I hate to bring up another cycling thread but I'm struggling with this!
In October, I set up a 60 gallon reef tank. On 10/23, I tried to cycle it with 40 lbs live rock that I added to 40 lbs of existing baserock. Nothing happened for weeks - 0 ppm
for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I assumed that I didn't have enough LR
to cycle it. So, one week ago, I added 3 shrimp in the nylon stocking according to advice I've read on this forum. I expected a high ammonia spike but it peaked at .50. Today, I show 0 ppm
for ammonia. I tested nitrites this morning and have 0 ppm
. Nitrates are 20 ppm
. Is this it? I never saw a nitrite reading. I wasn't testing for it because I thought ammonia would be higher. When I saw the ammonia drop, I then tested for nitrite. As I said, there is a nitrate reading. The shrimp is happily rotting away - I think I followed the instructions closely.
Has it cycled? Can it happen this quickly with low ammonia values?
I do have some LR
hitch hikers. I have 2 asterina star fish, 3 feather dusters and several un-ID'd worms, several super tiny white or clear looking shrimp, at least 1 sponge - they all appear to be healthy and I do have some minimal coraline algae growth and forams.
Can I add some macro algae and a clean up crew or should I add more dead shrimp and get a higher ammonia and nitrite spike? I did have a brief dusting of diatoms shortly after introducing the 3 shrimp but that is disappearing. I am using a reefmaster test kit.
Maybe it has been quietly cycling all along since the addition of the LR
and was a gradual process? It just seems really premature to consider the first, most important cycle complete after 1 week since adding the shrimp. I want to make sure that I am not misunderstanding a critical point.