The Reef Tank banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have setup a fish only 72g bow front tank 20 days ago and have been testing every other 2 or 3 days for amonia, nitrite and nitrate but none of these parameters have gone up (its been 0). I have 4 chromis, a firefish and 2 hermit crabs since day one. Is it OK that the ammonia hasn't gone up yet?
There are some brownish long things on the sand that look like worms (not animals) that started to develop like 5 days ago. Are these brown algae?

72 Gallons bow front
2 T12 fluorescent light bulbs
Live sand, no live rock
Coral inserts
Aquatop CF500UV 5-Stage Canister Filter (UV light is off)
Fluidized Bed filter
2 Circulation pumps (on opposite sides facing each other)
Water temp 78~79
Salinity 1.023
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I think most people will agree you should take the fish back to LFS or get a buddy to hold them for you because it's not good to cycle a tank with fish..not very nice anyway. I prefer to use Live Rock to cycle a tank.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
welcome to trt! have you found the reef keeping made easy thread yet? it is the "easy" link in my sig and is a loooong, but must read.

can I ask why you chose to have no rock in the tank? this is usually the main source of biological filtration. with no live rock, im not sure where the nitrification/denitrification is going to happen. id guess you are going to see a spike in ammonia soon. i would suggest returning the fish to the store, as they are going to be unhappy when this happens.

it is not recommended to cycle a new tank with fish. it is VERY stressful on the fish and it may very likely cause permanent damage. i don't know why you haven't seen an ammonia spike yet, but id wager it is coming. have you been feeding everyday?

what is in the canister filter. canisters are not recommended for reef tanks, but can be used successfully in f/o setups. you will still want to keep it clean, though. id suggest breaking it down completely at least once a week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i just wanted to setup a fish only tank. i added the fish because i read in many sites and on "Saltwater aquarium for dummies" book that this was one way to start the cycle.
the canister filter have 4 trays (sponge pads, carbon, bio-balls and ceramic rings) and there is a fluidized sand bed filter attached to the canister too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Odd that you've had no spikes at all. did you happen to use sand from another tank or buy a tank that ws already set up? If not, I agree that you may be heading for a doosie and that it's odd you haven't seen one yet.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
using fish is an old school way to start a cycle that has been abandoned in favor of more humane, and easier ways. anyone, any website, any book, that tells you it is ok to cycle with a fish is a resource i would not listen to anymore.

even fish only tanks need something for biological filtration. they usually refer to them as fowlr, or fish only with live rock. right now, you have no place for any bio filtration to be going on. the sand may give yo a minnimal amount, but even a small piece of live rock has much more surface area.

if you want a fowlr tank, the canister can work, but id still recommend cleaning it thoroughly at least once a week. it has to do with the nitrogen cycle. ammonia is converted to nitrite and nitrite is converted to nitrate in the presence of oxygen. this happens everywhere in the tank, including all the surfaces of live rock. however, nitrate is converted to n gas only in the absence of oxygen. this area is usually only fond deep in the pores of live rock. so, as you can imagine, inside your canister is a very turbulent, and thus, highly oxygenated environment. perfect for breaking down waste into nitrates, but no further. while f/o systems can tolerate higher nitrate levels than a reef system, it is still a good idea to keep them as low as possible. the better solution is just to allow the waste to circulate in the system or settle to the bottom in a low flow area where it wont break down, and you can then remove it during your periodic water change.

i would suggest taking the fish back to the store and getting some live rock. you dont need a lot, either. 1/2lb-1lb per gallon should be plenty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks very much "guitarherowanab", thats a very helpful explanation. I've already taken the animals to a neighbors tank.

now... will i need a better lighting for the live rock? I currently have two T12 4' fluorescent bulbs.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
nope. actually you dont need any lighting at all for the live rock. i would just keep the lights off during this initial cycling period to discourage any sort of algae growth. at this point, all you wanna do is get the bacteria going, and they could care less about light!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
nope. actually you dont need any lighting at all for the live rock. i would just keep the lights off during this initial cycling period to discourage any sort of algae growth. at this point, all you wanna do is get the bacteria going, and they could care less about light!
thanx again, very much appreciated....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
You dont need light at all in this phase, but some people run their lights throughout the initial cycle so that the typical algae blooms, that almost every tank goes through for the first few months, start sooner and end sooner :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
i think the thinking with not running the lights is that it gives the bacteria a chance to purge the live rock of excess phosphates before the algae ever geta a chance at it. it is basically cooking the rock in the tank.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top