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householdofpayne

Help with cycle.

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So i have been helping my grandma set up and cycle her new waterbox. It seems to have a very slow cycle or maybe the algae is consuming the nitrates so they never show on tests? Last week we added some snails to help consume some of the algae. It’s also really weird, a lot more string like then the hair algae that I have had in my tank. 

 

Some history. She purchased the rock dry and I placed it in a cooler with water and filter floss from my tank. It sat like that for about 2-3 weeks before we moved it into her tank. I never did test that cooler water to monitor the cycle. The live sand was bagged caribsea. For the 2 weeks she added seachem stability at the recommended dose age. The following 2 weeks she added intstant ocean biospira at the recommended doesage. I also placed a new large piece of filter floss in her tank that came from my tank.

 

Once the tank was set up there has been a single clownfish to introduce ammonia. She has been feeding twice a week as much as the fish eats. We have done a 25% water change once a week for the last month.

 

My questions are has the cycle even started? Did it maybe spike during the time in the cooler? Should I stop doing water changes? I’m worried about the ammonia going above .50 with the clown and the snails. Is there a snail I should add that eats this type of algae? 

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What ammonia test are you using?  You could try adding some ammonia getting it to 1-2ppm and see if it drops back down in 24 hours.  If you do this make sure you get ammonia without any added scents or other additives, Ace Hardware has it. 

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2 minutes ago, Oregonic said:

What ammonia test are you using?  You could try adding some ammonia getting it to 1-2ppm and see if it drops back down in 24 hours.  If you do this make sure you get ammonia without any added scents or other additives, Ace Hardware has it. 

It’s an API test kit. I just realized it’s a freshwater master kit. I don’t remember my API kit at home indicating it freshwater or saltwater. Is there a difference between saltwater and freshwater tests for ammonia, PH, nitrite, and nitrate?

 

Another thing I havnt read up on yet is her PH. Her tank location gets a lot of natural light so the Ph gets up to 8.4. Is this something that corals will withstand or will she have to dose something to bring Ph down? Mine stays between 7.8-8.2

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Thats exactly why I asked, I always got a false positive with the API ammonia test kit. If it is .25 in my experience that is 0. 

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5 minutes ago, Oregonic said:

Thats exactly why I asked, I always got a false positive with the API ammonia test kit. If it is .25 in my experience that is 0. 

Ok I’ll bring some into a LFS and see what they get then. Any input on high PH?

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My tank gets up to 8.4-8.5 when I have a window open according to my apex. Never noticed an issue. 

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13 minutes ago, householdofpayne said:

Ok I’ll bring some into a LFS and see what they get then. Any input on high PH?

I wouldn’t worry about your PH unless it’s for sure crossing 8.6+. 8-8.4 is a good place to be 

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A couple of thing....  

The initial cycle is done.. in terms of having enough bacteria to convert ammonia to nitrate.  So your fish are going to be fine.  The other thing that is likely going to happen is that the rock that you put in the cooler (assuming no flow) had lots of stuff die on it.  That stuff will now likely release ammonia and thus spike nitrate levels.  It will take several MONTHS to get de-nitrifying bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrate gas and thereby remove it from the aquarium.  This is part of the long long long process of a tank becoming mature and stabilizing.  

keep doing the water changes, it will help keep the nitrate numbers (and thus to a smaller degree, the algae) at bay.  If things get out of hand with the algae then I would suggest doing a couple weeks of using vibrant.  

Just like other said, don't bother testing PH.  Test your phos, alk and nitrate levels.  The better test kits you have for those the happy you will be.  

What I use,  redsea pro nitrate, stupid expensive phos meter, and hanna egg alk checker.  the hannah alk is priceless if you want to keep SPS.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Hanna alk checker is a life saver once you start stocking with corals.  I second the getting decent test kits for cal, no3 and po4. Another good way to get hair algae at bay is start a algae scrubber or a refugium now, it will out compete the stuff in the display for the most part in the long run. 

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