I am currently at day 20 of my fishless cycle.
At day 15 I started finding life in the tank.
I found some stomatella snails, some tiny red feather dusters, an aiptasia (now deceased), a couple small white feathery things too small to take a pic of (possibly anemones, but they dont seem to move or retract when disturbed), and 2 small bristle worms (good ones, I checked).
Things have been progressing well but suddenly, 2 days ago, my nitrates skyrocketed from 0 to 40(Tuesday) to 160 yesterday. Today I did a 20% water change and retested everything.
I have been dosing ammonia daily to keep it at 2.0.
After the water change today I ran the tests and these are my results:
Ammonia - 0.25
pH - 8.4
Nitrites - 2.0
Nitrates - 160, possibly more since the red was VERY dark. I retested after recleaning the test tube to make sure it was accurate.
Calcium - 460
I am currently making more RO
so I can make salt water to do another PWC
to get the Nitrates down, hopefully by Saturday.
I noticed that the Nitrate numbers jumped the day after I dosed the tank with Purple Up
to stimulate the coraline spreading to my dry rock and adding macroalgae to the sump.
I know these readings normally fluctuate as the cycling process progresses, but the Nitrates numbers seem extreme. Did I mess up by using the Purple Up?
Should I continue dosing the ammonia? I have no livestock in the tank other than what is listed above so I am thinking yes, but I would like the Nitrites and especially Nitrates to drop some before I do.