New tank cycling

Spardad

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Hey everyone. I've been cycling my 72 gallon tank for 8 weeks now. I ghost fed for a few weeks, then stopped. I have ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Used both red sea and api test kits. I did do a 15% water change a little over a week ago. My nitrates were over 50. Question is my ammonia is still .8/1.2 nitrites holding steady at .2 nitrates are down to 20/50 since the water change. Ive been adding microbacteria daily. I went through the sand bed during the water change thinking that there is still decomposing food down there creating this onslaught of ammonia. I want to add fish but i cant due to this. Is there any advice out there or should i just continue waiting and adding bacteria till i hit 0 on ammonia and nitrites? I have been running my skimmer and changing my filter sock every 3 days. Also i have 1 hammer coral and one zoa that ate thriving for the last 3 weeks in there.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Your tank is 100% cycled and ready. You are showing ammonia and nitrite as a false reading, we have researched this for about a thousand combined pages so far, am saving you the read with this summary :)

(ammonia may not be false; may be awaiting TAN conversion)


your tank would be cycled at eight weeks wait even if you added only water, no feed and no bacteria. Nature would cycle it free of charge, so you‘re uber-cycled now.

if you had seneye ammonia, it would read in the thousandths ppm/ ready

nitrite no longer factors to any degree in marine cycling whatsoever, whether the reading is real or not, there has been rule updates that removed it from all reefing work they just haven’t rewritten the formal rules yet.
 
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BostonReefer300

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I agree that you are most likely cycled, but let me ask a few basic questions:
1) What type of rock did you start your tank with? (ie live rock, dry rock)
2) Roughly how many pounds of rock did you use?
3) Do you have any other bacterial substrate in your tank? (eg biopellets, ceramic media, etc.)
4) How deep is your sand bed on average?
 
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Spardad

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I used about 60 to 65lbs of dry rock and 1.5/2 inches of live sand. 3 1 inch cubes in my sump. I used 1 8 ounce bottle of dr. Tims bacteria to start the first week and im on my third bottle of microbacteria7 that i put in daily. Today i read.8 ammonia .2 nitrite and about 50 nitrates on red sea test kit. Should i just do a big water change? And get a cleanup crew and two clowns to start? That is a 75 dollar purchase and I dont want to flush it down the drain if there going to die from the ammonia.
 
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BostonReefer300

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I think that ammonia reading is false. If you've been adding that bacteria and doing a fishless cycle with some food for as long as you have, it's practically impossible that you're not ready to go. Good for you though about being so diligent and cautious. However, now it's time to start having some real fun! I'd just add a couple clowns right now and a few snails (e.g. astrea, nassarius, etc.) Just monitor the fish carefully for disease and be prepared to put them in QT for treatment if needed. Regarding water changes, I wouldn't bother right now. Get some fish in there and then start a regular schedule of 10% water changes every week or whatever works best to keep your nutrients stable. (I personally aim for 5-10 ppm nitrate and 0.1 ppm phosphate.) Since you're going to be adding more coral probably, I'd invest in a Hanna alk checker and monitor alk a few times a week. Hanna calcium checker is also a good addition if you have the cash. Salifert or Red Sea for Mg and NO3. If you get serious about coral, I'd definitely get a Hanna ultra low PHOSPHORUS (not phosphate) checker as well. Check salinity a few times a week as well. A pH meter is good to have as well. Have fun!
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Agreed at eight weeks that ammonia won’t harm

after tan conversion per instructions its at worst .08 not lethal and I dont believe it’s even that high at eight weeks full surface area, time to test bioload carry while simultaneously excluding all disease preps


that’s an elitist cyclers inside joke

it can carry a few fish, or or two isn’t even a test.

in all honesty though that reef of that size is destined for mixed fish, so you should do fallow and quarantine. Be adding clean up crews and some starter coral, that can be built up before the fallow run.

read any group of five pages in the fish disease forum before adding any fish at all.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I dont even keep marine fish…zero personal experience w marine fish. it’s the sheer daily challenge in the disease forum, the buckets of losses. It’s the single most standout pattern I’ve seen in the hobby as a legit cause for alarm. Free ammonia posts are all snooze buttons :) :)

soon we might not be able to buy fish ad libitum


various controls, prices, access bottlenecks might restrict speciation availables so we need preservation techniques practiced yesterday, not skipped any longer. Merely a data pattern relay.

if the fish disease forum was not active, and primarily tanks under eight months posting for help and being advised various forms of quarantine and re fallow, it wouldn’t stand out.
 

brandon429

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based on pattern, ie twenty years of nano nerding at nano-reef.com and watching all the two clown owners skip fallow and qt and largely do fine, I can relay that a nano doing two clowns, perhaps a small goby max, can skip preps and largely get away with it for years given good tank care and feed.


but diversify beyond that, as that large tank is destined, the patterns from posts in the disease forum are the match. buzzkill mode off
 
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