Will there be a cycle in my new tank or not?


New member
I'll bet setting up a 300 gallon tank next week.

I'm planning to have 3 islands of live rock, a total of 200 lbs to start off with. This will be fully cured live rock.

I will also have 200 lbs of live sand - this stuff:

I have had 5 fish in my QT for the past 3 weeks (total of 4 by the time the big tank will be up and running). 2 osc. clownfish and 3 lyretail anthias. They're doing great.

When the big tank is up and running and I add the 5 fish, will I see a cycle? Or perhaps not, because of all the live rock and live sand? Could it be that because of the bacteria in the live rock and live sand that I won't see ammonia or nitrites, but just nitrates (eventually)?


New member
Well, from my experience, I'd say "maybe".....leaning more towards "probably".

It really depends on how "cured" your LR is and/or how much die off it has (if you're getting it shipped). I've seen LFS's sell "fully cured LR" just to find out there's no way it was cured as it caused a spike. Even if it smells clean, that's not a total guarantee that you won't see a spike.

As far as the sand goes, I've never personally used it, but I've read reviews that go either way. Some say it's great and cured, some they believe it caused a spike.

Don't know if this helps you at all, but good luck with the tank!

gone fishin

New member
IMO an easy way to find out is put some ammonia in the tank,1-2ppm, if it is gone in 24 hours your good to go. If not there is your answer. just my 2 cents and good luck.


New member
Nothing wrong with it.. but the bacteria they claim is there... ehhhh.... should be posts all over the place here on it

Big Dog

New member
Maybe, maybe not .... diligence, care and consideration is required.

From my experience using established LR, live sand, and bacteria saturated media as seed for a new system with fuge, you'll see a small ammonia spike between days 3-5 (test everyday). Then watch for nitrate to drop below 40ppm. I've done it more than a few times. Just completed a major move.

Standard 180 Gallon, 75 Gallon Sump with 25 of it being fuge. 200# LR, 1.5 inch of "new" sand. 26 days from when I put water in the tank the move was complete. I combined my 90g and my wife's 40g into this 180g. On this one I never saw ammonia, tested every day.

Added all new water and did a 2 day leak check and pumping tune.
Day 3 I introduced a large scoop of sand and saturated floss from my tank and put <acronym title="Live Rock">LR</acronym> in the <acronym title="refugium">fuge</acronym>.
Day 5 added 4 pieces of <acronym title="Live Rock">LR</acronym> to the tank and more in the <acronym title="refugium">fuge</acronym>.
Day 7 added another 6 pieces of <acronym title="Live Rock">LR</acronym> to the tank, cheto and halimeda to the <acronym title="refugium">fuge</acronym>.
Day 9 moved the contents of my tank to the 180. (Wasn't gonna do the wife's, she'd kill me if her stuff took a dive)
Day 12 did some aqua-scaping.
Day 17 moved the wife's stuff into the 180.
Day 26 put the <acronym title="Anemones">nems</acronym> in

The tank is 2 months old .................. the only thing not out in the pic is my large finger leather, he's in a molt. Cheto has almost doubled and I started with a soccer ball sized gob from a fellow reefers's tank. My higher end corals are in holding at said fellow reefers frag tanks,

Inhabitants are all long term, (except a wrasse) from the 40 and 90, all is happy!

5" Purple Tank
3" Elibi Angel
4" Splendid Dottyback
4" Yellow Coris Wrasse (the only new member of the family)
2.5" Watchmen Goby
2.5" Ocellaris Clown (hosting in a 14" RBTA, 2 other nems: 6" RBTA & 3" Flower)
1.5" Yellowtail Damsel
4" Banded Coral shrimp
Short Spined Urchin


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New member
Most live sand does inFact have live organisms. If the rock and sand have been processing nitrates with out a break in action you will see very little if any cycle


New member
Most live sand does inFact have live organisms. If the rock and sand have been processing nitrates with out a break in action you will see very little if any cycle
He is talking CaribSea live sand. Nothing wrong with using it, but not real live sand