newbie tank cycling question

hansumbill

New member
i have had live rock in my tank for 3 weeks now my mistake was not testing the water everyday i tested it probably 3 times a week.. last week everything was at zero and pH was good at 7.8.. i have been testing more this third week and everything is the same zero across the charts... has my tank cycled? a co worker gave me a shrimp to put in my tank to get the tank started i left it in there for about 48 hours tested my water a few days later and everything 0... is it wise to get a hardy fish like a damsel and test out the tank? I tested the water at the end of the first week and everything was at 0 is it possible for the tank to cycle that fast?
 

HumanIMDB

Premium Member
There should be enough "stuff" dying on the live rock to get it to cycle without adding a cocktail shrimp or a damsel.

You might want to have a fellow reefer verify your readings, but as long as everything is zeroed out, you should be fine to start SLOWLY adding fish...you are at least a month out if you QT them before adding them to your display anyway. :D
 

jdieck

New member
I can understand ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at zero, what are your levels of PH, Calcium Alkalinity and Magnesium? What salinity are you mixing your water at?
You may need to start tracking and if needed adjusting those parameters, before starting with fish I would start with a cleaning crew. As you add livestock bacteria needs to multiplicate to cope with the added bio load so go slow and keep tracking your ammonia.
 

crsswift70

New member
take that nasty shrimp out now :) you could always start off with a handful of algae eating snails and hermits. It sounds as if the tank has cycled. It is good advice to get a second opinion on the tests though. LFS's will test water normally, but take what they say with a grain of salt. Don't put anything expensive in your tank to begin with. A damsel although cheap and hardy isn't always the best fish to put in the tank. They can get nasty and very difficult to remove. snails and crabs, then the least expensive of the fish you eventually want.
 

hansumbill

New member
thats another thing there is no algae of which i can see so if i was to get a few snails and crabs would they die off from not having anything to eat? thats why i was thinking about a fish to start off with. also if not a damsel what would you recommend that is not so aggressive

my pH is at 7.8 and my salinity from what my refractometer is saying is 1.024
 

hansumbill

New member
I might have to take some water to get tested because i dont have any test kits to measure Calcium Alkalinity and Magnesium could you recomend a good test kit that would test these? i have the basic api test kit ammonia nitrite nitrate ph
 

HumanIMDB

Premium Member
I'd say add only 2 or 3 snails and maybe one hermit (though you may want to go crabless with your cleaners). They should find enough to eat. If you add a hermit, put a tiny pinch of food in every few days to keep it happy else it will likely enjoy the snails. :)

As for fish, what is on your "wish list"?
 

HumanIMDB

Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12834676#post12834676 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by hansumbill
I might have to take some water to get tested because i dont have any test kits to measure Calcium Alkalinity and Magnesium could you recomend a good test kit that would test these? i have the basic api test kit ammonia nitrite nitrate ph

Salifert or EIOS seem to be the best. We use Salifert. Both register with a distinct colour change (i.e. Pink to blue) not just a different shade of the same colour for the most part.
 

jdieck

New member
Given your PH your alkalinity might be a bit on the low side, try testing for it and correcting it before you add critters.
Although 1.024 salinity is OK for a reef tank I would recommend a bit higher to 1.026.

Finally at 3 weeks you shall have a lot of diatoms and some green starting to develop. lack of algae may mean the tank is not ttarting to stabilize yet.
Did you started with cured or uncured rock?
 

AngeloM3

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12834661#post12834661 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by hansumbill
thats why i was thinking about a fish to start off with. also if not a damsel what would you recommend that is not so aggressive

No livestock should EVER be used to test a tank out... unless your 100% sure it has cycled.

That's like me asking you to sit in a room while I throw a canister of "possible" deadly gas in... just to see if it's deadly or not.

Have a LFS check your water, fellow reefer or get another kind of testing kit.
 

crsswift70

New member
Someone asked me to do that once, it turned out ok. If the LFS tests the water OK, put in what people have recommended. As far as fish... give it a bit. let the snails and hermits have time to add a little bio-load and eat the algae that is likely to bloom. This is a slow hobby... although i'm sure we've all rushed things before :)
 

bossdj

New member
just put in some snails and a crab or 2, i bought nano reef fish food made by ocean nutrition and my cuc love it sometimes its such a made rush to get the food that i've seen crabs jump off my rock to get it and nas snails wake up as soon as it hits the water. it is small pellet food and only 4 bucks for a small container my fish,shrimp and cuc love it.
 
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