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Old 04-27-2005, 02:34 AM   #1
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Quick question about cycling

I am cycling my 55gal tank w/ 60lbs live rock, and 60lbs of sand. I have been doing daily tests and my ammonia lvl has been spiked at 8+ since saturday, but today when i did the test twice it came up at .5

Is it normal to have such a dramatic drop off of ammonia or should i test again tomorrow?
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Old 04-27-2005, 02:36 AM   #2
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Not sure about such a dramatic drop, but I say you keep testing it until it reads 0.
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Old 04-27-2005, 02:39 AM   #3
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Sounds more like the nitrifying bacteria is establishing. When in doubt of anything, it's good to test the water. You'll need to again sooner or later anyway. Systems with live rock tend to establish quicker than most.
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Old 04-27-2005, 02:42 AM   #4
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Have you checked your nitrites also? If so what are they? The ammonia will be converted to nitrite....then your nitrite eating bacteria will start to establish....You should be checking both if your not already
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Old 04-27-2005, 02:52 AM   #5
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My nitrites have been spiked since saturday as well, but im reading little to no nitrates.
The only test reading that made a dramatic change was the ammonia. It just struck me as odd.
I was expecting a gradual decrease in ammonia as the bacteria formed.

On a side note, this hurry up and wait for the cycle thing stinks
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Old 04-27-2005, 07:12 PM   #6
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I had the same thing happen. Ammonia went up and down in about 5 days and the nitrites took about 2 weeks. My tank cycled in 18 days.
50 gal.
65Lbs LR
and seeded sandbed
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Old 04-27-2005, 07:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sharkbate
On a side note, this hurry up and wait for the cycle thing stinks
I hear ya!
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:31 PM   #8
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18 days.....that is encouraging however I'm not getting my hopes up. I am expecting 6-8 weeks so anything less then that will be awesome!!

Are there any better test kits than the drip in test tube type and then play match the color? Some of the colors seem so darn close its hard to tell if im reading them right. Although when my NH4 and NO2 drop to 0 it will be a no brainer.
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:54 PM   #9
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IMO the Mater Test kits that you described are by far the most accurate on the retail market...they take just a short time to get used to reading the colors, but after a couple weeks....you shouldn';t have any problems
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sharkbate
18 days.....that is encouraging however I'm not getting my hopes up. I am expecting 6-8 weeks so anything less then that will be awesome!!

Are there any better test kits than the drip in test tube type and then play match the color? Some of the colors seem so darn close its hard to tell if im reading them right. Although when my NH4 and NO2 drop to 0 it will be a no brainer.
You'll hear a lot of anecdotes about short cycle time. Typically, it takes longer than this, because no one is going to post to tell about a "typical" cycle of perhaps a month. There are so many variables, that the only way to know how long your cycle will take is to wait and see.

Personally, I take some of the "short cycle" claims with grain of salt. These are the same people who can drive from my house to my relatives in 4 1/2 hours, when I've never been able to do it in less than 5 1/4 hours -even wothout stops and doing 75 on the highway.
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SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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