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Thread: Restarting a neglected dead tank

  1. #1
    Copepod

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    Restarting a neglected dead tank

    I have a tank which has been idle and without any living critters for about 4 years now. I have disease and die-off and generally was out of the hobby. Sand, rock and water sat in the tank unheated, with no circulation and no tank lights. It did get some ambient light from too and window.

    Now I've decided to get back in and give it another go. I emptied remaining water, added new water, and turned on heat, circulation and lights. It's been 10 days and I've got ammonia but no nitrite. A couple questions I have are :

    1. Should I do anything else to get nitrogen cycle going? Where does the bacteria come from? I previously started with uncured liverock.

    2. How to reseed the tank with the little creatures like tiny starfish and snails? Previously my tank was full of them that came on the uncured liverock I started with (ordered online). The stuff I see in LFS seems to have no such life. I don't want to by a bunch more liverock as I already have enough rock, but just minus the live part. Any recommendations?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Surgeonfish
    mfinn's Avatar
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    Because you have ammonia, something in the tank is causing a little decay.
    Just to be sure, toss in a couple uncooked shrimp.
    Try one of the cycle starter products, or just a little pure ammonia.
    And wait and test.
    All the little critters will come in with new corals that have live rock attached.
    There are a couple places on the internet that sell copepods and amphipods.
    If you have a spot for a refugiums, and buy/get some macro algae, then pods should hitchhike along.

    I think you could save your lights till the tank cycles, unless you like them on.

  3. #3
    Butterflyfish
    1guydude's Avatar
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    Yup imo sounds like ur cycling. Welcome back!
    Give it some time and add slowly after ur initial cycle. Say 10days between stocking.

    Coral dips and disinfect can save u from getting unwanted things. Plans for ur future tank? Size? Fish? Coral?
    Pix r great. Thxs for postin
    D
    -299g display.

  4. #4
    Copepod

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    Just needed a little more patience. Or maybe me posting got the cycle to make some progress. :P Tested again tonight and it's starting to read nitrite.

    I was running a big 210g tank. For now I'm starting out again with a 29g cube. The big tank was in my den. I want my tank to be in my rec room this time where I spend most of my time so I can see it without having to go into the den. Still negotiating with my wife on where and how big of a tank she's willing to have in the rec room. Have to warm her up to it with the little one first.

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