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Witherspoon10

Ten days through Cycle still toxic water.

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Witherspoon10

Hello all. Just set up my first reef tank. I would like some clarity/advice on water parameters during my cycle and suggestions to rectify the toxicity as my ammonia and Nitrite levels have been consistent at 8.0 ppm and 5.0 ppm respectively. A little background about my tank: 

* 18 Gallon AIO Cobalt Aquatics C-Vue aquarium.

* 18 Pounds of reef savor rock. 

* 20 Pounds of Agra-Alive Sand.

I started testing my water a week ago and have seen my Ammonia and Nitrite levels raise and stay consistent at 8.0 ppm and 5.0 ppm respectively. Yesterday I added 40 ml of API Quick Start to the water as per the instructions and have seen my Nitrate levels hit 0 ppm's after being consistent at 20 ppm. It seems as though the API Quick Start fixed the Nitrate but not the toxic ammonia and nitrite.  

 

My Parameters 

06/01/2019 ~ 06/11/2019
Date Temperature pH Ammonia Nitrite Nitrate Phosphate Salinity Alkalinity Calcium Magnesium TDS ORP Notes
06/11/2019 05:28 PM 77.7 7.8 8.0 5.0 0                
06/10/2019 04:32 PM 77.6 7.8 8.0 5.0 20                
06/08/2019 02:19 PM 77.6 7.8 8.0 5.0 20                
06/07/2019 10:37 PM 79.4 7.8 8.0 2.0 20                
06/06/2019 02:37 PM 78 7.8 8.0 5.0 20                
06/05/2019 02:27 PM 78 7.8 8.0 5.0 20                
06/04/2019 01:29 PM 78 7.8 2.0 2.0 10               Parameters with Shrimp.
06/03/2019 03:08 PM 78 8.0 0.25 1.0 0                
06/03/2019 03:08 PM 78 8.0 0.25 1.0 0

 

My Activities 

06/01/2019 ~ 06/11/2019
Date Activity
06/11/2019 Nitrate dropped to 0ppm.
First test after addition of API Quick Start. Nitrate dropped to 0ppm. Ammonia and Nitrite still at toxic levels.
06/10/2019 Added 20ml of API Quick Start.
Added API Quick Start to rectify high ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels.
06/08/2019 Topped tank off with RODI water.
06/08/2019 Removed dry rock from tank.
Rinsed dry rock under tap water to remove debri from aquiscape the night before.
06/07/2019 Removed dry rock from tank.
Reaquiscaped dry rock outside of tank.
06/06/2019 Removal of Shrimp.
06/04/2019 Addition of Shrimp.

I have attached my activity and parameter logs for further evaluation. Please read and provide some clarity.

 

Regards

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Garf

Give it time. Your rock needs to establish a good amount of bacteria to be able to process the ammonia. In reality, you are only a few days in, with the rinsing of the rock with tap water. You just added bacteria yesterday with the API product. Did you rinse the rock in RODI after you did the tap water rinse? Are you running your lights? I would keep them off for now, last thing you want is some stubborn algae that feeds off of ammonia or phos taking over the tank. 

 

In the meantime, check your test kits and make sure they aren't expired. What are you using, api kits? 

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Witherspoon10

How do I establish the bacteria? Will it naturally present its self, or do I have to start the process in some order. My API test kit is not expired. No I did not rinse my rock in RODI water after the tap water. 

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Garf

The use of tap water could have brought some undesirable things into the tank, namely phosphates or chlorines. It may not be a lot, but as a general rule most people will do a final rinse in RODI after rinsing anything in tap water. Your tank is cycling, so it probably isn't a concern. The bacteria will just come, even if you didn't use live sand. You had a shrimp in there for a couple days, what else did you add to the tank that would supply ammonia and/or nutrients? The quick start isn't supposed to take care of the ammonia, nitrites or nitrates, that should be the job of the bio filtration, ie rocks and sand. It probably has some nitrifying bacteria in it plus something for it to consume, so again just wait it out. Even with a more advanced system to jump start a cycle like Red Sea makes, it takes three or more weeks.

 

 

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Clown79

Cycles can take time and how one cycles can change the length of time it takes.

 

How did you start the cycle, what was the ammonia source used?

 

Did you add any bacteria like macrobacter7, dr Tim's, or bio spira?

 

Ammonia at 8ppm can stall a cycle. I'd do a water change to get it below 5ppm, then let it process to 0.

 

 

 

 

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Tamberav

I never rinse anything in RODI after tap....the amount of tap is so negligible imo.

