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  1. #1
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Lighting and cycling tanks

    Gosh, I'm a copepod now.

    Is it essential to set up and install the lighting system before cycling the tank? Somewhere in the cloudy halls of my research, I've read posts where members have successfully cycled tanks without a lighting system in place. I'm wondering if it is a step that I can safely delay while I save up for my MH system.

    Regards,

    Nighty

  2. #2
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    You may get away with it in the bacterial cycle, however I think it will prolong your algae cycle. Algae needs light to proliferate. So what may happen is that you'll get a real nasty algae bloom when you do eventually hook up your lights.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong please.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member ReefVan's Avatar
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    I'd tend to agree with you tang_man, don't skimp on anything.

    You either jump in with both feet or don't jump at all. It'll only cause you grief later on ...

    Van
    It's not junk, it's un-assembled DIY!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Oh, I do have a canopy with lights, just not the lights that I plan to use with my future reef tank. They're a leftover from my carefree freshwater aquarium days.

    Does this make a difference? I've read that algae blooms will plague me anyway in the first few months, regardless of how careful I am ... however an *unnecessary* algae bloom is something that I do want to avoid!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    nighty

    hook up the lights and get it over with.also, I haven't had the pleasure to meet you as of yet. We are having a reefer get together on OCT 19th. it is at the IMAX theater to see a REEF movie. If you haven't heard of MASO yet check out this site for the forum. We have meetings bimonthly and it is a blast to say the least. you get to see other tanks and learn. Hope to see you there and check it out. MASO.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Johnny Rock - thank you for the welcome.

    I'm being hasty, I know, and that's a Bad Thing in this hobby. So ... I shall resolve to be more patient and set up the tank only after my MH system is in place.

    In my defence, it's hard not to become enthusiastic after reading about all the wonderful experiences on this board!

    --Nighty

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Nighty,
    Do you have ANY lights at all at this point? You don't need the full blownMH setup to cycle your tank. WHile I agree with everyone else that you need the lights to get the algae blooms cycled and overwith, you can do this with flourescants or any other type too.
    Also, if you know you'll be getting them shortly, you can start the tank and let the bacterial stages cycle.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    from personal experience, i have cycled my tank and all with flourecent lighting. i have recently upgraded to PowerCompact and am dealing with TONS and TONS of algae all over everything (rocks, glass, filters, sand, you name it).
    How long should I expect this to last? and is there any way to help it end quicker? it makes the whole tank look so ugly and messy. i have already decreased my photoperiod and made sure that my phosphates silicates and nitrates are all down to zero.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Out of curiosity, how long has this tank been setup? The "ugly" algae stage is a normal part of the tank maturing. It could be the increased intensity helped new stuff bloom, or it can very well be something else in the water fuelling it. Readings can be deceiving and as an example of this, often phosphates will read zero even though there is lots of it in the tank. It can be all tied up in the algaes themselves and as they dieoff, they release it and start the cyce all over again. Go to ReefCentral and do a search for this topic. There is lots of info there. Bottomline is that you can only do so much and the rest just takes time as the tank balances itself out. What is your PH at? A good PH level will also help as it binds phosphates in the sand and render it unuseable for the algae. Your Alkilinity, ORP, PH, Phosphates, Nitrates, Calcium are all equally important and all inter relate.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    the tank has been set up in May (you can see in my footer).
    I do all the tests, and everything is fine.
    now when you say the phosphates react with the pH and settle in the sand, how does that work? and wouldnt i rather it in the water so that my Phosguard can absorb it rather than settle in my tank. (in another post also i understood that kalkwasser can also precipitate phosphates).
    as the fish/snails/pods/ eat the algae, it is eventually returned to the water via their wastes. are their wastes then skimmed out via the protein skimmer? or is it just going to become broken down back into nitrates for the alage to grow back with?

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