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copepods so soon?


Choonchie

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Well here is another noob question..... I recently started a 15g nano (a month ago). I used r/o water, LR and LS. water never really cycled (never had a diatom bloom). I have been checking level every other day, never had ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates (they have always been 0 or close to 0. last few days I have noticed an outbreak in pods which i thought were microbubbles at first. now i have hunders of these greaat little guys all over the place. does this mean the tank is cycled? can I start putting live stock in it? I want to start with some corals (mushrooms and polyps) and then get a pair of clowns.

 

so my questions are... is my tank cycled? I know if I had nh4 they would all have died off right?

can i start stocking my tank?? slowly of course.

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This doesn't mean your tank is cycled, but after a month it most probably is. Test for nitrite and ammonia, and lastly nitrate. If you're cycled, you should see a nitrate presence, but the other two should be zero. Do a large w/c and then you can start stocking.

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You cycled. With a small, or in your case zero bioload you won't always even see nitrate build up in your tank. (after all the point of live rock is for denitrification) So go ahead and add livestock. The longer you wait the worse off you are at this point because the size of the bacterial colony will continuously decrease without a source of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate to consume.

 

I've had a similar situation with a 3 day cycle recently.

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You cycled. With a small, or in your case zero bioload you won't always even see nitrate build up in your tank. (after all the point of live rock is for denitrification) So go ahead and add livestock. The longer you wait the worse off you are at this point because the size of the bacterial colony will continuously decrease without a source of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate to consume.

 

I've had a similar situation with a 3 day cycle recently.

 

I disagree. High quality LS and LR may have no die off. That is what leads to the original ammonia that starts the cycle in the first place. There's a good chance you get some LR without die off not really starting a good cycle. As asting said... nitrates being presence shows that the nitrogen cycle has gotten to that stage.

 

That being said, there may not be sufficient bacteria to handle an increased bioload. Whenever I start a tank I throw in a piece of shrimp to decompose and start the cycle. If you want to do this, you could. You could add livestock since you have some good quality water... but I would do it very very slow at first. Monitor your levels.

 

As for copepods... I found them in my tank after 2 weeks during the cycle. And I had moderate nitrates. So they aren't a sign of a healthy tank in my opinion, but they are pretty cool :D

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If the LR and LS are high quality then you shouldn't have much of a problem. The LR I used in my 15 gallon came from an established holding tank at the LFS and I had virtually no cycle one it was introduced to my tank. The bacteria was already established in the LR.

 

I added two small clowns 3 days later, checked NH3 and NO2 twice a day for a week thereafter and observed neither during that time.

 

So, if your LR comes from an established aquarium (IMO LS is a waste), and you don't see much if any cycle then your good to go. I'm not telling you to add half a dozen "high" bioload fish all at once. In fact you shouldn't ever do that in a 15 gallon but a small clown will be fine. On the other hand, if your LR had been out of water for a couple of days while being shipped or wasn't cured at the LFS or was dry (but then it's not really LR, is it?) then you will certainly see a cycle.

 

This whole notion of creating a large cycle comes from way back in the 20+ years ago when nanoreefs were unheard of and we all had large tanks that needed a lot of ammonia to establish a reasonably sized bacterial colony. If all your looking to do is add a small fish then you certainly don't need the equivalent amount of bacteria to what is found in an established 65 gallon reef tank.

 

With all this said I personally would add a little fish food just to see what happens since the tank has been sitting without an ammonia source for a month.

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If the LR and LS are high quality then you shouldn't have much of a problem. The LR I used in my 15 gallon came from an established holding tank at the LFS and I had virtually no cycle one it was introduced to my tank. The bacteria was already established in the LR.

 

I added two small clowns 3 days later, checked NH3 and NO2 twice a day for a week thereafter and observed neither during that time.

 

So, if your LR comes from an established aquarium (IMO LS is a waste), and you don't see much if any cycle then your good to go. I'm not telling you to add half a dozen "high" bioload fish all at once. In fact you shouldn't ever do that in a 15 gallon but a small clown will be fine. On the other hand, if your LR had been out of water for a couple of days while being shipped or wasn't cured at the LFS or was dry (but then it's not really LR, is it?) then you will certainly see a cycle.