 

I agree with clown...water change to bring ammonia down then wait.

 

It took 4-6 weeks to cycle my entirely dry rock (I did not add bottled bacteria).

 

Took me 10 years in this hobby but finally learned patience.

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ReeferBray

To much scratching in the tank 8ppm and 5ppm is high do a waterchange let the ammonia level be 2ppm and under and leave the tank just top up with RO to make sure salinity is right

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Natereef

I agree. Change some water and don't let ammonia exceed 5ppm, and just wait. If you really want a fast cycle get some Instant Ocean BioSpira, your tank will cycle in 1 day 😂. But otherwise continue with the api quickstart and it should cycle eventually. All tanks are different and just have patience. Thats one thing youll learn in this hobby is patience omgomgomg. Cvue 18 is a good tank and hope everything goes smooth for you. I have the bigger brother the Cvue 26 and its going great for me.

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Witherspoon10

Considering the majority of you recommended a water change, that seems like the right path. A few of you mentioned dosing with a bacteria such as bio spira. if I initiate this procedure, do I need to add some sort of ammonia before hand and if so what do you recommend?

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MrObscura

You don't even need to do the water change but the cycle will take longer with ammonia that high. 

 

Best way to go about a cycle imo is dose enough ammonia to bring it to 2ppm then let the bacteria do its thing(you can add bottled bacteria, but it's hit or miss imo, and bacteria will propagate naturally either way), when it's at zero, dose again to 2ppm and continue doing this until the tank can convert 2ppm ammonia to 0 in 24 hours. 

 

On average a tank takes about a month to cycle in my experience. 

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Clown79
2 hours ago, Witherspoon10 said:

Considering the majority of you recommended a water change, that seems like the right path. A few of you mentioned dosing with a bacteria such as bio spira. if I initiate this procedure, do I need to add some sort of ammonia before hand and if so what do you 

You don't need to add ammonia. It's already present.

The waterchange will reduce the current levels so that the cycle can continue as anything above 5ppm can stall a cycle or make it last a lot longer than necessary.

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seabass
1 hour ago, Clown79 said:

You don't need to add ammonia. It's already present.

Unless you want to continue to build up the biofilter.

 

That was the intention of adding the shrimp.  Trouble is that you can't easily control ammonia with rotting flesh; plus, that adds a bunch of unnecessary/unwanted phosphate and organics to the water.  Which is why I stand by my suggestion to ditch all that dirty water and build up the biofilter the right way.

 

I know you're getting some conflicting information.  However, the thing is, a nitrogen cycle will get established just about any way imaginable.  The question is how quickly, how big of a bio-load it will support, and what is left in the water when your done.

 

Another, often not considered point, is that rock will bind phosphate and leach it back out.  By ghost feeding, or adding a dead shrimp, you are affecting your rocks (even to a point where water changes won't immediately correct).

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Clown79
20 hours ago, seabass said:

Unless you want to continue to build up the biofilter.

 

That was the intention of adding the shrimp.  Trouble is that you can't easily control ammonia with rotting flesh; plus, that adds a bunch of unnecessary/unwanted phosphate and organics to the water.  Which is why I stand by my suggestion to ditch all that dirty water and build up the biofilter the right way.

 

I know you're getting some conflicting information.  However, the thing is, a nitrogen cycle will get established just about any way imaginable.  The question is how quickly, how big of a bio-load it will support, and what is left in the water when your done.

 

Another, often not considered point, is that rock will bind phosphate and leach it back out.  By ghost feeding, or adding a dead shrimp, you are affecting your rocks (even to a point where water changes won't immediately correct).

Definitely.

 

I think the ammonia dosing is the cleanest method.

 

I did the feeding method once because you can't get pure ammonia here. I had a lot of different algae issues and aiptasia. I hadn't experienced this with liverock cycling.

 

I really think it was the food and the absorption of nutrients in the rocks/sand. 

 

 

 

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Coinee
50 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

Definitely.

 

I think the ammonia dosing is the cleanest method.

 

I did the feeding method once because you can't get pure ammonia here. I had a lot of different algae issues and aiptasia. I hadn't experienced this with liverock cycling.

 

I really think it was the food and the absorption of nutrients in the rocks/sand. 

 

 

 

For what its worth, I cycled two tanks with the ammonia drops and I never had any ugly tank breakouts at all, just some diatoms and a bit of algae. But I have seen people cycling with food get a lot of algae and other things in their tanks. 

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