0 Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrates

Dyln

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Hi all

I am new to the hobby. I started my fishless cycle on the 1st of December. I added dry reef, coral sand, decor (I believe resin; LFS said it is safe for saltwater tanks), a heater, a wave maker, and a filter with an active carbon filter. I filled the tank with RODI saltwater I bought from my LFS and dosed it with Seachem prime and stability following Seachem's instructions. Also, I started ghost-feeding from day two. In the beginning, I didn't have a test kit, but I started to measure water parameters around day three with API test strips. Then I installed a Seachem ammonia alert. Initially, I had my heater at 25C, and about 4 days ago, I increased it to 27C after watching Dr. Tim's videos. I have been waiting for the API master test kit to arrive for a while, and now I expect it to be delivered in the next 3-4 days.

Why do I get 0 ammonia/nitrites/nitrates? Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

HankstankXXL750

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How much are you feeding? If it was me
I would get pure ammonia from ace hardware. Their commercial product doesn’t have surfactants. Then dose to 2ppm and return it to 2ppm each day until it reduces to 0 in 24 hours.
 
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vetteguy53081

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Hi all

I am new to the hobby. I started my fishless cycle on the 1st of December. I added dry reef, coral sand, decor (I believe resin; LFS said it is safe for saltwater tanks), a heater, a wave maker, and a filter with an active carbon filter. I filled the tank with RODI saltwater I bought from my LFS and dosed it with Seachem prime and stability following Seachem's instructions. Also, I started ghost-feeding from day two. In the beginning, I didn't have a test kit, but I started to measure water parameters around day three with API test strips. Then I installed a Seachem ammonia alert. Initially, I had my heater at 25C, and about 4 days ago, I increased it to 27C after watching Dr. Tim's videos. I have been waiting for the API master test kit to arrive for a while, and now I expect it to be delivered in the next 3-4 days.

Why do I get 0 ammonia/nitrites/nitrates? Any advice would be much appreciated.
You want anmmonia chloride- Not household ammonia and watch for drops in ammonia over 14 days. When ammonia is stable at zero for 5 days thereafter and nitrate 20 or below- you are cycled.
I would NOT recommend strips or Api kit known for false readings and in my eyes will not depend on $7 strips or a $25 master kit to sustain a few hundred in livestock.
 
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Dyln

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How much are you feeding? If it was me
I would get pure ammonia from ace hardware. Their commercial product doesn’t have surfactants. Then dose to 2ppm and return it to 2ppm each day until it reduces to 0 in 24 hours.

Thank you so much for your reply. I have been feeding a pinch of fish food pellets. Today I added a little more than usual to see if that changes things. As a backup, I ordered Dr Tim's ammonium chloride, and it will arrive in three days. Then I can closely control the amount of ammonia and follow what you suggested.
 
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Dyln

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You want anmmonia chloride- Not household ammonia and watch for drops in ammonia over 14 days. When ammonia is stable at zero for 5 days thereafter and nitrate 20 or below- you are cycled.
I would NOT recommend strips or Api kit known for false readings and in my eyes will not depend on $7 strips or a $25 master kit to sustain a few hundred in livestock.
Thank you so much for your reply. I have ordered Dr Tim's ammonium chloride, and I am waiting for it to arrive. Do have any suggestions on test kits/brands? Also, do you think I should dose with stability when I add Dr Tim's ammonium chloride?
 
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HankstankXXL750

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Yes you should use stability, I use aquavitro seed, but it is made by seachem. They say it’s better, but I’m guessing it’s the same product only available through lfs. So I use stability I can get on line because I live so far from a lfs.

The bottled bacteria can help speed the cycle, so most people will use it to help jump start the cycle. Different bacteria will establish alongside for a more diverse bio.
 
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vetteguy53081

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Thank you so much for your reply. I have ordered Dr Tim's ammonium chloride, and I am waiting for it to arrive. Do have any suggestions on test kits/brands? Also, do you think I should dose with stability when I add Dr Tim's ammonium chloride?
Hanna and salifert are reliable
Bacteria does not speed cycle but rather establishes and seeds denitrifying bacteria to break down waste and hence the reason to stock slowly to allow bacteria to keep up with bioload and waste production
 
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Dyln

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Yes you should use stability, I use aquavitro seed, but it is made by seachem. They say it’s better, but I’m guessing it’s the same product only available through lfs. So I use stability I can get on line because I live so far from a lfs.

The bottled bacteria can help speed the cycle, so most people will use it to help jump start the cycle. Different bacteria will establish alongside for a more diverse bio.

