New to Saltwater and have a couple questions

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Reinking, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Reinking

    Reinking

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    Just joined the site so i can ask for some experienced help when i need it. I researched everything i could about saltwater before i got started and i set my tank up last week. I have about 45 pounds of live rock and 40 pounds of live sand in my 55 gallon tank right now. When i got the rock i rinsed it in a bucket of saltwater then placed it directly into the tank to start the cycle. My ammonia spiked and it had remained really high until today. It just seemed like it dropped overnight. Now my ammonia is reading 0.50, my nitrite was between 0.50 and 0.25 and my nitrate is between 5-10... I've only had my tank running for a week and was wondering if this was normal and if i'm safe to put fish in it. Just seems to me it should have taken longer. Also my ph is 7.8 so i bought some ph 8.2 from petsmart but didn't know if its ok to add that with my live rock and sand since i thought they acted as a buffer for the ph.

    Thanks!
     
    Reinking, Jul 9, 2009
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    lilyicu FOWLR

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    I had my tank up and running for about 3-4 weeks before I put anything in it. I never went through an ammonia spike b/c I added sand from an established tank and cured live rock. I would wait until your ammonia is at 0 before you add any fish. Eventually your nitrites will drop to 0 too. You should try and keep your pH stable before you add any fish. Mine stays around 8.4
     
    lilyicu, Jul 9, 2009
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    dcantucson

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    I would wait until the tank has cycled and settled down, before adding and supplements. NO FISH or CORALS until well after the cycle is complete!
     
    dcantucson, Jul 9, 2009
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    sen5241b

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    Do not add fish yet. Use a bacteria additive such as Stresszyme or Special Blend to accelerate the cycle. I would give the tank a chance to settle down before using PH adjusters.
     
    sen5241b, Jul 9, 2009
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    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Dont do anything right now,except keep it topped off.
    When ammonia and nitrites are 0,then do a 20 to 30% water change.
    The PH will come up when the cycles done too.Right now all the die-off (that kicked the cycle into gear) is producing carbonic acid,which lowers the PH.
    What your seeing is perfectly normal.
    BTW
    Welcome to the site.
     
    yote, Jul 9, 2009
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    Cathic Fish Wrangler

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    I'm just going to throw my 2 cents in, but these guys (and girls) probably know way more than I do. But I tried cycling my tank with some hardy fish such a a Pajama Cardinal or a Damsel. I waited about 10 days before adding one but I never had the ammonia spike or pH problem. P.S. the Cardinal is still alive =D also I was told that hardy fish that will live in less than perfect waters can help in the cycling process. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong before i confuse him O.O also welcome!
     
    Cathic, Jul 9, 2009
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    dcantucson

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    We usually do not recommend adding fish to an uncycled tank. Think of the poor fishies!
     
    dcantucson, Jul 9, 2009
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    Cathic Fish Wrangler

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    Noted, and appreciated.
     
    Cathic, Jul 9, 2009
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    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    That and a lot of people tend to use damsels since they are hardy, but when it comes time to add more fish, they find that the damsels turn out to be real bullies and PITAs to catch. Patience pays off :)

    +1 Yote....Ammonia and Nitrites have to be 0 for the cycle to be complete. When those are 0, do a water change to lower the nitrates, and get 1 or 2 fish :) Definitely wait a few weeks for those fish and your levels to readjust before adding more. Again, patience is the key! Less heartaches and should'a would'a could'a if you take your time.
     
    wontonflip, Jul 9, 2009
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    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Thats actually how the cycle was started back in the old days of marine aquariums,before live rock came along.
    Now most folks just use a piece of raw table shrimp,some fish food,or even uncured live rock.All 3 of those methods will get it started,and once its done.Your not left with a fish thats pissed off and planning to murder the fish you really wanted in the first place.
     
    yote, Jul 9, 2009
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