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Hi there I have just set up a 1500L marine tank it has been running for about 2 weeks now. I have not had the lights on yet and the skimmer has not been on and I have been checking the nitrites 4/5 days ago it was bright red and now it is coming down so I am thinking of putting 2 clown fish in about 2 days time. So I was thinking about putting the lights on and turning the skimmer on is that okay. Peter
 
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Ideally I would wait until nitrites go to 0 and nitrates start building up (I assume you already went through the ammonia spike), then just do water changes when the nitrates go past 20 or so to protect the fish. Clownfish are hardy but exposure to nitrites and high nitrates can cause stress that leads to disease. I am not too sure about running a skimmer during the final steps of a cycle, but I think once you have only nitrates it's fine. I would personally not even turn on the lights after getting the clowns and just let the tank bacteria mature more. The ambient light from the room is enough for the clownfish to see. I ran my tank for 2 months with no lights and added microbacter 7 then microbacter clean to create biodiversity and once I turned the lights on I bypassed the ugly stage for the most part. I had a tiny diatom bloom but the biofilm I grew on my rock was established enough to keep the rest at bay. I'm a big fan of taking your time to let things mature because it makes it so much easier in the long run. Especially with such a big tank it would be better to go slow and let the biofilm mature without light. I also used dry macro rock though so if you have live rock it may go faster.
 

dedragon

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It matters if you still have ammonia not nitrite. Nitrite wont actually effect fish unless it is a much higher level than anyone would have in a fish tank. Do another round of tests to see about ammonia and nitrate levels and see where those are and you should know if you have already cycled.

For a fast cycle for anything i put in qt i use fritzyme 9, but for a display getting live rock from a trusted reefer usually from this forum works very well. I dont trust any rock from LFS though as they will almost always come with some sort of pest. PNS ProBio and reef snow work as well and ive added it in the past to mitigate early problems with algae and bacteria but isnt necessary.
 
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Matters what the rock has been exposed to in the cichlid tank but should be fine. It wont be live rock as most of the bacteria will die when transitioning to a full marine environment so it wont really help with the cycle.
 
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