 

This whole notion of creating a large cycle comes from way back in the 20+ years ago when nanoreefs were unheard of and we all had large tanks that needed a lot of ammonia to establish a reasonably sized bacterial colony. If all your looking to do is add a small fish then you certainly don't need the equivalent amount of bacteria to what is found in an established 65 gallon reef tank.

 

With all this said I personally would add a little fish food just to see what happens since the tank has been sitting without an ammonia source for a month.

 

I fully agree with this. Small bioload... you'll always see a cycle until the bacteria equalizes with the amount of bioload.

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ok i added 1/4 cube of mysis and will check water levels over the next few days. i may go out and get a nassarius snail to stir up the sand a bit and 2 blue legs.

tested water this morning and ammonia is 0 nitrite is 0 and nitrate are between 5 and 10, temp 78, spec grav 1.025. haven't tested for anything else the moment since tank is empty. lights are kept off at all times. and i haven't added a skimmer yet, thinking about installing it this weekend if i add the nail and herms.

\

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No offense, but adding food to an empty tank to "start a cycle" is about the dumbest idea that still makes its way around this hobby.

 

If you don't get ammonia, it means you brought enough bacteria in with the quality rock and sand. If a week or two go by with no signs of ammonia or nitrite, it's clean up crew time.

 

All adding shrimp or food will do is create a temporary spike in the bacteria to process that load. That spike will immediately diminish once the source of the ammonia is gone. Pointless.

 

Also, there is no need to run a skimmer until you're trying to maintain an ultra low nutrient tank or battling algae. Basic corals (and even sps) and fish can thrive in a skimmer-less system.

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No offense, but adding food to an empty tank to "start a cycle" is about the dumbest idea that still makes its way around this hobby.

 

If you don't get ammonia, it means you brought enough bacteria in with the quality rock and sand. If a week or two go by with no signs of ammonia or nitrite, it's clean up crew time.

 

All adding shrimp or food will do is create a temporary spike in the bacteria to process that load. That spike will immediately diminish once the source of the ammonia is gone. Pointless.

 

Also, there is no need to run a skimmer until you're trying to maintain an ultra low nutrient tank or battling algae. Basic corals (and even sps) and fish can thrive in a skimmer-less system.

 

I didn't realize that bacteria would starve within a few days. Amazing that the oldest lifeform on Earth isn't that hardy.

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I didn't realize that bacteria would starve within a few days. Amazing that the oldest lifeform on Earth isn't that hardy.

 

It's all a balance.. the amount of nitrifying bacteria in the tank directly correlates to the amount of ammonia there is for them to process (feed off). If the energy supply dwindles, so will the bacteria population. Conversely, if the supply increases, so will the bacteria population.

 

This is why people say a tank is "always cycling".. what it means is that while you have enough bacteria to handle any minor fluctuations in water quality, big changes like adding multiple fish or drastically increasing your feeding may cause problems.

 

I know you were just trying to be a smart ass, but it is still the case that adding an ammonia source to an otherwise stabilized tank does nothing more than waste your time.

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It's all a balance.. the amount of nitrifying bacteria in the tank directly correlates to the amount of ammonia there is for them to process (feed off). If the energy supply dwindles, so will the bacteria population. Conversely, if the supply increases, so will the bacteria population.

 

This is why people say a tank is "always cycling".. what it means is that while you have enough bacteria to handle any minor fluctuations in water quality, big changes like adding multiple fish or drastically increasing your feeding may cause problems.

 

I know you were just trying to be a smart ass, but it is still the case that adding an ammonia source to an otherwise stabilized tank does nothing more than waste your time.

 

Well your assumption was incorrect about me being a smartass. I was curious. I mean... I understand that if you throw in food and wait another month to two to add fish you'd have dead bacteria... but what if you add fish shortly after? Like you see the trates go up and you do a water change and add coral... wouldn't it reduce the stress on them.

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If you continuously supplied ammonia there should be little to no die off if you transition into livestock.

 

In researching the subject I found a website that recommended dosing your aquarium with straight ammonia. So the best time to add livestock is as soon as you see zeros in all the columns?

