Live Rock with white powder, no ammonia levels

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by kimiko407, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. kimiko407

    kimiko407

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    Hi I'm really new to this so be patient please :)

    So yesterday, I started a 5 gallon Fluval Chi tank with live sand and fully cured live rock from my LFS. I used Instant Ocean salt and mixed it with distilled water to a SG of 1.024. It got really cloudy once I put everything in the tank so I turned my filter on and waited for a few hours. Eventually it cleared up and I noticed my LR has a white covering of dust on it. I touched it to see if it was just from the sand but it doesn't come off so I assume this is just some natural die off? Anyways, I tested my water. PH- 8.2 Ammonia- 0 Nitrate-0 Nitrite-0. My water temperature is at 79 degrees. I also decided to put two small mangrove plant in the tray above the filter as well. Not sure if it'll do anything but it shouldn't be harmful I hope.

    What should I do?
    Is my tank cycling or did I skip it by using live rock and live sand?
    If I have die off indicated by the white powder, shouldn't I have an ammonia spike that kick starts my cycle?

    -Thank You.
     
    kimiko407, Feb 12, 2013
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  2. kimiko407

    AmberSunrise

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    Yeah its probably some die off from the move.

    You could throw in a raw table shrimp like you buy at the grocery store and let it sit for a few days until the ammonia goes up then down.

    You will probably have a quick cycle but you should still force one none the less to ensure its ready for fish.
     
    AmberSunrise, Feb 12, 2013
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  3. kimiko407

    kimiko407

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    Oh okay. I will put in a shrimp. When should I expect ammonia levels to spike?
     
    kimiko407, Feb 12, 2013
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  4. kimiko407

    Neno reefs

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    I have the same question...
     
    Neno reefs, Feb 12, 2013
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  5. kimiko407

    noy

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    Not sure if your white powder is die off - my experience is your rock turns dark/black and there is usually a smell associated with it.

    You should notice Ammonia level rise within 2-3 days if not sooner. Test for nitrites too. If your ammonia and nitrates stay at 0 after 3 days - then you are good to add livestock. Invest in a Ammonia badge - but you still have to test for nitrates daily. Also, water conditioners (like prime) can throw off your ammonia readings. If you have nitrites - do a partial water change to get it down.

    I actually have a 5 gallon Chi and it took me forever to get it cycled - and i started with water from an established tank (but dead/dry rock). I would have some pre-mixed dechlorinated water handy because its likely you will have to do quick water changes to stabilize your ammonia/nitrate level as you add livestock. I use a plastic garbage can (30 gallons - you can probably get someting smaller) for that purpose. Plus if you are running that filter which has the water drip from the sides - you will also have to have some de-chlorinated water (w/o salt) to replenish the evaporated water. I find that system evaporates quickly and you will have to top off with non-salted water to keep the salinity level.

    Add fish 1 at a time otherwise the bump in bioload will put your system out of whack.

    5 gallons is a tricky system to keep balanced and it will be a bit of work initially with testing water params and probably emergency water changes.

    There are products like Microbacter7 which accelerate the cycling process by addiing bacteria - i am a big fan of that (and prefer dry rock because you never know what hitchhikers you are bringing in).

    Good luck and have fun with it - might be frustrating at first.
     
    noy, Feb 12, 2013
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