QT cycling?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by mdbostwick, Dec 26, 2014.

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  1. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    So I have had a QT running for a few weeks now. I am using a DIY sponge filter which was in my sump for about 2 months before putting it in the QT. So I tested the water tonight and results:

    Nitrate 0.2 Salifert
    Nitrite 0 API
    Ammonia 0.25 API

    I guess I don't remember correctly but I thought once the Nitrates were showing the Ammonia would have been gone. Is this API test inaccuracy? Is this tank still in the first stages of cycling and the last? I am a bit confused. Any info here is greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. Ballgame

    Ballgame Millepora

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    First let me say congrats for having a QT. This will save you in the long run.
    Are you using water from your display? If so you shouldn't need to cycle. Sponge filter will work good. I use that. I also have an extra hang on back freshwater filter I use with sponge but the sponge will work. Add a pump to move the water. If only using a sponge will need to do small waternchsnges every couple days depending on fish bio load.
    Good work. Glad you QT. I learned the hard way.
     
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  4. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    +1 for ballgame. I think that using a questionable test kit is asking for frustration. At this point you may be better off using your judgment on the size of your bio filter vs. the size of your bio load. Also take into account the length of time the system has been in place. The sponge should have a decent population of the appropriate bacteria, leaving the question if the sponge has the capacity to house enough bacteria to filter the size of your bio load. If you're fairly sure of the sponges capacity, waiting a little longer should insure that ammonia and nitrites will be reduced or eliminated. It's either that or get reliable test kits.
     
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  5. Ballgame

    Ballgame Millepora

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    Like Billme said. I use a sump and a canister filter. I had to use one of the canister filter pads and tie it to the sponge filter so I could use the bacteria. QT did ok with sponge at first but once I added the basic $15 hang on back freshwater filter my qt thrived. I had to take carbon out with cupramine
     
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  6. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

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    Using water from a cycled tank will do little to help cycle your qt.The needed bacteria do not live in the water but on hard surfaces.Have you been adding a food source??Without it your bacteria will starve.FWIW I have never used a qt in my over 30 years of fish keeping.Not saying its a bad thing but ime it can do more harm then good if not done correctly.Choosing your animals wisely and not over crowding the tank are MUCH more important imo.As others have said I would double check your results.:)
     
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  7. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    I know the API is not so reliable. but I don't have the need to check my system for ammo or Nitrite often enough to justify paying for Salifert. I have not been feeding it, totally blanked out on that Vinny, I will make sure I do that now. Could not feeding the tank be the reason for the results I have? I was hoping to put a fish in there soon but I am not about to put one in there if the water is questionable.
     
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  9. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

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    Yes if you haven't put any food in there the bacteria may have perished.Add a little food and test again.If you read nitrite and/or ammonia it will be necessary to continue the feedings but don't let the ammonia rise above 3 ppm as this will be toxic to the dentrifying bacteria and will stall your cycle.Your ammonia reading could be from an inacurate kit.
     
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  10. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

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    I have to say while I would hate to be involved in discouraging the use of QT, which is a very good idea, I feel the same as Vinnie. No QT for me.

    That said, on the central point of this thread, a QT needs to cycle like any other tank and used tank water makes almost no difference. I do keep a large mesh bag of live rock in my sump on the theory I could use that to kickstart an emergency tank. In that case I would use tank water not because it would help the cycle start, but because it's an easy way to match parameters for the rock and avoid shocking the cycle.