The nitrous cycle STARTS with the addition of proteins. Bacteria will break down the protein and produce ammonia (ammonia spike). Then other bacterias will feed on the ammonia and give off nitrite (nitrite spike). Lastly, other bacterias different from the first two will feed on the nitrate (nitrate spike) and thus you have the end of the cycle where then it begins with ammonia again.
What it sounds like is that you are using cocktail shrimp or something of the like to cycle your tank. If so, leave them in there. Dont ever pull them out. You want the worst kind of terror in your tank to establish the bacteria. With the shrimp you should see with your test kit an ammonia spike in about a week or two. Then as the ammonia levels off you should the nitrites spike about a week later. Then as the nitrites level off you should see nitrates spike too. Wait at least a month before you start adding livestock you WANT to keep. You can keep live rock in the water but you should reconsider adding any other animals. Try waiting at least two months to build your tank with live rock and establish the system (bacteria). If you do not wait you risk exposing fish and other animals you really want to keep a most horrible death. :- )
Add as much live rock as possible. There really is no rule to how much rock to use. BUT the rule of thumb is about 1.5lbs/gal
. So for your setup about 150lbs. But dont quote me on that! I/We dont know what your tank setup specs may be. Try replying with more specifics about your filtration, lighting, age of cycle, pounds of live rock, and what type of system you are planning (i.e. Fish only or Reef).
BE PATIENT! It will pay off when you start adding animals you want to keep.