Help! It won’t cycle?

Javor91

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6 weeks ago I began to cycle my 90 gallon DT (w/ 20 gallon sump) using dry rock. I used Dr Tim’s bacteria, which I’ve always had great success with, and of course ammonium chloride. Dosed it to 2ppm like usual. A few days in and I had a nitrite reading of 2ppm and .5 ppm ammonia. Good. Waited and tested again. Ammonia at 0, nitrites at 3-3.5ppm, nitrates at 10. Good again. Dosed 2ppm ammonium chloride. Very similar results (but with higher nitrates) the next few days but nitrites would not go down to 0. Waited a couple days but no movement. Added 5lbs of live rock to the sump in hopes to get something going. No change. Added more bacteria and seeded again with ammonium chloride. Now my ammonia goes to .5ppm in 24 hours but my nitrites don’t go down until about 48 hours. Am I missing something? All my other tanks would go to 0 for both within 24 hours..

(PH has been consistent at 8.0, salinity stable at 1.023. The only thing different is my temperature is a bit lower than I’ve kept my other tanks at 78-79. Could this be why?)
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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tejas
its cycled fully.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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you are dealing in test drifts and misreads, the zero point reading on your kit for ammonia does not matter. its movement that does and the # of days your tank has been underwater, with 30 days being the universal completion date which you've passed.

Here's how cycling works, though you'll see many different versions of cycling variations posted as well. This one is unique, and works 100% of the time in fact so its really reliable.

details:
1. see all cycling charts on google pic first. millions of search returns show patterns, not related to bottle bac, ammonia levels or anything else. The constant patterns are indeed: ammonia nitrite comply by day ~30, they don't re spike. There aren't charts of nitrite and ammonia complying by day 90 or 60 because it doesnt take that long. on most charts, its in between day 20-30.

That's because @30-40 days, where you're at, is the universal deposition time for aquatic and marine bacteria. They are there faster, but all tanks will comply with correctly-tested cycle params by day 30. (correctly tested is key)

2. correct testing, how to make your test kit prove cycle is done:
-too many things cause misreading in today's ammonia titration kits. We collect misread threads in cycling threads and its massive, test error has people thinking cycles don't comply off already-known timing and they do, we just aren't arranging tests correctly to see it. The way to do that is look for change in your test reading after new arrangements, not the 0 point reading. You can either do a basic water change and begin reefing, going off already-known timings to stamp your cycle complete, or, if you must test it, then you do it this way-
-change out your tank water, or polyfilter it to known zero ammonia. However you want to make your tank water zero, do it. When its zero, then you add liquid ammonia to the degree that it makes the first increment change on your test kit, up from zero. Not to 2 ppm, but the first increment of free ammonia, notate that color and stop.

wait 24 hours, it went back to the prior color. done
the movement back down within 24 hours is proof of bac/cycle completion and we've arranged your colors to indicate it correctly now. You do not have to go to 2 ppm to indicate a complete cycle. testing the wastewater, after many random additions of ammonia, is why everyones test kits vary. We change that into a zero ammonia condition at the start, and then reference what the test kit shows as zero, to calibrate for the adjusted test. Sorry its so complicated, you can thank titration testing for it lol
 
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Justin Cook

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I'd say you're cycled as well. It's processing through ammonia and nitrite to give you nitrates. I keep my nitrates low using bacteria and live rock-type media but I'd never expect my nitrates to be at 0 without doing regular water changes. If you can get to a point where there's no detectable ammonia or nitrites, you're good to go.

Fish waste, food and anything else that might decompose will always be adding ammonia to the water. It's just that a cycled tank can process through it fast enough to avoid being toxic to the fish. It might not be the most established tank and take a little longer to process through the nitrogen cycle but that's normal. It's cycled but needs to be more "established" which is just a matter of time.
 
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Javor91

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you are dealing in test drifts and misreads, the zero point reading on your kit for ammonia does not matter. its movement that does and the # of days your tank has been underwater, with 30 days being the universal completion date which you've passed.

Here's how cycling works, though you'll see many different versions of cycling variations posted as well. This one is unique, and works 100% of the time in fact so its really reliable.

details:
1. see all cycling charts on google pic first. millions of search returns show patterns, not related to bottle bac, ammonia levels or anything else. The constant patterns are indeed: ammonia nitrite comply by day ~30, they don't re spike. There aren't charts of nitrite and ammonia complying by day 90 or 60 because it doesnt take that long. on most charts, its in between day 20-30.

That's because @30-40 days, where you're at, is the universal deposition time for aquatic and marine bacteria. They are there faster, but all tanks will comply with correctly-tested cycle params by day 30. (correctly tested is key)

2. correct testing, how to make your test kit prove cycle is done:
-too many things cause misreading in today's ammonia titration kits. We collect misread threads in cycling threads and its massive, test error has people thinking cycles don't comply off already-known timing and they do, we just aren't arranging tests correctly to see it. The way to do that is look for change in your test reading after new arrangements, not the 0 point reading. You can either do a basic water change and begin reefing, going off already-known timings to stamp your cycle complete, or, if you must test it, then you do it this way-
-change out your tank water, or polyfilter it to known zero ammonia. However you want to make your tank water zero, do it. When its zero, then you add liquid ammonia to the degree that it makes the first increment change on your test kit, up from zero. Not to 2 ppm, but the first increment of free ammonia, notate that color and stop.

wait 24 hours, it went back to the prior color. done
the movement back down within 24 hours is proof of bac/cycle completion and we've arranged your colors to indicate it correctly now. You do not have to go to 2 ppm to indicate a complete cycle. testing the wastewater, after many random additions of ammonia, is why everyones test kits vary. We change that into a zero ammonia condition at the start, and then reference what the test kit shows as zero, to calibrate for the adjusted test. Sorry its so complicated, you can thank titration testing for it lol

Thank you!
 
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Javor91

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I'd say you're cycled as well. It's processing through ammonia and nitrite to give you nitrates. I keep my nitrates low using bacteria and live rock-type media but I'd never expect my nitrates to be at 0 without doing regular water changes. If you can get to a point where there's no detectable ammonia or nitrites, you're good to go.

Fish waste, food and anything else that might decompose will always be adding ammonia to the water. It's just that a cycled tank can process through it fast enough to avoid being toxic to the fish. It might not be the most established tank and take a little longer to process through the nitrogen cycle but that's normal. It's cycled but needs to be more "established" which is just a matter of time.
Appreciate it!
 
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