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Do i have a serious issue with my new 10g!?


MeanMug

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Hey all. First post on here. I started up my 10g on Jan 23rd (10 days ago) and i'm wondering if i have a big problem on my hands, or if i'm just freaking out like a noob. Here's a run down of how my story has gone thus far:

 

Bought the Tonga LR on Sun the 23rd. guy at the store said he wasn't sure if the big pieces were cured yet and that he "thought" the smaller pieces were. I picked one big piece and the rest were smaller pieces. Total 10lbs of LR and 10lbs of live sand. Brought them home and introduced them into my 10g tank that had already been running for 24 hrs. Temp was 78degrees and i have one Koralia Nano pushing the water around. I used instant ocean salt and i have a FishNeedIt 4x24w T5 fixture to light it up. I decided to go with lights on from Noon to 11pm. Natural filtration method.

 

The next day (we'll call it Day 1): Bought a test kit. went home and tested since LR adn LS have officially been in for 24 hrs. pH - 7.8 Ammon. - 0.25 Nitrite - 0.25 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78180659_669215454967_26601049_37078356_6758926_n.jpg

 

Day2: added a shrimp to try to boost ammonia163869_669536960667_26601049_37083137_3931168_n.jpg

 

Day 3: pH - 7.8 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78

 

Day 4: took the shrimp out. Decided i didn't want ammonia to spike TOO high and kill any hitch hikers i may have hiding if rock was not cured.

 

Day 5: Noticed some diatom blooming. pH - 7.8 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78179084_670246553637_26601049_37095264_1873618_n.jpg

 

Day 6: Diadtom is DEFINATELY blooming. Also noticing some stringy algea on the sand bed and also some neon green algea on the rock and on the sand. pH - 7.8 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 5 SG - 1.024 Temp - 78164817_670247681377_26601049_37095290_3606052_n.jpg

 

Day 8: Tank is turning into a green mess. pH - 8.0 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.024 Temp - 78

 

Day 9: Full Blown green mess. Water is clouding up with green. pH - 8.2 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78180622_671217557737_26601049_37114229_5932831_n.jpg

 

Day10: Tank is green and cloudy. pH - 8.4 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78

 

So...am i freaking out? has my tank cycled? is my light cycle causing the algae to bloom out of control? where the hell is the ammonia?? I'm fully prepared to ride it out. But it really keeps getting worse. Any suggestions on what's causing this and what my best plan of action should be?

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looks like it to me!! i would add a cuc to me if your levels remain that way for a couple days, if i were you andt i would add a snail and a hermit as a tester tomorrow because i am impatient! but if you have time i would wait 2-3 and if your levels remain zero you are solid and ready to get a real cuc!!

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@brandolando - I cant get to the LFS until sat. so that gives me time to test a few more days. and the heater is temp. until i get a smaller one. It was brand new and free so i decided to use it for the cycle.

 

@Coastie - i used distilled water to mix my salt

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Im new to reefing but been reading up a lot on cycling. it looks like you should have left it alone and not add the shrimp because it could have been cured rock and you got minimal die off with a light cycle. now you have too much ammonia and just have to wait for it to cycle. im not sure what to do w/ the alge since if you put a cuc it will be stressed and die cuz of the ammonia levels. just clean it off and let it cycle. i hear it can take a while especially since you put in the shrimp.

 

when it goes low, just wait at least a whole week to have 0 ammonia levels. cuz the bacteria thats thriving right now will also die off since theres less nutrients for them at the end of the cycle.

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Im new to reefing but been reading up a lot on cycling. it looks like you should have left it alone and not add the shrimp because it could have been cured rock and you got minimal die off with a light cycle. now you have too much ammonia and just have to wait for it to cycle. im not sure what to do w/ the alge since if you put a cuc it will be stressed and die cuz of the ammonia levels. just clean it off and let it cycle. i hear it can take a while especially since you put in the shrimp.

 

when it goes low, just wait at least a whole week to have 0 ammonia levels. cuz the bacteria thats thriving right now will also die off since theres less nutrients for them at the end of the cycle.

 

 

Ammonia levels have been 0 all but the first day.