Thank you so much for your reply.
 
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Dyln

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Hanna and salifert are reliable
Bacteria does not speed cycle but rather establishes and seeds denitrifying bacteria to break down waste and hence the reason to stock slowly to allow bacteria to keep up with bioload and waste production

Thank you so much. I just ordered salifert products.
 
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Dyln

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By the way, I washed my dry reef and coral sand with tap water. Do you think this has anything to do with my 0 readings?
 
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vetteguy53081

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By the way, I washed my dry reef and coral sand with tap water. Do you think this has anything to do with my 0 readings?
No. I wash rock with tap and no issues
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Excellent!
Of course, whether that is OK depends entirely on what is in your tap water, just like whether using tap water for top off is OK. No general answer applies to everyone.

IMO, I would not do so unless you are short on purified water, or have an analysis of your tap water.

Tap water is often loaded with phosphate (intentionally) and that will load up your rocks with it. It can also have substantial copper.
 
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Dyln

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Of course, whether that is OK depends entirely on what is in your tap water, just like whether using tap water for top off is OK. No general answer applies to everyone.

IMO, I would not do so unless you are short on purified water, or have an analysis of your tap water.

Tap water is often loaded with phosphate (intentionally) and that will load up your rocks with it. It can also have substantial copper.

Thank you for your reply.

I already used tap water to wash my dry reef and coral sand. The TDS of my tap water is about 100. Is there anything I can do now?

I believe my active carbon filter will remove some copper.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Thank you for your reply.

I already used tap water to wash my dry reef and coral sand. The TDS of my tap water is about 100. Is there anything I can do now?

I believe my active carbon filter will remove some copper.

Not really anything to do now, but you might monitor phosphate in algae becomes a serious issue as it may be desirable to remove it from the rock before adding delicate organisms that may not care for the treatments (such as lanthanum dosing).
 
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MnFish1

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Hi all

I am new to the hobby. I started my fishless cycle on the 1st of December. I added dry reef, coral sand, decor (I believe resin; LFS said it is safe for saltwater tanks), a heater, a wave maker, and a filter with an active carbon filter. I filled the tank with RODI saltwater I bought from my LFS and dosed it with Seachem prime and stability following Seachem's instructions. Also, I started ghost-feeding from day two. In the beginning, I didn't have a test kit, but I started to measure water parameters around day three with API test strips. Then I installed a Seachem ammonia alert. Initially, I had my heater at 25C, and about 4 days ago, I increased it to 27C after watching Dr. Tim's videos. I have been waiting for the API master test kit to arrive for a while, and now I expect it to be delivered in the next 3-4 days.

Why do I get 0 ammonia/nitrites/nitrates? Any advice would be much appreciated.
How are you measuring ammonia, nitrites and nitrates without a kit (i.e. which kit are you using) - you probably are not feeding enough. Since the volume of your tank (we don't know) - it's hard to say. But - I see 2 options, you're not ghost feeding 'enough' - OR your tests are potentially incorrect.
 
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MnFish1

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Not really anything to do now, but you might monitor phosphate in algae becomes a serious issue as it may be desirable to remove it from the rock before adding delicate organisms that may not care for the treatments (such as lanthanum dosing).
Hi Randy I didn't see your posts until after I did mine for some reason - but I have a question - do you subscribe to the notion that slightly high phosphates speed cycling - since PO4 is needed for cell growth, etc. I.e. I have heard that some are adding PO4 in small amounts - for example to a Dr. Tim's method. Of course ghost feeding will add some PO4. Thanks
 
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Dyln

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How are you measuring ammonia, nitrites and nitrates without a kit (i.e. which kit are you using) - you probably are not feeding enough. Since the volume of your tank (we don't know) - it's hard to say. But - I see 2 options, you're not ghost feeding 'enough' - OR your tests are potentially incorrect.
Thank you for the response. I switched to Salifert test kits and used Dr Tim's ammonium chloride. All sorted now :)
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hi Randy I didn't see your posts until after I did mine for some reason - but I have a question - do you subscribe to the notion that slightly high phosphates speed cycling - since PO4 is needed for cell growth, etc. I.e. I have heard that some are adding PO4 in small amounts - for example to a Dr. Tim's method. Of course ghost feeding will add some PO4. Thanks

I've certainly heard that is true, and it is the case that some P is needed for cycling. Some methods may naturally have enough (decaying shrimp/fish food/curing rock) and some not (adding just inorganic ammonia.
 
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