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Hello all I am new here to the forum. Lot's of great info on here. Here is my situation.

I have a 90gallon with (2) Emperor 400's. I started it on the 11th. I started it with:
-2 inches of live sand(Caribsea Aragonite)
-80lbs of live rock
-2 bio wheels from an established tank
-Tap water with Instant Ocean Salt mixed to 1.022

At day 2 I put in 5 different damsels with a couple cups of established water from the LFS..
(I know most of you are against cycling with fish but that is how I did it 10 years ago and it is how my LFS advised me to do it.)

I lost a damsel on the 13th and another on the 14th. They looked like they were beat up a bit so i am not ruling out damsel on damsel murder vice ammonia(which tested 0.)

I decided to put in Stress Coat and Stress Zyme in case the Chlorine was the COD.

I was using the tabs for testing up to this point and all levels were 0 but they absolutely suck so I got the master test kit on the 15th and here are my readings from then on:
11-15-09 PH-8.2 NITRA-0 NITRI-0 AMM-0-0.25
11-16-09 PH-8.4 NITRA-5 NITRI-0.25 AMM-0-0.25
11-17-09 PH-8.3 NITRA-0 NITRI-0.25 AMM-0-0.25

I guess what I am asking is since I started it with so much bacteria is it possible that I won't see a huge ammonia spike?

My remaining 3 Damsels are doing well. I have no algae on the glass yet but I do have some red coralline algae growing on the live rock. I am not necesarilly in a hurry to add more fish but I am wondering if anyone else has started their tank by adding a lot of established bacteria and if so what were your observations during the cycle.. I guess you cannot upload pictures on the forum posts but I just put 2 in my gallery if you want to see.. Aquarium Gallery - semper_fish Gallery

Thanx guys

Scott
GySgt USMC
Jacksonville, NC
 

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Alot of people use the method of introducing bacteria from an established tank. I myself would have used the raw shrimp method instead of the live fish method. However you may just be experiencing a "mini cycle" which makes setting up a new tank alot easier the second go around. However I would keep my eye on the tap water depending on where you live... If you live in a rural/farm type area you tend to have some pretty nasty water quality due to farmers fertilizers/pesticides/herbicides etc that runs off in the rain and contaminates the water bed. This is regulated by water authorities but only to meet a low enough level for a human not to get sick. Not to mention your water may contain some heavy metals and all kinds of minerals that you do not want to keep fish in. I would recommend so RO/DI once your mini cycle is over before introducing any more fish. Also If RO/DI is not an option atleast run the good ol' tap water through a carbon filter, some people I know have filled their tanks with water through a Pur filter on their sink. lol.

Anyways IMO I think that you wont see much of a cycle at all but let it run atleast a week with solid results before stocking anything else.
 

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I live on the coast of NC, I havent heard anything bad about the tap water here. The LFS made it sound like most people fill with tap water. I think I will monitor/test for another 4-5 days. If I dont see any spikes and all levels go to zero I will add a fish and do the same. Will start with something hardy like a hawkfish or a clown. These 3 Damsels get along well. Not sure if they will accept newbies being added to the tank or not but if I have problems down the road with these guys I will either try to catch them in the net or on a tiny hook and line(I am a fisherman haha) or introduce a lionfish and take care of that.
 

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I would never think of using tap water in a reef tank. I don't care how good they think it is its inconsistent at best.
Do you know anything about your water? do the yuse free chlorine or chloramines? Do they add phosphates to control corrosion in the distribution system? Do they adjust the pH up or down with acid or caustic chemicals?

Too many variables. I always start from day one with RO/DI that way I never have a doubt in my mind if a problem was water related or not. I alone control my water quality. Best $150 you could ever spend and its cheap insurance!
 

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IMHO the bio wheels from an established tank could be the reason you have not noticed a large ammonia spike. Especially since .25ppm is the lowest reading on the API ammonia test kit and very hard to read. My 55g has always read .25 yet fish and coarals do fine.

the bio wheels very well could have had not only bacteria on them but plant life like algae or even slime. That will consume ammonia directly and prevent any ammonia spikes.

My preference is to start the tank with macro algaes usually in some kind of refugium to seperate the fish/clean up crews from the macros. I find this to be a much more reliable method of preventing the initial cycle spikes, balancing out , and stabilizing the tank.

Also I use plain ole fw mollies as cycle fish. Much cheaper, hardier, and more peaceful than and marine (only) fish. I do not recommend the raw shrimp method.


my .02
 
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My best advice would be to do RO/DI water. My RO was the best thing I ever could have done for my tank; not a single WQ issue to date since I bought it.
And the fact that you started your tank with such a good colony of benficial bacteria definitely explains your lack of a major cycle. Glad you had the old biowheels; they are fantastic for establishing new tanks.

Beaslbob-I have a question for you. Why don't you like the raw shrimp method? Just wondering; I like hearing other peoples' opinions. I usually use straight ammonia for cycling my tanks, but did the srimp thing once and it worked well.
 

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...

Beaslbob-I have a question for you. Why don't you like the raw shrimp method? Just wondering; I like hearing other peoples' opinions. I usually use straight ammonia for cycling my tanks, but did the srimp thing once and it worked well.
thanks for asking.

First it's just me. :)

With Fw planted and marine (with macro algae) tanks, the plant life prevents all the dangerous parameter spikes that stress the fish. Even with no bacteria present. So I just prefer to use the plants, wait a week then add a few fish.

Because of that there is no reason to add ammonia to cycle the tank. With all the measuring required and possible problems.

The shrimp is in the same catagory but I am very much worried about things "rotting" in a new tank. With all types of possible of fungus issues. But especially the cloudy water, rotten egg smell, and other reactions that new hobbiest have experienced. Sure I know the shrimp was left in too long and so on but just better to not have that possibily for the new hobbiests.

Also the shrimp and especially the amonia method do not have the total waste products that live fish do. No carbon dioxide for instance. Which are supplied for the plant life by live fish. Besides fish give off ammonia.


So basically I feel you will have a much more awesome and easy to maintain tank by using various plant life and fish to do what the shrimp or ammonia and bacteria does.


but still that is just my .02
 
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Thanx for yall's input. I got home today and my remaining damsels are really kicking good. I also noticed I now have diatoms forming on the rock and on the live sand. I would have to say my cycle is near complete. Soon I will add another fish and see how it goes..
 

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Thanks beaslbob. I've never started out with a planted tank and always add the plants later on for some reason, but that makes perfect sense.
 

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Thanks beaslbob. I've never started out with a planted tank and always add the plants later on for some reason, but that makes perfect sense.
Thanks.

One extreme example is the eco jar as seen on this page:


Self-contained Microcosm

Where the system almost entirely closed. Be sure to click on the picture to blow it up. And notice the very light food additions with a toothpick.

I think you will find that starting a tank with plants first and fish second works really really well.


my .02
 
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Hey Beaslbob,

This no maintenance stuff sure sounds nice. I hope I can get my sump to run a fuge big enough for the 125 when i start it up within the next month or so. I have a few odds and ends such as another pump and and a larger sump to get done first. the QuietOne4000HH isnt tough enough for the 125 as with all my head its getting about 920gph. Beaslbob you should put up a "setup" thread on the steps you take when setting up a new aquarium... sticky worthy maybe??? ;) your a big help man your stuff is always an interesting read.
 

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Thanks

Perhaps I will.






some day


my .02
 
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