New Tank Fishless Cycle Issues

Ch1ef_Reef

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Hi Everyone,
Long time lurker on this forum and recently got into the hobby (5 weeks marine, but 2 years freshwater).

I set up my Red Sea Nano Max 75L 5 weeks ago with the included protein skimmer, Red Sea live sand, a couple of dry rocks, Marine Pure filter media spheres, and RODI water with Red Sea coral pro salt. My light runs 10 hours with blue at 40% and white at 12%. I’m doing a fish less cycle.

I started off with the Red Sea Reef Mature starter kit, but after reading a different thread where it said that kit’s meant to be used with live rock I bought Fritz turbo start. I then introduced Dr Tim’s as it came highly recommended, and Aquavitro seed (my thought process was this was different bacteria so should fill in the gaps where the others couldn’t). I have been dosing Dr Tims ammonium chloride and following the instructions.

Initially the ammonia in my tank was going down, I was getting readings of 0 ppm after 2 days, and my nitrites would be <= 0.5ppm also with my Red Sea Marine Care test kit picking up nitrates. This was week 3 and 4. Now, however, in week 5 after dosing ammonia after 3 days the ammonia in my tank is still sitting around 2 ppm (the highest reading on the Red Sea marine test kit). The water is also cloudy.

My question is: if when reading what I have done so far, what have I done wrong? If so, it likely my ammonia isn’t going down because I’ve killed the bacteria?

If anyone encountered a similar problem, or knows what I have done wrong, please let me know. I can provide more info or pics if anyone needs. If anyone has posted this before already please comment the link.

Thanks anyone/everyone

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Ch1ef_Reef

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Have you been running your lights since day 1?? And also the skimmer or has that been turned off.
Both have been on since day 1. The only exception being when I introduced Fritz and Dr Tim’s they both recommend to turn off the protein skimmer 5 days for Fritz and 48 hours for Dr Tim’s.

The protein skimmer just produced white bubbles in the beginning, but in the last two weeks the bubbles and waste have been brown.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I promise if you change water, it’s ready, your current wastewater doesn’t have to sit there and clear. clear it by force, then reef.

old cycling rules: must wait for wastewater to clear on tests that may or may not be accurate we can see in comparison posts

new way: let any mix stew ten to fifteen days

change water, it’s cycled the same as if you waited sixty days for clearance plus a bunch of algae nitrate. The new way of cycling doesn’t use test kits it uses the timeframe from a cycling chart after adding known bac from more than one source, this is a very specific troubleshoot here :)

your cycle is done, change all the water for new. Prepare for new tank uglies battle in three months.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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After the full water change, you can begin reefing as you planned. You have surpassed the required number of wait days after feed and inoculation. Whatever the tests read couldn’t possibly matter less, only the water change is required then can begin.

we have a large work thread of tank examples we use to prove no cycle stalls in reefing, yours meets the criteria of being stalled by the old rules/ wastewater clearing vs ready by the new rules/ change water reveal bioslicks. Once you add life to the reef pls update so we can see pics. The remedy for any problems is a water change not an additive or purchase. Cpr for a new reef is water change in / siphon remove out miyagi style.
 
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Ch1ef_Reef

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I promise if you change water, it’s ready, your current wastewater doesn’t have to sit there and clear. clear it by force, then reef.

old cycling rules: must wait for wastewater to clear on tests that may or may not be accurate we can see in comparison posts

new way: let any mix stew ten to fifteen days

change water, it’s cycled the same as if you waited sixty days for clearance plus a bunch of algae nitrate. The new way of cycling doesn’t use test kits it uses the timeframe from a cycling chart after adding known bac from more than one source, this is a very specific troubleshoot here :)

your cycle is done, change all the water for new. Prepare for new tank uglies battle in three months.
Thanks for your help brandon429, what you said makes a lot of sense and will give that a go once I mix enough saltwater. Much appreciated!
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Ok update us when life is in the tank it works like this:

don’t run tests after the big change give it a week after you’ve added life, watch how much better it works without misreads causing second guesses of submersion times. Can trust it.
every day that goes by it’s water clarity to watch. Any clouding equals water change, not doser

and by water change you cpr it through a forced cycle and the whole thing runs perfectly and on time thankfully. It was ready day 15 of this mix above.
 
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Ch1ef_Reef

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Ok update us when life is in the tank it works like this:

don’t run tests after the big change give it a week after you’ve added life, watch how much better it works without misreads causing second guesses of submersion times. Can trust it.
every day that goes by it’s water clarity to watch. Any clouding equals water change, not doser

and by water change you cpr it through a forced cycle and the whole thing runs perfectly and on time thankfully. It was ready day 15 of this mix above.
Thanks bro, I never thought that the waste water would be in the tank and affecting it (read previously not to do water changes which obviously sounds stupid now lol).

will let you know how it goes
 
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Ch1ef_Reef

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Get some chemi pure blue in there and it will clear up the cloudiness for good.
Alternatively you can use any brand carbon and purigen, but I chemi pure has the two mixed :)
I did a 100% water change and it cleared up, but will definitely buy some chemi pure for future need. Thanks mstoneman17:cool:
 
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Ch1ef_Reef

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Ok update us when life is in the tank it works like this:

don’t run tests after the big change give it a week after you’ve added life, watch how much better it works without misreads causing second guesses of submersion times. Can trust it.
every day that goes by it’s water clarity to watch. Any clouding equals water change, not doser

and by water change you cpr it through a forced cycle and the whole thing runs perfectly and on time thankfully. It was ready day 15 of this mix above.


hey brandon429, thanks for the help here’s an update. Added a blue leg and a scarlet hermit, along with a juvenile clownfish.

Testing for ammonia and nitrites gives me readings of 0ppm, so my tank was ready, just like you said.

My water is clear too, so it was definitely waste water in my tank.
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Thank you very much for the updates with pictures of clear water and new life, that's our number one closing detail, to see the final after pics.
 
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