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tank cycling worries


Jul 17, 2006
after putting live rock in just 2 days ago i tested my water and got high levels of ammonia nitrite and nitrate :hmm: from what iv read only one of these should have high readings at a time...should i be worried?

[EDIT]i retook nitrate test because i missed an important step and the reading now low but still existent
Readings usually do fluctuate rapidly during the first few days..even up to a week.
I would only worry if you detect a foul odour, or if the tank starts to milk up...make sure you have some new saltwater ready !

Was the live rock cured already?
ill give it a few more days and test it again in that case (: the live rock hasn't been curred. the water has a yellowish tint to it but that has gone down drastically since yesterday.
will do, im hoping that adding fresh rock to the tank will help to establish stronger colonies of bacteria by the end of the cycle.

should do 10% water change every week wile the rock is cycling?
Keep an eye on the parameters. I don't usually do that much of a water change during cycling, but tastes (and smells!) can vary !
When I cycle a new tank, I don't bother to test the water for at least two weeks, often for a month (unless you are charting the parameters for fun of profit!). IMO, you are going to have a longer unstable period while the live rock continues to eject detritus and suffer die off, so after the tank does 'stabilize' please check your water parameters at least weekly.

For the future - 'fresh' LR isn't the best place to get an infusion of bacteria. A piece of live rock or some sand from an established tank is. 'Fresh' LR has to acclimate to your tank and not only goes through its own bacterial cycles during that acclimation, but cycles with the other life on the rock as well. When the other life cycles, it can perturb the cycles of the bacteria.
I am not a fan of 'fresh' live rock at all. Most of the stuff on it dies and it can often have unpleasant hitchikers. Many have turned to 'cooking' live rock if they have to get it fresh in order to avoid problems. Cooking is simply putting the live rock in a container of saltwater with a skimmer and a heater and letting it sit, possibly with waterchanges, for several months.
Good advice, you can also just place it in a large 30 gallon plastic trash bin (with saltwater in it, of course), a small filter, and let it do it's thing...or just buy cured rock. Yeah, I know, it costs more....but in the big scheme of things, it is actually cheaper.

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