Originally Posted by DanS180
Well my fuge is filled with live sand/bacteria and I put a few hermits in there, that's not enough? If not then I'll go out n get a damsel tonight
The nitrogen that we convert from ammonia to nitrites to nitrates comes from the food that we add to our tanks. Organisms don't produce the nitrogen. They just convert it to different forms through their metabolism.
What you are looking for are readings of zero when you are adding a reasonable amount of food (nitrogen source is largely to proteins in the food) is being added to fuel you fish, hermits, snails, corals, etc.
That is why we add a shrimp to decompose during a fishless cycle. As it decomposes, it provides a nitrogen source to grow bacteria colonies.