No ammonia spike after 2 weeks?

murraya8922

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I set up my new 46 gallon bow front 13 days ago. I added 40 pounds of the CaribSea live sand, 45 pounds of Marcos dry rock and 10-20 pounds of live rock from my old tank. I added a whole bottle of the BioSpira stuff (the 75 gallon bottle). The tank is at 79 degrees. All RO/DI water with Kent salt.
No skimmer yet, just a small HOB with floss and carbon.
2 660 GPH powerbeads for flow.
I have one turbo snail in there, kind of just because, but it's been doing as snails do for the last 6-8 days.
I added a small piece of raw shrimp in about a week ago to try and expedite things and start the cycle. It has gotten at least 4 times bigger with the "bio-dome" of bacteria on it.
I have been testing for ammonia for the last week, and NOTHING! No nitrites either. I've used my own API test kit, and have had my LFS test the water as well.
Any idea whats going on??
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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the ammonia is being oxidized by the living materials used, its a skip cycle tank. the live sand can process it, and your rocks that were already live. you don't have to dose ammonia to this type of cycle, just begin reefing and the dry rocks you added w catch up in a month. the bottle bac added made the water column very strong in terms of nitrification, via suspended bacteria as well. you don't need to rot a shrimp here

that much live rock alone will run nearly every fish bioload we keep in a given reef tank of typical stocking ratios. the sand and the bottle bac were above and beyond whats required for a cycle.

the only tanks that need to cycle and delay are the ones that use dry materials from the start. pretty much every pico reef currently running is a skip cycle reef where aged rocks are moved from a big tank into a tiny one plus corals, and the tiny tank just continues. skip cycling isn't rule breaking, all of pico reefing is built on the premise.

those types of dry rocks are shown in threads to give po4 concerns as a side note...if they were cured correctly apparently that helps per threads.
 
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murraya8922

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So, if I went ahead and added two fire fish (waiting to add clowns later, and have had nothing but bad luck with Damsels...they are jerks, haha) you don't think I'll get some magical spike or something? What you say makes sense. My LPS literally said "your water is too clean". Once I add the fish, I'll go ahead and install my seasoned skimmer. I have the BRS 1/8" clear netting btw.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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yep agreed the sand alone would've handled just two fish easily in most tanks, the lr and the bottle bac are above and beyond, post pics of your tank we like to see rock ratios, see how much lr is in the equation

your max bioload here is set by whatever the max is for that wet sand and just the live rock portion in another tank...it will run a full reef's bioload as moving aquaria wont kill off bac when hydration remains during the xfer.

this is how tanks are set up at large marine conventions without delay. they know that bacteria don't downscale during a relocation of all living materials.
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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So...one or two small fish at a time, spaced a week or two apart should be okay?
Id go slower than that. Just because its cycling does not mean its up to speed. Id say you are about to see a big ugly phase coming.
 
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murraya8922

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I am running a GFO/Carbon reactor for the first time...should I still expect the ugly phase? I already have a little brown coming up on the dry rock. Diatoms I think? Oooh, and I have copepods in there like crazy on the glass! Day and night.
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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I am running a GFO/Carbon reactor for the first time...should I still expect the ugly phase? I already have a little brown coming up on the dry rock. Diatoms I think? Oooh, and I have copepods in there like crazy on the glass! Day and night.
yes I do. just go slow. the rock it literally curing in the tank right now. the outer layers are dissolving and buffering(look at the PH and the alk), those are nutrients life likes. SO i would add slow and ride it out. It might not be bad.
 
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murraya8922

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Will do. Uploading pictures here in a second. Another quick note...I test for nitrite once a night and cannot detect any of that either. I personally (not sure if my LFS did...I was paying attention to the ammonia) test for nitrate. Going along with what y'all are saying...will those levels be very very low/undetectable as well?
 

saltyfilmfolks

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Will do. Uploading pictures here in a second. Another quick note...I test for nitrite once a night and cannot detect any of that either. I personally (not sure if my LFS did...I was paying attention to the ammonia) test for nitrate. Going along with what y'all are saying...will those levels be very very low/undetectable as well?
yes. the nitrates will build as the food rots, poo too.
 
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murraya8922

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murraya8922

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One big piece if Fiji up top, and a smaller Pukani in the middle front. At least 12-15 pounds combined. Also, you can see the browning of the new dry rock. (The decomposing shrimp is in the net to keep it from making a mess)
 

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