, 2011
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  6. Piscean

    little_fish Moderator

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    And you mention you had aiptasia, i would kill those buggers ASAP
     
    little_fish, Jun 7, 2011
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  7. Piscean

    hairyman1

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    Pardon my manners. Hello all! Yeah Mr. Aiptasia is not too cool. If everything we wanted to keep was as easy as aiptasia we wouldn't need forums ha ha.
     
    hairyman1, Jun 8, 2011
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  8. Piscean

    AmberSunrise

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    I pretty much skipped a cycle to when I started my tank. I think using all the live items from the beginning helps. I agree that doing a couple water changes over the next week would really get those trates down for you.
     
    AmberSunrise, Jun 9, 2011
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