View Full Version : New Tank Cycle - What to expect


DMKahlan
03-21-2007, 11:39 PM
I'm about a week and half into my initial cycle. I have a 75gal with 100lbs of live rock, and 1"-2" of live sand. I'm using RO/DI water. My early pH is 8.3 and salinity is sitting around 1.023. Ammonia has not spiked yet.

I have a good bit of Hair Algae growing on my live rock. I know the tank will normally go through a number of phases and things should clear themselves up, but is that normal? Should I do anything different?

My bigger question, what else should I expect during the initial cycle?

Showtime305
03-22-2007, 12:27 AM
The only noticeable things you will see are an algae, diatom, and/or cyno bacteria outbreaks. The chance of any of them going away without some assistance is very slim. After you have seen your ammonia spike and your nitrite spike is beginning to drop, it is time to begin adding a cleanup crew.

Amici
03-22-2007, 12:32 AM
If the hair algae is very long you will have to pull the rock out and scrub it off. I had the same problem with my tank and once I put in my cleaning crew and they only payed attention to the small stuff, I gave up and got out the pot scrubber.

DMKahlan
03-22-2007, 12:47 AM
Thanks for the quick replies. Another question, should I be cycling my tank with the lights on or off?

Showtime305
03-22-2007, 12:53 AM
You should leave them off to cut back on the light the algae needs to thrive. Some people run them for a few hours per day for viewing pleasure.

Amici
03-22-2007, 12:54 AM
I have heard its better with the lights off but I am not sure if there is a definative right or wrong here. If you are having a huge algae bloom then cut the lights back and work up an hour every day or so. Light is not essential to cycling from what I have read. I take the working up approach.

Amici
03-22-2007, 12:55 AM
HAHA beat my by a minute AJ.....

Showtime305
03-22-2007, 12:58 AM
:showoff: Oh Yeah!!!

DMKahlan
03-22-2007, 10:19 AM
Thanks. I turned the lights off today. I'll run it that way for a little bit and then slowly work them back in.

Dakota
03-22-2007, 6:44 PM
When you decide to turn them back on again, running actinics only for 3 or 4 hours a day will help keep your coralline algae developing without encouraging the nuisance algae.

I ran only the actinics 24/7 for two weeks after a lightless period of two months. No nuisance algae. Just my experience.

JJW
03-22-2007, 7:30 PM
Actually, lights on or lights off, water change or no water change during cycling, I am getting conflicting information:
http://www.nano-reef.com/articles/?article=8, according to this: "
So what should you do during the cycle? Keep your lights running on their regular 10-12 hour schedule. Do not cycle your tank with the lights off, unless you want the life on the live rock to die off. Do not perform any partial water changes during the the process, as doing so will stall the cycle from completing. Some people have experimented with doing very small water changes during the cycle to keep the ammonia levels from getting extremely high. The thought behind this method is that it will help preserve the life that came on your live rock. The benefits, if any, are not well known at this time however."

According to this: http://www.ratemyfishtank.com/tank_cycling.php, also lights on, but frequent water changes during cycling.

I also found this excellent step by step article on setting up a nano reef:
http://www.aquabuys.com/page/aqb/CTGY/z2b
but it's silent on lights and water changes.

Showtime305
03-22-2007, 7:48 PM
Actually, lights on or lights off, water change or no water change during cycling, I am getting conflicting information:
http://www.nano-reef.com/articles/?article=8, according to this: "
So what should you do during the cycle? Keep your lights running on their regular 10-12 hour schedule. Do not cycle your tank with the lights off, unless you want the life on the live rock to die off. Do not perform any partial water changes during the the process, as doing so will stall the cycle from completing. Some people have experimented with doing very small water changes during the cycle to keep the ammonia levels from getting extremely high. The thought behind this method is that it will help preserve the life that came on your live rock. The benefits, if any, are not well known at this time however."

According to this: http://www.ratemyfishtank.com/tank_cycling.php, also lights on, but frequent water changes during cycling.

I also found this excellent step by step article on setting up a nano reef:
http://www.aquabuys.com/page/aqb/CTGY/z2b
but it's silent on lights and water changes.

There are two sides to almost everything done in this hobby. Yes, leaving the lights on will help preserve what is still alive and well on the rock. They are referring to things like sponges, seas squirts, and coralline algae. Most of the life on your live rock dies before it even arrives in your tank unless you are getting in back in the water and under light on the same day. If you are using cured live rock that was picked up from a LFS, then cycling with the lights on to preserve the life on the rock may not be a bad idea. If you are using uncured rock that has been boxed and shipped, you have a slim chance that anything has survived and this rock will most likely cause major algae problems if light are used while being cycled.

Xyzpdq0121
03-22-2007, 8:05 PM
For what it is worth, I say lights on and no water changes. worked well for me in all my past cycles.