View Full Version : Cycling new tank


GTOX44
04-16-2009, 1:56 PM
I'm setting up my first tank I hope to get it all set up with rock and sand in it this weekend. I was just wondering what I should expect, about how long, etc. Maybe a walk though of sorts?

DrNecropolis
04-16-2009, 1:58 PM
No telling really... I have had tanks cycle in 2 weeks and one took about 6 weeks...

Ammonia will go up, taper off then come down,Nitrite will do the same after ammonia, then the nitrate will rise and stop.. then do a waterchange and BAM! Avg.. 3 weeks or so...

Trust me.. You will get a better answer than this lol

bratliff
04-16-2009, 4:00 PM
No telling really... I have had tanks cycle in 2 weeks and one took about 6 weeks...

Ammonia will go up, taper off then come down,Nitrite will do the same after ammonia, then the nitrate will rise and stop.. then do a waterchange and BAM! Avg.. 3 weeks or so...

Trust me.. You will get a better answer than this lol

That's pretty much right on actually. :yes:

My 90g took 19 days for Nitrite to finally read zero. Nitrates were still at about 5ppm then, but, that didn't worry me as they were falling steadily. If you use fullycured live rock and live sand (like arag-alive) you will probably see only a very small cycle. My only word of caution is to go SLOW when adding fish (or anything). A long cycle is actually a good thing as it means your biological filter (all the bacteria) have had time to grow and develop. A short cycle simply means you didn't have much ammonia to start things.

Towards the end of your cycle, you'll see a bunch of brown gunk. Looks like algea, is actually diatoms. They use silicates (algea uses phosphates). Don't freak out. Do small water changes and they'll go away. As the diatoms go away, algea starts to show up. I'd add a clean up crew when you start seeing algea. Keep doing water changes. When the algea starts to recede, start thinking your first fish. :D

cr500_af
04-16-2009, 5:29 PM
My cycle took just over two weeks... on day 16 ammonia and nitrites were zero, nitrates were 5 (or .5, whichever is the first step up from zero on the API kits). They were almost zero after a 30% water change. FWIW, it was a 75g and I did the cocktail shrimp method to kick it off.

Chymos45
04-16-2009, 5:51 PM
Whatever you do, take is SLOW and don't get impatient (like I did...). Anyone here will tell you that the only thing that happens fast in this hobby is something BAD.

solargrin
04-30-2009, 11:10 AM
It took my tank about a week and a half to cycle after I set it up, but I have a little over 2lbs of rock per gallon of water. I have had it up for about 1.5 months now with little hassle, knock on wood. I have three fish and a good size clean up crew in my tank and have not had any real big spikes. There is a really good FS in Flowery Branch that helped me a ton and can do the same for you.

WILLIAM1
04-30-2009, 11:12 AM
I have not had to cycle the last two tanks I set up. By using some water out of the original set-up..

Chymos45
04-30-2009, 11:17 AM
William must have much better luck than I do. When I transferred my old 90G that had been running for 2+ years to my new 185G, I moved all the water too (about 120 gallons). No sand, as I am a BB club member. Didn't figure I really needed a cycle period as I was even careful to keep even the LR 100% submerged. Not long after the move, hair algae was everywhere and took me over a month to get it under control. No losses, but a PITA.

GTOX44
05-01-2009, 12:50 AM
Well it is now day 12. I've been at college for the first 12 days but now I'm home so I can devote my full time to it. The LR has little brown spots on it. I don't have a test kit yet. I'm going to Keen Reef to pick one up and get some more LR tomorrow. When should I do the first water change? Also, there is little specks of stuff on the surface. I'm assuming that's what the skimmer gets rid of, but how much is supposed to be there, if any?

Smoothie
05-01-2009, 12:58 AM
Take some water with you and let him test it for you and pretty much show you how to use your new kit. Not saying you can't read instructions, but Tim is a good dude and every little bit helps right? He can help with any questions you may have too.
May need more flow across the surface to break that stuff up so be sure to tell him what you have as far as pumps and powerheads and get his advice. Good luck and keep us posted buddy

thagrimy1
05-01-2009, 1:25 AM
mine sat up for 3 days with 100lbs of lr then i got antsy and dropen a snowflake and lion in dumb a** me....lol but no problams at all they did great luck i guess.....now 1500 worh of coral and fish doing great...dont follow my doings wait it out

cr500_af
05-01-2009, 1:58 AM
Well it is now day 12. I've been at college for the first 12 days but now I'm home so I can devote my full time to it. The LR has little brown spots on it. I don't have a test kit yet. I'm going to Keen Reef to pick one up and get some more LR tomorrow. When should I do the first water change? Also, there is little specks of stuff on the surface. I'm assuming that's what the skimmer gets rid of, but how much is supposed to be there, if any?

