Cycle question..,

Morangus

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So I've decided to go the shrimp cycle method for my Biocube... I've been searching and can't see anything that says how todo it and what steps to take. Could someone shed some light on this for me?
 

Justiful

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You put everything inside the tank. You drop in a dead shrimp. But in a place of high water flow, so like in your prefilter chamber. (I actually did this to cycle my tank)... Or rather the aquarium specialist I hired did it to cycle my tank, since I opted out of risking fish before the water was cycled. (took like a week longer then using fish, but worth it IMO cause a fish didn't die. (FYI, the dead shrimp was removed after a week it wasn't left to decay forever.)

You can also speed up the cycle by adding about a tablespoon of fish food under the water on the tank bed. I secretly did this behind my aquarium specialists back... but no bad effects 0.0
 
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Morangus

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How long does the shrimp stay in the water and when should I remove it? After removing the shrimp then what should I do / expect?
 

Justiful

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How long does the shrimp stay in the water and when should I remove it? After removing the shrimp then what should I do / expect?
My aquarium lady removed it after a week, but after she had tested water. Not sure if those two are correlated. Sorry I paid someone to cycle my tank... :-( I saw what was done but didn't think to ask questions as to why.
 
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Morangus

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Who knew that using a dead shrimp was discouraged? According to my google searches it is using live fish for cycling that's discouraged.
 

Tahoe61

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Just putting this out there, you can add dried fish food and achieve the same goal without adding god only knows what bacteria types and a stinky shrimp to boot.
You just need a form of organic decay, organic decay creates ammonia, you need ammonia to initiate the nitrogen cycle. In fact you can use just pure ammonia.
 

PedroMann

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My preferred method to cycle a tank and avoid algae growth (don't throw shrimp in - it's too uncontrolled) is to ammonia cycle a tank. (Also, start with mined, dry base rock)

Now to cycle: Add ammonia, test levels of Nitrate and Amonia with test kit (maintain something like 2ppm ammonia when starting), add bacteria, continue to monitor levels with test kit and add ammonia slowly of the course of time in order to feed bacteria, just stay at safe level of amonia(2-3ppm). Do this with lights off for a month. Bacteria will essentially be the only organism in the tank and get a massive head start. When you are ready to turn on the lights, get a bunch of corraline algae from a rock that has NO HAIR ALGAE, etc. Put the corraline algae in a blender and throw the cloudy mix in your tank. Let the light cycle run until you can see corraline going crazy (a month or two) keep calcium/strontium/magnesium levels up while waiting. Once you have purple rocks in about 2-3 months, then start adding stuff, slowly. Copepods, amphipods, mysid etc. are important they eat microalgae.(I start with 0 biodeversity then add it in layers). Then add clean-up crew. Wait a month, Then add frags (preferably dip, quarantine and grow out frags for one month before adding to display tank. Redip if necessary, etc.) What small bits of algae hike in with frags will get eaten before they get a chance to foothold. Also, be hypervigilant with maintenance at this point (approx 6 months in - adding frags etc) if a small tuft of algae crops up, get it out of the tank. Take out the offending rock and scrub with toothbrush and rinse, put back in tank, etc. Use eyes and testkits to determine water change frequency. If algae starts as a tiny tuft one day, it could cover the whole tank in a week. Really it should be an issue if you go slow/methodically enough. The basic theory when battling algae is, don't introduce it in the first place (it's really really hard not to) but give the whole bacteria/nitrogen cycle/clean up crew a chance to win before adding sources of algae (frags).

Here are some links:

https://www.reefcleaners.org/aquarium-store/florida-reef-rock-30lbs-free-shipping Rock that won't give you grief. Quarantine cleanup crews though. He is great and overpacks, but I've had aptasia hike in.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=24530 (good ammonia, don't use grocery store variety, every single one has surfactants (soap)

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=13524 Test kits...these are cheap ones, use whatever brand you prefer, but think of cycling as a science experiment and be patient, you can't go wrong.

http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/how-to-start Fishless cycling. Info on fishless cycling. Their bacteria is good, but there are other premium brand of bacteria that work just as well.

http://www.reefs2go.com/product/INV_POD-250/Live-Foods-for-Feeding-Aquarium-Fish-Inverts-Corals-Amphipods-copepods.html Amphipod culture, if you don't have them already/don't know how to catch them

http://seahorsesource.com/?wpsc_product_category=live-food Another source for mysid etc. Also, they have great macro algae to grow in refugium to keep nitrates down, once you get higher bio-load.
 
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Morangus

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Thanks PedroMan. I guess I'll remove the shrimp and see if I can find what I need at ThatFishPlace tonight..,
 
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Morangus

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Local fish store doesn't have it. Ordered off Amazon. *sigh* guess I'm waiting till next week to start over :(
 

PedroMann

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I wouldn't worry if you already have rock. The things that work for me are somewhat non-conventional. I'de just keep the lights off while it is cycling. And let the clean-up crew/bacteria do it's job before adding big nitrate producers (fish)
 
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Tahoe61

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You do not have to start over, the tank is already starting to cycle, it's will take longer. Even a jar full of water sitting on a counter will cycle eventually. You're not wasting time, you're planning.
 
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Morangus

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Lights are remaining off for sure. I have no need to run them right now. Recommend leaving the shrimp in there till I get the Dr Tims products in or remove it now and just let it go?
 

Tahoe61

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I would just pick one or the other, since the shrimp is already in go with it. Leave it in for 2 days and then remove that stinky mess. When the Dr.Tims arrives follow instructions. Tanks cycle, you can not really mess that up, you can stall the cycle but that is remedied by a simple water change.
 

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