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How can you confirm that your tank has cycled?


GTO NEMESIS

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Are there any definitive signs/tests to see if a tank has cycled after initial set up?

 

I keep reading posts about the 'tank blooming' during cycling, waiting for Nitrate to drop ect but I have not experienced any of these things... Should I be worried?

 

The tank was set up with around 14 Kg of Live rock (now over 15 Kgs), Natures Ocean Reef Sand (10 LBS) & Nature's Ocean Nutri-SeaWater.

 

I am 4-5 weeks in and the perameters remain pretty constant with the largest variance being:

No2 from 0 PPM to 0.25 PPM then back to 0 PPM

N03 from 0 PPM to 0.5 PPM then back to 0 PPM

 

Is my tank still waiting to cycle or has it done it and I did not notice?

 

Any advice (even if it is super obvious) is welcome! I am still new to the Marine side of things.

 

Thanks

Mark

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Are there any definitive signs/tests to see if a tank has cycled after initial set up?

 

I keep reading posts about the 'tank blooming' during cycling, waiting for Nitrate to drop ect but I have not experienced any of these things... Should I be worried?

 

The tank was set up with around 14 Kg of Live rock (now over 15 Kgs), Natures Ocean Reef Sand (10 LBS) & Nature's Ocean Nutri-SeaWater.

 

I am 4-5 weeks in and the perameters remain pretty constant with the largest variance being:

No2 from 0 PPM to 0.25 PPM then back to 0 PPM

N03 from 0 PPM to 0.5 PPM then back to 0 PPM

 

Is my tank still waiting to cycle or has it done it and I did not notice?

 

Any advice (even if it is super obvious) is welcome! I am still new to the Marine side of things.

 

Thanks

Mark

 

if you already have shrimp and they are still alive, you are probably good :P

 

You should probably start making your own water tho...

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Amonia goes up then back to zero, then nitrite goes up and back down to zero, then nitrate goes up. Your tank is cycled after that. Nitrate wont go down unles its being exported ny something like water changes, protien skimmer, carbon etc.... you dont always see the algae bloom either especialy if u have been running carbon during the cycle. That doesnt matter though as long as your tank has nitrates visible and nitrites and amonia are gone

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Nitrate wont go down unles its being exported ny something like water changes, protien skimmer, carbon etc....

 

A protein skimmer will not reduce nitrates, and neither will carbon, however both of them can indirectly prevent nitrates from rising any further. Also, nitrates will go down if there is enough anaerobic denitrifying bacteria in the system to match the demand... such as those found in live rock and deep sand beds. Some resins on the market can also bind nitrate and remove it from the water column. But, as you mentioned, the best way to reduce nitrates is through water changes.

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Thank you for the replies! I was getting worried.

 

Regarding the water, the last water change (about 3L) was done with some LFS RO/Salt water.

The closest and thankfully the better (apart from supplying me the wrong heater which they later refunded even though it was used and I had binned the packaging) is less than 4 mins drive from my house!

 

I like to take my 7 month old there each weekend as the LFS has some nice big display tanks with turtles and rays in them.

The LFS is also situated in a huge Garden Centre which has other animals in it too so it's not a bad place to vista on the weekend to get some RO.

 

I was also thinking that it is a bit more environmentally friendly to buy their RO than make it myself (I'm not an eco warrior or anything but being an avid scuba diver I like to do my bit for the oceans and planet) - although driving a 911 Turbo to and from the LFS may dent by carbon for print a bit!

 

 

Regarding the testing, well I test my water at least once every other day plus the LFS test my water for me on the weekend and advises me on anything I need to add to it.

 

Mark :)

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I dont understand why it would be more green to get water from them in JUGs that will eventualy be garbage... if you are gonna go this route, you should get a handheld TDS meter, so you at least know aht you are getting from them is pure

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I dont understand why it would be more green to get water from them in JUGs that will eventualy be garbage... if you are gonna go this route, you should get a handheld TDS meter, so you at least know aht you are getting from them is pure

 

I use the water containers that my first set up water came in.

The fish shop test their water before decanting but I do already have a TDS meter.

 

Am I also correct in saying that a lot of water is wasted when making RO?

(something like 4-5 gallons per gallon RO depending on the efficiency of the system used? - I assume, albeit maybe incorrectly that the larger systems found in a big LFS is going to be more efficient than a home system?)

 

Like I said, I'm not a tree huger but in my mind I am doing my bit B)

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:welcome: GTO...

 

It seems like you may need to do a little more research on the nitrogen cycle.... Recall that a cycle implies that there is never an end. This is true with aquariums in that your tank is never "cycled", but rather an equilibrium is established as the amount of waste being produced in the tank matches the biological filters capacity to process it. Each time you make a change to your tank the cycle must re-adjust. So understanding this concept will help you immensely in being a successful aquarist.

 

This is also why it's recommended to stock your tank very slowly. Start out with a few herbivorous snails/crabs. Then each week add more (as long as you test the water and there is no ammonia or nitrite at all). Once you have your CUC established (a few weeks) then you start adding fish. Again don't add all the fish at once, but add them slowly, over time, and from least aggressive to most aggressive in most cases.

 

Finally, regarding RO water, most municipal water systems recycle their water as I understand it... So yes making RO water does send water down the drain, but really isn't it just put back into the system to be used again? As I said though, this depends on your city's water system. I'm not sure if the commercial RO units are more efficient or not though.

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