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Looooong Nano Cube 12g Cycle?


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I started my nano-cube 4 weeks ago. 15 Pounds of Live sand and ~12 pounds of Live Rock. Removed sponges, bio-balls, and ceramic from the back. the only thing I left in there was the carbon.


I did not do a very good job of cleaning the live rock (didn't read up on it enough, I underestimated the die off).


It's filled with Tap water (DOH), and got the salinity perfect.


The tank stunk for a week from the die off. I tested after 2 weeks and Ammonia was 8+ppm - off the scale!


3 weeks in ammonia was at 2.5ppm, and No2 was off the scale. So I know it is cycling.


Now, at 4 weeks, Ammonia is still at 2.5ppm.


I have not done any water changes, only top offs (maybe 1 - 2 gallons total over the past 4 weeks.


From what I've read, small tanks like this should cycle faster?


There is some reddish algea in the tank now, but nothing stinks. Water is clear.


Is the cycle stalled? Is there something I can do to finish the cycle? What's up with it?


I now have access to RODI water, so before I add any fish or corals I will do a 100% water change and wait for it to stablize again (and hopefully stop the red slime from the tap water will diminish).


Should I wait until the tank is fully cycles before the water change, or should I just do it now? Will it lengthen the cycle?

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I am a newbie so plese dont take this as set in stone but i have read when you are cycling and you do a water change it makes the cycling period take longer!



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Thanks for the reply Rob.


Well, I'm not liking the algae, so I may just add in the RODI water and lengthen the cycle anyway.

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My nano DX took 6 or 7 weeks to cycle. It just depends on the rock that you use. Nothing wrong with that just the way it is. Nothing wrong with that except it kills you to wait. Let it cycle. Test it every other day. Watch for peeks. When amonum & Nitrites get to ZERO add a clean up crew. I went with 7 turbos, 1 emerald, 1 sally light foot(although these have been reported to be bad) 1 mexican snail (I'm all for nafta) 5 blue legs and a white leg.


After the amonum & Nitrite get t ozero watch for nitrate. When nitrate picks up past 40 start weekly h2o changes.


Wait for algie blooms, diamaton blooms and after a nother 2 weeks add 1 fish at a time.


I added 2 false clowns and a neon goby. That is gonna be it for me.

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Thanks ninjamini, yes, I think you confirm that the live rock I have was not as cured as I though (plus my lack of a through scrubbing of it), and has resulted in a longer cycle.


Thanks also for the info on the cleanup crew!


I think I may go with only one fish though, 3 seems like you would need to be aggressive with the water changes, no?

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I change 2 gallons a week. Every Sat I need 1-1.5 hours of tank maintence for my 12 nano and eclipse 6. So far were ok. Nitrates were 20ppm right before the h20 change. Add slow. have fun. You can always dump (by this I mean return to store) a fish that makes too much poop.


If I have a small backyard does that mean I cant have a big dog? No. I just need to keep it extra clean so that life is not all covered with poop.


Or I could be wrong and have too much bio load. Carefull watching and time will tell.

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If I have a small backyard does that mean I cant have a big dog? No. I just need to keep it extra clean so that life is not all covered with poop.


Like I said, sounds like aggressive water changes :)


I made the mistake once of putting a baby Oscar (freshwater) in a 5 gallon tank.


They grow fast and have one of the highest bioloads of freshwater tropicals that I know of.


3 months later I bought a 20 and stuck him in that.... that lasted about 4 months and he was again to big.


Finally gave him to a friend with an 80 gallon tank, but he only lasted there a week :(


Now that was a fish that required a TON of maintenance.


Of course this was before the internet. I know better now!

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my 12G nano cycled in just a few weeks. i removed the bio balls and ceramic rings and made sure that i kept it tidy and the cycling finished in no time at all. i did no water changes and had coral in it after about 3 weeks. it has 20lbs livesand (the kind you get in waterbags) and some Tahiitian liverock. after a couple of months, i switched the LR to some Fiji that i had in another tank. its doing great now. as for your cycling taking so long, i think it may be normal, considering that you didn't have as much filter media in it as i had. ill bet that if you put 3 of those foam blocks in there (i did two on the far left and one in the chamber just to the left of the powerhead), that it'll produce beneficial bacteria and help the cycle finish. the other guys on here are alot wiser than me, so listen to them. they know what they're doing.

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