Originally Posted by Callen
I found my initial ammonia reading and it was .5 on June 25...the day I put the shrimp in. I didn't measure again until July 1 and it has been zero ever since. Nitrites have been 5.0 every time possibly 2.0 yesterday (it was in between colors) Nitrates have been 80 every time I started with 80 lbs new CaribSea brand carribean aragonite live sand I added 65 lbs of new live rock..45 lbsTonga, 20 Fiji and 5 Pukani just because I liked the shapes of some individual pieces. I added no telling how much of the old rock that had been sitting dry in the garage (I'd guess at least 50 lbs if not more. I started with all of the old stuff and took 20 lbs out when i finally arranged stuff this past weekend because their wasn't gonna be much room left for fish to swim.) Suffice to say I started the tank with a lot of new live stuff! Maybe that helped the ammonia pretty quickly???? I wish I'd had another reading during that first week. Yesterday I found some things growing on the rock. Today there's even more. I see at least 4 different things in there. What is a good source for identifying what is growing? If I dose it with ammonia now, will it affect the growing things? How high on the heat? And does the heater go in the sump? Still so many questions!!!!
Take pics & post in the Identification forum for new growths. Aiptasia, glass anemones are pretty common... I just had some Who-know-what sponges & a Pineapple Sponge. I've got Spirorbid Polychaetes growing on the back of my powerheads & on the walls of my refugium.
Here's a guide to some things you may find: http://www.lionfishlair.com/hitchhiker/hitchhiker.shtml
And I'd say you mostly cycled. But you need to wait until you get zero NitrIte readings before you consider it cycled. Also, if you plan to fully stock the aquarium at once, you will want to get the Ammonia dosed up quite a bit & have the tank process it in 24hrs, I believe. IDK if 4ppm Ammonia is the guideline for SW
w/ live rock?? 4ppm is for FW
. If the Ammonia gets too high it's also not good. And yes, heater in the sump but IDK how high of a temp the fishless cycling SW
tank can handle... Maybe 82? Maybe 86?? Need somebody w/ experience to chime in. Also, the day before you add animals, you need to do a BIG water change & bring those NitrAtes down. Mine hang out around 5ppm, but I just made my sump a mini refugium w/ live rock, light & Chaeto, so I'm hoping to see my NitrAtes lower. I do a 10% water change weekly now while I'm introducing stock & trying to get this Used Tank in the state I want it.