What is up with my tank levels (did my cycle stall)

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Mbmarkus

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Hey all,
I used dr Tim’s to cycle my tank. Ammonia level is 0, nitrites were 0 and I just had nitrates at 80, I thought ok my tank is cycled, now time for water change. I did a water change and I now have nitrites at a 4 (salifert test) and nitrates 80 and 0 ammonia. I went and got more dr Tim’s and dumped it in yesterday. What am I doing wrong?
 
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Cell

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Buying more bottled bac is what you did wrong. How long has the tank been running? How long since the first bottle of Dr. Tim's? Tagging @brandon429, he is familiar with the manufacturer timelines. You are probably cycled though. Do you have some ammonia you can add to test 24 hr processing?
 

AquaBiomics

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Yeah, don't worry about the standing levels of NO3 and NO2. Add ammonia to about 1-2 ppm and see whether it can be removed within 24 hours.
 

Idoc

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@Cell its been up and running for about a month now. I’ll take your advice and add a little ammonia.
If the tank has been running/cycling for a month plus you already added Dr Tims bacteria, then you are cycled.

Even without adding bacterial starters, a tank will cycle naturally in 1 month.

You're good to go.

As previously mentioned by @AquaBiomics -- if you want to make sure just for personal sanity, dose to 1ppm ammonia... if your system can clear it to zero in 24hrs, then you're cycled.

Add fish slowly...
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Wanted to add: we can use ammonia down after you’ve upped it to see if cycled. If we required true hard zero ammonia then 1/2 of all api owners still cannot reef even if five years old tank

post one pic now of current ammonia against its card compare chart, our calibrated zero


post second pic where you drive up ammonia barely, not a lot or your test will take extra days to report truth, barely up from pic one is the right amount for pic two with next to its color chart

then in a day or two we look for pic three to match pic one


but if it can’t, it matches pic two, stalled. Dr Tims says ten days, we’ve been waiting fifteen to be very patient lol in recent Dr Tims threads
 
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Mbmarkus

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Thanks boys. @brandon429 I crapped the bed and forgot to snap an original photo of why I posted this thread but the level appears to be the same as when I posted. Here is one 20 minutes after adding ammonia. I am stumped. I followed the Tim’s ammonia instructions to the tee. Perhaps I need to wait a few hours?
 

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Mbmarkus

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@brandon429 per the conversion calculator. It said I need 0.15ml to achieve 2ppm using 9.5% ammonia, solution. My issue is the percentage of ammonia on this dr Tim’s ammonia chloride isn’t labeled. So I haven’t gotten the slightest clue. Also per this calculator it says the dimension of my tank make my display 117g but I was under the impression it was a 90g cube and with my trigger system sump it added and extra 24g making a total volume of 114g. How accurate is this calculator?
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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if those measures are interfering with getting a clear read on the calf it’s ok we won’t need either, and adding a bunch more ammonia to make the test kit move will add days wait to your setup if it didn’t already move some.


how many days has this setup had water, and is there any nitrate showing on tests
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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It’s safe to add some starting typical life like a cuc or clowns etc, but consider fish disease protocols from here on out as that’s the real challenge. People use Dr Tims for fish-in cycling and I’ve never seen one fail either. You’ve given wait time that meets ammonia control on a cycling chart and the bottle bac itself, plus nitrogen species are there to indicate action. We spent all of 2020 tracing out how cycles dont stall....the start dates on the label are reliable.


if you’ll add some life to the tank we will track it in our study threads for sure
If you didn’t have nitrate and was five days in still needing to start id be more concerned, three weeks is ok across the board under these conditions of feed and inoculation and factors measured such as nitrate

an uncycled reef cannot house even basic animals for 48 hours they’ll die in a cloudy water mess. conversely, living animals are proof of cycle establishment given these hallmark factors in play. We think it’d be imprudent to add life as some form of guess, but you’ve met the rules updated cycle science uses so it didn’t seem to be an issue for you to start here. Plus you added the extra bac, it’s good to go.

do a decent water change before you begin, exports algae fuel for the high lighting phase coming
 

loui

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how old is the tank and why in such a hurry? First couple months is for the tank to get setup let the tank run its course dont worry about testing it means nothing. Let the bacteria colonize the rock, keep the skimmer running properly, run the lights a couple of hours a day and leave the tank alone. This hobby is a marathon not a sprint sit back and enjoy the ride. As far as I am concerned (unless your rock was cooked in acid) what ever was left over in the rock will start the cycle and what ever bacteria starter you choose will get the ball rolling.
 
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Mbmarkus

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I have a blue spot jawfish and 2 lightning maroons in quarantine. I don’t want to rush anything. I will turn on my skimmer and the lights and add back in the sponge in my trigger system. I’m trying to be a turtle, not a hare. But I’ll def keep you posted Brandon. Thank you also for the advice @loui
 
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