Cylcing Marine Aquarium

When you buy Live Rock from a shop it is normally cured, but it will not have its full quota of bacteria yet.

As with tropical tank there is a period of time that the tank must be left before stocking. However if this is an upgrade odviously then you can move the rock from your old tank and into your new tank and then this is going to be perfectly ready and you will probably have fish to move also. No matter how much care is taken, there will normally be a certain amount of die-off, which will provide nutrients for beneficial bacteria to multiply.

Test the water daily:

  • pH should be 8.0 – 8.3
  • Specific gravity 1.024 – 1.026.
  • Temperature 25 degrees.

If you have a new tank and buy live rock there will normally be an ammonia ‘spike’ at first, followed by an increase in nitrite. The nitrate will then be converted into nitrate and the nitrate levels will start to rise. Once these levels begin to fall then the first of the clean-up crew can be introduced.

Cycling may take 28 days or less, depending on the quality of the Live Rrock and how much die-off there has been in the movement of the Live Rock.

Phosphate remover should be added immediately as phosphate will be absorbed by rock and can cause problems if it’s leached back into the water. Also add carbon.

Something that I do that I am not proud of and normally keep this as a secret. If you have a new tank and want to cycle it perfectly and fast because you are impatient then follow the steps below:-

  1. Tank in place and cleaned.
  2. Check for leaks with normal water.
  3. Remove normal water if there are no leaks.
  4. Start adding RO water.
  5. Add pump to circulate water once the RO level is above the pump size (so as to not break the pump).
  6. Add a heater set at 25 degress.
  7. Add salt to get the Specific gravity to 1.024 – 1.026.
  8. Place Egg crate in chosen places.
  9. Place in sand or whatever the base of the tank will be.
  10. Drink a pint of water
  11. Place in live rock.
  12. Ensure no one is around and get on a chair and do a wee into the tank. This is serious.
  13. After a few hours check the Ammonia level – off the scale.
  14. Check the next day the nitrite level….watch it grow and the ammonia level drop.
  15. You will see in a few days a Nitrate spike.
  16. And after 7 days it should have cycled and the amount of ammonia the tank has dealt with is huge in comparison to adding a few fish.
  17. Add clean up crew and fish slowly.

This process is what I do and do not read this and say that it is wrong and you cant do that, etc, etc. What works for one might not work for another, but I can honestly say it works a treat.

I used to bread discus before keeping marine fish and this is something I did on tropical tank as well.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at 10:06 am and is filed under Aquarium Cycling. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.