Got a few questions

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by George Willings, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    28 Dec 2017 I filled my BioCube32, I put in dry rock (was packed in wet paper that was received on the 20th of December), and live sand from Caribsea. I put the clarifier in from the Caribsea Live sand, and a bottle of BioSpira. I did see ammonia rise to 2 ppm by adding ammonia to the tank, I did not see Nitrites rise, but my Nitrates are at about 40 ppm as of this morning and my ammonia levels are at 0.50 ppm. I cant help but wonder that I might have done something wrong. I know the ammonia should have dropped to 0 but it has not. When I get home this evening I do plan on testing for ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate again, hoping that ammonia drops to 0. If the ammonia does not drop to 0 what do I need to do?
     
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  2. Gareth elliott

    Gareth elliott Active Member

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    Sounds like, still need some time.
    Cycling is a game of patience. Just have to wait for all the bacteria to grow to suitable numbers to handle the nitrification.
    When you test 0 ammonia, dose again.
    Dry rock takes a little longer than live rock to get stocking ready.

    I used live rock and sand and still cycled for about 45 days before adding a fish.
     
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  3. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

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    Sit back and relax.....has it been a week? My best advise about this hobby is that nothing good happens by going fast. The presence of ammonia tells me that you have not developed sufficient bacteria to convert to nitrite/nitrate. The current high nitrate is from the rock curing. That typically takes longer than the cycle. The dry rock needs to leach out the decaying dead stuff that's on and in the rock. Your best bet is to do water changes until nitrate is no longer climbing high and is now, let's say, below 20 ppm, but prefer even lower. During this month plus of waiting, your tank will most likely cycle naturally. I'd keep lights off with flow and heater in the tank.
     
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  4. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    Yes, heater is on, water temp is at about 76, return is running along with circulation pump, light is off. Will do a 5 gallon water change this evening when I get home, as I have a 5 gallon bucket with salt water mixed already and waiting.
     
  5. PatW

    PatW Well-Known Member

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    The nitrogen cycle goes, in part, from ammonia to nitrites to nitrates. The first cycle I ran, I saw only a short term blip of nitrites. Then I never saw them again. The reason for this was that nitrites were rapidly converted into nitrates. The conversion was so fast that nitrites did not hang around long enough to reach measurable concentrations for long. If you are seeing a depletion of ammonia and an increase of nitrates, the ammonia is being converted into nitrite. You just never see it happen.

    I am currently cycling some dry rock. This time, I am seeing nitrites. The process of cycling varies in speed and progression.
     
  6. tsav87

    tsav87 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    No need to do a water changes just yet, you want to spike your ammonia to 2 ppm and have it drop to 0 within 24hrs. Once it does that, I would do the biggest water change possible, 100% if you can, and you are ready for your first fish. Wait 1 week between adding fish.
     
  7. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    I am pretty sure that the rock is curing, as it was dry base rock when I purchased it, was just delivered in wet paper. I contacted the guy I bought it from and he did confirm that it was not cured. Ammonia went up from this morning went from 0.25 to 0.50 ppm, Nitrite still at 0 ppm, and Nitrate is sitting steady at 20 ppm. I did put a bottle of BioSpira in when I filled it, so I am pretty sure that was a total waste. Learning process for me.
     
  8. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    Either the rock is curing or my cycle has stalled. Heard from the owner of the place I got my rock form, he did say that all I needed to do was give the rock a rinse and then put it in an aquarium. So it is starting to look like a stalled cycle.
     
  9. GBRsouth

    GBRsouth Active Member

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    Bacteria numbers may grow slowly so that you don't notice progress, but they won't stall. It is happening for you. It just takes time.
     
  10. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    GBRsouth, that is true, Rome was not built in a day, then on top of it water born bacteria comes along even slower. I just pulled water samples and these are the results I am getting which are the same from yesterday.

    20180104_054122.jpg
     
  11. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    Just tested the water again, ammonia is down to .25 and nitrate is down to 20.
     
  12. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

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    George, as my kids would tell me in the late 80's and early 90's, "take a chill pill." If you don't allow your rock to cure....and nitrates to lower before you continue, the next post's we'll be seeing from you is "Why is my tank full of algae and diatoms." Slow down and let your tank age through the cure.....and cycle.
     
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  13. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    So giving an update on my water status is being in a rush, yeah okay.
     
  14. GBRsouth

    GBRsouth Active Member

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    George, life on earth took millions of years to develope. If we manage it in a month or two I reckon we're going pretty good. Try to just enjoy the process. You won't go through setting up a new tank again for a long while. So enjoy.
     
  15. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    My question is how will I know the rocks are cured? I know the parameters should go up and down pretty much like a cycling tank. Never had to cycle the rocks before and this is my first reef setup. In a BioCube for now, next tank will be a larger tank, but leaning towards live rock already cured.
     
  16. Gareth elliott

    Gareth elliott Active Member

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    The rock curing and your cycle are linked, well slightly lol.

    As the organic matter left in the rocks decays to nutrients it further feeds your bacteria strains.

    Your cycle ends when ammonia is nitrified quickly.

    Your curing is complete when you stop seeing rises in nitrate irrespective to the amount of ammonia added to feed the system.

    I would say a minimum of 3 weeks. This is not a firm number it could take longer depending on how dirty the rock was.

    Larger systems means larger amounts of rock. Live rock for say a 100g is a lot of live rock. Say its $7.99/pound and you buy 60lb thats almost $500 in rock!

    You dont need to cure in the tank. Can always cure dry rock in a rubbermaid container.
     
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  17. GBRsouth

    GBRsouth Active Member

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    The end products of curing rock are going to be elevated nitrate and phosphate levels. Watch through testing after your ammonia and nitrite levels go to zero and nitrates begin rising. Nitrates and Phosphates will rise. You then monitor how fast they rise. Once you see that the rate they rise slows right down, then you know that the rock has finished or nearly finished curing. Nitrates will still rise more slowly from feeding the tank. But your testing will show you that the rate is much slower. Hope that makes sense.

    Cheers Mick.
     
  18. GBRsouth

    GBRsouth Active Member

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    Gareth Elliot has given you good advice especially about curing your rock outside of your system. (Helps to prevent feeding algae in your system.)
     
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  19. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    The rock was power washed before I put it in and I rinsed it right before I put it in, so they were pretty clean when I put them in. Nitrates have been pretty steady for the last few days, but I find myself needing to obtain a phosphate test kit, or get enough water to make a sample and bring it 50 miles to my closest LFS so I know what is going on with the phosphates. Also, thanks greatly for this insight as I was getting pretty confused from all the info I had taken in so quickly.
     
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  20. George Willings

    George Willings Member

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    Okay, phosphate test kit is on the way, it is the API reek kit, so it has the tests for the other parameters as well.
     
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