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Thread: conditioning

  1. #1
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    conditioning

    Hi. I was wondering if anyone can tell me how long a tank will take to condition with just live rock in it. I don't know if I should add fish before it conditions. The tank has been set up for 6 days so far, and my levels have not even begun to move at all. I have 25lbs of live rock, all a healthy brown colour, with a bit of green and purple. My ammonia is still at 0.05, nitrites(trates) less than .01, etc. Nothing has changed at all, and I thought I would notice something by now.

    Thanks,
    Sara

  2. #2
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    be patent .. if this is a NEW setup it will tank about 30 days under normal conditions. No 2 tanks are the same.
    Rob

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pluff's Avatar
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    Add a couple table shrimp to get your cycle going.

    Cheers,

    Pluff
    Phins Up ^^^^^^^


    "How I wish, how I wish you were here,
    We're just 2 lost souls sitting in a fish bowl,
    Year after year......."(Hope it was cycled!)
    Pink Floyd

  4. #4
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    you should definetly NOT add fish until it cycles- you will lose them if you do, and if you don't, they will at least suffer for a while.
    With ammonia in the tank it isn't necessary to add anything- the tank will cycle itself. It can take as long as several months for a tank full of uncured live rock to cycle, but it may very well take less time- test, test, test. Get your skimmer going, leave the lights OFF and be patient. Just remember that nitrites are pretty much as dangerous as ammonia, you really want to wait untill both ammonia and nitrites are undetectable, and then you might want to wait a little longer since even undetectable levels of ammonia or nitrites can still be high enough to stress out new fish. It actually takes the better part of a year for a reef to really mature- all of the microbes, bacteria and critters etc take time to reach a balance. Patience and slow going are key!
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  5. #5
    Senior Member ABahn's Avatar
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    RM, Your timing is uncanny! Just like a superhero!

    That reminds me, gotta go see hellboy!

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone.

    How do I know if the rock I got is "cured" or not? I was told it is, but I gather that that's not always the truth. It was all covered in green and purple algea, which is now starting to go brown.

    I thought that my levels should be moving around a little bit by now, but it just hasn't happened. Is that normal?

    Pluff, pardon my ignorance, but do you mean a live table shrimp, or dead? Also, is a table shrimp the type that my husband orders at dinner?

  7. #7
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    When live rock is shipped from wherever it comes from and is then placed into a tank of water, the organisms on that rock that died in shipping begin to break down. This causes ammonia. The bacteria present in the aquarium and rock begin to break down the ammonia into nitrite, then into nitrate. Cured rock is rock that has gone through this process at the store or in your tank. So if you are getting any ammonia readings then your rock is not fully cured. If you want to see a change you'd have to take ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings simultaniously and watch as they change in relation to each other as the bacteria do their thing. It is normal for the levels to hover around the same area for a while if something is in the middle of rotting. Be patient, they will change.
    The brown could be diatom algea or silicates-all normal in the breaking in stage. You will get a whole lot more of it- even to the point of uncontroleable IF you are putting your lights on right now. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate coupled with light is a recipe for disaster in terms of algae problems. I'd do a water change every week or so --with purified water-- to help reduce the ammonia- leave the lights off and hang in there!!
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  8. #8
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    I thought you would want algae grouth in a new tank. Isn't this just a good sign of you tank aging and becoming stable?

    If the lights were off would this not slow down the cycling process?

    Cman

  9. #9
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    The only good algea is corraline algea and macro algea growing in a sump or refugium. When the corraline algea starts to grow, that is a good sign of stability and health in the tank. The only stuff that will really grow and probably take over during curing is hair algea. IMO, it's best to cure in the dark and then add the army of algea eaters when the lights go on.
    The bacteria don't need light for the nitrification process. They will do their thing in the dark just as well as with light.
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  10. #10
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    So, just to clarify... everything is going according to plan, sit back and wait, etc... Should I add any critters at all right now, or wait until cycling is finished? I heard that critters speed up cycling, but I don't want to stress them out in my selfish desire to have something other than rock in my tank. The store told me I could add a fish, but I just don't know...

    How much water should I change weekly to combat ammonia?

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