Originally Posted by furrymurray
Did your nitrites get to zero before the water change? If they didnt you might have removed the nitrites before the beneficial bacteria had a chance to build up. If it was me, i would add some shrimp or other form of ammonia and double check before adding livestock.
Agree... you kinda shot yourself in the foot by removing the shrimp. Yes, ammonia can
drop that fast once the bacteria begin to build, but now you don't truly know because you removed the source.....
I would add another one and test daily. If you are
truly cycled, then the only thing that will rise are your nitrates since the bacteria is present to process the ammo & nitrites. I would certainly do this before adding anything to the tank, just to be sure..... If it turns out you are cycled, then pull your shrimp, do a couple of large pwc
's to get the nitrates way down, and begin adding your livestock. If it happens that you are not cycled, don't try to force the issue with bottled bacteria, don't remove the shrimp, and don't do any water changes. Keep testing daily, and nature will take it's course.
As far as your pH.... DO NOT ADD BUFFERS to adjust. Yes, 7.8 is on the low side, but cerainly not low enough to stall your cycle, and stability is the single most important thing. And, are you using RODI
Forget you ever heard the words "Vodka dosing"..... This is used by the most experienced reefers to eke out the very last bit of nitrates from their water column for the most demanding of corals. If done incorrectly, it can cause 10 times more problems then it helps...... 99.5% of reef keepers do not need to mess with this. Regular water changes will maintain low enough nitrates for just about any corals you'll keep as a beginner/intermediate reefer.
EDIT: I didn't see it mentioned, but if they're not, make sure your lights are completely off during your cycle. If they're on, you can get some very nasty algae/bacterial blooms very quickly with all those nutrients present.......