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geoman

New guy here... Are these levels normal?

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geoman

Hi all,

 

I'm dry cycling rock.. It's been about a week and I added ammonia about 2 days ago.  the bacteria I added it about 4 days ago.  

 

Do these levels seem normal?

 

Ammonia- .5 ppm

Nitrites- Between 2 - 5 ppm

Nitrates- 20 ppm 

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seabass

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.com.

 

The spot check tells us something; but in order to really know what's going on we need to see how things are trending.  At the least, how high did you dose the ammonia level?

 

When dosing ammonium chloride to establish a biofilter on dry rock, you should:

  • dose ammonia to 2 ppm
  • wait for ammonia to drop down to 0.25 ppm
  • repeat until your tank can process 2 ppm ammonia down to 0.25 ppm within 24 hours

Note, if either ammonia or nitrite ever exceeds 5 ppm, do a large enough partial water change to bring it down below 5 ppm.

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geoman
1 hour ago, seabass said:

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.com.

 

The spot check tells us something; but in order to really know what's going on we need to see how things are trending.  At the least, how high did you dose the ammonia level?

 

When dosing ammonium chloride to establish a biofilter on dry rock, you should:

  • dose ammonia to 2 ppm
  • wait for ammonia to drop down to 0.25 ppm
  • repeat until your tank can process 2 ppm ammonia down to 0.25 ppm within 24 hours

Note, if either ammonia or nitrite ever exceeds 5 ppm, do a large enough partial water change to bring it down below 5 ppm.

I followed the directions and did 4 drops per gallon. I did 12 drops for my 5 gallon tank.  I didn't want to do anymore because I also have dry rock and sand in there. 

 

I'll measure again tomorrow and see how it goes. 

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geekreef_05

Looks like you're somewhere mid-cycle. 

 

I agree with your decision to stop dosing amm. Id say just leave the tank alone for a 2-3 days and test again. The tank should level out with 0 Amm, 0 Nitrate and lots of Nitrate in a few days. 

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geoman

Once it does that am I ready to add fish?

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seabass
11 minutes ago, geoman said:

Once it does that am I ready to add fish?

Yes, once your tank can process 2 ppm of ammonia down to 0.25 ppm, within 24 hours, then the biofilter is ready for a fish.  But before you add livestock, change out the water (or at least do a large enough water change to bring nitrate down below 10 ppm).

 

Add livestock slowly (like wait a week between additions) to allow the biofilter to adjust to the new bioload.

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geoman
On 1/21/2021 at 4:43 PM, seabass said:

Yes, once your tank can process 2 ppm of ammonia down to 0.25 ppm, within 24 hours, then the biofilter is ready for a fish.  But before you add livestock, change out the water (or at least do a large enough water change to bring nitrate down below 10 ppm).

 

Add livestock slowly (like wait a week between additions) to allow the biofilter to adjust to the new bioload.

So I’m currently at these levels:

pH- 7.8

Ammonia- 0

Nitrite- 2.0 ppm

Nitrate-  between 10-20 ppm

 

should I continue waiting? 

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rough eye

yes continue waiting. what i think seabass meant is that both ammonia and nitrite need to be zero. if ammonia is at zero do the instructions say to add ammonia to bring it up to 2ppm again?

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geoman
4 minutes ago, rough eye said:

yes continue waiting. what i think seabass meant is that both ammonia and nitrite need to be zero. if ammonia is at zero do the instructions say to add ammonia to bring it up to 2ppm again?

The instructions I was following say both ammonia and nitrite. I’ll keep waiting a few more days and see what happens. 

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rough eye
Just now, geoman said:

The instructions I was following say both ammonia and nitrite. I’ll keep waiting a few more days and see what happens. 

which product are you using to cycle?

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geoman
1 hour ago, rough eye said:

which product are you using to cycle?

Dr Tim’s 

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geoman
36 minutes ago, rough eye said:

one and only? how many times did you add ammonia? i think you need to add ammonia at least 3 times. did you use this? for a 5 gallon tank you should add 20 drops each time.

 

https://www.drtimsaquatics.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FishlessCycling_prescription_recipe.pdf

 

i'm skeptical about the part where you add fish so soon.

I only added ammonia once. I was waiting for the nitrite levels to go down before continuing. 
 

