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Soft Cycle?


montevallofalcon11

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montevallofalcon11

Alright, I have a 7 Gallon Mini-Bow tank. Lighting is stock right now but I have a 70W Sunpod HQI due to arrive any day now. It has had about 13 lbs of live sand in it for almost 3 weeks. It has had 7.5 lbs of live rock in it for about 2 weeks. I got the LR from a local fish store. I was told it had been in the established tank for a relatively long amount of time. It only spent about 30 minutes in transit, all submerged in the water from the original aquarium.

 

I have kept a detailed daily record of tank parameters. I never had a huge ammonia (only .50 ppm max) or nitrite (only .05 ppm max) spike, but my nitrates have steadily risen and spiked at 30 ppm two days ago and are holding steady now at 20 ppm.

 

I had a cleanup crew hitchike on the live rock consisting of 5 snails and 3 hermit crabs. Also quite a few bristle worms live inside the rocks. I have some brown algae growth, but it is fairly small only occuring in a few spots. The tank has been on a 12 hour light cycle during the entire process. My temp is a constant 79-80 degrees, and the specific gravity has been a constant 1.023.

 

So my questions are: do you think the tank has cycled and just cycled soft due to the minimal die off and clean up crew present? Should I do a water change to lower those pesky nitrates? Can I move on to adding livestock slowly? I especially would like to get a peppermint shrimp since I have some pest anenomes I would like to get rid of ASAP.

 

Thanks guys! Any and all help is appreciated.

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So my questions are: do you think the tank has cycled and just cycled soft due to the minimal die off and clean up crew present? Should I do a water change to lower those pesky nitrates? Can I move on to adding livestock slowly? I especially would like to get a peppermint shrimp since I have some pest anenomes I would like to get rid of ASAP.
yes, i think the mature rock you got probably didn't see much die-off and you basically avoided a true cycle and had a 'soft cycle'. you've got some critters in there and your nitrates' continued existence and value-changes are pointing to some nitrogen cycle activity so it (bene bacteria) is processing imo.

 

you could do a waterchange (remember good water and salt, now ;) ) but i wouldn't do anything drastic or more than 10%~20% tops.

 

you're probably seeing some diatoms and nuisance algae as the rock/bacteria colonies adjust to your new tank/flow/position (i.e. they probably weren't in the same position in the other tank and maybe that's some of the minor die-off or cycle).

 

if you can siphon some crud off when you do the waterchange, i would. it can't hurt to help the cleaners in their jobs. be on guard for an algae bloom/booster when you switch over to the new lights though. still a great choice of lighting though imo. good luck!

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montevallofalcon11

Thank you so much for your quick response. I am only planning on a gallon waterchange tomorrow (with filtered R/O water) to see if it lowers the nitrates.

 

So you think its safe to go ahead and get a shrimp to help combat my annoying anemones?

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So you think its safe to go ahead and get a shrimp to help combat my annoying anemones?
i'd wait a little. more because you're planning a major lighting upgrade than there's anything out of whack. i just don't really like doing too many changes at a time (e.g. adding livestock, changing equipment, major maintenance, etc.). you never know what issues will compound the other.

 

i'd recommend waiting until after you upgrade the lighting and then add the pep later. the lighting could affect algae, nuisance algae, pH, heat, etc.

 

waiting will also give you a chance to naturally let the nitrate lower some more as the denitrating bacteria colonize/grow some more. (20ppm's still a bit high for shrimp imo)

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montevallofalcon11

Yeah, I was planning on waiting until at least next week. Hopefully the light will come in tomorrow. Probably a good idea to wait since my flow will be affected when the new light comes in. This is due to the new hood I had to fab up that will change the position of some equipment.

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