My local dealer has suggested that I cycle my new tank using JBL "Denitrol" which, according to the packet, contains "highly active beneficial cleansing bacteria which cleans the aquarium water biologically and quickly absorbs pollutants"
Basically i think it introduces bacteria to the tank and it claims to allow you to stock tank 48 hours after adding the stuff.
Generally speaking bacterial suppliments tend to have minimal effect and more often than not don't live up to their boasts.
To be honest mate, cycling a marine tank isn't worth rushing, you have to take it slow to ensure stability and long term sustainability of water quality, allow the tank to mature naturally with live rock or through a standard fishless cycle for fish only systems.
Howard has a very apt motto which always sticks in my mind; "Nothing good ever happens fast in a marine tank".
I was expecting that - thanks. My tank is 2 weeks into is fishless cycle. It is 500ltrs and it have 50 kgs of liverock in it which hsa been there for 2 weeks and two corals, 3 craps and 2 shrimps that have been there for 1 week. I am thinking of adding another coral.
THe people I bought it from are suggesting 3-4 months before I add fish so I will probably stick to that. That said, it seems like a long wait!!
As you've got a clean up crew in there monitor Ammonia, Nitrite and PH every few days. When you get a consistent 0,0,8.0-8.4 for several tests running the tank is ready to start accepting fish. Do things very slowly though and remember with marine its not just bacteria you are culturing in the cycle its a whole range of micro-organisms that will help make the tank a healthy place.
Also test Nitrate to ensure that it is staying low between water changes.
I really wouldn't risk corals in an immature tank, they're too fussy with water quality and if they start to die off they exaserbate the problems.
It is a long wait, but this really isn't something you want to rush.
adding coral isnt somethign you really want to do while its cycling either, not unless you have consistant 0 readings for ammonia and nitrite? as eagle mentioned there are other things that happen when the tank is left fishless too, copepods and other tiny critters can establish a good colony in the rock, which are a good food source for many small reef fish, especially if you allow algae to grow on the back wall too, it provides a large area of habitat for critters to colonize. you will probably be surprised by the amount of interesting things that will appear on your rock as the tank matures.
[url=http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles_51/fishless-cycling-article.htm] 'CLICK ME' - 'Fishless Cycling' information - how to prepare your new t...
Thanks for the advice. The live rock I have is fantastic - lots of growth all over it and really good colours. Loads of stuff is coming out of it too and there is even some coral growth on it which suprisingly seems to be coming back.
The tanks dealers suggestion is to cycle the tank for 3-4 months using a limited number of hardy soft corals, LR, the clean up crew and just adding a tiny bit of flake food every so often. The reason for doing this is because he says that it prevents algae problems which can occur on new tanks. I am going along with this partly because over time I have had some issues with my fish only nano tank which at one point developed some horrible red slime algae which grew on some of the tank decorations - now thankfully gone!
All water tests are perfect and have been throughout the two weeks I have had the tank - ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, ph, O2, etc. I have a large skimmer in the sump though and am amazed how much waste it is producing considering hardly any food is being added.
Corals are animals , not plants , hermit crabs are animals as are snails , none of them appreciate living in their own waste.
Cycling with animals is an outdated concept and one that should be shunned.
Can i just say , that from your title of your thread it seems you may be lacking patience , and that is the one thing you need with marines or you will end up with heartache down the line.
You cannot cut corners in the marine world , algae in new tanks is just a fact of life while everything stabilises , just a part of the bigger picture , and in some ways is neccesary.
I would find a new LFS if they are advising you to have creatures in there during the cycle , it is unethical and completely outdated , god knows what else they will recommend in the future.
If you have live rock in there , you don't need to be adding flake food , this just shows how out of touch they are. When you add the live rock , the small amount of die off of the organisms within the rock provides the ammonia source and the cycle goes from there. Adding flake will just make the LR work harder during the cycle , and make it take longer in actual fact.
'Perfect' water tests ? what does this mean ? when you are talking about water results , you need to post up the results each time .... one mans 'perfect' is another mans 'terrible'
Get the corals and the CUC out , and do it properly.
Sorry if this seems harsh , but it will stand you in better stead in the future ... the whole point of a clean up crew is that they clean up the algae that forms , that is why they are called a clean up crew.
Just fed up of reading about people trying to do it quickly. You are dealing with fishes lives , you owe it to them to do it properly , and learn how it all works and what they need or you will end up with problems and deaths.
Keep your friends close , but your anemones closer ....
I think there are alot of different views around and as there is minimal commercial sense in the dealers advice I have decided to accept it. However, as the flake or two of food just seems to get lost in the tank I think I will stop adding it. The CUC just spend all day picking over the rocks which are very rich in life (the best I have ever seen in fact from said dealer)so that should be enough.
As for "perfect" water tests I am assuming that nil readings for ammonia, nitrate and nitrate plus PH/O2/PO4/CU/CA etc well within the correct ranges is as good as it gets? There are 2 small corals, three tiny crabs and two small shirmps in the system which is 550 ltrs in total inc sump (taking into account rock displacement - 700 ltrs total volume). How much waste can these things create in the context of that volume of water? I am testing the water every 3 or so days and unless I see the key parameters start to deteriorate then I will continue.
Another dealer offered me the product to speed up the cycle and I made the post for interest sake. I am not cutting corners.
Thanks for the advice and I respect your view. However, as someone who has had a nano marine fish only tank for some time and has spent lots of time seeing the impact of animals and on water quality I will take my own path.
dont think you see what howards saying your cuc and corals arn't gonna produce waste or at least not with any significance, the problem with cycling with animals in is the enviroment your subjecting them to, maybe your rock hasnt had any die off yet and maybe it wont but if it does you'l get an ammonia spike amongst other things which your animals have to live through, I for one wouldnt want to live in a toxic enviroment JMO one other point worth remembering when you have a descent size tank is although its easier to keep stable its a nightmare when things go wrong especially with water conditions as 500+ litres of water and god knows how much rock to move is a major job. My tanks roughly the same size as yours so i know what you'l be up against if it starts to go wrong, HTH