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Tank Cycled Already?...


Admonition

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So I started up my first saltwater tank. Its a Nuvo 16 with about 16 lbs of CaribSea Arag-Alive sand and about 20lbs of Live Rock. I also have 15 dwarf blue legs, 2 peppermint and 2 scarlet skunk shrimp since day 1 as per the advice of a friend. I've only actually tested the water twice, because my freshwater tanks usually take weeks before they're cycled, so I don't bother testing every day. Here are my results for this tank:

 

01/24/12 [2 hours after setup]

pH 8.2

Ammonia 0ppm

Nitrite 0ppm

Nitrate 0ppm

Temp. 78 degrees F

 

 

01/29/12

pH 8.0

Ammonia 0ppm

Nitrite 0ppm

Nitrate 10ppm

Temp. 78 degrees F

 

Is it possible that my tank has actually cycled in five days? I re-tested the water twice with the same results. Also, I don't know if it means anything, but one of my shrimp molted (I found the left over shell/skin stuck to the underside of my LR).

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Yes, it's possible. If you had saltwater waiting in the tank and then transferred the live rock directly from the source to the saltwater with active flow within an hour or two, then yes. My friend's newest tank cycled in 7 days. Mine cycled in 5-6. I was checking ammonia and nitrates daily. But like that guy said, there will be dramatic swings in a new system once you start adding insults to it. Add those fish hella slowly if you're going to start after only a week.

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Following the direction of my friend I literally picked up the saltwater, the live sand, and the live rock from my LFS and went right home (5 min drive). The LR was wrapped in wet newspaper. As soon as I got home I filled my tank with the water, sand, and LR and I turned the pumps on. Later that day I added the shrimp and hermits. Is this why it may be cycled so quick? I'm just amazed that my tank could cycle in less than a week lol. My freshwater tanks always take a month minimum.

 

I plan to do my first water change to get the Nitrates down now that the tank has apparently cycled. After I do, is it safe to add two clown fish? They're the only fish I intend to get.

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Aragalive says right on the bag "No Cycle"

 

Generally, this is an accurate statement. You're good to add fish. Nitrates don't hurt fish.

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Aragalive says right on the bag "No Cycle"

 

Generally, this is an accurate statement. You're good to add fish. Nitrates don't hurt fish.

 

well dang if it says so on the bag!

 

in all seriousness it is totally possible. but it was the rock that jumped the cycle not the sand.

 

If you disagree, go buy 20 more pounds of aragalive, then buy 20 lbs of dry base rock and put them in a 20 gallon with an HOB filter and see what happens.

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Yeah, honestly, I've never set one up without the sand and good LR together. BUT.. it is still the case that every tank I've seen set up with aragalive has had no cycle. I won't deny the effectiveness of good LR.

 

I THINK there was a thread on here last week of someone who pulled it off with dry rock, or some uncured LR, but I can't recall right off.

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Yeah, honestly, I've never set one up without the sand and good LR together. BUT.. it is still the case that every tank I've seen set up with aragalive has had no cycle. I won't deny the effectiveness of good LR.

 

I THINK there was a thread on here last week of someone who pulled it off with dry rock, or some uncured LR, but I can't recall right off.

 

that would be interesting. I have more or less conducted the same experiment. Although I wouldn't call it a particularly long cycle, the tank with only live sand took a full two weeks longer than usual to clear of ammonia and nitrite.

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