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Aj 408

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Hi I'm doing my first reef tank on a 20 gallon tank I'm doing the cycle on tank its been two weeks I do a 5 gallon water change ever Friday I have Crush Carl rock as a bed. The Ammonia 0 no2 is at 1 and no3 at 80 salt level is 1.023 According to my test kit.. So my tank is starting to get Brown on the bed which I believe is part of the cycle I just wanted to make sure its normal or something going on with the tank And I do started with Purple dry and live rock.

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Aj 408

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I put a heater at 78゚ live rock and dry rock I added quick start from API and qua plus water conditioner I do use tap water... I just put on the reef light on firday I did turn off today I also put a frozen shrimp on Monday I believe. I did do 2 water changes of 5 Gallons each time every Friday I do have a wave maker that's all I have done so far
 
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Aj 408

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No3 at 80? Definitely not normal. You have either a bad test kit or you doused to much nitrate.
I may be reading it wrong I have the 5 in 1 api test kit I never tested my tanks before been lucky but it is my 1st reef tank this is The results I just did for you guy to see
 

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mdb_talon

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Did you use an ammonia source to cycle(bottle/shrimp/etc)? Did you used any bottled bacteria?

O ammonia and high nitrate is a good sign that your cycle is working well. Before you add any livestock do a very large water change to get that nitrate level down.

In a new tank with dry rock you are likely going to get various "uglies" on sand and rocks though
 
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Schoolfish

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All is fine. Its part of the cycle. Your nitrate should drop once you have enough de-nitrifying bacteria. It looks like diatoms in the sand bed. That is the brown you are seeing. It will die off once your silica drops naturally.
 
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mdb_talon

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All is fine. Its part of the cycle. Your nitrate should drop once you have enough nitrifying bacteria. It looks like diatoms in the sand bed. That is the brown you are seeing. It will die off once your silica drops naturally.

Nitrifying bacteria makes nitrate it does not eliminate it. In a new tank nitrate is very hard to get down other than WC or things like carbon dosing. Thankfully in a 20g without livestock its easy to do Water changes to rapidly get nitrate out.
 
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Aj 408

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Did you use an ammonia source to cycle(bottle/shrimp/etc)? Did you used any bottled bacteria?

O ammonia and high nitrate is a good sign that your cycle is working well. Before you add any livestock do a very large water change to get that nitrate level down.

In a new tank with dry rock you are likely going to get various "uglies" on sand and rocks though
I use a frozen shrimp and quick start from API i did have Ammonia spike but I did a 25% water change and now ammonia said 0 my no2 just went to 0 no3 is now at 40
 
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SPR1968

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It looks like diatoms from the picture which is fairly normal for a new tank

Once everything stabilises and the cycle is complete etc,, you can do simple water changes to bring the nitrate levels under control.
 
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mdb_talon

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I use a frozen shrimp and quick start from API i did have Ammonia spike but I did a 25% water change and now ammonia said 0 my no2 just went to 0 no3 is now at 40

Sounds to me like you are cycled(that does not mean you won't have some ugly phases because cycled does not equal a mature tank) It is a little easier to confirm when you are using "pure" ammonia because you can measure time to eliminate a specific amount. That nitrates went to 80 though says to me you processed a lot of ammonia though.
 
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Aj 408

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Nitrifying bacteria makes nitrate it does not eliminate it. In a new tank nitrate is very hard to get down other than WC or things like carbon dosing. Thankfully in a 20g without livestock its easy to do Water changes to rapidly get nitrate out.
Ok thank you I just wanted to make sure that it was its my first reef tank I had salt water tanks before but never a reef tank
 
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Aj 408

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All is fine. Its part of the cycle. Your nitrate should drop once you have enough de-nitrifying bacteria. It looks like diatoms in the sand bed. That is the brown you are seeing. It will die off once your silica drops naturally.
So when I do my water change on Friday should I syphon the sand as well to clean the bed or just let the Brown stay in the tank to help with the cycling
 
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Aj 408

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Nitrifying bacteria makes nitrate it does not eliminate it. In a new tank nitrate is very hard to get down other than WC or things like carbon dosing. Thankfully in a 20g without livestock its easy to do Water changes to rapidly get nitrate out.
Ok So when I do my water change on Friday show Siphon in the Sand as well to clean the brown off or just leave it..will that help with the cycled
 
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Aj 408

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Ok well I just noticed some things in the tank worms and Small snails looking things dose that I have to do a dip the rocks put new sand and start the cycle again will they die out on there own
 

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MaxTremors

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I would only siphon a quarter of the sand bed at a time, however it will soon return until the silicate in the sand is depleted.
Which it likely never will be because they’re using unfiltered tap water.

OP- you need to get actual test kits for each of the main parameters we test for. Starting out you need Ammonia, Nitrate, Alkalinity, Calcium, Phosphate, and Magnesium (the Magnesium you could probably skip if you’re doing weekly water changes and not keeping SPS corals). Avoid API test kits (they’re the least expensive for a reason). Those test strips that you’re using are essentially meaningless and may give you completely inaccurate levels, which is important when you’re trying to troubleshoot a specific problem.
 
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