It has been 20 years since I have had SW
tanks. A lot has changed. This is my first attempt at cycling a new tank without live fish for the ammonia supply.
I have a 100 DT with a 30 gallon sump. During this process, I have not been running any lights and have been running my skimmer. I have 80 lbs of base rock and 30 lbs live rock. Live rock was from LFS
and had lots of life, heavy coralline, etc. Out of water for about 10-15 minutes for drive home.
The tank was started on 07/25 with all the above. 1.026 salinity, 8.0-8.1 PH, temp 80. I placed an uncooked jumbo shrimp in on that day. I tested about every other day and never saw ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. Using a new API kit. The shrimp decomposed to nothing, only a bit of the tail left.
On 08/04 still no readings. I dosed ammonia direct to the tank to 2ppm. On 08/06 I tested and ammonia was down to .25, no nitrites. On 08/07 all three readings were zero. I then dosed back to 2ppm ammonia. On 08/08 ammonia was down to .25 again, zero nitrites. I tested again today and ammonia, nitrites and nitrates were zero.
Any thoughts? Should I keep repeating the ammonia dosing until I see a nitrite spike? There is a little amount of diatoms at the base of some of the base rock and on the sand, and some of the coralline is spreading to the base rock. I am not in a hurry to have this cycle, I just want to make sure I am doing this right. The soonest I could add fish would be 4-6 weeks from now anyways due to QT time. Thanks in advance for any advice.