"instant" Cycle For Marine Aquarium?

GetFreshedAquariums

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I'm setting up a small tank to spawn my clownfish in as a project to do over the Christmas holidays. I filled the tank up with 50% water from my display and 50% fresh ocean water. I then put 2 large pieces of live rock from my display in there that are already covered in coraline algae etc. I'm also running the tank off of a very large sponge filter. I will get a small skimmer once I have fry that are not small enough to get sucked into it.
My question was though, does adding this pre seeded rock to my tank give it an instant cycle? Because I am using a small misbar clownfish I have as the tester/cycling fish and it is fine so far.

Thanks for any inputs.
 

stella1979

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Using well aged rock may very well give you an instant cycle, however the only way to be sure it to test. If it's all you have, freshwater API test kits work just fine for testing ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

I've never done a fish-in cycle and prefer to go fishless, dose ammonia, then test 24 hours later to see if I'm cycled. Is this an option for you? Clowns are known to be hardy, however, I couldn't say for sure that it would be safe for breeding and babies. If the misbar was my only way to 'test' the cycle, I would want to see that it remained healthy for a few weeks before introducing the mating pair.
 
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GetFreshedAquariums

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stella1979 said:
Using well aged rock may very well give you an instant cycle, however the only way to be sure it to test. If it's all you have, freshwater API test kits work just fine for testing ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

I've never done a fish-in cycle and prefer to go fishless, dose ammonia, then test 24 hours later to see if I'm cycled. Is this an option for you? Clowns are known to be hardy, however, I couldn't say for sure that it would be safe for breeding and babies. If the misbar was my only way to 'test' the cycle, I would want to see that it remained healthy for a few weeks before introducing the mating pair.
Ok thanks. So I can use my FW Am No3 and No2 kits for SW tanks?
 

stella1979

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Braydens Bettas said:
Ok thanks. So I can use my FW Am No3 and No2 kits for SW tanks?
You sure can! API's NO3 test is not usually recommended for reef tanks because we're so often looking for an accurate result below 5ppm, but for a FOWLR you should be good with just keeping it pretty low, so the API test should be alright. As for ammonia and NO2, API is all I ever use. No sense in investing in pricier kits as long as API's can read zero, (or not), for those. As far as a difference between FW and SW, the colors on the charts are ever so slightly different. You could search for pictures of the SW test cards, but it's not terribly necessary, and the image's colors could be off anyway. Example, in SW the ammonia test may have the slightest tinge of green when ammonia is zero. So, if ammonia almost looks to be 0.25ppm, it's actually zero. This has been my experience anyhow, and I've seen many report the same.
 
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stella1979 said:
You sure can! API's NO3 test is not usually recommended for reef tanks because we're so often looking for an accurate result below 5ppm, but for a FOWLR you should be good with just keeping it pretty low, so the API test should be alright. As for ammonia and NO2, API is all I ever use. No sense in investing in pricier kits as long as API's can read zero, (or not), for those. As far as a difference between FW and SW, the colors on the charts are ever so slightly different. You could search for pictures of the SW test cards, but it's not terribly necessary, and the image's colors could be off anyway. Example, in SW the ammonia test may have the slightest tinge of green when ammonia is zero. So, if ammonia almost looks to be 0.25ppm, it's actually zero. This has been my experience anyhow, and I've seen many report the same.
Awesome. Thanks. Could I use the Nitrate kit to test in my display reef? Been having issues with Nitrate recently.
If I'm doing a fish in cycle how can I tell if there is ammonia being produced etc if I already have seeded rock? Won't it be processed too quickly to be noticed?
 

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Your seeded rock won’t have anything to do with ammonia. The ammonia comes from the waste the fish produce, and the food. How big of a small tank you doing?
 
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Wild Bill said:
Your seeded rock won’t have anything to do with ammonia. The ammonia comes from the waste the fish produce, and the food. How big of a small tank you doing?
I'm aware it has nothing to do with ammonia. The tank is 9 gallons.
 

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That looks like a cycled tank to me. I would just be sure to monitor it often though. Depending on how long it's been running, ammonia may not have had a chance to build up enough to register. I'd probably do morning and night tests for a little while.

If you're display is a reef, you really should be able to read an accurate number under 10, or even 5, which is pretty impossible to do with API. If you can, pick up a nitrate test by Salifert or RedSea for your display tank. If I may ask, how do you know you're having a nitrate problem in the display without a good nitrate test? I don't mean to sound rude, just wondering if you're seeing algae and that's what's telling you that you have a problem. If that's the case, you very well may have a phosphate issue as well. Try to pick up a test by Salifert or Red Sea for that too, API's is junk for a reef tank for the very same reason that the nitrate test is. Except with phosphates, you want to be able to test well below one. I'm talking like .05 is considered high for phosphates. If you can determine that you have high phosphates, you can get phosphate reducing media for the display.
 
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stella1979 said:
That looks like a cycled tank to me. I would just be sure to monitor it often though. Depending on how long it's been running, ammonia may not have had a chance to build up enough to register. I'd probably do morning and night tests for a little while.

If you're display is a reef, you really should be able to read an accurate number under 10, or even 5, which is pretty impossible to do with API. If you can, pick up a nitrate test by Salifert or RedSea for your display tank. If I may ask, how do you know you're having a nitrate problem in the display without a good nitrate test? I don't mean to sound rude, just wondering if you're seeing algae and that's what's telling you that you have a problem. If that's the case, you very well may have a phosphate issue as well. Try to pick up a test by Salifert or Red Sea for that too, API's is junk for a reef tank for the very same reason that the nitrate test is. Except with phosphates, you want to be able to test well below one. I'm talking like .05 is considered high for phosphates. If you can determine that you have high phosphates, you can get phosphate reducing media for the display.
Yeah when Christmas sales come up I'm going to dump a load of money on quality reef test kits.
Also could the tank really be cycled after only having a fish in it for 24 hours?
 
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And I've been taking water into my LFS 2-3 times a week to get it tested. So far the only thing that's been slightly elevated was Nitrate at 30ppm. Just did more waterchanges and may start dosing some stuff soon to help
 

stella1979

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Braydens Bettas said:
Yeah when Christmas sales come up I'm going to dump a load of money on quality reef test kits.
Also could the tank really be cycled after only having a fish in it for 24 hours?
I don't know from experience, by lots of people here have reported success with an instant cycl using aged media. If your live rock is well aged, it should give you an instant cycle, but yep, testing is the only way to be sure.
 
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stella1979 said:
I don't know from experience, by lots of people here have reported success with an instant cycl using aged media. If your live rock is well aged, it should give you an instant cycle, but yep, testing is the only way to be sure.
Ok thanks
 
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