Cycling

Craig2051

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Hello,

I have added 80 lbs of Live sand and 75 lbs of curated live rock to my 75 gallon aquarium. At this point is there anything I need to do to start the cycle or will it start on its own? Also, how long does a cycle usually last? I bought the live rock from a lfs that was already curated.

Thanks!
 

Craig2051

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I plan on running the tank without a filter. Do you recommend while it is cycling to run a filter? Also, should the protein skimmer be on or off during the cycling process?
 

theMeat

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I plan on running the tank without a filter. Do you recommend while it is cycling to run a filter? Also, should the protein skimmer be on or off during the cycling process?
Filter floss or sock from an established tank will/should introduce all bacterias necessary to complete the nitrogen cycle, and is more effective than putting any type of quick start from a bottle that enters the water column. All these bacteria will grow on their own if you feed the Tank as that food breaks down, this just speeds up the process by putting the bacteria in straight away.

Protein skimmer... takes nutrients out of the tank. Taking them out while initially cycling the tank will lessen the spikes and slow the process. If you want to run the skimmer at a way low level so no skimate makes it up to and gets collected in the cup, that's fine.

Leaving the display tank lights off during cycle will help you avoid any nuisance algae from growing while nutrient spikes get hi
 

Craig2051

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It's only been a week but my tank is showing .25 ppm ammonia, 0 nitrite and 10ppm nitrate. I could be mistaken but shouldn't the ammonia have spiked, then the nitrite and then the nitrate?
 

theMeat

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Yes, that's the way it works
Maybe you didn't put in enough food or whatever to cause enough of an ammonia spike.
Maybe you put in enough parts of the nitrogen cycle bacteria that you didn't see a spike, or waited a few days in between testing and missed it.
Maybe the rock you put in is releasing nitrates
Many variable...
 

Craig2051

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Considering I can not determine if the cycle has completed how long should I wait to add fish? Obviously at least until ammonia is 0 correct?
 

Craig2051

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Yes daily, also I have seen a few videos of people putting macro algae in their protein skimmers as a way to further absorb nitrates. Since I am not running a sump, does anyone have any experience in doing this?
 

soupiemelody

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What I always do to start a tank cycle is to add about 2-4 ppm of pure ammonia and wait until it goes down. Once the tank is able to get rid of 4ppm ammonia in 24hrs you'll be able to fully stock the tank. In he end you want 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and some nitrate then Do a water change and start stocking.
 

Craig2051

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I have been running this tank now for a little over 2 weeks waiting for it to cycle. After testing today my results were ph - 8.2, ammonia - 0ppm, nitrite - 0ppm and nitrate 20 ppm. Do you think it is time to do a water change and begin stocking the tank? Also how much of a water change is recommended?
 

theMeat

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Stir up the surface of the sand a bit, blow off the rocks, and do about 15% water change will debris is still swirling
 


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