Newbie Help Needed!

lewistommason

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I upgraded my tank last weekend from. 105 litre to a 350 litre tank..
I used 20lbs of live sand arag alive special grade
I put in about 3kg of rock from my old cycled tank and put in the siporax from my old tank that would have live bacteria on it.
Water is 25 degrees, salinity is 1.026 ppm

I then used atm colony nitrifying bacteria which says to add the fish right away so I put my two clownfish in.. and I’ve been feeding the fish ever since but a week on and and the tests weren’t showing any signs of Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate.

Someone on here recommended adding some ammonia chloride to see if it was cycled.

I added a small amount.. enough to raise it to 0.5ppm
But after testing ammonia the next day it was more like 0.25

I’m still feeding the fish but ammonia is just sitting at 0.25ppm

Still no signs of anything else so I bought a hanna Checker

Still no nitrites or nitrates.. so now I’m concerned..

Looks like the tank hasn’t and isn’t even trying to cycle.. but then why isn’t the ammonia spiking? All that beneficial bacteria in the tank and no cycle progress.. my other tank I started without anything and it cycled fully in 3 weeks.. with signs of progression all the way through it..

my sea chem ammonia checker is still showing safe for the fish and they seem happy so I’m just confused now.. especially as it looks like diatoms are forming too…

I appreciate the API tests are renowned for being pretty crap and puts some guess work in when matching colours
but the hanna nitrate checker is clear as day..

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Mr. Mojo Rising

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I would not suggest to add ammonia to a tank that has fish in it.

Personally I would say the tank is cycled. It doesn't take loads of bacteria to maintain 2 fish in a big tank like that, the bacteria you transferred over and the bottled bacteria is sufficient. Nitrate will eventually start to rise. The pics show me happy fish, the tank is cycled.
 
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lewistommason

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I would not suggest to add ammonia to a tank that has fish in it.

Personally I would say the tank is cycled. It doesn't take loads of bacteria to maintain 2 fish in a big tank like that, the bacteria you transferred over and the bottled bacteria is sufficient. Nitrate will eventually start to rise. The pics show me happy fish, the tank is cycled.
Thanks for your message!
That’s what I thought was the case but I just can’t understand how I am not seeing any nitrates if the tank is cycled and the bacteria is converting the ammonia and nitrites
 

ScottJ

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Nitrate is probably still below the sensitivity of the checker. It's stated at +-2ppm.
You could already have 1.9999ppm and not be reading any.

And like Mr Mojo said, if your fish are happy, the tank is processing ammonia, no need to add more.
 

Cell

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Don't add ammonia to test cycle when you have fish stocked already. You transferred live rock and biomedia from your existing tank with the necessary bacteria already established so you skipped the cycle process.
 

Ben's Pico Reefing

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Like @ScottJ and @Mr. Mojo Rising stated your tank is ready.

The issue with the term cycling in traditional sense is you expect to see a beginning and an end identifier. This is further confusing when bacteria is added at start such as with corals, live rock, live sand, a good bottle product or even filter media.

What you are doing is establishing bacteria. This bacteria breaks down ammonia to nitrite and another nitrite to nitrate. There are many other process and things being broken down in this. When you add bacteria, you should only see nitrate. However, if you overload with fish you can see a slight raise in ammonia. This ammonia will quickly be depleted if you already added bacteria and being converted to nitrite then nitrate that we test for.

The goal is to allow the bacteria to populate to maintain the bioload. People who does ammonia should only do so when no other nutrient source is available. Mostly starting with dry rock and sand or if you plan on overloading the tank off the bat with fish.

Corals tend to bring bacteria and other things with them. They have a low bio load and you may not notice ammonia or nitrite. If you already have algae or skimmer running or do regular water changes, you may not notice nitrate.

2 fish and already having added bacteria, you will not have this phase of seeing ammonia or nitrite. What you test in the water is the biproduct of the bacterias waste which has already been broken down.

Hopefully this helps with some of the cycling confusion.
 
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lewistommason

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Like @ScottJ and @Mr. Mojo Rising stated your tank is ready.

The issue with the term cycling in traditional sense is you expect to see a beginning and an end identifier. This is further confusing when bacteria is added at start such as with corals, live rock, live sand, a good bottle product or even filter media.

What you are doing is establishing bacteria. This bacteria breaks down ammonia to nitrite and another nitrite to nitrate. There are many other process and things being broken down in this. When you add bacteria, you should only see nitrate. However, if you overload with fish you can see a slight raise in ammonia. This ammonia will quickly be depleted if you already added bacteria and being converted to nitrite then nitrate that we test for.

The goal is to allow the bacteria to populate to maintain the bioload. People who does ammonia should only do so when no other nutrient source is available. Mostly starting with dry rock and sand or if you plan on overloading the tank off the bat with fish.

Corals tend to bring bacteria and other things with them. They have a low bio load and you may not notice ammonia or nitrite. If you already have algae or skimmer running or do regular water changes, you may not notice nitrate.

2 fish and already having added bacteria, you will not have this phase of seeing ammonia or nitrite. What you test in the water is the biproduct of the bacterias waste which has already been broken down.

Hopefully this helps with some of the cycling confusion.
Absolutely! Thanks so much. Guess I needed some reassurance!!
 

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