i need suggestion for the next step.. cycling

jaysix79

HI everyone

I have a 26 gallons tank cycling with
* About 10 - 15 lbs of live rocks (came from an established salt water tank)
* Macroalgea very small
* Play sand and live sand half and half 20-30 lbs total (the live sand came from an established salt water tank)
* Hang-on filter with no filter media (using it right now to get water circulated)
* One power head
(soon in a few days I should be receiving my protein skimmer and will install this week)
** I'm also planning of adding a 15 gallons sump to house my protein skimmer, heater and maybe more live rock and some plants (I have sump box already just waiting for my pump and skimmer to install)

My water parameters right now are

1-17-2010 after 4 da
ys
• pH 8.2
• alkalinity between normal and high (it's hard to read my test I’m using the red sea test kit turns out light blue)
• nitrite 0.2
Temp 79
• S.Gravity 1.020

1-18-2010 (same reading) after 5 days
• pH 8.2
• Alkalinity between normal and high (it's hard to read my test I’m using the red sea test kit turns out light blue)
• Nitrite 0.2
• Temp 79
• S.Gravity 1.020


1-24-2010
• pH 8.2
• Alkalinity between normal and high (it's hard to read my test I’m using the red sea test kit turns out light blue)
• Nitrite 0.2
• Temp 79
• S.Gravity 1.022

1-27-2010
• pH 8.2
• Nitrite 0.2
• Temp 79
• S.Gravity 1.022


1-30-2010
• pH 8.2
• Alkalinity between normal and high
• Temp 79
• S.Gravity 1.022

2-2-2010
• pH 8.2
• ammonia 0 PPM
• nitrite .25 ppm
• nitrate 0 ppm
• temp 79
SG 1.024

I'm using the red sea starter kit which came with salt, hydrometer, nitrate test, pH test and alkalinity test

Can anyone suggest the next step or thing(s) I need to fix? My tank is been cycling for little bit over 5 days. So far I haven’t done any water change


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sgould

Hey jaysix79. You are at the "hurry up and wait" stage. At this point the name of the game is patience...not really anything for you to do but wait. As you have rock from an established tank, I would expect that your cycle should go relatively quickly, but there are no guarantees of course. Do not do any water changes until the cycle is done. Do you have ammonia readings too?
 

jaysix79

thanks for the input sean... I don't have the ammonia reading because the starter kit I bought didn't come with it... I guess ill go pick one up soon. are my water parameter about right?.. isn't it my nitrate reading is a bid high?...

how would I know if the cycle is complete
 

sgould

You did not provide a nitrate reading, so I'm not sure. Acceptable levels of nitrate depend on what you are planning on keeping in the tank. For a reef setup, you want to keep it as close to 0 as possible. If you are doing FO or FOWLR, higher levels are acceptable. You'll know the cycle is done when both ammonia and nitrite return to 0 after spiking upwards. We know from your nitrite reading that both ammonia and nitrite are in the process of spiking upwards (because you don't get nitrite until you've had ammonia first), but it would be best to get an actual ammonia reading. Just keep monitoring them both and you will eventually see them decline back to zero. When that happens will be the time to worry about controlling nitrate if it is too high.
 

jaysix79

yeah I don't have the ammonia reading yet because I don't have the time to go the pet store... and by the way my reading was for nitrate not nitrite.. sorry for the mix up so updated my post to nitrate instead of nitrite

once again thanks for the input
 

sgould

Ah, ok that changes things. There is no way to know at all where you are in your cycle without knowing ammonia and nitrite. Knowing one or the other allows some guesswork to be made, but that's about it. Knowing neither means we're blind. First step is, when you can, get those tests and check readings, proceeding from there based on the results.
 

jaysix79

I found this thing in my aquarium and they appear to me moving.

is this is good sign or bad?

what are this things?
 

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Shock

Hey, I have the same exact kit (I started with it also because it was so cheap). My kit though came with an NO2- test kit not an NO3- test kit. In other words, it had the test for nitrite, not nitrate
 

Sonfish

Cant really see what they are in the pics, LR will have all sorts of hitchhikers, mine came complete with a mantis shrimp tha has so far eluded capture, lol.
Give your tank a little more time and then start looking at a CUC, and add them slowly so you don't overload the bio system that you got going.
I started with snails as I started getting an algae bloom, then 2 Emerald crabs and a couple tiny blue legged hermits, then there are all the hitch hikers from the LR the little asteria stars and brittle stars, and bristle worms and feather dusters, and copeopods and no telling what else is in there,
Here is a link with some common LR hitch hikers maybe it will help you
also in your sump I would add more LR I think its like a pound per gallon from what Ive heard, and you might want to hold of on any fish or anything till you have all the LR in that your going to put in as it might cause your tank to start cycling again or a minI cycle. looks good so far tho, being patient is gonna be the key to having a nice tank.
 

jaysix79

thanks for the link and information... I found it that the thing growing are bad stuff AIPTASIA... soo I about a hermit crab.. he's doing is job but knocked down all my rocks...

its nice to see something moving in the aquarium and the hermit crab seem happy.. he/she comes out aggressively to feed when I put fish food. I guess that's a good sign
 

jaysix79

I finally gotta chance to pick up some test kit

my new readings are

pH 8.2
ammonia 0 ppm
nitrite .25 ppm
nitrate 0 ppm
temp 79
SG 1.024

my hemit crab died last night... and I picked out of the tank this morning around 10...

I did test my water around 4 pm which is not long ago... and the above reading are the numbers I got....

I also saw a lot of little things crawling around the sand and tank glass..

can someone tell me where and what stage I am at.... and also if I add a dried rock in my tank and move things around.. would it cause a minI cycle?
 

jaysix79

no one is on?
 

Sonfish

Youve still got nitrites, so I think your still cycling. Id wait a bit before adding anything as far as fish or inverts,
 

jaysix79

yeah my nitrite never change... I have copepods and amphipods flourishing already which is a sign of a maturing tank
 

Audemars

from my studies (no actual experience) you have to wait till a bacteria called nitrobacter builds up to oxidize the nitrites into nitrates. this just takes time.
 

Stang Man

From what I seen in your pics sand seams a little to thick too much sand more than 4 inches to thick can cause problems unless you have massive cirrculation can and will cause dead areas in sand that cannot get oxygen unless you have some major critters in your tank to stir up sand to breath can lead to extremely high nitrates that in turn will be a nite mare in elm street!!! What type filtration do you have and most importantly are you using power heads or propellar pumps? Just trying to look out for you that's the major thing people forget is the future in there systems!
 

jaysix79

my sand are about an 1.5 to 2 inch deep... sump filter system.. with live rock in he sump and display tank... all info in my set up is on the first post.. I do have some snails in my tank too
 

saltwater newbie

i'm no professional,been in this hobby for 1yr3months,i've learned through research,that cycling can take up to 4 to 6 weeks or longer depending on what's in the tank and your plans are.I recently got into sw myself, I have a75gal tank crushed corals and livesand.hang on overflow/protein skimmer/sump/2power heads.going into my 8th week and still no ammonia spike.i'm sorry I also have 50lbs of live rock,in short fowlr. but my tests all come up good ph droped from 8.4 to 8.0ppm.I did acquire some fish already 2clown,1 scotter blenny,foxface rabbit,3 peppermint shrimp/cc star fish/pajama fish and 1other but the name is purple something sorry. just be patient.
 

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