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Cycle phase


digihang

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Hi, I'm new to this hobby and I think I did something bad to my 20gal tank while its at the very beginning of the cycling phase.

During the cycling phase, I have my cured live rocks and everything in it, the chemistry in the tank is not starting cause I test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and all of it are zero. So I add fish food(marine S)to produce ammonia therefore thinking the bacterias will form on the rock. But I added half of the bag since the fish food is going to be expired next month as stated on the back of the product, and now I can smell the ammonia from my room. I am not sure if this is bad or good...will this speed up the process? thanks very much

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Half of the bag seems very much. If it were me i would just start over. Take most of the water out and do a big water change. Also make sure you get all the fish food out.

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If you started with cured rock then your tank will have what's called a soft cycle. This is a good thing and as long as you take it slow adding cuc and other livestock then you won't notice any big spikes in your tests.

 

As far as adding half a bag of food to the tank. I would imagine this is going to cause a huge increase in bacteria in your tank followed by another big die off when food runs out followed by another increase etc. In a sense your system is going to swing back and fourth who knows how many times.

 

If I were you I would either try to syphon as much of the food out of your tank as possible then do a water change of either 50% or more and then leave it alone for a few weeks and let it cycle for however long it takes. Test often and don't add any livestock untill it is stable. If you have livestock in there now get it out ASAP.

 

Use the next few weeks to research and ask questions. In this hobby the most important thing is to take things slow.

 

Good luck.

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@oogie. I just got this tank and started cycling, so there is no living thing in there except the LR. I would do a water change but I bought my water ro/di water off a LFS. Plus, I think all the foods dissolved already because I did approximately 3 hrs ago. =( I thought I was supposed to create ammonia in the beginning so bacteria can start spawning on the LR?

 

@c-stone. I don't have any fishes/corals in there yet because I am cycling the LR to form beneficial bacteria. I just got this tank. People told me to add fish foods to create ammonia so I did, so the bacteria would form and feed off from it. But I think I added a little too much...won't this speed up the bacteria spawning and ammonia will become nutrients for it?

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@oogie. I just got this tank and started cycling, so there is no living thing in there except the LR. I would do a water change but I bought my water ro/di water off a LFS. Plus, I think all the foods dissolved already because I did approximately 3 hrs ago. =( I thought I was supposed to create ammonia in the beginning so bacteria can start spawning on the LR?

 

@c-stone. I don't have any fishes/corals in there yet because I am cycling the LR to form beneficial bacteria. I just got this tank. People told me to add fish foods to create ammonia so I did, so the bacteria would form and feed off from it. But I think I added a little too much...won't this speed up the bacteria spawning and ammonia will become nutrients for it?

 

 

Good thing you don't have any livestock.

 

It probably won't speed things up no.

 

I suggest readed the forum for begginers and also research how a cycle works. What will happen is all that excess food rotting will create ammonia which will in turn create an enviroment that will cause the bacteria to thrive. Now that sounds good but what happens when all that excess waste is eaten by the abundance of bacteria and there is not enough to feed it all? The excess bacteria will die causing your tank to spike again until everything reaches a balance.

 

If you let things happen slowly this ballance is achieved faster (if that makes sense).

 

Here is what I did if it helps.

 

Step 1: Mix RODI water to proper salinty/rinse sand.

Step 2: Add sand fill tank add liverock and bring to desired temp.

Step 3: Let cycle little or no lights on. Tops 2 hours a day. (For me I waited 2 weeks. I tested every other day and when tests read zero for a week straight I added a small amount of cuc, in my case 8 hermit crabs. A good indicator is when you see brown bacteria, diatoms, starting to cover the sand and rocks)

Step 4: Once the diatoms are gone you will then see green algea starting to form (At this point you can add some more cuc don't overdo it though)

Step 5: Once you have the green algea under control and tests have been stable at zero add a fish something hardy like a firefish, blenny, or maybe clown. (For me this was about a month after I started up).

Step 6: Slowly increase light cycle to desired amount and start regular water change sched (I do 5g a week for a 28g tank. I also added chemipure elite and cheato algea to my fuge at this point.)

 

 

From there you can slowly add coral more fish etc.

 

I can't stress enough how much money, time and heartache it will save to take it slow and do a TON of research.

 

Also if anyone tells you something will speed up the process be careful because it will usually lead to problems.

 

I know this is long winded but I'm bored at work haha.

 

Hope this helps.

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@c-stone. Thanks for the help. I just tested for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrate; all show colors representing zero...hmm i thought one of those to supposed to be spiked...

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