New tank cycling

buzz579

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Good Morning!

New reefer here. I have a Red Sea Max NANO 75ltr tank which I started just over 2 weeks ago.

Started with RO-DI water/ Red Sea coral pro salt.

I have non live rock (the red/purple stuff) and non live sand (dry)

I started the tank with Dr Tim's One and only and dosed with ammonia chloride.

I haven't put the light on at all yet.

I started my water testing journey with an API Master test kit but ended up getting some funky results so bit the bullet and shelled out for a red sea test kit.

I attach my readings from my journey so far....

21/9
PH 8.0
Ammonia 2.0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5.0

24/9
PH 8.0
Ammonia 2.0
Nitrite 0.50
Nitrate 20 ppm
Salinity 1.025

26/9
PH 8.0
Ammonia 0.50
Nitrite 1.0
Nitrate 40ppm

27/9
PH 8.0
Ammonia 0.0
Nitrite 2.0
Nitrate 20ppm
Salinity 1.024

28/9
Ammonia (after dosing 12 hours prior) 0.0
Nitrite - 1.0
Nitrate 10ppm

29/9
PH 7.8
Ammonia 0.0
Nitrite 2.0
Nitrate 160ppm
Salinity 1.025

Red sea tests start...

2/10
Nitrate 2.0
Ammonia 0.8

3/10
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 1.0
Nitrate 20
PH 7.6

I have done 2 water changes so far. One last week (10 litre change) and I have done a small water change yesterday (5 litre) with the plan to do another small change at the end of this week.

How does this all sound? I have no live stock in the tank other than a few bags of copepods.

Thanks and can't wait to hear your opinions!!

16963231981187929164122586246429.jpg
 
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buzz579

buzz579

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To me, zero ammonia and 20 nitrates is a cycled tank. Start stocking the tank slowly, add a fish then wait a few weeks until you add the next, let the tank build up the bacteria as you add new livestock.

Would you advise before putting livestock in, to add a few drops of ammonia chloride into the tank and check that it is back down to 0 within 24 hours?

Also, how often should I be doing water changes? I was hoping to start off with doing a couple of 5 litre changes a week (as it's easier than doing the larger water changes!!) Is that enough for a 75 litre tank?

Thanks for your help and advice, really appreciated for a newbie to the hobby! Living the education rollercoaster of reefing!!!
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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Would you advise before putting livestock in, to add a few drops of ammonia chloride into the tank and check that it is back down to 0 within 24 hours?

Also, how often should I be doing water changes? I was hoping to start off with doing a couple of 5 litre changes a week (as it's easier than doing the larger water changes!!) Is that enough for a 75 litre tank?

Thanks for your help and advice, really appreciated for a newbie to the hobby! Living the education rollercoaster of reefing!!!
I wouldn't, I trust the test result. But if it makes you feel better, go for it. Some will suggest it, there are so many ways to reef.

I do 10%-15% weekly water change on my tank. I believe most folks are doing about 10% per week.

There is definately a lot to learn in this hobby, but its a rewarding hobby. The most important thing is don't rush it, this is a hobby that challenges the patience muscles.
 
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buzz579

buzz579

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I wouldn't, I trust the test result. But if it makes you feel better, go for it. Some will suggest it, there are so many ways to reef.

I do 10%-15% weekly water change on my tank. I believe most folks are doing about 10% per week.

There is definately a lot to learn in this hobby, but its a rewarding hobby. The most important thing is don't rush it, this is a hobby that challenges the patience muscles.

Only realised how impatient I am since starting the hobby!!

I will probably dose it with ammonia chloride just because I have shift work this week and I'm not in a rush to get livestock just yet. Will put my mind at ease that the tank is defo cycled properly. Then small water change at the end of the week and hopefully next week get some CUC members!! Fingers crossed!!!
 

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I was so impatient when cycling. It all gets there eventually. Adding live rocks helps. 10% water changes per week is a great habit to embrace. Are you running the skimmer yet?
 
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buzz579

buzz579

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I was so impatient when cycling. It all gets there eventually. Adding live rocks helps. 10% water changes per week is a great habit to embrace. Are you running the skimmer yet?

No. Skimmer is in the rear sump but not running yet. I've heard a few people with this setup say they don't even use the skimmer..... wondering when/if to start using it!!!
 

tzabor10

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Start using it to remove fish waste. There might be an ugly stage when you turn the lights on. Again, patience is key. Nothing good happens quickly.
 

kevgib67

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Your tank is cycled but you do you. I do weekly 12.5% water changes weekly just because that is what 4 gallons is. My prior 16 years I just did 10% water changes. Happy reefing!
 

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Not even sure if I properly cycled my first tank...

Poor little clownfish... one did make it all the way to the last tank I had though... tough little guy...

He was QTed between tanks 3 and 4...
 
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buzz579

buzz579

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So.... woke up this morning and have done some more tests. I haven't added anything since yesterday...

My nitrate/nitrates seem quite high. Is this something to be concerned about?

Ammonia has remained at 0.
 

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tzabor10

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No, it is just cycling. I ended up getting impatient and added a live cultured rock from my old tank. It ramped things up significantly. Good luck
 

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