I'm on day 25 of cycling my 90 gal
tank... I understand how cycling is A PROCESS.. and how the cycle process works... BUT, my tank is puzzling me.
First of all I have been testing every night since I plopped the deli shrimp in the tank.
On day 2 ammonia began to show on the test kit, but so did nitrates, around 10ppm.
I kept up with the testing and I just feel like I've screwed something up because my Ammonia has been at zero for at least a week, never had ANY spike in nitrites(at zero for 25 days straight), and my nitrates now read at 20ppm.
Is it normal for nitrates to be present before nitrites??
I am using API Saltwater master test kit, which doesn't expire until 2016.
I just feel like there is something I'm not understanding here and its driving me nuts!
I have about 125 lbs of rock in the tank, many copepods swimming happily about, a 4'' deep sand bed, and two 20 gallon tanks underneath, one as the sump, and the other as a refugium.
I used 2 deli shrimp to start the cycle.. As of 2 days ago there is no longer any shrimp, just a few pieces of shrimp shell(?) do I need to add another ammonia source?
Hopefully someone can help!!!!!