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Old 05-10-2013, 01:25 AM   #1
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A few questions on cycling

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!!!!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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How much of the rocks were live rocks? The more live, the less cycle.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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If you have lots of cyclpods in your tank i would not worry to much.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:16 PM   #4
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None of the rock was live, I bought one bag of Copepods in the very beginning (when i set up the tank, weeks before cycling-had some leaky bulkheads that stalled the setup about a month...ugh) and they are now all over the glass in all 3 tanks.

But why have I not had any nitrites??

And why are my nitrates at 40 when I have nothing(besides Copepods) living in the tank?
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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Went to my lfs today and added 10 lbs of live rock, will be keeping a close eye on parameters. Hopefully something will happen lol
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:55 PM   #6
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Tested parameters, apparently something died during transport (that's my guess anyways)

Ammonia: 1.0
Nitrite: still 0
Nitrate: 20
Ph: 8.2
Temperature: 79.4


Also, just had a thought... Even though I started the cycle with 2 fairly large raw shrimp... My ammonia has never been over 1.0 ppm. I've read people dosing their tanks to 4.0 ppm, or does it not matter?

As always, thanks for your help guys. I've done a bit of research but this being my first SW tank I still have many questions!!
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:06 AM   #7
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On live rock you will get die back, but this is a good thing as it helps the tank to cycle quicker
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