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Cycle Question


Mr. Fish

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Hey everyone,

 

I set up a new 15g long tank and according to the tests it cycled in 3-4 days. I used Florida live sand, rock bottom crud, and 12 lbs cured Marshall, 6 pounds uncured Marshall all from premium aquatics. It also has a modified ac 110 on the back which houses the crud and some live rock frags as well as a large amount of chaeto.

 

The diatoms, which I understand are a normal part of a tank cycle, started accumulating about 4 days after the tank was set up. It has been 9 days now and the tank is completely covered with it. It may also be dinoflagelates, as the brownish film produces a lot of bubbles. Does this go away on its' own? It was my understanding that this clears and then the algae starts to cover everything. Is this not the case and should I put my clean up crew in now, or do I wait until the diatoms go away and algae starts growing?

 

Thanks for the advice,

 

D.

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The last time I tested, 2 days ago the results were:

 

Ammonia=0

Nitrite=0

Nitrate=0

Ph=8.3

Alk 3-4 meq/L

 

I will test them this evening when i get off from work and post those as well.

 

D

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These are the current test results. The lights have been off for an hour and 30 min in the main tank, and have been on over the refugium for 15 min longer.

 

 

Ammonia=0

Nitrite=0

Nitrate=0

Ph=8.2

Alk 3 meq/L

 

1/3 of the 20lbs of rock was uncured, 16 lbs of Florida live sand, and 1 lb of rock bottom crud (refugium) was used. The rock is extremely porous, and I am sure the crud and sand were packed full of bacteria. There is no question about the initial cycle chemistry; it’s about what happens next and when to add the clean up crew.

 

At the moment it looks like the diatoms have largely subsided, but there is a huge bloom of dino's. I can also see several spots where green algae and even some red are growing on the rocks. The Halimeda hitchhiker is growing super fast as well.

 

Do I just wait until it passes as well and the tank gets overrun with green algae before I put the crew in, or would it be ok to add them at the end of the week?

 

Thanks for your input,

 

D

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As you have already stated, your cycle is complete. The fact that you are not registering any NO3 makes me wonder, but I suppose that much of it could be tied up in the algae you are seeing.

 

Since you aren't registering any NH3, you are clear to add a cleanup crew whenever you want. It might not be a bad idea to use crabs at first, but I eventually dumped all the crabs in my cleaning crew and stick exclusively to snails (astrea and nassarius).

 

I would not let the algae proliferate too much before you add the crew. If you let it run rampent, you'll just have a more difficult time getting rid of it.

 

Bottom line: I would add the cleanup crew ASAP.

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