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ohh sorry i read it wrong. if it all 0 you can add a few of ur cuc. i got mine from reefcleaners.org. they have good quick crews you might want to put 1 of something in there to see if hes doing well..

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yah as long as ammonia levels are zero and nitrite levels are zero you wont stress out your cuc too much, and especially since you said your nitrates are zero you will be fine!! add a small cuc at first leave it for week test your water and if everything is good go buy ur first fishy!! Dont start with a big cuc get a little one and add as you go!! my cuc started as one cerith and 2 scarlet hermits!! and have added a few more over the past couple weeks!!

 

i love your tank!!

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unless there was some coral life you wished to try and salvage, your lighting wasn't necessary during your cycle. Thats why the algae bloom. My first ever cycle was about a month. I too ran my lights and got a bloom, then ran them less. Have you done any partial water changes? I did a weekly change even during my cycle and by three weeks, had a nice healthy pod population and great parameters. My tanks been solid for a month with a cuc, 2 clowns, and 2 blennies. All appear to be stress free, and parameters are always zero across the board.

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oo yah i forgot to say this, im sure u already know but do a water change when you add the fish and the cuc!! just in case:)

 

and when you buy ur cuc bring your water to the lfs, make them test it too!!

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yah i wouldn't change the water till your add your cuc maybe do like a 30 percent water change!! maybe more!!

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I didn't read all of you post.. but I got enough out of it to tell you this:

 

You used good LR and LS. Thusly, no cycle. This is normal. The shrimp was a stupid idea, but didn't hurt anything.

 

Add your CuC as soon as you want to, the sooner you do, the sooner they will get to work on cleaning it up - IME, Cortez hermits are best at diatomes. Go with something like 4 crabs and a dozen snails (variety up to you).

 

Probably a week after the CuC goes in, you can start adding fish and whatever you please.

 

(edit: I'd put more LR in there.. mostly for aesthetics, so if you like it leave it, but some say 1.5x rock/gallon)

(edit 2: Get a magfloat or something similar and clean your glass)

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Hi, MeanMug :welcome:

You have no serious issues to worry about. Others here have given you some great advice and good reasons as to why you have experienced such a quick cycle. The evidence is right in your daily testing. You started with ammonia and nitrite levels - those died off - then, you began to see a pretty big spike in nitrates. My only advice (for any future tanks you might start and other new folks who might land on this string) is that once you see your nitrates spike (like your "day 6" post proclaims) do a nice, big water change to try and get rid of as much nitrates as possible. The reason you have that algea bloom is that those nitrates had to go somewhere, and algea loves munching up those 'trates. Clean the glass, do a water change, throw in a CUC, have some patience, and you're going to have a beautiful tank very soon. Enjoy!

 

Matt

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I Just figured it couldn't possibly be my Ammon. spike because the readings were so low. And I didn't think a 5ppm spike was super huge for Nitrates either.

 

I'll test today and Friday, do a cleaning and 50% water change Friday evening, and then plan to get the CUC Saturday afternoon. Thanks for your input guys!

 

Thanks for the welcome, blue fin!

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I can absolutely understand why you were hesitant to believe that a cycle is happening. I tend to agree with "Xris" who mentioned that with good, cured live rock you might not have had a "big" cycle.

 

A couple thoughts for moving forward: I like that you're going to be doing a 50% water change - I would do a 50% water change once per week for a few weeks (even if nitrates read 0), then taper it down to maybe a 25% to 30% weekly water change. Also, you may have issues with algae blooms moving forward, even with weekly water changes and a CUC. One thing to consider is giving the "bad" algae a little competition: macro algae. John @ reefcleaners is a great reference on macros (as is this site). Be cautious with macros, do your research, some species have a tendency to go sexual, reproducing and spreading throughout your tank like wildfire. Macros are a great way to deal with nitrates as they will "feed" on the nitrates, and they're much easier to deal with - just trim them and throw away the cuttings (exporting nitrates). Another suggestion is to use a media that will remove nitrates from your water via a HOB filter. Between those suggestions, a weekly water change, and a CUC you should be on your way to pristine waters, my friend.

