How long it takes for a tank to re-cycle on average?(and how long can corals go without lighting?)

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csab1n

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So I just did a 4 day cross country move and brought all the livestock and equipment with me. I threw out all the old sand. Unfortunately most of my live rock had to go in the trailer, submerged under water in a tote. Needless to say it was less than ideal to begin with, but I had no more room in my cabin as there were 9 other buckets of fish and corals. Wasn’t too surprised to discover upon arrival that this 30 gallon tote was almost entirely frozen, killing all life on the rocks... I finally was able to set up the tank again and it’s up and running, but lord it stinks bad... I measured ammonia and it is close to !6! from all the die off. Obviously I couldn’t put the livestock from the buckets into the tank with readings like this. I already lost my yellow tang, my green mandarin and a pajama cardinal...possibly got smashed from the small rocks and corals next to them in the buckets when the roads were horrible. I think the rest of my fish will pull through as there is no more shaking in the truck and I also changed some of their water already. I’m more worried about the corals, as today it’s been day8 for them in a bucket. Each of the bucket has air supplied and the room temp is consistent 76 Fahrenheit. I’m not sure how much more I can do at this point with high ammonia readings like this. I’m planning to do another water change in the tank tomorrow to help the cycle, but I’m not sure how much longer can they go without lighting... These bone freezing temps in the Rockies messed up my plan for good I guess.
 
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Brett S

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As far as the rocks and the tank cycling goes, I would definitely dose some bacteria in a bottle to help speed things up. MicrobacterStart (or maybe even MicroBacterClean too) or Dr Tim’s or something like that. But really you’ll mostly be waiting for things to stop decomposing, which will probably be at least a week or two.

As far as the corals go, 8 days without light is definitely getting into the time when I would start worrying. But there’s no reason you can’t put lights over the buckets they are in. Set up some sort of temporary thing to hold your lights and turn them on over your buckets while you wait for the tank to be safe.
 

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Oh gosh so sorry for all the losses, i can imagine how stressful that all is.

I agree with the above in terms of bacteria supplements and the lighting.

Below is how I had mine set-up while my tank was cycling again after a move.

Hang in there and best of luck!


photo5170411232019196216.jpg
 
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csab1n

csab1n

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Thanks guys for the advice! Yeah, moving with fish tanks made the move incredibly stressful... I will definitely try to setup some lighting tomorrow for the corals and anemones. I already added a bottle of biospira but I doubt it worked because it was frozen as well. Guess winter makes things more complicated. I doubt my only LFS(pet smart) carries any bacteria unfortunately...
 

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Thanks guys for the advice! Yeah, moving with fish tanks made the move incredibly stressful... I will definitely try to setup some lighting tomorrow for the corals and anemones. I already added a bottle of biospira but I doubt it worked because it was frozen as well. Guess winter makes things more complicated. I doubt my only LFS(pet smart) carries any bacteria unfortunately...

I’ve gotten Bio Spira from petsmart before. You can also get some from amazon, but if it’s very cold there shipping might be a problem.
 
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First...you need to do a few large water changes.

Second....Add DrTim's One and Only. It will feed off all the ammonia. If ammonia is above 4 ppm, do a water change.

3rd....keep the lights off or low if no coal.

After 48-72 hrs. Turn the skimmer on.
 

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Thanks guys for the advice! Yeah, moving with fish tanks made the move incredibly stressful... I will definitely try to setup some lighting tomorrow for the corals and anemones. I already added a bottle of biospira but I doubt it worked because it was frozen as well. Guess winter makes things more complicated. I doubt my only LFS(pet smart) carries any bacteria unfortunately...

I know Petco has bio spira, not sure about petsmart. There is die off from organisms in the rock, but the bacteria is pretty hardy. I would just continue large water changes and blowing off the dead stuff with a Turkey baster. I know fish can't handle high ammonia...
 
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csab1n

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Tomorrow I’ll try to hit up the Petco in the next town an hour away, hopefully they carry One and Only or Biospira. I’m also thinking to add the rest of the live rock from the fish buckets to help cycling, but worried if I remove the rocks the fish will get more stressed as they’d lose their hiding spots.
 

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I know Petco has bio spira, not sure about petsmart. There is die off from organisms in the rock, but the bacteria is pretty hardy. I would just continue large water changes and blowing off the dead stuff with a Turkey baster. I know fish can't handle high ammonia...
Petco will have bio spira. Dr tim’s will be better.
 
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csab1n

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I was able to find a nice reef store an hour away and I got some FritzZyme 9 along with some Aquavitro Seed. They said they work like a champ, so I`m pretty excited about them. Hopefully they will get my ammonia down quickly. I also started transferring my corals to a 30 gallon tote, but it`s going pretty slow due to their acclimation time. I put a LED fixture over that tote, hopefully that will be sufficient for now.
 
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I was able to find a nice reef store an hour away and I got some FritzZyme 9 along with some Aquavitro Seed. They said they work like a champ, so I`m pretty excited about them. Hopefully they will get my ammonia down quickly. I also started transferring my corals to a 30 gallon tote, but it`s going pretty slow due to their acclimation time. I put a LED fixture over that tote, hopefully that will be sufficient for now.

Good luck buddy. I have a move coming up, so I'll be in your boat. No way I'm leaving my tank behind. I'm sure I'll have die off as well, one of the downsides of this hobby. It's not friendly to moves
 
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csab1n

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Just don`t make the same mistake I made, putting fish with large rocks that could smash them when the roads are bumpy... They seemed to be alright with temperatures around the 70s and there bubbler with air stone. Good luck to you as well! How far do you need to move?
 

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I also started transferring my corals to a 30 gallon tote, but it`s going pretty slow due to their acclimation time. I put a LED fixture over that tote, hopefully that will be sufficient for now.

Is long as the water parameters are close and the salinity and temperature is the same I don’t think you really need much acclimation time. I’d just pick them up and drop them in, really.

I just got some corals from WWC and they recommend temperature acclimation for 15 minutes and then just dropping the corals in. No salinity or any other acclimation at all.
 
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csab1n

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Is long as the water parameters are close and the salinity and temperature is the same I don’t think you really need much acclimation time. I’d just pick them up and drop them in, really.

I just got some corals from WWC and they recommend temperature acclimation for 15 minutes and then just dropping the corals in. No salinity or any other acclimation at all.
Yeah, the temp and the salinity should be roughly the same, but ph and other parameters could be different as I made new water for the tote, plus the corals are all in different buckets, so their water could have a different chemistry already as it is day9.(and can`t check it now as my test kit was frozen too and don`t know if it still works :D) Also got like 10 BTAs to transfer, and can`t afford them to die and kill everything else. It`s crazy, when I departed I had 5 decent sized ones and 1 extra large, now I have at least 12+ BTAs...They multiply like crazy from stress.
 
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csab1n

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Meanwhile I lost my Lawnmover blenny too...:( I think he might have starved, even If I threw some algae for him. I really can`t wait for this cycle to be over, but no improvements yet. I added the entire bottle of both bacteria.
 
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