IMO don't do a water change until Ammonia and Nitrites are zero. Do a fairly large water change to get your Nitrates down. After one or two, you should be ready to start SLOWLY stocking. Keep an extra close eye on your water parameters early on. There is some debate on when to add a clean up crew, but IMO they need detritus to eat, and that comes from fish. I'd personally add a fish, then a few CUC members, adding more CUC as you stock more fish later.

Smoothie
05-01-2009, 2:11 AM
True, but to help with the first stages of the algae bloom a small cleanup would be beneficial and cheaper than "test damsels." And with more fish more cleanup. If I could take one thing back it would be to go snails and few hermits other than the complete opposite route I went.

JennM
05-01-2009, 9:12 AM
We call it, "The hurry up and wait stage!"

Every tank is different - but you have received good advice. We're all impatient and want to see stuff in there "now" - but going slowly and patiently is the only way to go.

Water from an existing setup is not necessarily a benefit from a biological filtration point of view, but it may help with the ionic balance, if that water was very good. If the water was less than perfect it can be a detriment to move a problem from one tank, into another.

Rock/sand from a cured system will help with the cycle - you may see little or even no ammonia/nitrite if you moved the stuff quickly.

Wait for the diatoms to come and keep an eye on parameters - that will tell you when it's time. No ammonia, no nitrite and nitrate below 20 (close to zero is better!) and you should be good to go... SLOWLY!

Jenn

bratliff
05-01-2009, 11:47 AM
I waited until my diatom bloom was over before adding a clean-up crew. I cycled my tank in the dark until I started seeing diatoms. I then set the lights on their normal photo-period to encourage algea growth. Right about when my diatoms were on the decline I started seeing algea. That's when I added a small clean-up crew (a few snails and hermits from my other tank). Once Nitrates were about 5ppm I transferred my livestock (no corals at that time) and took down my other tank.

During the early part of my cycle, I tested my water (ammonia, nitites and nitrates) twice a day (morning and evening). Now, I test once a week (and I test for everything I can). I also didn't do any water changes until my nitrates came down to around 20ppm and then I started doing small (5%) every other day water changes.

GTOX44
05-01-2009, 12:23 PM
I had this tank as a freshwater last year and I put fish in WAY to early. I've been through that whole phase of killing a lot of fish. Not gonna do that again. Salt water fish/corals are too expensive. My lights are on for 6 hours with a just actinic period of one hour before and after.
But I have a question about my skimmer. It is the aquac remora with the prefilter box. That box if giving me a lot of trouble. The reason the gunk is on the top is because the water is not going in through the slits on the front of the box. I can see it just sitting there. I guess it is coming in through the slits on the back? But I can't figure out how to make it work.
Also, what is the height on the collection cup supposed to be. It looks like it is collecting the same amount at every height I try so I dont know what is correct.

GTOX44
05-01-2009, 12:26 PM
Oh yeah and my heater is making a popping sound that I can feel if I put my hand on the side of the tank. What is that?

bratliff
05-01-2009, 1:40 PM
Oh yeah and my heater is making a popping sound that I can feel if I put my hand on the side of the tank. What is that?

I'm thinking it's time for a new heater... :eek:

bratliff
05-01-2009, 1:44 PM
Also, what is the height on the collection cup supposed to be. It looks like it is collecting the same amount at every height I try so I dont know what is correct.

Well, on my remora nano, the higher I raised the collection cup, the dryer the skimmate. I'm guessing you don't have enough of a bioload in there to really break the skimmer in. Set it higher than you think you need it and leave it for a while (days) and check the results. If it's empty, lower it slightly and wait (days again) and check again. Since you've got a new tank, I'd be surprised if you were pulling much unless you cycled with uncured rock (like I did on my 90g).

GTOX44
05-01-2009, 4:10 PM
The rock is straight from the ocean according to Tim at Keen Reef so I guess that's where the skimmate is coming from. What is a cheap, yet reliable heater for a 29 gallon?

bratliff
05-01-2009, 4:19 PM
The rock is straight from the ocean according to Tim at Keen Reef so I guess that's where the skimmate is coming from. What is a cheap, yet reliable heater for a 29 gallon?

That's where I got my rock, and, yep, the die off frmo them is causing the skimmate then. No worries. :D

I'm sure there are better heaters out there, but, I've had good luck with these (http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3743+11368&pcatid=11368). I've got three in my 90g; two 150w heaters in my sump (fuge and skimmer section) and one 400w in my display. The sump heaters are set to 78 degrees, and the display is set to 77 degrees.

blu_devl_06
05-01-2009, 5:52 PM
Ive got that same heater, but a 400w for my 120, it does great so far