 

Oh, one more thing: earlier, I think I read that your were using distilled water - try and find RO or RO/DI water (can be bought at most LFS's or make your own). I'm not 100% sure, but I believe it's possible that you may inadvertantly be adding nitrates into your tank with distilled (test it).

 

That's it - I'm sure others will have more on the topic.

 

Matt

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OClownsandNanos
:welcome: Meanmug and it's looking good so far! Everybody's pretty much explained what happened already, just wanted to say I like your tonga rock and do you know what your future stocking plans are? And you should consider starting a tank thread if you haven't already. It's a good way to track your progress and helps out other reefers too, esp. if you wind up working successfully through problems down the road.
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And you should consider starting a tank thread if you haven't already. It's a good way to track your progress and helps out other reefers too, esp. if you wind up working successfully through problems down the road.

 

+1

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I'll prob start a thread up soon. Thank you for the compliments and help. I plan on adding a little more LR eventually. As far as stocking: typical CUC, Some rookie corals, eventually a nice sized Torch, frogspawn, or hammer coral (thats what the isolated rock on the left is for) and maybe 2 or 3 small fish. A clown, clown goby, 3 stripe damsel. But i have a feeling I'll come across something awesome that will change my mind. I dont mind keeping less fish and paying more $$$ for something truly different. know what i mean?

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Hey all. First post on here. I started up my 10g on Jan 23rd (10 days ago) and i'm wondering if i have a big problem on my hands, or if i'm just freaking out like a noob. Here's a run down of how my story has gone thus far:

 

Bought the Tonga LR on Sun the 23rd. guy at the store said he wasn't sure if the big pieces were cured yet and that he "thought" the smaller pieces were. I picked one big piece and the rest were smaller pieces. Total 10lbs of LR and 10lbs of live sand. Brought them home and introduced them into my 10g tank that had already been running for 24 hrs. Temp was 78degrees and i have one Koralia Nano pushing the water around. I used instant ocean salt and i have a FishNeedIt 4x24w T5 fixture to light it up. I decided to go with lights on from Noon to 11pm. Natural filtration method.

 

The next day (we'll call it Day 1): Bought a test kit. went home and tested since LR adn LS have officially been in for 24 hrs. pH - 7.8 Ammon. - 0.25 Nitrite - 0.25 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78180659_669215454967_26601049_37078356_6758926_n.jpg

 

Day2: added a shrimp to try to boost ammonia163869_669536960667_26601049_37083137_3931168_n.jpg

 

Day 3: pH - 7.8 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78

 

Day 4: took the shrimp out. Decided i didn't want ammonia to spike TOO high and kill any hitch hikers i may have hiding if rock was not cured.

 

Day 5: Noticed some diatom blooming. pH - 7.8 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78179084_670246553637_26601049_37095264_1873618_n.jpg

 

Day 6: Diadtom is DEFINATELY blooming. Also noticing some stringy algea on the sand bed and also some neon green algea on the rock and on the sand. pH - 7.8 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 5 SG - 1.024 Temp - 78164817_670247681377_26601049_37095290_3606052_n.jpg

 

Day 8: Tank is turning into a green mess. pH - 8.0 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.024 Temp - 78

 

Day 9: Full Blown green mess. Water is clouding up with green. pH - 8.2 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78180622_671217557737_26601049_37114229_5932831_n.jpg

 

Day10: Tank is green and cloudy. pH - 8.4 Ammon. - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 0 SG - 1.025 Temp - 78

 

So...am i freaking out? has my tank cycled? is my light cycle causing the algae to bloom out of control? where the hell is the ammonia?? I'm fully prepared to ride it out. But it really keeps getting worse. Any suggestions on what's causing this and what my best plan of action should be?

cut your light time down maybe 5 hours a day if that untill your levels get stable, wait it out dont add any aniamals either.

 

cut your light time down maybe 5 hours a day if that untill your levels get stable, wait it out dont add any aniamals either.
your light will defintly have a factor in that alge growth, some people say not to have the light on at all when it's cycling, I dont belive that but 4-5 hours a day you should see a difference
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