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dimasv
09/11/2017, 09:18 AM
Hi guys, I know it has been asked many times on this forum but I find so many different ways how to cycle tank so got a bit confused.
I have 180 gal tank + 60gal sump, I have together apx 120lb of dry marco rock and about 30lb of dry live rock with some waste on it. I added apx 2 inch of reef Live sand from the bag bought in the store. I need to start my tank cycle but not sure how.
I have filled it with the salt water 35ppm, setup heater to 78C. Have ready powerheads to create a flow. Protein skimmer is also coming.

1. I know I need to setup a bacteria, does the live sand in bags usually has it ?If not, how else would I introduce it, bring a piece of a live rock from LFS ? if yes, how big ?
2. I know that bacteria needs to eat ammonia, so whats the best way for me of introducing ammonia, as dead shrimp, mabe buy flakes, or some chemical ? If yes what amounts of shrimps and flakes ?

Thank you!

Vinny Kreyling
09/11/2017, 09:22 AM
A medium sized shrimp from the supermarket is all you need to start the cycle.
Either put it on a clip or tie a line to it so you can remove it later down the line.

top shelf
09/11/2017, 01:19 PM
^^^^^^This or you can does pure ammonia to a level of 2ppm. It's comes down to whichever you prefer.

mcgyvr
09/11/2017, 03:28 PM
Note: If you go the "ammonia" route.. Do NOT keep dosing it day after day like many think they need to do..

All you really need is to add it once to achieve a 2ppm level then thats it.. After nitrites and ammonia are zero again you can dose back up to 2ppm one more time and both ammonia and nitrites should go back to zero in about 24 hours or less.. At that point the tank is cycled and you can begin adding clean up crew,etc....

Horace
09/11/2017, 03:32 PM
Same exact scenario I was in a month a go.

I bought a bottle of the Dr Tims' Ammonia Chloride. I dosed up to 2ppm, waited until it was nearly gone (took about a week), then I dosed it back to 2ppm again. The second time took just less than a 2 days to get to zero. Once the tank hit zero... its fish time....I put 5 fish in that day, and ammonia has been zero ever since.

I will also note that getting some good live bacteria from a friend, either via some media, or sand is helpful. Otherwise it could take you 3-4 weeks to fully cycle. Mine took about 10 days.

bertoni
09/11/2017, 04:20 PM
I would add a bit of fish food every day for a while, maybe half of what I wanted to feed the first fish. Since there's nothing live in the tank, adding 2 ppm of ammonia would be safe, although I think it's overkill. 0.5 ppm or so is detectable on our kits, which is all that's necessary, in my opinion. There might be enough organic debris on the rock to spike the ammonia, for that matter.

dimasv
09/12/2017, 07:28 AM
A medium sized shrimp from the supermarket is all you need to start the cycle.
Either put it on a clip or tie a line to it so you can remove it later down the line.Would raw salmon do the job?

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dimasv
09/12/2017, 07:32 AM
Thank you guys. To check if my tank got any bacteria from live sand. If ammonia does not go anywhere does it prove there no bacteria?

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mcgyvr
09/12/2017, 07:44 AM
Thank you guys. To check if my tank got any bacteria from live sand. If ammonia does not go anywhere does it prove there no bacteria?

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If ammonia does not go anywhere it means 1 of 2 things..
#1-There is no dead/decaying organic material in the tank..
#2-There is sufficient bacteria to process that quick enough that you don't see ammonia..

Neither gives you a 100% positive answer to your question..

Add salmon.. add shrimp... add some flake food.. Whatever..
Then test and see how it goes..
Then adapt/adjust as needed..

manfrog
09/12/2017, 07:55 AM
I always add bacteria. Most LFS sell it in a bottle. Then also add a little something for it to eat (perhaps the piece of shrimp). This always gets the process going quickly. Usually you will notice the water get super clear once the cycle is done but ot wouldn't hurt to check for ammonia or nitrite before slowly adding livestock.

ssgss gogeta
09/12/2017, 08:20 AM
When starting a new tank I start clean with dead rock mostly so I can aquascape exactly how I want. Then I use anything absolutely anything frozen cube, shrimp anything that will decay (in the old days guys would pee in the tank and it would work haha). If you have friends with established tanks you may want to ask for some rock, rubble, or a cup of sand. But make sure you know their tank is running well and your not straight away introducing an unwanted parasite.


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bertoni
09/12/2017, 02:40 PM
Thank you guys. To check if my tank got any bacteria from live sand. If ammonia does not go anywhere does it prove there no bacteria?
I'm not sure what you mean, but if the tank has a good bacterial population, a small ammonia spike should disappear quickly, probably overnight. 0.5 ppm should be fine.