Questions about levels while cycling

Pennyworth

Wonderpus
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#1
I've done a lot of reading on how to cycle a tank and allow it to mature.

I've had my tank for 2 months but did a complete water change a few weeks ago to get rid of the tap water that it was originally filled with.

My understanding is that water changes do not affect the bacteria growing within the live rock and sand, and that ammonia levels should slowly increase and then decrease as nitrites/nitrates increase.

Before the water change testing for amonia, nitrites and nitrates all came back at 0, or the lowest level the test indicated. No change after the water change, which I think woulod be expected.

Is it bad that I had 0 ammonia, nitrites and nitrates after almost 2 months of cycling?

There does seem to be algae growing on the liverock, and I have kept salinity levels at 1.24
 

Pennyworth

Wonderpus
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#4
Actually, is there a way to test that the liverock is...live? I think it would have been cured so maybe that explains the levels, but it's kind of strange to me that it would all be at 0.
 

Pennyworth

Wonderpus
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#5
I'm going to add some shrimp to ghost feed and see what happens re levels in the tank.

If I buy fresh frozen shrimp from the grocery store, is this fine? Want to make sure I don't introduce anything I shouldn't.
 

Pennyworth

Wonderpus
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#6
Well after adding ammonia and monitoring over night....nothing. Ammonia level stayed constant, no nitrites or nitrates.

I guess I've killed all the bacteria in the live rock by not feeding it.

Going to add Dr Tim's one and only....does anyone have an opinion on that?
 

Pennyworth

Wonderpus
Registered
#7
Thought I would post an update on the off-chance it may help other beginners.

After adding ammonia and Dr Tim's, I would say my tank is now cycled.

I can now add ammonia up to 4ppm and in 12 hours have no ammonia or nitrites. It took just about 2 weeks, although I don't know if it was due to the LR or Dr Tim's.

I'm traveling for all of June so going to add a few hermit crabs and maybe a red bristle star to see how they go, but so far everything is looking good.
 

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