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Base Rock cycle kicker


Blue Fin

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I'm planning on starting up a new 29 gallon in a few weeks. The tank will have approximately 25 lbs. of base rock (thank you John @ reefcleaners - beautiful stuff) and an additional 2 or 3 lbs. of live rock to help establish biological colonies and introduce coraline into the tank.

 

I'm hesitant to start a cycle with a piece of decaying, raw shrimp or with some poor damsel. Some users have shared anecdotes on the viability of using Brightwell Aquatics' Microbacter7 to jump start a cycle. Does this make sense? Have any other, more experienced reefers attempted this? I'm assuming that if this does work, it's due to the MB7 decaying (due to a lack of an ammonia source to feed on) and feeding whatever good bacteria is still alive.

 

Any other suggestions?

 

Thanks,

Matt

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OClownsandNanos

Your other option, of course, if you want more ammonia in there to seriously increase nitrobacter/nitrifying colonies but don't want all that decay is to just use pure ammonia with no surfectants, just like they do in freshwater fishless cycling. It's probably cheaper than MB7 if you can get it at Ace or another hardware store. I started my freshwater tank that way and it worked very well. Since you are already going to have some live rock in there, you may not need to go as high a concentration of ammo as they'd usually recommend on freshwater sites, but you can find calculators for fishless cycling which will give you a good idea of how much to start with / to continue to add.

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I'm with Gabe on this one. I cycled a 14 gallon FW setup with fish food, just make sure that you clean your substrate well when you're done or use a breeder net to contain it. Used a pinch a week, brought the ammonia up to 4.0. I also used StressZyme as a bacterial supplement along with old decorations, I don't think it made much of a difference. But really, since you have some live rock there, I would expect that you shouldn't have much trouble without a storebought bacteria cocktail since you already have some live rock there, which will ideally be your jumpstart.

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Use quality, bagged live sand and good live rock and you probably won't get a cycle. If you don't there's no reason to force one.

 

Don't use any additives. If you insist on adding ammonia, add pure ammonia. I believe this was already covered.

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well i could see 1 reason why you would want atleast a decent cycle to run through your system. if you add fish and your bioload does jump up a bit don't you want the bacteria already there from a cycle to process the waste? i'm not saying to go from freshly cycled to fully stocked overnight but imo its good to kinda get a feel for how fast your tank can process waste its more of a peace of mind thing for me. kinda safe than sorry situation.

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well i could see 1 reason why you would want atleast a decent cycle to run through your system. if you add fish and your bioload does jump up a bit don't you want the bacteria already there from a cycle to process the waste? i'm not saying to go from freshly cycled to fully stocked overnight but imo its good to kinda get a feel for how fast your tank can process waste its more of a peace of mind thing for me. kinda safe than sorry situation.

 

That's precisely why I'd like to have a "measurable" cycle. No matter what, I'll be stocking this tank rather slowly.

 

Further, even though the majority of the rock is base, I have no doubt that die-off from the few pounds of live rock I plan on stocking will induce a cycle to begin.

 

I like the suggestions about pure ammonia. In the tank thread I'll be starting for this, I'll be detailing the process and results of using pure ammonia.

 

Thanks, everybody!

 

Matt

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The reason, as I'm sure most of ya already know, to use raw shrimp: put it in a filter media bag and you're able to pull it out and flush it when the ammonia is where you want it to be. Fish food is the same idea but not quite as easy to pull out. Pure ammonia is great, if you trust the label of the product you're using.

 

My 2 cents.

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I used the raw shrimp this time around, My other 2 tanks I just did live rock seeding. I must say I liked the raw shrimp way better. Seemed to really speed the process up. I had my tank running for about a week then added shrimp for about 4 days. I had a giant bacteria bloom took it out. 3 days later my water was crystal clear! Let it run for about another week after that. Everything is doing great in it!

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