So as I have written before, I have been cycling my tank for 6 weeks now (150 gallon, with about 20 lbs live rock and about 120lbs base rock). I have watched as my ammonia levels have gone from a mere 1.0ppm (highest ever, after decomposing 2 shrimp) to zero, which is great.
My issue is, for the past 4 weeks, my NITRITES have been stuck at .25ppm
and my NITRATES have been at 10ppm
. Not a huge spike as one would expect after decomposing 2 shrimp but, I did get a reduction of ammonia, to zero.
So I visited my LFS
today and the owner said my tank is most likely "stalled" because of the "smart cycle" that I introduced at his recommendation (1st mistake). Apparently, the "smart cycle" got rid of the ammonia quickly, but has done nothing for the nitrites and nitrates (see readings above).
His advice: "I believe you have all the beneficial bacteria to sustain life". He suggests to perform a 20 percent water change, wait a few hours, then check the levels again. He suggests this will reduce the nitrite/nitrate level, leaving the beneficial bacteria to do their job. UN-stalling the tank.
Any advice? Does this sound correct as I am now working on week number 7? What to do now???
FYI-I have a wet/dry filter with a synthetic filter and about 200 bioballs that I will eventually change over to rubble as soon as I can get through this cycle. Protein skimmer and UV
filter is not running at this time. I have NO algae growth anywhere and I have not been running any lights at all during this cycle.
Does the advice of the LFS
owner make sense or....?