Dry Rock & Sand Cycle: What to expect?

SarfCharlee

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
8
Location
Canada
Hello Reefers,

I'm new to the hobby and super invested. Just wanted to make sure I'm on the right path. Below are my tank details:

Used Fluval Evo 13.5 G- Rinsed & Cleaned
Dry Rock & Sand (Store didn't have live sand)
Temp: Between 76-78 Degrees - Trying to get this leveled out

So to start my cycle, my trusted friend provided me with used biomax media full of healthy bacteria. This is currently in my filter chamber. For the ammonia portion, I added fish waste from his tank. Below are my readings from todays testing:

PH- 7.8 (a bit low)
Ammonia- 0.5 PPM
Nitrites- 0 PPM
Nitrates- 0PPM

I started my cycle 2 days ago. Should I expect to see the ammonia climb higher first? Or should the Nitrites start to rise next? Thank you all!
 

Idoc

Still Covid free!!!
View Badges
Joined
Nov 4, 2016
Messages
4,027
Reaction score
9,036
Location
Clarksville, TN
The cycle will go ammonia-->nitrites-->nitrates. At this point, you are at the very beginning phases.

I like to use pure ammonia to cycle. Dose up to 2ppm and then let it run its course. When you can turn 1-2ppm ammonia to zero in 24hrs, then you're cycled.

Don't even worry or waste your money buying a nitrite test kit for marine tanks... it doesn't have an impact like with freshwater fish.
 

Hugh Mann

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
1,559
Location
Merritt, BC
Agreed with above. Best to start with known values.

That being said, seems like you're off to a decent start. You'll likely get a diatom bloom in a couple weeks, I believe they feed off the silica from dry rocks. Will clear up on its own.
 
OP
SarfCharlee

SarfCharlee

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
8
Location
Canada
The cycle will go ammonia-->nitrites-->nitrates. At this point, you are at the very beginning phases.

I like to use pure ammonia to cycle. Dose up to 2ppm and then let it run its course. When you can turn 1-2ppm ammonia to zero in 24hrs, then you're cycled.

Don't even worry or waste your money buying a nitrite test kit for marine tanks... it doesn't have an impact like with freshwater fish.

Okay awesome thanks. Just wasn't sure if I should expect to see the ammonia climb higher first or if that's enough to get the Nitrites going!
 

Idoc

Still Covid free!!!
View Badges
Joined
Nov 4, 2016
Messages
4,027
Reaction score
9,036
Location
Clarksville, TN
Okay awesome thanks. Just wasn't sure if I should expect to see the ammonia climb higher first or if that's enough to get the Nitrites going!
You started with some live media to begin with, so your cycle should go faster. You may only see some ammonia and then a bunch of nitrates. But if you see the nitrates, you can be sure they were initially nitrites first.
 

Doctorgori

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
1,692
Reaction score
1,715
Location
NE Ohio
I’m on sorta a mini crusade on dry rock: I setup a tank using 100% dry & manufactured rock. One day I’ll post my personal experience but the short version is this:
I’m 100% convinced the sacrifice in biodiversity for the sake of pest avoidance actually complicates things somewhat, esp with regards to algae control on rock surfaces
You really really really want detrivours and herbivores that are too small for retail sales. Perhaps find a fellow reefer with a tank free of pest you don’t want but has biodiverse mature rock (sponges, worms, feather dusters, limpets, et. et)
 
OP
SarfCharlee

SarfCharlee

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
8
Location
Canada
You started with some live media to begin with, so your cycle should go faster. You may only see some ammonia and then a bunch of nitrates. But if you see the nitrates, you can be sure they were initially nitrites first.

Good news! I detected nitrites & nitrates for the first time today. Things seem to be moving along like they should be. So exciting!
 
OP
SarfCharlee

SarfCharlee

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
8
Location
Canada
I’m on sorta a mini crusade on dry rock: I setup a tank using 100% dry & manufactured rock. One day I’ll post my personal experience but the short version is this:
I’m 100% convinced the sacrifice in biodiversity for the sake of pest avoidance actually complicates things somewhat, esp with regards to algae control on rock surfaces
You really really really want detrivours and herbivores that are too small for retail sales. Perhaps find a fellow reefer with a tank free of pest you don’t want but has biodiverse mature rock (sponges, worms, feather dusters, limpets, et. et)

Great suggestion! I have a few pieces of live rock from my friends tank. However, my large rock scape is built out of new dry rock.
 

Doctorgori

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
1,692
Reaction score
1,715
Location
NE Ohio
Great suggestion! I have a few pieces of live rock from my friends tank. However, my large rock scape is built out of new dry rock.
yeah look underneath, you wanna see yellow, white or blue-ish sponges, I’m pretty sure the uncounted zillions of micro filter feeder help a lot. A lil detritus full of grammarus or whatever helps, so does pest free chaeto if that even possible. I’m gonna say algae barns stuff might be a lil too lab grade but I dunno
 

virtual reality

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
1,094
Reaction score
7,330
Location
Minnesota
Do we get to see pictures of this new tank? We all love pictures.

Also, welcome to R2R.

welcome.gif
 
First Choice

Would you be interested in seeing the Reef of the Month come back?

  • YES

    Votes: 445 95.1%
  • NO

    Votes: 19 4.1%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 4 0.9%

Online statistics

Members online
2,645
Guests online
6,944
Total visitors
9,589
Zoanthids.com
Top