Water parameters on a cycling tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by SaltyNoob, 30 Oct 2015.

  1. SaltyNoob

    SaltyNoob

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    Hi, I hope an expert can help me. I'm still new to marine after running fresh water tanks successfully for a few years.

    My tank has been cycling for nearly 5 weeks now and I'm a little worried that my cycle has stalled. I am doing a fishless cycle with pure ammonia I bought from the Chemist.

    Any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    My Tank:

    200L Display tank
    Base rock
    Live sand
    Two power heads
    Two AI Primes

    My Sump:

    50L Sump
    500L Bubble magus skimmer
    300 Watt heater
    Seachem Matrix
    Return pump
    Temp controller
    Auto top off

    I have been testing with a brand new Red Sea test kit. My parameters are:

    Ammonia 6 ppm
    Nitrite 0.5 ppm
    Nitrate 2 ppm
    Alkalinity 6
    PH 8.2

    I dosed 5ppm ammonia on the first day and another 5ppm a few days later. I added another 3ppm two weeks into the cycle and havent added since. Last week I also dosed for 7 days with Seachem Stability to try to improve the situation. My ammonia has dropped from 13ppm total to 6ppm total.

    Should I just be patient and wait it out? Thanks
     
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  3. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    You can either wait it out or get Seachem Prime and dose, this will reduce Ammonia in a short duration
     
  4. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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  5. Juan27

    Juan27

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    The base rock you put in, was it artificial rock or dried out live rock?
     
  6. SaltyNoob

    SaltyNoob Thread Starter

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    The rock is CaribSea South Seas Base Rock. Its natural rock that was mined as I understand it. No live critters

    Thanks for the recommendation on the prime, I will use it as an absolute last resort but would prefer the cycle to finish naturally.
     
  7. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    That is a lot of ammonia to add to a tank, its going to take a long time for your biological filter to develop and remove that amount. Id probably do a large water change to bring that level of ammonia down.
     
  8. Dexter

    Dexter

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    As your bacteria population increase your parameters will come down. You can add something like stability or special blend. It will speed the process up
     
  9. Dexter

    Dexter

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    Sorry didnt read your last paragraph properly.
     
  10. Blue Reefer

    Blue Reefer MASA Contributor

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    As advised by @459b already a large water change will help and keep on dosing the seachem stability it can only help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  11. Willie85

    Willie85

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    Can you post some pics?
    Would like to see what your tank looks like compared to mine tank which is now cycling for 3 weeks.
     
  12. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    I would just add a bactgeria source and let it break down the ammonia. It might take a week or two and you might end up with high nitrates but you will have a bacteria population that can handle a decently stocked tank. That is the joy of a fishless cycle using a pure ammonia source. I cycled all my tanks like that. The reccomendation of the fishless cycle is to do the large waterchange afterwards to get rid of the nitrate. You will not impact the bacteria population since most of the bacteria will colonise on the rocks. Very little bacteria will be in the water column.
     
  13. SaltyNoob

    SaltyNoob Thread Starter

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    I was hoping to hold off on the water change for now and do it at the end as recommended. Thanks for all the advice. Would you say my bacteria colonies are established and my cycle is progressing?

    I was thinking I would wait for the ammonia to drop to 0 and then dose to maybe 0.5ppm and let that zero again before adding fish?

    Which bacteria source would you recommend mariusmeyer?
     
  14. SaltyNoob

    SaltyNoob Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]

    I havent had an algae bloom but I did have a diatom bloom
     
  15. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    Firstly leave the lights off. You will just fuel unwanted algae. I used Microbelift special blend on my last cycle and before then I used brightwells microBacter 7.

    Once your ammonia has dropped to 0, add that 0.5ppm ammonia and if the following day your ammonia and nitrite is 0 then your cycle is complete.

    Once thing to bear in mind is that you will have a very big bacteria colony at the end of the cycle. And since you will be adding livestock slowly you will just have to feed the tank some stuff to keep the bacteria alive otherwise they will starve. A little bit of flake every 2nd day or so should be fine.
     
    Last edited: 30 Oct 2015
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