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Old 10/11/2017, 09:17 PM   #1
franky1508
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Join Date: Oct 2017
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Question about my cycling tank (ammonia 0, nitrate 0 and nitrite 0)

Hi to every reef tank lovers.

I have a problem with my cycling. Maybe itís not a problem, but Iíve always been at 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites and 0 ammonia. Donít worry about the nitrates testing, I shaked the bottle really well. Here is my setup :

- 80 gallons tank
- 20 gallons sump
- My biological media in the sump is Fluval BioMax Rings, 2 boxes of 1100g
- My sump is pumping about 6-7 times my tank volume each hour.
- I have 40lbs Caribsea Life Rock and 40lbs Caribsea Dry Rock

Here is my cycling history. I started by building my sump (DIY) and let my sump pump run for maybe 2-3 days until I received my biological media (Fluval BioMax Rings). I used RO/DI water and kept it freshwater because I didnt receive my reef salt yet. I added the bio media and let it ę*cycle*Ľ if I can say, for a week. I didnít add any type of ammonia, I was just testing my sump. I tested my water quality with the API reef master kit every 2-3 days. Everything was in the good range and the nitrates was at 0. 1 week after adding the Bio media in the sump, I added the salt in my tank to reach .24-.25. I installed my heater and set it to 80f. After a week with the saltwater I received my rocks, I added the rocks and really started the cycling by ghost feeding my tank every 2-3 days (a little bit at first, but a lot now because I didnít see any change in my tests). Itís now been 2 weeks since the rocks are in the tank with the heater and with the ghost feeding. One of my negligence was to not have any type of ammonia and nitrite tests, so I donít know the levels since the beginning, only for the last week. Here is a small resume of my process :

- Day1 Built my sump and let it run without any kind of biological media with freshwater RO/DI.
- Day1 Tested nitrates ó> 0
- Day4 Added my biological media in my sump.
- Day7 Tested nitrates ó> 0
- Day10 Tested nitrates ó> 0
- Day14 Added the salt to my tank (.24-.25)
- Day14 Added my heater and set it to 80f
- Day14 Tested nitrates ó> 0
- Day17 Tested nitrates ó> 0
- Day21 Added 40lbs of Caribsea Life Rock and 40lbs of Caribsea Dry Rock
- Day21 Ghost feed the tank, a little bit.
- Day21 Tested nitrates ó> 0
- Day24 Ghost feed the tank, more than the first time
- Day24 Tested nitrates ó> 0
- Day28 Ghost feed a lot because of the readings of my tests (0 ammonia)
- Day28 Tested nitrates, nitrites and ammonia ó> 0
- Day29 Tested nitrates, nitrites and ammonia ó> 0
- Day30 Tested nitrates, nitrites and ammonia ó> 0
- Day31 Ghost feed (about 3g of fish food)
- Day31 Tested nitrates, nitrites and ammonia ó> 0
- Day32 Tested nitrates, nitrites and ammonia ó> 0
- Day33 Tested nitrates, nitrites and ammonia ó> 0
- Day34 Ghost feed (about 5g of fish food)
- Day34 Tested nitrates, nitrites and ammonia ó> 0
- Today Ghost feed (about 5g of fish food)
- Today Tested nitrates, nitrites and ammonia ó> 0

Does this just mean my tank is cycled? My ph is about 8.25 and always been the same since I added the salt. I also have a power head that is pumping about 2500l/hour. The rocks did not change color or anything. The mechanical filter of my sump is changed everyday and itís orange/brown color.

Can anyone help me understand if my tank is cycled?

FYI I ordered and will receive 80lbs of Caribsea Ocean Direct Live Sand this week. I chose live sand only because it was near the same price as dry sand and may help my cycling if itís not yet completed.


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Old 10/12/2017, 06:57 PM   #2
thegrun
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Location: Garden Grove, Ca
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It's very hard to be sure since you didn't test for ammonia early on. The safest thing to do would be to add some pure ammonia to a level of 2ppm. Use pure ammonia without surfactants (available at most hardware stores, I got mine at Ace Hardware) or perfumes. To be sure the ammonia does not contain surfactants shake the bottle and if it bubbles up like dish soap it has surfactants in it, pure ammonia will not have bubbles. To raise 100 gallons of water from 0 to 2 ppm ammonia you would need to add 0.8 grams (8 ml) of standard 10% pure ammonia. If the tank is cycled your ammonia should drop back to zero in 24 hours, if not wait for the cycle to complete. Do not continue to ghost feed, simple wait for the ammonia and nitrites to zero out.


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Old 10/13/2017, 06:49 AM   #3
tjm9331
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Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrun View Post
It's very hard to be sure since you didn't test for ammonia early on. The safest thing to do would be to add some pure ammonia to a level of 2ppm. Use pure ammonia without surfactants (available at most hardware stores, I got mine at Ace Hardware) or perfumes. To be sure the ammonia does not contain surfactants shake the bottle and if it bubbles up like dish soap it has surfactants in it, pure ammonia will not have bubbles. To raise 100 gallons of water from 0 to 2 ppm ammonia you would need to add 0.8 grams (8 ml) of standard 10% pure ammonia. If the tank is cycled your ammonia should drop back to zero in 24 hours, if not wait for the cycle to complete. Do not continue to ghost feed, simple wait for the ammonia and nitrites to zero out.
+1 to this, this is the best way to know if you're tank is cycled and hopefully only takes a day. Good luck and post your results once you have them.


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Old 10/13/2017, 07:03 AM   #4
mcgyvr
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Is the "life rock" rock that was wet, locally sourced and already cycled?
If so.. the rock had sufficient bacteria to process that food quick enough that ammonia wasn't detected..

However...
Once you add the live sand you should start testing again for ammonia...
The "live sand" will have considerable "dead" material in it that should be sufficient to start a cycle if it hasn't happened already..

or you can do whats said above..


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