cycling question please help

6lue9uy

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hello new to salt water and stuck on fishless cycling right now. i am wondering if there is something wrong on what i did.

setup: bulkreef 6 stage rodi, 20gallon long from petco, inkbird controller on eheim jager 75w, dutto ato, 30gallon hob, 60galloon hob( all filled with random media, and aboout 10 bio cubes), 22lb of Reef Saver Aquarium Dry Live Rock - MarcoRocks, no sand

i did this setup to learn the basic of reef tank and planning convert this tank to a sump later on if this hobby going well for me. ive been keep fresh water tanks for little over 2 years but always been wanting to try a reef tank.

the tank been running 3 weeks now, 1st week i did 5 caps of MicroBacter startXLM. A weeks goes by nothing happening 0 ammonia 0 nitrite with Salifert kits. i knew something i missed, realized i need to add ammonia as well.
on week 2 i did 4drop of dr.tims ammonium chloride per gallon, 80 drops total, with another 3 caps of startXLM. waited 2days ammonia at 1.5, nitrite at 0. then i remembered i need to test nitrate too so i placed an order on the nyos nitrate test kit. i started to test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate at week 2 day 4, but kept test ammonia and nitrite before nitrate test kit to be delivered.

on 3rd week the water parameter been staying the same ammonia 1.5, nitrite 0, nitrate between 12and5. i did start add one cap of startXLM for the past 3days but nothing has changed

salinity been staying at 1.024, temp at 74.5. No water change since i started, only top off.

could anyone give me a pointer on what i should do next? or just keep waiting and see?

and do i still need to do water change everyweek while cycling?

this tank is for me learning to keep corals, and 1 or 2 clown fish
 
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naterealbig

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Smprc

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Patience...I know it can be tough at times. But honestly, like the article says, cycling doesn't stall. It just takes time to balance out. I started a QT tank 3 weeks ago, using some bottle bacteria, still took 3 weeks to get to 0 ammonia. I checked nitrtrites for fun cuz I like to "see" the cycle. Just let the system be. It will cycle. Do not change the water. No need too.
 

naterealbig

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Also one of the key takeaways is that ammonia readings on test kits may incorrectly indicate it is present. Substantial Water change, then add fish.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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XLM bacteria has shown to be slower than most mixes which get things ready in a week

not saying this bac was bad or didn’t work, but it’s trending slower than the other mixes. It’s hard to know when can start/ how to get a clear indication agreed. What we found at least as a simple indicator among mixes is from that thread above, the calibrated ammonia test.

on any suspect cycle we can take a picture of the current ammonia reading after waiting out the time for ammonia control off a cycling chart before taking the reading, ten days.
at three weeks you are set for an initial pic.


This first pic is to calibrate the tester, whatever it reads we post a pic of it. Then we can add cycling ammonia into the tank just a little bit and see if the kit shows a raise after about five mins, if so, take a second pic and post it showing the reader slightly darker. If the kit can’t show the increase after just adding raw ammonia, get a new kit. If it shows the minor increase then we just wait 48 hours and post a third ammonia picture to see if it goes back down to first pic, that movement means cycled


if third and fourth sample tests never changes back to pic one levels it’s stuck, wait longer

with the types of ammonia testers we have and varying mixes of bacteria it’s really hard to know when ready.
 
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6lue9uy

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XLM bacteria has shown to be slower than most mixes which get things ready in a week

not saying this bac was bad or didn’t work, but it’s trending slower than the other mixes. It’s hard to know when can start/ how to get a clear indication agreed. What we found at least as a simple indicator among mixes is from that thread above, the calibrated ammonia test.

on any suspect cycle we can take a picture of the current ammonia reading after waiting out the time for ammonia control off a cycling chart before taking the reading, ten days.
at three weeks you are set for an initial pic.


This first pic is to calibrate the tester, whatever it reads we post a pic of it. Then we can add cycling ammonia into the tank just a little bit and see if the kit shows a raise after about five mins, if so, take a second pic and post it showing the reader slightly darker. If the kit can’t show the increase after just adding raw ammonia, get a new kit. If it shows the minor increase then we just wait 48 hours and post a third ammonia picture to see if it goes back down to first pic, that movement means cycled


if third and fourth sample tests never changes back to pic one levels it’s stuck, wait longer

with the types of ammonia testers we have and varying mixes of bacteria it’s really hard to know when ready.
Thanks, currently my ammonia dropped to 0, nitrite dropped to 0. Had nitrate spike up to 80 2 weeks ago, but currently it dropped to 9. I am currently getting little help from local store. But I believe my cycle is done
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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If you can confirm the ammonia dropped from a higher level, you've met the correct number of days from a cycling chart agreed you really did troubleshoot this one just fine excellent agreed it is
 

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