I have a 29 gallon saltwater tank that I am hoping to turn to a reef. I decided to do fish less cycling using a couple pieces of live rock (8 lbs) and the rest reef bones. I used live sand and also mud for my refugium. I used dr tims ammonium chloride which is supposed to be perfectly diluted to 1 drop per gallon to give 2 ppm
ammonia. I initially followed the directions adding the amount for my water column. My api test kit did not register at all so I thought it was simply a faulty reading. A few days later I tested for nitrites....nothing at all using Api test. I let it go a week and decided to dose more ammonium chloride thinking I didn't have enough for the cycle to start. I then showed around 3 ppm
ammonia. At this point I also added a bottle of dr tims one and only (thinking my live sand and mud bacteria had died due to the cold weather when shipped). Within a couple days my ammonia had dropped to zero. I then tested for nitrites using Api test. It showed zero. I then purchased a Hanna ulr nitrite tester which reads in ppb. The results were around 75 ppb. A day or two later nitrites dropped to 20 ppb. At this point I am still not seeing any nitrates at all. I decided to dose ammonia again to around 4 ppm
. Ammonia dropped a few days later, Nitrites came up to around 80 ppb and is now falling. I am currently sitting at 0 ppm
ammonia, 40 ppb nitrites, and 0 nitrates. Is it possible I am simply "mini cycling" and not being able to pick up the amounts of nitrates on a ppm
level? Any insight anyone has is greatly appreciated.
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