Do you cycle a salt water tank? None of the literature I got mentions anything about cycling.

Jan Cavalieri

Fish Addict
Pet of the Month!
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
911
Reaction score
311
Location
Topeka, KS
I'm on day 27 of cycling a 90 fresh gallon tank for 4 very large DoJo loaches (and continuing to grow). The are currently in a 50 gallon tank with what looks like white cloud algae - sometimes it's so white in there you can't see the fish. With extra water changes and growing good bacteria it's slowly getting better. I understand this is a common water problem and over time it will disappear. Well over the last year it's only disappeared for about 1 month at a time - leaving 10 months with it in the tank. Originally I had some rainbow fish in there with Rainbow fish but they started dying off. I quickly moved them in with my Gourami's (who they tormented until many of them died). So I'm not using ANY media or gravel or filters from the 50 gallon tank and I'm cycling the 90 gallon tank from scratch (with a bottle of good bacterial which isn't speeding anything up at all. I'm at day 27 but but still have a ways to go. I also purchased an expensive canister filter which seems to work fine especially since there isn't much in it LOL. I have a floating group of plants that resemble lily pads but they are in the shape of a rosette. Hopefully they won't eat all the roots. and I have a few decorations and some platforms for them to lie on since they are fond of doing this with slate rocks. I'll keep the slate but will just add this softer filter. I haven't cycled from scratch for over over years so it took some learning

At the same time my Saltwater/Reef 31 gallon Biocube is ready to do something with. I have a RO/DI filter so I can make my own water (corols prefer a slightly higher specific gravity than fish - but the higher levels shouldn't hurt the fish. I've added, per the instuctions on the lable some biologicals in a bottle as well as conditioner for marine water. Due to the price I have mostly dry "life" rock but just purchased 3 lovely stones of live rock to mix in with them to keep bacteria active. There is a risk of some "bad guys" being in the live rock but hopefully the good bacteria will run them off or there is some removal medication - nobody really says what to do. Now if this was a fresh water tank I would be adding ammonia right now and waiting for nitrites to be produced - do I still do that even though I'm not sure what I should be killing off and what should be kept a like.

In the back of the Biocube it's pretty cool - kind of like a mini-sump without the socks LOL. Chamber 1 contains my protein skimmer, Chamber 2 contains all my filter media recommended. Chamber 3 will evenually contain a a UV light (there is a big debate about using these on a reef tank or not so I may not risk it, and so it will contain a Heater. The 4 chamber will contain the tubing that pushes the filtered water out. Originally this only had 3 chambers but the middle chamber was just gigantic and there is no way you needed all that extra room so they sell a divider so you can split chamber 2 into two chambers. This study piece of plastic only costs a meager $69. The Biocube and horrible stand cost $550 and of course it can only fit about 3 fish in there (2 clowns and something else) and a small "clean-up crew like shrimp and snails and other things that kind of gross me out.

So what do I do next - cycle this baby or just start adding fish and coral? Is there a different way of cycling a saltwater tank than there is a freshwater? Help - I cannot find this information any where.
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Guru
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
16,422
Reaction score
9,972
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
I would watch Bulk Reef Supply’s video on how to cycle a saltwater aquarium:

That gives good information on how to not only setup, but also cycle the tank.

——

You can also buy bottled bacteria, which will speed up the process even more. I recommend this method over any, especially since you are very new to saltwater. I used Instant Ocean Bio-Spira, and cycled my tank in 4 days. (With the help of live rock. Live rock will also speed the cycling process up)

You don’t need 100% live rock - 30%-%40 should do the trick.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
29,263
Reaction score
13,397
Location
Perth, WA
Yes you need to cycle a marine tank and filter before adding any life forms. This is due to the high pH of seawater (pH 8.5). Any ammonia produced in this water will be extremely toxic and kill anything in the tank. So you must cycle a marine tank before adding fish, corals, shrimp or anything else.
 

Myraan

Fishaholic
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
530
Reaction score
500
Location
UK (south Wales)
I have zero experience of marine, but if you have bought a large amount of live rock, I would assume by definition you are partway through the process already.
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Guru
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
16,422
Reaction score
9,972
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
I have zero experience of marine, but if you have bought a large amount of live rock, I would assume by definition you are partway through the process already.
Well, this is partially true. You can’t just cycle the tank with live rock. However, live rock helps speed up the process.
 

Most reactions

Top