• For a Limited Time the R2R Partner Membership is NOW OPEN! Get some cool swag and chances to win part of over $20,000 in prizes! Click here for more details

New to hobby, question about parameters during cycle

JustinMN18

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
71
Reaction score
14
Location
55427
Hello! This is my first post, and I am also brand new to the reef aquarium hobby.

Here's my question.

I'm trying to cycle my 55 gallon aquarium. Salt and temp are all good. I have 2 clowns in the tank after using Dr. Tims One And Only, and have been cycling for 4 days (tracking for 3). I also have live sand and dry rock. Here are my parameters (red sea test kit)

Amonia has been 0.2 the whole time (looking at colors can be challenging, but this is my best guess).

Nitrite has been at 0.05 the whole time.

Nitrate has been at 2 the whole time.

Phosphate has been dropping from 0.08 to 0.03 today.

I'm just unsure of this is how it's supposed to be. Fish seem totally fine, swimming and eating. I haven't done a water change either, since the aquarium is 4 days old.

Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone!
 

piranhaman00

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
2,009
Reaction score
1,842
Welcome.

Fish should not be added until after the cycle is completed. Ammonia is very toxic to fish so your clowns are potentially in for some agony. adding a bacterial supplement usually is all that’s needed to avoid this so you may be ok.

All you need to test right now is ammonia. It should read 0ppm. When it does Test nitrite, that should also read 0ppm. Then you are cycled. Test kits can be hard to differentiate at near 0 concentrations. I’ve never used Red Sea but be aware of that.

You should Never do water change during cycle process, with fish it’s different because they can be potentially be getting poisoned. With a 55 gallon and two fish I would suspect you will be ok.
 
OP
J

JustinMN18

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
71
Reaction score
14
Location
55427
Welcome.

Fish should not be added until after the cycle is completed. Ammonia is very toxic to fish so your clowns are potentially in for some agony. adding a bacterial supplement usually is all that’s needed to avoid this so you may be ok.

All you need to test right now is ammonia. It should read 0ppm. When it does Test nitrite, that should also read 0ppm. Then you are cycled. Test kits can be hard to differentiate at near 0 concentrations. I’ve never used Red Sea but be aware of that.

You should Never do water change during cycle process, with fish it’s different because they can be potentially be getting poisoned. With a 55 gallon and two fish I would suspect you will be ok.
Thank you for that information! I really appreciate it. I'll keep testing and doing water top offs for now, while also keeping a close eye on the fish to make sure they are as comfortable as I can possibly make them.
 

scabbedwings616

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
684
Reaction score
500
Location
Winthrop
As long as the fish are eating and things look ok, you should be ok. One day the tank will spike with ammonia, and your fish might not be ok. You may have added fish too soon but most clowns are hardy enough that you should be ok. Keep adding the dr Tim’s and watching the tank.
 
OP
J

JustinMN18

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
71
Reaction score
14
Location
55427
As long as the fish are eating and things look ok, you should be ok. One day the tank will spike with ammonia, and your fish might not be ok. You may have added fish too soon but most clowns are hardy enough that you should be ok. Keep adding the dr Tim’s and watching the tank.
I used the Dr Tim's one and only, which is a live bacteria that then says to put fish in within 24 hours... Should I be adding other types of bacteria or starters with the fish in it?
 

scabbedwings616

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
684
Reaction score
500
Location
Winthrop
I used the Dr Tim's one and only, which is a live bacteria that then says to put fish in within 24 hours... Should I be adding other types of bacteria or starters with the fish in it?
You can but keep adding more bacteria. Add pods
 
Zoanthids.com

BeltedCoyote

Lord of the Memes
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
1,654
Reaction score
7,387


Welcome to R2R!!!

impatience is indeed the most expensive mistake in this hobby. Ideally you want to wait until there is no remaining detectable ammonia in your tank. Then take it slow with adding fish. Too many added to fast can end up producing more waste that the newly established bacteria can handle with will lead to a tank crash.
 

Rp8

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
171
Reaction score
177
Welcome aboard!

As said above, just take it slow. Also keep in mind every time you add (or take away) bio load your ecosystem will go thru a cycle. So be mindful and don't panic if you see a minor bloom, just test twice, come up with a plan and make minor adjustments until you get everything where its suppose to be. You have just assembled an ecosystem. now you need to let it grow.
 

