Cycling question!

Grumpyguy

New Member
Hello everyone. I’m new to this hobby but have wanted a saltwater tank for years. I have a 55 gallon Fowlr tank that I’m not sure where is the cycle it stands. It currently has about 30 lbs of live rock and 15 lbs of dry rock in it. There is around 1 inch of sand substrate in the bottom. I am running a seachem tidal 110 hang on back filter that was recommended by a reef store that is very popular in the city it is in. I have had it running for about a month with no activity in it while I went on vacation. When I came back I did a 50% water change and started testing water parameters. About 3 weeks ago I got 2 clown fish to start cycling my tank with. I used the Dr. Tims all in one with the new fish. I use an API test kit and my current levels are PH-8.2, ammonia is < .025ppm, nitrites 0 ppm, nitrates 0 ppm. It has been this way since day 2 with the fish. The ammonia did spike up to .05 just before I did a water change. Now everything is back to the previous readings. How do I know when it is safe to add more fish?
 

SALTWAT3RFISH

Administrator
Staff member
Doesn't sound like you have achieved a stable nitrifing bacteria colony just yet. Cycling with fish isn't the best way to go and this is a good example of why. Are you able to set up a small QT for your clownfish? You're going to want to jack the ammonia up. If you keep the fish in and feed, the ammonia will eventing spike and yoir fish will not be super stoked about it.
 

Grumpyguy

New Member
I'm working on getting all the stuff for a QT. Currently have a tank and hood. Don't have a filter or heater for it yet. It's only a 10 gallon but lately have been tight on $.
 

SALTWAT3RFISH

Administrator
Staff member
I'm working on getting all the stuff for a QT. Currently have a tank and hood. Don't have a filter or heater for it yet. It's only a 10 gallon but lately have been tight on $.
Totally understand that. I see cheap or free aquarium stuff on Facebook market pretty often. You may be able to scoop up a basic filter, aerator and heater for nothing. Might be worth a try. If you keep doing water changes, you'll continue to stall the progress of the cycle. You're in a bit of a bind without having a way to remove your fish. Do you have any carbon on hand?
 

Grumpyguy

New Member
So I’m getting more things for my QT tank. Since it is new and the regular tank hasn’t really cycled yet, I am unable to put a sponge filter in it. What other kind of filter can I use that is not a HOB. I really don’t want to cut the back of the cover out if I don’t have to. Planning on eventually getting a firefish and dottyback so don’t want a possible opening for them to jump out of
 

SALTWAT3RFISH

Administrator
Staff member
Any type of internal filter will work for mechanical filtration. Just be mindful to keep up with maintenance of whatever media type it uses.
 

Grumpyguy

New Member
Ok. Finally got everything for my QT. Will be moving my fish into it shortly. How do I go about getting my tank to finish cycling. Do I use a Table shrimp, some ammonium additive? What is the best and easiest way?
 

PoppyD88

New Member
Ok. Finally got everything for my QT. Will be moving my fish into it shortly. How do I go about getting my tank to finish cycling. Do I use a Table shrimp, some ammonium additive? What is the best and easiest way?
I’m almost finished cycling my 55 gal. It only took about two weeks for my ammonia and nitrites to spike. My ammonia returned to 0 and my nitrates started showing up. I put Dr. Tims Ammonia in everyday to make sure the ammonia levels were at 5ppm.
 

PoppyD88

New Member
I’m almost finished cycling my 55 gal. It only took about two weeks for my ammonia and nitrites to spike. My ammonia returned to 0 and my nitrates started showing up. I put Dr. Tims Ammonia in everyday to make sure the ammonia levels were at 5ppm.
Also, I put a table shrimp but it took around 3 weeks to finally start decomposing and I put some fish food in too. I’m new to the hobby too but I heard it’s not productive to do water changes while cycling.
 

SALTWAT3RFISH

Administrator
Staff member
Sounds like you did great. If the ammonia and nitrite have gone up, and back down. I'd say you're good to go.
 

Grumpyguy

New Member
So... Before I put my clowns into the QT tank I did a water change on the display tank and put 5 gallons of water from the display into the QT and then topped it off with fresh made saltwater. I let it run through the filter for a few days and then tested the water. The ammonia was 1ppm, Nitrites were at .5ppm and Nitrates were at 5.0ppm. This is no rock or sand. Just PVC fittings and a brand new in tank filter. My display tank still reads Ammonia <.25, Nitrites 0 and nitrates 0. Any idea how this is possible?
 

Grumpyguy

New Member
I was told by my LFS that the API test kit has a tendancy to show a little bit of ammonia and that with fish in my display tank and it reads like the parameters in my previous post, that the tank is cycled.
 

Grumpyguy

New Member
So it looks like my tank is finally making some progress. This morning after i got off work i added some more bacteria. This afternoon when i checked the water it showed ammonia @ <.25ppm, nitrites @ 0ppm, nitrates @ 5.0ppm. I know sometimes it happens really fast but could i have missed the nitrite spike in a span of 7 hours?
 

SALTWAT3RFISH

Administrator
Staff member
So it looks like my tank is finally making some progress. This morning after i got off work i added some more bacteria. This afternoon when i checked the water it showed ammonia @ <.25ppm, nitrites @ 0ppm, nitrates @ 5.0ppm. I know sometimes it happens really fast but could i have missed the nitrite spike in a span of 7 hours?
I doubt that you missed a spike that quickly. May want to add a little more ammonia and see what happens.
 
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