Nitrogen Cycle Contest! Win a *New* 120 Cone Simmer OR Sulphur Denitrator

Discussion in 'SWC Skimmers.com' started by coloradoReef, Feb 27, 2010.

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  1. coloradoReef

    coloradoReef 3reef Sponsor

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    That's right! The winner chooses between these 2 items shipped to your door (in the US):
    http://www.swcskimmers.com/
    [​IMG]
    Reactors
    [​IMG]


    As many of you already know, we are starting our own fish store. Elite Reef -- Denver Colorado We rent space next to a fairly busy restaurant. The restaurant owner has been very excited about us moving in. We ran across a really good tank deal, however, aesthetically it doesn't really fit into the theme of our store. We offered the restaurant owner the opportunity to display it in his place. We need the tank out of our store so we can finish up our own setup. Thus, we don't have cycled media to put into his display. His tank will need to cycle from step 1 inside his restaurant. We don't have the time right now to come up with what we need to explain to his patrons why this tank is sitting there with water, rock, and substrate but no fish! All the ones we have found on the internet that we could print up are fairly lame.

    So what we are looking for from the contest winner.....
    1) A complete diagram scenario of what the tank is undergoing (The Cycle)
    2) A verbal explanation of the same.

    Keep in mind.... the majority of patrons will have NO idea what this is all about, so keep it simple, but informative. Those are the basics of what we need. However, if a contestant also includes other informational explanations of aquarium basics (lighting, water movement, stability, refugiums, etc) obviously those entries will go to the top of the list (given that 1 & 2 are complete, accurate, and "elite").

    The final product will more than likely be displayed in our store for newbies as well, so feel free to put your name on it somewhere so YOU get the credit for your work. By participating in this contest, you are consenting for Elite Reef LLC to copy & distribute the images and text in any way.

    The Winner!!!
    The contest will run from now thru Friday March 5th. By Monday March 8th, we will post our 3 favorites, and let 3reef members vote for the winner. The voting will end on Friday March 12th.

    Good luck, and thanks for your support and help!

    C.J.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
    1 person likes this.
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  3. DBOSHIBBY

    DBOSHIBBY Sleeper Shark

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    sweet, im writing one up right now
     
  4. coloradoReef

    coloradoReef 3reef Sponsor

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    Make it cool......hopefully some graphics as well as the description.

    C.J.
     
  5. DBOSHIBBY

    DBOSHIBBY Sleeper Shark

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    The Nitrogen Cycle
    By DboShibby
    The nitrogen cycle in a reef aquarium is probably one of the most important things a hobbyist should know about before starting a aquarium. This cycle applies to all parts of fish keeping from full blown reef systems to goldfish.
    You must understand the steps of this cycle to be successful in the hobby.
    Do you ever wonder why someone has a new aquarium with nothing in it but rock?
    They are waiting for this cycle to be done to add livestock to the tank.

    The nitrogen cycle is based opon 4 different steps

    Ammonia -(NH3) enters our aquarium through decaying matter on new live rock and fish poop. Once the Cycle has started ammonia will rise. Bacteria on the rock will soon start to use ammonia as food and turn it into Nitrite. Ammonia is toxic to fish and will not be tolerated by most species. In a fully cycled tank ammonia should always measure zero.

    Nitrite- (NO2) This is the second bacteria that goes through the same cycle as ammonia. Nitrite is les toxic but is still not good in a aquarium and should also measure 0. Nitrite is then turned into Nitrate.

    Nitrate- (NO3) This bacteria is far less harmfull to fish and invertabrates. Usually a lower level of Nitrate is present in a aquarium. Of course 0 is going to be better, but most species will be ok in the range from 0-20ppm (parts per million)
    Some aquariums have refugiums with certain macroalgea that feeds on nitrates. The algae is periodically thinned out to exprt some of the nutrients. The only way to rid your tank of Nitrates is through a water change, unless you have a working refugium. A water change will export some of the Nitrate and also add new trace elements to the water (in a reef aquarium)

    Nitrogen- This is the last part of the cycle. Nitrate turns into nitrogen wich then releases into the air.
    On first setting up for tank the levels of these bacteria will rise and fall. Ammonia will rise, then Nitrite, and finally Nitrate.
    Once all levels are reading 0 the aquarium has finished its cycle. This can take up to 3-4 months to happen or if you get established live rock and sand it may never cycle.

    In order to start the cycle there has to be ammonia present in the system. In the old days people would put 1 or 2 hardy fish in the tank to start the cycle. I am against this method as you are putting fish into toxic conditions. New ways of doing this are to add a uncooked peice of raw shrimp and let it decay. this will release ammonia to start the cycle. As this is happening you should be measure levels of all 3 bacteria to see what is happening in your aquarium.

    Once your cycle is complete you should only add 1-2 fish. Slowly stocking the aquarium will provide time for your aquarium to keep up with the new bioload. You should wait 1-2 weeks in between adding fish to the system.
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. Av8Bluewater

    Av8Bluewater Giant Squid

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    Why not just cover it up?

    Otherwise:
    Please excuse our empty tank while we are getting the tank ready for fish.

    People don't care to read a book about the whole process.
     
  7. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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    I agree with Av8Bluewater with this one. Patrons won't care about the process and it will just confuse them.

    Place a sign o the tank that says "Future home of the cast of Finding Nemo" and people will want to grab a meal there just so they can see if the fish are there yet.

    The link to your site is incorrect.

    www.swcskimmers.com
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
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  9. missionsix

    missionsix Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Please be sure and use pictures/graphics/writing that belong to you.
     
  10. coloradoReef

    coloradoReef 3reef Sponsor

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    Actually the restaurant is a pizza joint where the patrons order their food and wait right by where the tank will be. Sometimes about 20 min or so they may be sitting there right next to the tank. We sorta wanted to take the opportunity to maybe draw some interest by explaining to them what is going on. Plus, for people who have no concept as to the patience involved with this hobby, we would like them to understand what is going on rather than just thinking that we are slacking in finishing up the tank set-up...
    This was really just our attempt to reward someone with $200+ of merchandise for a little work on their end to help us promote the hobby. What we were also after was to end up with a poster type display (Graphic and text) that we could then put in the store to help our future customers understand it completely.

    Thanks for your input.

    C.J.
     
  11. coloradoReef

    coloradoReef 3reef Sponsor

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    Agree!
     
  12. MoonChaser

    MoonChaser Aiptasia Anemone

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    I feel the need to give my 2 cents on this as well...

    I think it is a GREAT idea. It is a good opportunity to show people how much work goes into the process and not think it is an overnight thing. It gives them something to do while waiting for their yummy pizza and they can learn something as well. Great idea ColoradoReef and I hope it turns out for you