Cycle

Kayce

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Hello!
Not sure why my ammo is and nitrites haven’t gone down! I started a 150 gal 6 weeks ago. We started fish in and after learning our lesson took them back out about 3 weeks ago but left a few hermit crabs in and I dose with prime every couple of days. The ammonia has been high the entire time and I finally started detecting nitrites and nitrates 10 days ago. Sense then, my ammonia, nitrites and nitrates have been off the charts. Temperature stays around 78 and PH 8.0. I’ve been doing 50 gal water changes twice a week the entire time. This morning I changed half the tank water and still off the charts. I tested my water I’m putting in and everything is at 0 with a 7.8 ph. I use instant ocean salt.
Any suggestions what to do next, or how long until my ammonia and then nitrites will start to go down?
 
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Kayce

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Also, I have about 75 lb dry rock and 10 lb live rock. I’ve had black and brown algae blooms that came and went and cyano that I finally got rid of a week ago.
 

lapin

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Howdy and welcome
My ipinion;
The issue might be the Prime. It could be slowing your cycle down. What it does is bind the ammonia. It will then release the ammonia 48hours later. When it binds the ammonia your bacteria might not be able to use it to grow.
May I ask what "off the charts" is and what test kit are you using?
 
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FishyDP

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Welcome, you made a good decision coming to this forum. I have found that cycles go much smoother without constant water changes. I personally like to add my ammonia source (1 raw shrimp and dr tims ammonia dosed a little less than directions advise due to extra ammonia from shrimp) and let the tank run for at least a couple weeks without testing. This allows things to occur naturally. You are trying to create an eco-system, so you want to let the bacteria catch up to the available food source (ammonia). If you keep doing large water changes you may be disturbing this process, by changing the amount of available ammonia and stalling everything. I just let the tank run, and let the water get a bit dirty. Around week 3-4 you can test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Patience is the key, and not driving yourself crazy constantly testing and adjusting. I just let the tank run and add ammonia consistently, the bacteria will come. After 4-6 weeks if you have nitrate readings without ammonia/nitrite, its time for a water change. Then add your dose of ammonia, if the ammonia is processed in 24 hours you should be good to add some livestock, slowly. There are many ways to cycle a tank, possibly quicker than this, but this has worked for me. I also lightly carbon dose during a cycle, but that is probably a topic for another thread..and not necessary for a cycle. I have cycled tanks with the above method without a carbon source, and it worked fine. I have never used prime during a cycle, so I cannot speak to that.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I wanted to offer a much simpler solution to this thread, the tank is cycled solely off the description info, and its not possible to be not cycled based on the description info.

There is more than one solid verifier this tank is cycled, and doenst have ammonia issues...the six weeks underwater. 100% of all wet surfaces are ready before then when boosters are added, and they were. the combined descriptions add up to 100% cycled tank, if you have coral challenges its no different than any other running reef with coral challenges, any wet tank for 6 weeks is done cycling for bacteria/ammonia

*don't worry if testers for nitrite and nitrate don't line up, they're not expected to. I can quick link if required a recent thread where salifert shows 1.0 ammonia and API shows 8 ppm. that much spread, same for all other testers that aren't digital.

There is not one reef tank in history that took longer than 6 weeks to cycle wet using those boosters, that reliable. (they may have reported testing that disagrees, but we have the calibration error threads to show testing incorrect)

the source for all this is the microbiology of cycling thread.

the takeaway is that you can stop testing for ammonia and nitrite, nitrate is for algae tuning.
 
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