Cycle confusion

Daria

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Hello there, I started my 125l tank on October 18th, added live rock (about 10 kg) and been constantly adding Dr. Tim’s One and Only. For about few weeks ammonia was high about (1ppm) then two weeks ago it dropped to 0.2 ppm and a week ago it was 0.86 ppm again. Now for the last week my Red Sea ammonia test kit turns blue and I have no idea what’s going on. I checked tap water for ammonia with Red Sea and it turned yellow indicating 0 as it should, so I guess test is working? Also, I’m not dosing ammonia or adding food.
If someone could help with advice it would be great.

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Daria

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And I started noticing green algae on live rocks few days ago
 

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Daria

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Ammonia should read 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate anything above 10
I know, Nitrite goes up in really really small amounts (0.2) , Nitrate is the same (about 0.01) and I was able to bring down ammonia only with water changes. It’s been almost two months since I set up the tank, I don’t know why it’s like that.
 
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Daria

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For last few weeks I’ve been changing half of the water every week, the ammonia went down but I don’t get it why it’s not being processed further. Is something wrong with the bacteria?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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your ammonia tests are wrong. They over report actual reef conversions and tap water has none


add a fish or a clean up crew, they will live, since nothing is wrong with the bac or the cycle or the system whatsoever. There are thousands of searchable posts to show false stuck ammonia, yours is another. add some life to the tank it will live just fine because the real level of your ammonia per any cycling chart online is safe zone, you’re past day ten


since you’ve already done water changes its good to go
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Here’s twenty other reefs with false reads, all fixed up doing fine.

 
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Daria

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your ammonia tests are wrong. They over report actual reef conversions and tap water has none


add a fish or a clean up crew, they will live, since nothing is wrong with the bac or the cycle or the system whatsoever. There are thousands of searchable posts to show false stuck ammonia, yours is another. add some life to the tank it will live just fine because the real level of your ammonia per any cycling chart online is safe zone, you’re past day ten


since you’ve already done water changes its good to go
Thank you! Since today I also noticed safe zone on Seachem Ammonia Alert after I changed water yesterday, I will go to the fish store and bring few fishes.
 

Thaxxx

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It's amazing.
All those big name tests out there for sale and I find those little cheap badges work better than all of them. At least good enough for our purposes
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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That will work but there’s a new hidden challenge: they aren’t likely to live past six months due to disease

new marine systems need to have a plan for disease control per the disease forum, or theyll catch ich or brook. A clean up crew while you research disease options is a better start



read there to choose a disease prevention approach. Fallow and quarantine get top billing because they save the most fish
 

John08007

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For last few weeks I’ve been changing half of the water every week, the ammonia went down but I don’t get it why it’s not being processed further. Is something wrong with the bacteria?
I've had reef tanks for almost 20 yrs, always cycled my tanks the old fashioned way without all these new additives.

Waste will start as ammonia so that will rise, that will then break down into nitrite, that will then rise. After these both of these will drop fo zero and you will see nitrate to start to creep up, this is when your cycle is complete.

I would assume by you constantly doing water changes you aren't giving your tank the chance to build up the bacteria needed to process the waste.

I would leave the tank water alone. Once you see zero ammonia and nitrite and nitrate is 10-20 you are good to go. Someone mentioned testing phosphates, they have nothing to do with the cycle.
 
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Daria

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I've had reef tanks for almost 20 yrs, always cycled my tanks the old fashioned way without all these new additives.

Waste will start as ammonia so that will rise, that will then break down into nitrite, that will then rise. After these both of these will drop fo zero and you will see nitrate to start to creep up, this is when your cycle is complete.

I would assume by you constantly doing water changes you aren't giving your tank the chance to build up the bacteria needed to process the waste.

I would leave the tank water alone. Once you see zero ammonia and nitrite and nitrate is 10-20 you are good to go. Someone mentioned testing phosphates, they have nothing to do with the cycle.
Ammonia didn’t drop for a month and a half, had to start doing water changes because at some point it reached about 4 ppm.
 

John08007

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Ammonia didn’t drop for a month and a half, had to start doing water changes because at some point it reached about 4 ppm.
Thats fine, eventually your tank will build up the bacteria to break it down into nitrite. By you doing a water change you are removing some of that bacteria and making it start over to produce enough to break it down
 

John08007

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Doesn’t it get settled on rocks and the substrate?
Never heard of that. As far as I know the bacteria forms inside the rock and in the sandbed.

When I started people would use a hardy fish like a damsel, hopefully it was strong enough to live through the process. I've always used small piece of raw shrimp. It decays and gets the process going. We would wait till we see ammonia drop to zero, then check nitrite, that drops to zero and nitrate starts to form. Cycle complete.
 

DWill

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I know, Nitrite goes up in really really small amounts (0.2) , Nitrate is the same (about 0.01) and I was able to bring down ammonia only with water changes. It’s been almost two months since I set up the tank, I don’t know why it’s like that.

Nitrate and Phosphate are going up slowly because the algae is using them. It won’t take long and both will read zero and the algae will continue to grow if you don’t take care of the algae.

Do a water change and remove as much of the algae as you can by hand. Turn the lights off if you don’t have anything in the tank that need light, leave the lights until you get the algae under control.

You can’t have algae without Nitrate and Phosphate, at least not much of it, and won’t have nitrate with high ammonia, other than maybe a spike caused by something being added or dying.
 
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