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AcroporaAura

Can't get Ammonia levels down

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AcroporaAura

Hi Everybody! 

 

I just set up my first reef tank and was wondering if I could get some input from y'all. 

 

I set up my Waterbox 28.2 AIO two weeks ago with a 3 lbs. of non cured Haitian dry rock, about 5 lbs. of cured florida dry rocks and 2 lbs. of live rock from an already existing tanks that's been cycled. 

 

On about the 2nd or 3rd day after I set it up, I started adding the recommended amount of Dr. Tim's One and Only and 3 days later I started doubling the dose. I stopped adding the bacteria 3 days ago and my ammonia is still reading anywhere from .5-1 with 0 nitrites and about 40 nitrates according to the API test kit. This is also compared to an already established tank reading out the ammonia at 0.

 

So this brings up a few questions.  Is it possible I missed the spike of nitrites and a cycle has begun, with the decay of the uncured haitian rock keeping a steady flow of ammonia?  Is it possible the Dr. Tim's has gone bad and adding it caused my nitrates to rise artificially?  Is there anything else I can do to speed things along?

 

I know the nitrogen cycle takes time to happen, but two weeks with an organic ammonia source, established cured live rock and bottled bacteria with no nitrite read out seems a bit excessive, and maybe like I am doing something wrong. 

 

Thanks for your help!!! 😊🐠

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Clown79

2 weeks is not very long. 

 

You  have 10lbs of rock.

 

Because 2 lbs of liverock isn't a lot, the dry rock has no life on it so the cycle will take time. Can be anywhere from 1 week to 6, some have experienced longer. 

 

The tank needs to be able to process 2ppm of ammonia with 24hrs before its cycled.

 

 

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j.falk

Did you check your test kits to make sure none of them are expired?  That could be giving a false reading.

 

One thing I never recommend is using uncured rock in a tank.  It could takes weeks / months for the organics to fully break down before your cycle is done.  You would've been better off curing the uncured rock in a bucket of saltwater before ever adding it to a tank you are trying to establish.

 

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mcarroll

Maybe someone else can help me confirm, but I think sometimes it's normal for there to be no nitrItes left over in the water....you just missed it.

 

If you're adding ammonia and you're seeing nitrates go up, then the nitrification cycle is working.

 

To put that another way:

 

Your ammonia test kit could tell you there's a little left when there's not – a false positive.

 

But your nitrate test kit won't tell you that nitrates are going up if they aren't.

 

Trust that nitrate reading.

 

If you can verify ammonia at the LFS or with another kit, that still wouldn't be a bad idea.

 

BTW, is the tank lit up yet?  Any algae growing?

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Clown79
10 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

Maybe someone else can help me confirm, but I think sometimes it's normal for there to be no nitrItes left over in the water....you just missed it.

 

If you're adding ammonia and you're seeing nitrates go up, then the nitrification cycle is working.

 

To put that another way:

 

Your ammonia test kit could tell you there's a little left when there's not – a false positive.

 

But your nitrate test kit won't tell you that nitrates are going up if they aren't.

 

Trust that nitrate reading.

 

If you can verify ammonia at the LFS or with another kit, that still wouldn't be a bad idea.

 

BTW, is the tank lit up yet?  Any algae growing?

Ya, I have seen quite a few ppl over the years while cycling have ammonia and nitrates.

 

The last tank I cycled, I only saw the smallest amount of nitrite before it read 0 but still had ammonia and nitrate

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