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Old 11/23/2020, 03:08 PM   #1
Jatx
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Cycling with Mix of Established Sand/Rock and New Sand/Dry Rock

I'm making a slight upgrade from a 3-year-old established IM Nuvo Fusion 10g to an IM Nuvo Fusion 30gl. I'll be transferring my current sand (3-5 lbs), rock (8-10 lbs), and bio-balls (not sure how to measure the amount, could fill a 1-2 liter container maybe). I plan on adding new caribsea live sand, and another 20 or so pounds of caribsea dry live rock. So ~2/3 of the material will be brand new.

My livestock includes 2 ocellaris clowns, a skunk cleaner shrimp, an emerald crab, and an assorted CUC.

I have only set up brand new tanks before so I don't know what I should expect for cycling. What will this much established media do to the cycle time? Will there even be a cycle?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!


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Old 11/24/2020, 09:47 AM   #2
Sk8r
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expect 4-8 weeks cycle depending on proportion---I'd get those bioballs out of the picture as soon as you cycle. They're nitrate factories. I've cycled in 8 weeks with dry rock and sand and nothing more than a gallon of store discard water, back in the dino days. (And had no pests from it: blind luck.) You can help it along by dropping in a few flakes of fish food daily, and when it starts processing, you'll get your ammonia spike, which then will go away.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 11/24/2020, 09:59 AM   #3
Jatx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
I'd get those bioballs out of the picture as soon as you cycle. They're nitrate factories.
Thanks, Sk8r. I hadn't seen comments about nitrates with bio balls. To be clear, these are the MarinePure ceramic spheres, not the plastic bio balls so I think I called them the wrong thing. Regardless, does the nitrate warning still apply?


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Old 11/24/2020, 12:07 PM   #4
Michael Hoaster
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I would think having 1/3 of your biological filter already established, the cycle would go considerably faster than starting from scratch. How long? Let us know, and you'll be adding to body of aquarium knowledge.

Yeah, you don't need the extra biomedia, regardless of the material its made of. It's great for nitrification, but the end product is Nitrate, hence the 'nitrate factory' label. In sand beds and live rock DE-nitrification can occur, leaving only nitrogen to bubble out harmlessly. You've already got plenty of surface area for nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria on your sand and rock.

Good luck with your project!


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Old 11/24/2020, 01:16 PM   #5
Jatx
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How long? Let us know, and you'll be adding to body of aquarium knowledge.
Will do!


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Old 11/30/2020, 07:41 PM   #6
davidcalgary29
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I started two jar builds about ten days ago (one day apart). I used live sand along with dead (seiryu) rock; one jar had halimeda and the other didn't. I did use a dead frag for ammonia, and levels rose to about 1.8 to 2 for about a week; I've had no appreciable ammonia for two days in either jar, with nitrates at 2.0 in both (nitrites are also at 0, but am not sure if I can trust that). Either the live sand helped to make this a record-fast build, or the Red Sea test kits can't be trusted. Testing continues.


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