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How much does temperature affect cycle?


sharoleb

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My 75 has been going for 11 weeks now. At 6 weeks I added 60 pounds dead rock and 40 pounds more sand so I knew this would extend the cycle a little. We've gone through the normal algae blooms. About 2 weeks ago when we went to clean the tank we noticed how cold it was - Heater broke. It was probably 68-70 degrees for a week and a half or so before the new heater came in. Everything survived. My huge blue leg hermit crab molted, not sure if it was from stress or not, but he's fine. So now - We are having major green algae blooms all over again. Will the low temp affect the cycle and basically make it start over, or at the least regress?

 

Still no skimmer on the tank, and haven't done a water change, my understanding is you do that after the cycle is complete and we're trying to let this tank go slow. My husband is getting very frustrated that the tank is covered in green very shortly after it's wiped down. I need to get a mag float to make it easier to clean, but when will this stop?? He's already considering taking the tank down, not just due to this but also some stress cracks we found in the acrylic that we didn't see before. (That issue needs a whole new thread!)

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patience, get all the equipment going, check your parameters, algae cycles will come and go as your tank gets established. it will take time. may want to consider doing some water changes now as a routine. if your not stocked with corals, cut your light time down, that will help with the extensive algae. definitely get a skimmer going, it will pull out the large organics out of your water column which is what the algae feeds off of. your cycle at this stage is probably just waiting for something to feed it. the cycle will not finish unless you have some kind of bio load for it to break down and convert to nitrate. when you add dry or dead rock it will pretty much just sit there until you give your tank something to eat. Once the tank has a bioload it will populate your rock and sand with the necessary bacteria it needs to take care of it. theres a special balance that needs to be created and just waiting around isn't going to make it happen. there has to be a source of bacteria first and there has to be food for it to thrive.

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Cooler temps will slow it a little but it will not start it over unless the temperature is low enough to kill off stuff. The metabilism of many of the creatures will slow down though so the tank will not be producing bacteria as fast.

 

What did you use for water? I think what your seeing is just the normal tank progression but might as well check those parameters and see where it's at.

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Thanks. Just to add - I also started it w/ quite a bit of live rock as well as live sand. A few corals, snails and hermit crabs in there so there is a bioload. Ammonia and Nitrites have been at zero for several weeks now, nitrates have stayed about 5. I actually made up approx 13 gallons of salt water last weekend to do a water change but wasn't sure if it was too soon. I'll get a skimmer going and wc this weekend. Trying so hard to be patient, but I'm really bad at it. ;) Wanted to ask about temp since the algae seemed to get worse after the low temp issue.

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If you used a lot of live rock your cycle would go faster. Perhaps a couple of weeks instead of 6 to 8 weeks. Did you monitor the ammonia and nitrates for the first couple of weeks? Once they both go up and come up back down then your initial cycle is done. Adding dead Rock and sand to a live system will not really cause a big change in the cycle unless it kills off some of the current live stuff. Instead it will slowly become more stable as the live creatures and bacteria propogate through them. Where you will see the biggest changes are when you add or remove live stuff (including fish which is why you want to add them slowly). Doing so makes it so the tank has to establish a new biological balance because of either an increase or decrease of the biological load. These are normally just mini cycles though that may or may not even be measurable unless you make a big change.

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Yes the ammonia and nitrites were up initially, then went back down. When we bought the tank it was previously set up and cycled, took it down and set it up in a day. We figured the cycle would go quickly but didn't want to rush it. Thanks to all for answering my bonehead questions.

 

Now for my next bonehead question: I found out about 2 days after we did all of the final rock work that I did it ALL WRONG. The sand was one of the biggest things for me in this tank, becuase I really hate the crushed coral in my 36. We have about 2.5 inches of sand in the 75. And we put the rock on top. DUH!!! Never even considered putting the rock first sand second. How much will it screw up the tank if I take out the rock, dig holes and put it back in under the sand? My main thing when we got the tank is I love all the cool sand sifters, and now I'm afraid to put much in. I'm hoping all this will do is release what's in the sand, which I assume at this point is not much. Maybe just a little mini spike?

 

Here's my tank thread: http://www.pnwmas.org/forums/showthread.php?t=21250

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....How much will it screw up the tank if I take out the rock, dig holes and put it back in under the sand? My main thing when we got the tank is I love all the cool sand sifters, and now I'm afraid to put much in. I'm hoping all this will do is release what's in the sand, which I assume at this point is not much. Maybe just a little mini spike?

Probably just a mini spike. If you had it set up for a couple of years then that would be another story but it takes more than a few weeks to get really bad. When you do it watch out (or rather sniff) for a really foul smell coming out of the sand. If you don't smell it then chances are there will be very little spiking. If you do then be sure the room is ventilated since it can get to the point of being toxic. Your biggest problem will be that digging up the sand will cloud up the tank which will take a few hours to clear enough to see in the tank.

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