Reef tank almost done cycling?

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Ethan Martel, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Ethan Martel

    Ethan Martel Member

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    Hi, so about 2 weeks ago I started a 29 gallon saltwater tank which I started with live rock and some live sand from my previous 5 gallon nano reef and some bio spira basically quick start. Ive been testing the water regularly every other day while doing 25% weekly water changes. Bio spira so far I am happy with, although its not true that you can add fish right away, it speeds up the cycle . I also have 11 blue leg hermits, and 3 turbo snails which do a great job of keeping everything clean.

    I noticed the first ammonia spike a week in, just a small one up to 0.25 ppm. I did a water change, and reduced the feeding a little and after a couple days it was down to near 0. Today after about 2 weeks I checked the nitrates and they are up quite high, around 50 ppm which is about halfway up my testing chart. I know they are supposed to spike near the end of the cycle, since ammonia and nitrite are way down at nearly zero.

    I added some seachem denititrate to the filter which I did with my old tank to help bring those nitrates down and finish the cycle a little quicker, which it did a great job of before.

    Basically all I want to know is, am I doing this okay? I definitly am waiting to add fish untill after the nitrates are down, but I just want to make sure that spike wasnt too high, and also if adding the denitrate was a good idea at this point.

    Heres my tank, I plan to add more live rock. as you can see I have a little on the side and mostly new dry rock since it was much more reasonable priced. Any other recommendations will help me a lot!
    Saltwater.png
     
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  2. Ergodyne

    Ergodyne Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    There’s not a lot of rock in there to support a very large population of appropriate bacteria, right off the bat, in my opinion.
    I would still let it go another week or two, and look into putting in a bit more rock, as you said.

    The additional rock, should help provide more anoxic areas to help handle the nitrate as well.

    However, you did do a skip cycle and added additional bacteria, you might me able to get away with starting off with 1 fish, however, if it were me, I’d wait longer. :)

    Happy reefing!
     
  3. Ethan Martel

    Ethan Martel Member

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    t
    That's a good point. I think before I do a fish I'm going to fill it up with the rest if the rock and test it for a bit to make sure it's still stable for a fish.
     
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  4. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Jack of All Trades, Masters in One R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I too would wait a little longer and add some more rock, the more surface area you have for denitrification bacteria, the better :)
     
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  5. Ergodyne

    Ergodyne Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    That would also give that rock (I’m assuming dry as well?) to shed some of its funk.
     
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  6. EmdeReef

    EmdeReef Active Member

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    As a rule of thumb it takes anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks before a tank can be considered safe for a few fish, it may or may not be fully cycled though.

    I've never added bacteria, but at least without it, there can be latent ammonia and nitrite spikes depending on the efficiency of your biological filtration.
    To test, you can try adding some food to your tank in the morning and testing for ammonia and nitrites in in a few hrs and then again in the evening. If the resulting value is higher than what you observed the day before before then it's pretty safe to assume the tank needs a bit more time. Keep in mind too that dry rock may add some pressure on your bio filter as some of the remaining "dirt" dissolves.
     
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  7. Ethan Martel

    Ethan Martel Member

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    Good advice everyone, thanks a lot!

    I'm gonna go with more live rock. As well as another overhead light since I only have one from my old tank.
     
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  8. ReefJake123

    ReefJake123 Active Member

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    Definitely more live rock and I’d wait 3 more weeks for safety because I was dumb and did only 3 weeks and ended up having my hair algae out of control
     
  9. ifarmer

    ifarmer Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Nice. Did you test every other dsy to see ammonia spike and down to zero? That is how you can tell that tank is cycled
     
  10. ReefJake123

    ReefJake123 Active Member

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    I did but the weird part was I only had one ammonia spike and it went down quickly but then 3 days later I come home from school and hair algae is growing out of control
     
  11. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Active Member

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    How long are you running your lights on the tank? What kind of water are you using? (ie RO/RODI, Distilled or Tap).
     
  12. timnem70

    timnem70 Member

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    All that and... Is that a Penguin powerfilter and air wand? The wand is Okay just odd in a display tank and usually found in a QT. I would however certainly upgrade your filtration on that size aquarium. There is not enough space in the filter to form a "bio factory" and combat what's to come. It will all play out in your DT. Algae and all kids of stuff to foul up your watercolumn due to no export of nutrients. IMHO you have a lot to do and fish right now or even a few more weeks, may live a while but as soon as they start pooping amd urinating, the subsequent ammonia spike ( again with only a small filter that won't hold media.) and death of your fish. Adding more rock is a must but not having an overflow first to skim some of a the crap off the waters surface, and limited surface area outside the DT will end in pain. Just slow it down, take your time and invest up front on even the most basic equipment.(don't have to spend a fortune, but get the correct gear to do the job.) And you will avoid the hard lessons those before you have had. You sound like you have a good grasp on the process you're looking for. Best of luck and keep us posted
    ......
     
  13. ReefJake123

    ReefJake123 Active Member

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    If you’re talking to me I’m fine now my tank is 10 months old
     
  14. timnem70

    timnem70 Member

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    Nope. To the guy who wrote the post.
     
  15. ReefJake123

    ReefJake123 Active Member

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    Ok I was confused I was like huh
     
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