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Couple days ago someone posted the following link to the CCA forum:

 

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/cont...tm_content=html

 

I realize this article is about fw tanks, but it does challenge prevalent thoughts about nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria and it's hardiness. Couple of years ago I decided to set up a african tank, and was shocked to see so many thought "no nitrates, not cycled". IMO, ridiculous theory. In planted tanks, you add NO3, as plants consume it at a rapid pace. I have -0- detectable nitrates in my lightly planted african tanks, and I guarantee you I have a cycled tank.

 

If I was you, I'd add one fish and a few snails to your tank for a few weeks. Check your water. If all is good, slowly add livestock.

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This is why people say a tank is "always cycling".. what it means is that while you have enough bacteria to handle any minor fluctuations in water quality, big changes like adding multiple fish or drastically increasing your feeding may cause problems.

 

You sir, get a prize.

 

It's ridiculous the # of times this question (or any thread questioning the completeness of one's "cycle") comes up on the beginner forums.

I'm not saying that's necessarily a horrible thing, but if we step back and think about how the nitrogen cycle works we get some really good, stimulating responses (actually some good responses here too!) that carry over into numerous scenarios.

 

So to the OP: Recall that no 2 tanks are the same. You could do as some have suggested and add ammonia (either pure ammonia, or an organic source of decomposition) in anticipation of adding a larger amount of livestock at some point in the future. This does work theoretically, however, you already paid a premium for cured LR so why would you do this!? It could be considered wasting time.

These are methods more suited to starting a tank with 100% dry base rock, where there is no source of organic waste at all other than the eventual accumulation of fuzz, dander, and an occasional insect that will eventually lead to establishing the nitrogen cycle. Some call it a "kick start".

 

IMO a better, and easier way to start off a tank is to start off with decent cured LR - this instantly adds all of the bacteria necessary to complete the nitrogen cycle (or at least it should as long as it's half way decent rock - it's not a bad idea to shop around for rock!). Wait a week or 2 to let things settle in, then test your water. If ammonia and nitrite come back 0 then you can add a small # (in proportion to your tank size) of herbivorous inverts. Then wait another week and test again. If the results come back 0 then add increasingly more. After a few weeks of this you should have your CUC close to established, and the bio filter has grown sufficiently to accommodate the addition of a fish or 2 (again in proportion to your tank size). So by slowly stocking your tank you ensure that there is no significant accumulation of toxic compounds. For further proof of this, research bacterial reproduction (or cell division), which basically explains how 10 bacteria become 500 bacteria faster than 1 bacterium becomes 500 bacteria.

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wow... first i want to apologize to everyone for the heated topic...

i ended up running late and never got any herms or snail. i retested my water again today, because now i feel like maybe im doing something wrong...

ammonia = 0

nitrite = 0

nitrate = is between 5-10 (colors look almost the same to me)

i havent tested anything else but i chucked the skimmer for now. I'm started to like sound of a copepod tank only (CTO) you heard it first lol

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wow... first i want to apologize to everyone for the heated topic...

 

 

Haha this is not bad at all... Actually I've seen more rationale in this thread than many others.

 

Also, you're not doing anything wrong. Quite the opposite. You do realize ammonia and nitrite are bad, right? When those things test 0 that's a good thing... It means that your biological filter is functioning at the very least.

 

Do yourself a favor and do some more research on the nitrogen cycle. That may help you understand what's been posted. Even if you think you already have a good idea of whats going on, go back and do some more research. There's an article on it on the N-R.com library, check it out.

 

A copepod tank eh?

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Yeah a little healthy debate is good for the community :P

 

But, to echo what aj said, the fact that you're not showing ammonia is a good thing. That means you have enough nitrifying bacteria established to take care of any that is being produced.

 

I would also suggest a small clean up crew to get things going at this point. That way they can get a head start on the nearly inevitable diatom outbreak and, due to their nature of cleaning more than they pollute, they should have a negligible impact on your tank's bioload.

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well i added 3 herms today (2 blues and brown?), 2 bubble bee snails (got them for .40 cents each score!), and a nassarius snail. and i added another 2.8 pounds of LR. I will be checking the water again tomorrow. todays score were the same ammonia 0 nitrite 0 and nitrate between 5 and 10 (any know of a better test? i can't tell the colors apart (maybe a mild form of color-blindness?? but even my room mates says it looks like both LOL

 

I will keep you all posted.. :)

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