Nitrate ppm during cycle

beyer

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I'm a beginner and I'd like for anyone to comment on my parameters and add suggestions please.

I am on day 24 of my tank cycle using Red Sea's reef mature pro kit.

Tank Setup

- 29 gallon bowfront
- 25 lbs dry rock
- 20 lbs live sand
- Protein Skimmer
- Canister filter

Tank Parameters

• PH - 8.2
• KH - 10.5 dKH
• Ammonia - 0 ppm
• Nitrite - 0 ppm
• Nitrate - between 20 and 40 ppm
• Calcium - 340 ppm
• Magnesium - 1120 ppm

I've been getting green and brown algae on my dry rock the last week or so. My nitrate levels have taken a long time to come down. I've been adding NO3PO4-X daily. Also, I've done a 15% water change once a week the past two weeks which lowered the nitrates from 80~160 ppm to 20~40 ppm. I've already done more water changing than the RS reef program calls for but my parameters were higher than red seas estimates too. I'm afraid if I just do water changes until the nitrates are low I'll mess up the denitrifying process. How do I know I have built up denitrifying bacteria? Is there anything I should do to help the nitrates lower?

I haven't added any clean up crew because of my nitrates remaining high.

IMG_0442.JPG

This is my algae stage right now on day 24.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-microbiology-of-reef-tank-cycling.214618/

to condense that thread, nothing you do shy of meds will scale back your bacteria that are already there, hydration is all they require...that means you can't retroscale your cycle with a water change.

the only time actions are critical is if you must be done before 30 days. if you have 30 days time to wait, the post #6 details how you know when your cycle is done. You would wait thirty days, spike the ammonia to a verified accurate 1 or 2 ppm, and check back in 24 hours to see if zero.

required submersion time + passed digestion test equals cycled.

submersion time matters because you can get an uncycled tank to pass a digestion test, if we are dosing ammonia to a system that recently had bottle bacteria added in suspension, they can be oxidizing the ammonia which is somewhat of a false indication because that's whats in suspension doing the work, not the surfaces. we need X amnt of time for the surfaces to become active and its the same across tanks everywhere.

If you have used a liquid ammonia source + bottle bac your required submersion time is 2-3 weeks, but 30 days is solid for all. no matter what you do or don't do from this day forward, when you hit 30 days Id love to see an updated post about your digestion test Ill link you directly to post #6.

We added raw ammonia only twice in the whole 30 days in that post. you can add more and more often, but the nitrates and nitrites may be off still at 30 days due to accumulations. actual bioloads we employ are typically much less than huge doses of cycling ammonia. we like to do a huge water change at the end of 30 days to export that mix anyway.
 
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beyer

beyer

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https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-microbiology-of-reef-tank-cycling.214618/

to condense that thread, nothing you do shy of meds will scale back your bacteria that are already there, hydration is all they require...that means you can't retroscale your cycle with a water change.

the only time actions are critical is if you must be done before 30 days. if you have 30 days time to wait, the post #6 details how you know when your cycle is done. You would wait thirty days, spike the ammonia to a verified accurate 1 or 2 ppm, and check back in 24 hours to see if zero.

required submersion time + passed digestion test equals cycled.

submersion time matters because you can get an uncycled tank to pass a digestion test, if we are dosing ammonia to a system that recently had bottle bacteria added in suspension, they can be oxidizing the ammonia which is somewhat of a false indication because that's whats in suspension doing the work, not the surfaces. we need X amnt of time for the surfaces to become active and its the same across tanks everywhere.

If you have used a liquid ammonia source + bottle bac your required submersion time is 2-3 weeks, but 30 days is solid for all. no matter what you do or don't do from this day forward, when you hit 30 days Id love to see an updated post about your digestion test Ill link you directly to post #6.

We added raw ammonia only twice in the whole 30 days in that post. you can add more and more often, but the nitrates and nitrites may be off still at 30 days due to accumulations. actual bioloads we employ are typically much less than huge doses of cycling ammonia. we like to do a huge water change at the end of 30 days to export that mix anyway.

I used bacto start following the Red Sea reef mature instructions. I think that would be the ammonia you're talking about. I believe I added it 2 or 3 times the past 24 days. I used bacto start, nitro bac, kh coralline gro, and NO3PO4-X. Do you support what nvladik mentioned above you about introducing a clean up crew? I'm itching to get a crew in my tank to control my algae and just have something to finally look at. Thanks for your guys' help. I appreciate it.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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sure, after that long you can input a cleaning crew to try and assist. that white reflective rock is going to alternate various communities before it ages into coralline which becomes exclusive/competing to those communities in time, also be prepared to remove the rock and scrub off any noncompliants. clean up crews rarely attack where we want
 

Brew12

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Welcome to Reef2Reef!

Do you support what nvladik mentioned above you about introducing a clean up crew? I'm itching to get a crew in my tank to control my algae and just have something to finally look at.
You would be fine adding a CuC at this point unless you were looking to add a delicate species. Most basic snails and hermits will do just fine with nitrates well over 100ppm so you have little to worry about.
 
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beyer

beyer

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I won't be able to remove my rock as I glued it all together into one piece and my tank has a support bar over the top of it splitting my tank opening into two separate openings. I'll order my CUC today or tomorrow then. Any online suggestions? Also, Does anyone think my sand bed is too shallow? I'd say it's about 1.5"-2" deep.
 

Brew12

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I won't be able to remove my rock as I glued it all together into one piece and my tank has a support bar over the top of it splitting my tank opening into two separate openings. I'll order my CUC today or tomorrow then. Any online suggestions? Also, Does anyone think my sand bed is too shallow? I'd say it's about 1.5"-2" deep.
I wouldn't go any deeper than that unless you needed to for specialized livestock.
 
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beyer

beyer

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Ok, I know I saw a video once saying something about why not to have a shallow sand bed but can't remember which video it was. Thought I'd ask. Thanks for your help!
 

Brew12

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Ok, I know I saw a video once saying something about why not to have a shallow sand bed but can't remember which video it was. Thought I'd ask. Thanks for your help!
Deeper sand beds can cause problems because it creates anaerobic zones. That is great for nitrate reduction but has the potential to concentrate sulfates.
 
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