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  1. #1
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    When do I start testing?

    I finally got the tank set up (35g). I have a 5" live sandbed. Some base rock, no live rock yet but 15lbs are on the way. The temp is at 74 and on the rise (I know the temp isn't up to snuff yet). I'm waiting for the temp to be accurate to test with the hydrometer. I threw in two raw shrimp to help cycle the tank. So when do I start testing, and which tests need to be done when?

    Kim

  2. #2
    Senior Member mickyfin's Avatar
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    ugh get the raw shrimp out of there.

    You don't need to jump start a cycle in this way.
    Don't Panic Feel free to visit my blog -> Internet Tough Guy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    I concur with Mickyfin.....get the raw shrimp out of there for now. You can't use the shrimp to start a cycle until you get the live rock in there.

    For now, get the temp. up, and the salinity right. Then add at least the 15 lbs of live rock, and then toss in a cocktail shrimp. Then start testing for amonia.

  4. #4
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    Cool

    HONESTLY I don't even think you need to add anything after you have your live rock. just 1 fish at a time and take it easy.
    I remeber people using damsels and then people used a shrimp. I used nothing my last 2 tanks and never had any glitches at all. just take it real!!! slow.

  5. #5
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    If you are getting live "cured locallay" rock, you will be getting a nice collection of bacteria to start.

    If you are getting uncured live rock (or cured but shipped live rock), then you will get more than enough ammonia from die off on the new rock to help get the cycle started.

    You will want to test for ammonia / nitrIte / nitrAte before adding any critters to your tank.

    If you have ANY ammonia, wait. If you have ANY nitrIte, wait. If you have a little nitrAte, proceed slowly, if you have more than 10-20 PPM nitrAte you'll need a couple water changes before proceeding.

    Then add some cleaner crew a snail or 5, etc. Wait a week. Check your levels.

    Then some more cleaner crew (you might be seeing some algae or cyano by this point).

    If everything is still cool a couple weeks after you started adding cleaner crew, consider adding one little fish. Then wait a few weeks while checking levels.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mickyfin's Avatar
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    Agreed with Johnny. i let the bacteria population build slowly and at an appropriate level to the livestock.

    Having "Two dead shrimp" worth of bacteria in a barren tank will only lead to those bacteria starving once the chemicals fromt he dead shrimp are gone!
    Don't Panic Feel free to visit my blog -> Internet Tough Guy.

  7. #7
    Moderator mike536's Avatar
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    Sophic. So ya finally got the aquarium wet. Can't wait to see the final outcome!!!
    Cheers,
    Mike Philpott

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dazz's Avatar
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    Putting a raw shrimp in there was fine (although 2 in a 35 might be a little much), and is better than cycling a tank with a live fish. Bacteria WILL actually populate the sand if there is a source of ammonia even without live rock. The live rock (or a cup of live sand) will just jump start it and make it happen faster.

    Either way you go, taking the shrimp out or keeping it in is fine, just go slow like Johnny Rock said.
    -Dazz

  9. #9
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    As to your question about testing ... If you are new to using the test kits and testing in general I would recommend that you start testing on day 7. Run tests every 3 days until the cycle is completed. Starting early will not only give you time to become familiar with testing it will show you how ammonia and nitrate are related to one another during the cycle process.
    If however you are already familiar with the kits and testing in general then I would suggest you start testing on about day 21 and test every 3 days until the cycle is complete.
    Rob

  10. #10
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    Thanx for all the advice! I took out the shrimp and should receive the live rock tomorrow. So let the games begin!:dance-o-j

    Kim

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