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Strange Cycling, new tank


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So I was cycling for a little over a week. My readings looked something like:

 

Day 2:

Ammonia: .25 ppm

Nitrites: 0

Nitrates: 0

 

Day 4 to Day 8 (pretty much stayed this way)

Ammonia: .5 ppm

Nitrites: .5 ppm

Nitrates: 5ppm

 

I did lots of reading about MicroBacter7. Some people say they can cycle their tanks in as little as a week. So I went to LFS and brought some. I dumped in a cupful and within 4 hours readings were:

 

Day 8 (evening)

Ammonia: .5 ppm

Nitrites: 0 undetectable

Nitrates: 0 trace amounts only

 

Day 10:

Same as Day8...

 

What does this mean? Why won't the ammonia go down but nitrites and nitrates are all zero. I do have some chaeto running in a mediabasket refugium which I added on day 8 as well.

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The ammonia isn't going down because your bacterial populations haven't reached an equilibrium yet. (Your nitrifying bacteria outnumber the bacteria responsible for ammonification).

 

I've never used MB7, but I highly doubt that any bacterial supplement can contain ALL of the bacteria necessary to sustain a tank. For this reason I don't use them at all.

 

By dosing you've intentionally thrown off the natural process, so now things need to get back to equilibrium. Basically many of the bacteria you added will die off, while others increase in numbers. This could happen faster, the same as, or longer than if you would have just left it...

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"This could happen faster, the same as, or longer than if you would have just left it..."

 

LOL...really covered your bases there didnt you?

 

jk but no really, just give it some time, I would think youre probably pretty close to finishing your cycle, just give it a bit more time.

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I think I figured it out. After reading more directions it turns out the ammonia measurement was for mg/l. I have to get a ph reading and use the table to calculate the ammonia ppm.

 

So it looks like the ammonia is very low too... But still detectible.

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I'm gonna give you some solid advice. Let your tank sit and do it's thing and stop being a helicopter. Keep it topped off with fresh, re-test in 2-3 weeks. Don't dose anything, don't add living stuff, keep your hands out of the tank. Just sit back and let nature run her course.

 

:welcome:

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I think I figured it out. After reading more directions it turns out the ammonia measurement was for mg/l. I have to get a ph reading and use the table to calculate the ammonia ppm.

 

 

What tests are you using o.0

 

Also, if you're still concerned, some info about the rock and sand you used during setup could help troubleshoot.

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I'm gonna give you some solid advice. Let your tank sit and do it's thing and stop being a helicopter. Keep it topped off with fresh, re-test in 2-3 weeks. Don't dose anything, don't add living stuff, keep your hands out of the tank. Just sit back and let nature run her course.

 

:welcome:

 

 

This is the best recommendation you will get! ;)

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What tests are you using o.0

 

Also, if you're still concerned, some info about the rock and sand you used during setup could help troubleshoot.

 

Test is Nurafin. I was cautious about using it because it said for freshwater on the box but it was the only one avalible at lfs and they said it would be fine. The nitrite and nitrates tests are API.

 

To answer your other question: 20 lbs live sand and 30 lbs live rock. Also used a small 2 by 2 piece of live rock from my friend's established reed.

 

I'm gonna give you some solid advice. Let your tank sit and do it's thing and stop being a helicopter. Keep it topped off with fresh, re-test in 2-3 weeks. Don't dose anything, don't add living stuff, keep your hands out of the tank. Just sit back and let nature run her course.

 

:welcome:

 

Thanks. Yes I know that's the best thing but the engineer in me likes to know all the information. I haven't dosed it again.

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FW tests can be used in SW, but, generally, you need to use a different color chart for correct readings.

 

If the rock and sand you used were good stuff, I would definitely not expect to still see ammonia this far in. You should (normally) be getting ready to add CuC soon. See if you can borrow a saltwater test kit or find the proper charts on line to read the FW one against it.

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Thanks. Yes I know that's the best thing but the engineer in me likes to know all the information. I haven't dosed it again.

I know, it can be REALLY hard but it's how good things come.

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