With freshly harvested rock you will get much more die of than the stuff typically purchased at your LFS
that sits for weeks. The more salvagable life in/on the rock, the more need for water changes. This will not
prolong the cycle time as long as some ammonia is detectable. The more you can reduce the polutants from the water, the more critters will survive the cycle. I would actually suggest water changes until the NH3
reading falls just below 1 ppm
(closer to 0.5 ppm
). You may find that daily water changes are needed.
The amount of ammonia produced is directly related to the amount of die off so the sooner that subsides, the sooner it will move on to the nitrite stage of the cycle. You should still continue with the water changes to keep the NH3
at reasonable levels until the cycle is done. The more you keep up with this the more that will survive.
I am in no hurry and want to keep what appears to be, according to the LFS as some type of shrimp. They are running around everywhere !!!!
Most likely mysid shrimp or amphipods, both great hitchikers!