Jump to content

Cycling with pukani rock and dosing ammonia?

Recommended Posts


Hallo forum!


Finally got the Fluval Evo 13.5 and I'm trying to make a plan for getting it up and cycling while I'm waiting to be able to afford, you know, sand, rocks, a powerhead, salt, RO/DI unit, ha ha ha (crying)


After consideration I want to go with dry sand and dry pukani rock rather than start with live, and then I get a bit confused with overthinking.


Should I cure the pukani before adding it to the tank and then cycling the tank? Or should I take advantage of the dead matter in the pukani to help me cycle the tank? I've read that you shouldn't cure rock in the DT?


I AM leaning towards curing the rock and then adding it to the tank to then cycle the tank, just so that I can be thorough and make sure everything is clean and stable from the ground up - I don't mind waiting around so much because saving money for each little bit is going to be a slow process for me, plus I like to make sure I have everything laid out from scratch. That said, I don't want to do everything twice if I don't have to. I'm not THAT patient.


Another point that I'm not sure about is this: when I've cycled FW tanks in the past I've always used done so by dosing 4ppm 'pure' ammonia and testing from there. It's taken some time but it's always given me a good cycle and a stable BB culture at the end of it. Reading about dry rock cycling online, I've only really seen the 'dead shrimp' method, which,  no.


I just wanted to find out if I can cycle a dry sand/dry rock tank with the pukani by dosing with bottled bacteria and then feeding with 'pure' ammonia, and if so, what ppm would be needed. I've seen 4ppm and 2ppm recommended? I like to get a large culture of BB going, esp because I think I might be on the heavy side of stocked at the end of it (I'll be using a mini fuge with chaeto and copepods and won't be using a protein skimmer so)


I'd love to hear your input, especially from anyone who's done the above before, and if anyone can let me know on curing the pukani before and out of the tank or in the tank while it cycles I'd really appreciate it


Thanks for your help nano forum!

Share this post

Link to post

To cut down on my startup costs, I used about 80% dry rock and one piece of live rock from the LFS that is fully cured. No die off - I only live 5 minutes away, so I just transported it out of water. Also dry sand. 


I cant say for sure about your ammonia dosing. There’s plenty of different ways to cycle the tank. I just ghost fed until the bacteria colonized the sand and rock and then put in some cuc and a cleaner shrimp so it didn’t feel like I was feeding nothing. 

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post

1. Welcome!

2. Pukani has a bunch of dead matter in it. I would clean the rock first and then put it in. Like really clean it. Vinegar soak, good scrubbing, soak again. It will continue to add nutrients to your water for a while if you don’t. 

3. Even after cleaning, pukani should have enough junk to get your cycle started. Monitor the ammonia levels in the first week. If you aren’t getting the tank up to 2 ppm, add a bit of ammonium chloride. I use Dr. Tim’s

Share this post

Link to post

Cook that pukani in bleach/muriatic acid!  I didn’t the first time I used pukani and it sucked for 2 years,  every time since I have cleaned it and it works great.  Then inoculate it with some high quality live rock.

Share this post

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Create New...