First cycle of my first tank

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New Member

This is my first post and my first marine aquarium. I have had my tank set up since Sunday (6 days today). I started my fishless cycle on the same day by adding a shrimp/prawn in for about 18 hours. The smell got to us.. I started with Marco rock and live sand.

My question is.. I have been testing my water everyday since and have had reading, since day one, for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate.

1) It this normal?

2) Tonight my ammonia and nitrite have dropped from yesterday.

Ammonia peaked at 1 mg/l (ppm)

Nitrite peaked at 0.4 mg/l Yesterday and today 0.3 mg/l.

Nitrate has peaked and now flatlined at 12 mg/l

Is my tank still cycling or do I need to add another shrimp/prawn in?

Any advise would be much appreciated

Thank you


Well-Known Member
Still cycling. The first sign of ammonia means it started. Once done you should read zero ammonia, zero nitrite, and very low nitrate


Staff member
I would add at least a couple of pieces of live rock. Then just start feeding the LR with a bit of quality fish food daily. Live rock will do wonders for a fish tank, even if it's not going to go full blown with live rock display.

Don't be in a rush to add fish. Go through the cycle process slow and easy. You want to build up your biofilter so that it can handle a good load once you get started with stocking. A drop in ammonia and nitrites does not necessarily mean that your have the best biofilter going. It takes time.


Well-Known Member
Totally agree with beth. Live rock really is the life blood of a healthy marine tank. You don't need alot to start tho.