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Water changes/LR Conflicting advice. PLEASE HELP!


naenae82

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Oh, also I'm on heater #2. Amazon sent me a broken heater. >:-(

 

But on the bright side, I haven't had any algae blooms or much stink.

 

I haven't had much of anything. It's just water sitting there... :-/

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I won't talk you into or out of freshwater or saltwater, but I will give you the straight scoop on water changes while establishing the nitrogen cycle. Water changes will do little to reduce ammonia until there is enough bacteria to process it; in fact, water changes during this phase will lengthen the time it takes to establish the cycle (and does not appear to soften/lower ammonia in the process). However, once there is enough bacteria to process the ammonia, water changes will reduce the ammonia and shorten the cycle. So wait it out.

 

Do some research on where to collect sea water and how to filter it. As for testing, you can simply test ammonia for now (the other tests help to demonstrate what is going on, but are not required yet). Use your nitrite test after ammonia drops off (its spike and fall will closely follow ammonia). Use the nitrite test as a conformation that your cycle is established. Wait at least another week after ammonia and nitrite have both become undetectable (for stability) before adding any livestock.

 

Don't worry about nitrate until the cycle is established. Once it's established, you can use water changes to lower nitrate before you add your livestock. A large water change (up to 100%) is appropriate for this purpose. Likewise, don't worry about pH (or other tests) until after the cycle is established. However, there is no harm in testing, if you get bored waiting for the cycle to complete.

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GRRRR internet problems!

 

OK, so try #3 to get my issue solved:

 

I've been cycling my first SW tank (5 gal) using NSW for about 4 weeks now. I still have like .25 or .50 ammonia (it's hard to tell, I hate those cards). But I've been getting conflicting info from everywhere on the internet. Do I do water changes during cycling? Do I NOT do water changes during cycling? I've read/been told both! I am so confused.

 

This whole SW realm is getting to be really frustrating! I'm about to cycle my tank right out my 3rd story window. I ran out of nitrate test strips and my hydrometer blows.

 

If y'all can give me a general consensus or at least pros & cons to changing/not changing water during cycling and I can come to my own conclusions if a unanimous decision is not made on the thread, I would be ever so grateful.

 

Currently I have just a heater and a plain ol' filter (for water movement purposes only). I have a little bit of liverock and some seeded base rock. I only plan on putting one tiny fish and maybe a coral or two, but that's it. Nothing fancy. (Seems like a bummer I'm going broke for just one fish lol).

 

I won't talk you into or out of freshwater or saltwater, but I will give you the straight scoop on water changes while establishing the nitrogen cycle. Water changes will do little to reduce ammonia until there is enough bacteria to process it; in fact, water changes during this phase will lengthen the time it takes to establish the cycle (and does not appear to soften/lower ammonia in the process). However, once there is enough bacteria to process the ammonia, water changes will reduce the ammonia and shorten the cycle. So wait it out.

 

Do some research on where to collect sea water and how to filter it. As for testing, you can simply test ammonia for now (the other tests help to demonstrate what is going on, but are not required yet). Use your nitrite test after ammonia drops off (its spike and fall will closely follow ammonia). Use the nitrite test as a conformation that your cycle is established. Wait at least another week after ammonia and nitrite have both become undetectable (for stability) before adding any livestock.

 

Don't worry about nitrate until the cycle is established. Once it's established, you can use water changes to lower nitrate before you add your livestock. A large water change (up to 100%) is appropriate for this purpose. Likewise, don't worry about pH (or other tests) until after the cycle is established. However, there is no harm in testing, if you get bored waiting for the cycle to complete.

Awesome, you must have seen my post that mysteriously disappeared somewhere... anyways, thanks! :-) I think you spelled it out pretty well for me. Much appreciated.

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Decent flow (like 25 times turnover) is helpful for most soft an LPS coral. It doesn't hurt the cycle process either.

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youre fine, how much LR do you have?

 

some people have success with NSW but it can be hard to know exactly whats in it, if you want to be safe you can use RODI salt water.

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youre fine, how much LR do you have?

 

some people have success with NSW but it can be hard to know exactly whats in it, if you want to be safe you can use RODI salt water.

 

I have about 1/2 kg of actual liverock purchased from my LFS. I also have about 5 kg of fossilized coral I cleaned off that I found on the beach well away from the water... it should be seeded by now. I have a 5 gal aquarium.

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yea, I think youre just fine, with only 1 lb of established LR to seed your tank its probably just taking a bit longer than some. wait until NO3 goes back to 0 and youre good to go. add fish!

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yea, I think youre just fine, with only 1 lb of established LR to seed your tank its probably just taking a bit longer than some. wait until NO3 goes back to 0 and youre good to go. add fish!

Awesome... this makes sense! Thanks guys!

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