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Cycling question


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#1
nwin

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Had my tank up and running for 2 weeks now. 15 pounds of cured LR and 20 pounds of live sand in a 14g biocube. Salinity 1.026. Temperature 80-81 usually. Testing roughly 0 on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Nitrate might be slightly above 0, but it's hard to tell with the test kit. (API Saltwater test). There was some coralline algae on the LR that came with it from the start, but it's definitely starting to spread to the other rocks and grow in places. Lots of feather dusters popping up, some starfish (brittle and another type), and some little things that look like sand fleas running around the bottom and over the rocks. The tank is definitely starting to come alive.

I plan on adding a CUC from reef cleaners in a week, but was thinking of maybe buying a hermit crab (a small one) or two to make sure the tank is cycling correctly. I don't *think* I've had a diatom bloom, but from what I've read, I might not have one at all.

That's where I'm getting a bit confused, actually. Some people say that I'm going to cycle no matter what, while others say that since I'm adding cured LR, I won't have much of a cycle, if one at all, while others say I can stock now since I bought cured LR...just trying to see a consensus here.

Also, anything wrong with buying a hermit crab or two this weekend to put in there? What do I need to look for there? I know I don't want the big ones for the tank, that's for sure.

#2
mmdjs

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Had my tank up and running for 2 weeks now. 15 pounds of cured LR and 20 pounds of live sand in a 14g biocube. Salinity 1.026. Temperature 80-81 usually. Testing roughly 0 on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Nitrate might be slightly above 0, but it's hard to tell with the test kit. (API Saltwater test). There was some coralline algae on the LR that came with it from the start, but it's definitely starting to spread to the other rocks and grow in places. Lots of feather dusters popping up, some starfish (brittle and another type), and some little things that look like sand fleas running around the bottom and over the rocks. The tank is definitely starting to come alive.

I plan on adding a CUC from reef cleaners in a week, but was thinking of maybe buying a hermit crab (a small one) or two to make sure the tank is cycling correctly. I don't *think* I've had a diatom bloom, but from what I've read, I might not have one at all.

That's where I'm getting a bit confused, actually. Some people say that I'm going to cycle no matter what, while others say that since I'm adding cured LR, I won't have much of a cycle, if one at all, while others say I can stock now since I bought cured LR...just trying to see a consensus here.

Also, anything wrong with buying a hermit crab or two this weekend to put in there? What do I need to look for there? I know I don't want the big ones for the tank, that's for sure.




Hey I started a tank about 2 months ago and used live rock from the lfs that had been in their tank quite some time and live sand as well, I never saw the ammonia rise and I tested everyday , same for nitrite,

So 25 gallon tank, 25 pounds live rock, 40 pounds of live sand all in all.


Nitrates peaked a bit when I was trying to train a mandarin to eat frozen as there was a bit of excess feeding, but as of now I have 2 electric blue crabs , a Halloween crab and a bunch of ceriths, I have placed shells everwhere in the tank and to be honest I don't even think the crabs care about the snails, the crabs I bought were already in shells bigger than the cerith snails so that may be the reason.

Oh and of course there is some fish and Shrimp.

Anyway just thought I would share my experience so far in case it helps.

#3
Salty_Snack

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Sounds like you didn't have much if any of a cycle and your ready to add whatever you would like. I had a similar experience with my nano.

Adding small hermits is fine but you may need to supplement their diet if there is very little algae. But with that much live rock I would be surprised if they cannot find something to eat.


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#4
Yves17

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Do you have a heater? because your temp should be 78-79 if you want corals of course. IF YOU KEEP Salinity at 1.026 you will be fine I have a 6g Fluval Edge and my cycle was for only 4 weeks or less I dont know you experience but I started to add some corals and I am all good right now hermit crabs are like immortals so you can start with them and snails I guess. and Btw you have to wait 2-4 weeks and sometimes much more to complete your cycle dont do whatever people say for safety I highly recommend to wait for the cycle.

Edited by Yves17, 16 March 2012 - 07:51 PM.


#5
andrewguilfoy

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Yeah the "quick crews" they sell are huge, and unless you have any serious algae growth, most of the pack won't eat and will eventually die off. I would hold off on any huge clean up crews until your tank is mature enough to consistanly provide plant life (algae) for their microscopic appetites. You can have a hermit or two, though I'd stick to snails mostly.

Edited by andrewguilfoy, 16 March 2012 - 07:47 PM.

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#6
Yves17

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About the hermit crab they will find something to eat always mine likes pieces of mysis shrimp and i started to add that a couple of weeks ago because I got a fish. he was fine and alone for 2 months without any supplement If you have algae he will be good. btw my tank is 6 months old already =)

#7
nwin

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I am worried about the amount of snails I would receive from reefcleaners.org. Everyone says it's amazing service, but also everyone I've seen post about them say that they receive way more than they requested. It's great and all, but I don't know anyone close to me that is into the hobby and I don't feel like trekking down to the LFS to give the extras away either. I think I'll send him an e-mail today asking if he can just send me what it says on the website and no extras...if not, no big deal...I'll just get them from the LFS. I'd like to give him the business though since I hear it really is great service that he provides.

For the temperature, my heater is set to 76 and never even turns on that I notice. I'm in Texas where it's been around 80 during the day for the last week, so that's why my water temp is like that. I'm also not using the lights so the fans aren't coming on to cool anything.

I also have some chaeto and chemipure in a media basket I put in, so that could easily be explaining the lack of nitrates.

#8
nwin

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ALSO, I shouldn't be turning the lights on daily, right? Or since it's LR, should I be keeping them on? I only turn them on for 10 minutes a day or so when I'm just checking out the tank and looking at the stuff that's growing. the LEDs for the fuge in the back I do have on a 12 hour timer though for the chaeto.

#9
Aquanist

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I'd keep the lights on normal daily schedule from the get go. And put the fuge lights on reverse cycle (night time) if the light from the cabinet isn't too intrusive.

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#10
nwin

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I'd keep the lights on normal daily schedule from the get go. And put the fuge lights on reverse cycle (night time) if the light from the cabinet isn't too intrusive.



See, that's also more conflicting information- I've been told since I have LIVE rock, to put them on a timer, and then others have told me 'well, you're just wasting your bulbs.' Also, people have said the only thing turning lights on would do would be to grow a bunch of algae.

Things are still growing on them, so if I can get more guidance on this, then great.

The LED for the chaeto does run at night when, if I put the lights on a timer, would be a reverse cycle.

#11
Aquanist

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Your live rock may have lots of photosynthetic hitchhikers on it and they may die without lights. Yes you do risk slightly more algae at startup with lights but algae will come and go as your tank matures and nutrient levels get more stable. Personally I've cycled all my tanks with lights and been very satisfied.

In the end it's your decision of course but I just don't see the point in getting premium LR and then not keeping it well lit. With seeded dry rock or live base rock I would understand the no lights advise, although the arguments on "wasting the bulbs" or "raised electricity bill" sound like they come from people who really shouldn't be in the hobby as bulbs need to be replaced regularly and nothing comes for free. :lol:

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#12
nwin

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Just so others know, I e-mailed John from reefcleaners.org and explained my situation to him about getting extra stock. He said no problem about not giving extra snails out, just make sure I put it in the comments section when I order. That guy is great to work with! Plus, he e-mailed me back within 5 minutes of my original e-mail! Awesome service!