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Question about LR and cycle


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Hi I just have a quick question.I started a 5 1/2 gal. tank yesterday.added about 1 1/2 to 2" of southdown sand.I also have a wisper 10 with no carbon just floss for water flow and a small PH. Today I added about 2 lbs. of LR rubble and a large scoop of sand from my LFS( I have 10 lbs. of LR on the way ) Now my Question after 2 hrs. in my tank I'am seeing all kinds of life on the rock and the sand I put in,small filter feeders,and some kind of crab(I will take a picture once he comes out of the rock) and some small things that look like fleas. Will all of this die off during the cycle? or when I add the rest of the LR I'am getting. Thanks, Shawn

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I think you will be surprised to see how much will survive the cycle. The crab might or might not make it... and he might also be an "unwelcome" guest in your tank as well -it will depend on the species. BTW big fleas = amphipods.

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I agree, you'll see a lot of it survive.....some won't but amazingly you see some of them come back after the tanks been up for a few months.....new life all the time:D



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those critters are a lot tougher than you think. even sponges on the rock may die but they will eventually come back after a couple months. i had several that were dying and decaying but now i have pink, yellow, and white ones. even with worms, pods, small starfish all you need is a few and they will multiply so fast you wont even know they were gone. hitchiker crabs seem almost indestructable

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Thanks everyone for the replys, I hope I get alot of regrowth on the rock I put in, also I will try to post a photo of the crab to see if someone can id it for me.

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For those of you who have set up a new system with Cured Live Rock and Arag-Alive or cured live sand did you have any ammonia spikes at all? Having had marine fish only tanks before I've been through the cycle several times and I was expecting an ammonia spike. I haven't had one after three days. All the levels except PH are right on the money (PH is a tad low)


I've got a few tiny feather dusters poking their heads out and they seem to be doing fine. Did I just get lucky or is it going to take longer to see a spike in a nano? If these levels stay the same for the next few days would you say I'm out of the woods and could add my cleaner crew soon?



Mini-Bow 7 AGA

Whisper HOB no filter media

10 lbs cured Marshall Islands live rock

8 lbs Arag-Alive!

JBJ EcoLight 50/50 18 watts (for now)


P.S. WOW I didn't start a new thread....aren't I a good newbie?

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I'm running into the same questions as you. I used all cured rock and sand, and only saw a bit of ammonia, and now it seems to be gone. I never had any nitrites, and still have no nitrates. All hermitts are doing fine, and the feather dusters have be out since the day I put the rock in. I also have the little white thingy's on my glass. Keep me updated on your tank b/c I am running just about the same setup.

7 gallon AGA bow


7-8 lbs LR (cured)

5 lbs LS (established)

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FWIW, my first reef tank was cycled with live rock (about 40# in a 40 gallon) and I never say ammonia, nitrite OR nitrate spikes. Figured after a month that I wasn't GOING to see any and started adding more critters. They did fine.

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You shouldnt have a cycle if you use cured live rock.


The cycle is caused by the dead or dying life that was on the rock before it was removed from the ocean and put into a box. This Is why you NEVER want to add uncured rock into your established tank.


You can get a spike in levels when you add the LS or rearrange established rock work. Messing around with the rock and sand will expose anoxic and anarobic bacteria. Doing this kinda screws up the balance of things and can set your tank into a mini cycle.

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