View Full Version : Day one of cycling...

01/04/2011, 07:13 PM
I have passed on the Gulf of Mexico native tank for the time being to get my foot into the saltwater world a little more "mainstream" if you will. The concern with phosphates from gulf rock and limited information on the algae, soft coral in this area has scared me off for the time being. Maybe down the road...

So, I dropped by the Coral Corral this past weekend and picked up approx. 24 lbs of Fiji live rock, live sand to mix with arogonite sand, and saltwater. Also looked at the 600 gallon tank with some pricey coral. Craziness. Here are the first 24 hr parameters. Figured I'd at least record baseline numbers. Will I need to place a piece of shrimp in the tank since the rock and saltwater came from their tanks and may not kick off a cycle or just hang tight? Water cleared up in 2-3 hrs.

Biocube 29

salt 1.023 (swing arm hydrometer: understand that they can be .003 off - glass one on order)
temp 78
ammo: 0
ph: 7.8
rite 0
rate 5
phos ? (no test)
cal ? (no test)
kh ? (no test)
mag ? (no test)

01/04/2011, 08:39 PM
Ah! Forgot to ask about using carbon during the initial cycle? No? Yes? What about chaeto during the cycle? Right now I just have about 2 lbs of LR rubble in chamber 2 and the biocube filter at the top of chamber 2. Thanks!

01/04/2011, 10:58 PM
Keep waiting and testing, there will eventually be spike in the ammonia then it will convert to no3. that is how you know the bacteria have started to colonize. It will take a couple weeks if I remember correctly.

01/04/2011, 11:00 PM
Also the ph seems a little low, and definitely get a refractomoter. The plastic things are damn near useless. Also do you have some good flow in the tank? Power heads running and all?

01/04/2011, 11:09 PM
That rock looks pretty healthy. I'd feed the tank a bit of fish flake for a few days and see what it does to the parameters. Already having nitrates, I'm betting you just see more nitrates and are already "mostly" cycled. Sand will need to grow some life but keep feeding tank and it will grow quickly. Could add a small fish if you don't show any ammonia after a few days of feeding. Definitely get a cleanup crew in there at some point.

Either way make sure to feed a tiny pinch occasionally - it is alive at this point.

01/05/2011, 01:02 AM
First off, welcome to Reef Central!
Your salinity is a bit low; I'd raise it to 1.025, & get a refractometer to measure it. Yes, add some flake food or a raw shrimp to help get the ammonia spike going. Do NOT add a fish or CUC for a few weeks yet (until your ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are at 0). It's just plain cruel to cycle a tank with a fish. You don't need to worry about carbon or chaeto yet. Just sit back, test your water daily & monitor the cycling process as it does it's thing.
In the meantime, get a little (10-20gal) QT tank going for your fish; read the newbie stickies on here & gain as much knowledge as you can. Ask as many questions as you need to. The only stupid question is the one that's not asked. There's decades of experience here on RC & it will help you in the long run to learn about the animals you want & their care/requirements BEFORE you get them. Impulse buys rarely end well...Good luck!

01/05/2011, 04:54 AM
Thanks for the feedback!

There's a 425gph koralia on the right side for additional flow. I guess I will pull out the charcoal bag.