About a week before adding ammonia I added FritzZyme Turbo Start 900 Saltwater

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rough eye

i'd say you need to keep dosing ammonia up to 2 ppm whenever it gets to zero. 4 drops per gallon x 5 gallons equals 20 drops. in the mean time, while the ammonia-eating bacteria continue to have food so they can keep growing, the nitrite-eating population of bacteria will also grow until nitrites can quickly go to zero.

 

i hope one of the more esteemed members of the forum can corroborate for me - i've only used live rock to cycle because i don't trust dry rock only.

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seabass

I know this differs a little from the DrTim's fishless cycling guide; however, I don't worry about nitrite unless it's 5 ppm or higher.  Also, I disregard the number of doses and the overall cycle time.

 

All I really care about is dosing ammonia up to 2 ppm, then waiting for it to drop to 0.25 ppm. Repeat until your tank can process that in a day; then your biofilter is ready.

* If either ammonia or nitrite reach 5 ppm, do a water change to bring it below 5 ppm.

 

Then do a large water change to export the excess nitrate and you can slowly start to add livestock.

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geoman
On 1/24/2021 at 1:57 PM, seabass said:

I know this differs a little from the DrTim's fishless cycling guide; however, I don't worry about nitrite unless it's 5 ppm or higher.  Also, I disregard the number of doses and the overall cycle time.

 

All I really care about is dosing ammonia up to 2 ppm, then waiting for it to drop to 0.25 ppm. Repeat until your tank can process that in a day; then your biofilter is ready.

* If either ammonia or nitrite reach 5 ppm, do a water change to bring it below 5 ppm.

 

Then do a large water change to export the excess nitrate and you can slowly start to add livestock.

Thanks for the info. I added more ammonia and my nitrates definitely look to

be increasing.  My only concern is my nitrites which look to be 5ppm.  I can’t do a water change just yet cause I need to go pick up more saltwater. Any harm in waiting? 

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geekreef_05

Just wait. Your parameters are fine. Its cycling. My advice is dont add anything else, no more ammonia which will create more nitrite, until you have that water change ready. 

 

 

 

 

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seabass
1 hour ago, geoman said:

Any harm in waiting?

It just slows the process down.

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rough eye

i didn't test the water at all the first week after setting up my tank. i thought it would need at least a month to be ready so why worry my head about it?

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geoman

BOOM. Thanks to you guys my tank is now processing 2 ppm ammonia down to .25 ppm in 24 hours. 
 

ive been doing 25% water changes when the nitrites get too high. 
 

do I need to keep dosing ammonia until I add livestock to make sure the bacteria are fed? 
 

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seabass

Nope the bacteria will be fine for weeks, maybe months without an ammonia source.  However, do a large enough water change to lower nitrate down to 5 ppm before adding livestock.

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rough eye
29 minutes ago, geoman said:

BOOM. Thanks to you guys my tank is now processing 2 ppm ammonia down to .25 ppm in 24 hours. 
 

ive been doing 25% water changes when the nitrites get too high. 
 

do I need to keep dosing ammonia until I add livestock to make sure the bacteria are fed? 
 

i wouldn't do a water change until you're ready to add stock. the nitrite-eating bacteria need to get fed to flourish.

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geoman

So everything looked great and I added a couple clownfish, 1 male and 1 female, that had already paired together.  So far they are doing okay (after 3 days).  They aren't eating a ton but they are eating sporadically.  

 

I want to add some snails and hermit crabs for cleaning.  Does this look sufficient for a 5 gallon tank?

 

5 astreas, 5 blue legs, 2 red legs, and about 10-15 nassarius

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geekreef_05

Id say, way too much for cleaners. Ideally in a 5 gallon with 5-7lbs of rock and a sandbed... 2 astrea's snails and 1 nass snail is all thats needed. Any more are likely to starve to death. 

 

IME, hermit crabs...and all crabs.. are unpredictable scavengers. In a small area they may kill other livestock, each other, etc. 

 

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geoman
32 minutes ago, geekreef_05 said:

Id say, way too much for cleaners. Ideally in a 5 gallon with 5-7lbs of rock and a sandbed... 2 astrea's snails and 1 nass snail is all thats needed. Any more are likely to starve to death. 

 

IME, hermit crabs...and all crabs.. are unpredictable scavengers. In a small area they may kill other livestock, each other, etc. 

 

Any suggestions for something that will clean up food off the bottom?

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