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
32,827
Reaction score
74,148
Location
Sheboygan
A little ammonia will be present until you have fish or something producing waste for the active bacteria to go to work and start breaking it down

welcome51.gif
 

LeftyReefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
265
Reaction score
296
Welcome. Sounds like you are well on your way!

For new tanks I like to recommend the ammonia badge from Seachem. It works great for cycling and establishing new tanks. They are only like $6 and will alert you to any rise in ammonia in the tank and it will last a full year. As long as the bacteria in your bottled bacteria was good, your clowns will be fine. If the ammonia badge alerts, then you can dose the tank with Prime, then do a water change.

The combination of live sand and bottle bacteria will cycle your tank pretty quickly, so you probably won't have any issue with ammonia, but having some Prime on hand is always a good idea.... I don't know many reefers who don't have a bottle on hand.

Now that you've added bacteria to the tank, you need to give it time to grow and establish. Each time you add a new inhabitant to the tank, they will also increase the bio-load on the tank and your bacterial colonies will need to grow and adjust to each new increase, so add new inhabitants slowly.... if you add them too quickly, you can have an ammonia spike.

Good luck!
 
Lazys Coral House
OP
J

JustinMN18

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
71
Reaction score
14
Location
55427
Thanks everyone so much for the responses. Very insightful and I really appreciate it.

I took a water test this morning for Amonia, and my red sea kit came back and it looks like it went from 0.2 yesterday to 0.8 this morning. I started the cycle last Wednesday (5 full days ago) and all the parameters have been stable except for this morning. Below is an image of my test this morning.

Is there anything I should be doing / worried about with this level of amonia? I don't want to hurt the fish, but at this point there's nothing I can do because I don't have other aquariums to put them in. I'm hoping this doesn't get out of control.

Haven't done a water change, just top offs with RO/DI, salinty and temp is all good. Fish seems to be eating and swimming around. This is my first ever tank cycle, so just want to make sure I'm doing the right stuff.

1597076579286.png
 

mijan

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
181
Reaction score
1,082
Location
Boynton Beach, FL
No need to worry about your fish they will be just fine. BRS used this exact same method in their 5 minute series. Start monitoring ammonia and don't add anymore fish.

 
OP
J

JustinMN18

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
71
Reaction score
14
Location
55427
No need to worry about your fish they will be just fine. BRS used this exact same method in their 5 minute series. Start monitoring ammonia and don't add anymore fish.

Thanks. Do you have any experience in this personally? It has been 7 days since I added Dr. Tims One and Only, as well as 2 clowns, and the Amonia is still right around the 0.8/1.0 mark. The video doesn't really give any indication on how long this process should take.

Thanks for your video!
 
Last edited:

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
32,827
Reaction score
74,148
Location
Sheboygan
Youre going to have traces of ammonia and nitrate. Until you have fish producing waste, it will be normal to have a low count or no count.
 

45bravo

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
70
Reaction score
23
Location
Wichita
I used the Dr Tim's one and only, which is a live bacteria that then says to put fish in within 24 hours... Should I be adding other types of bacteria or starters with the fish in it?
As long as you're not using the fish less cycle and adding the ammonium chloride to the water as well you are correct. The fish are whats producing the ammonia at this point which is nowhere near the volume that the ammonium chloride would. The cycling may take longer but that's because you are essentially using the fish to cycle the tank like everyone used to do, at which point they said 1 fish per 10 gallons was the rule I believe. You are under that limit so it may just take some time.

The clowns are hardy so don't worry to much about them they should be fine. If you notice they start to breath rapidly or laying on the bottom or rocks breathing like that this means their gills are being burnt by ammonia, then you can either add prime or erase-cl or whatever ammonia neutralizer that you have for tap water, or put them in a different tank that you might have with fresh saltwater, not water that you just mixed 2 minutes prior preferably not to say you cant mix it when you need it but you're gonna want it to clear up, just water that didn't have ammonia though same temperature, ph, and so on.

Just wait till the ammonia is zero at which point the nitrite should be zero, I've never really had them finish out of sync.
 

How many corals do you have in your reef tank?

  • 1 - 5

    Votes: 38 8.3%
  • 6 - 10

    Votes: 63 13.8%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 110 24.1%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 66 14.5%
  • 31 - 50

    Votes: 68 14.9%
  • 51 - 75

    Votes: 39 8.6%
  • 76 - 100

    Votes: 24 5.3%
  • 100+

    Votes: 48 10.5%

Online statistics

Members online
2,276
Guests online
4,404
Total visitors
6,680
Pieces of the Ocean
Top