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cycle


reef_munky

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How do I cycle my tank? What do I need to do?

Short Version:

 

1: Put live sand in bottom of tank.

2) Fill tank 1/2 full w/ salt water.

3: Place live rock in tank & arrange.

4: Re-arrange LR.

5: Re-re-arrange LR.

6: Fill tank rest of way w/ SW.

7: Bring tank up to temp & check flow.

8: Wait several days & test water.

9: Test water every day.

10: Cycle is mostly over when ammonia and nitrites are zero.

11: Do a 20% water change and continue testing for nitrates.

12: NEVER RUSH.

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only thing I'd change is I wouldn't put the Live rock in until the cycle is over. This will limit the die off on the live rock. This is assuming you are buying quality cured local live rock. If you are buying mail order there will be enough die off in transit that you may as well toss it in during cycle. Also, if your live rock isn't well cured or if you are using base rock you can just put it in at the beginning because it won't have much worth saving anyway.

 

Also, since you don't have LR die off to kickstart the cycle drop in 1/2 a cocktail shrimp or an oyster or some other something to provide the initial ammonia.

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only thing I'd change is I wouldn't put the Live rock in until the cycle is over. This will limit the die off on the live rock. This is assuming you are buying quality cured local live rock. If you are buying mail order there will be enough die off in transit that you may as well toss it in during cycle. Also, if your live rock isn't well cured or if you are using base rock you can just put it in at the beginning because it won't have much worth saving anyway.

 

Also, since you don't have LR die off to kickstart the cycle drop in 1/2 a cocktail shrimp or an oyster or some other something to provide the initial ammonia.

 

 

Regardless of how well cured the rock is you are still prone to a cycle simply from adding the rock to a new tank with likely different salinity, temp, etc.

 

Always better to put everything in the tank in the beginning and wait.

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Putting LR in after a "cycle" with sand only will trigger another cycle. Granted, if your LR is "well cured" the cycle might be smaller. Why bother with the extra work? If you buy cured LR the "tender" stuff has already died anyway.

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JeremyChase
Regardless of how well cured the rock is you are still prone to a cycle simply from adding the rock to a new tank with likely different salinity, temp, etc.

 

Always better to put everything in the tank in the beginning and wait.

 

Adding liverock will probably start a new cycle, unless the rock is small compared to the tank, or very well cured.

 

I second the "throw it all in at the start" approach. However, I have added rock after the fact without too much trouble. Sometimes both methods work.

 

-Jeremy

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