Originally Posted by Natterjak
Our 70 gallon has been up and running for almost two weeks now, and I'm not sure how well it's doing at this point.
I filled the tank with tap water, added some AmQuel Plus, and we've been slowly adding live rock to where we're now at 50 pounds.
Our filtration consists of a wet/dry filter, and we currently have two powerheads in there (have two more on order).
We have CC
for substrate (would like to change to sand).
I also added a block of trace elements.
I had read that bacterial starters could be added to speed up the cycle, so I purchased some RightNow and added that about a week ago.
After that, we purchased two clownfish.
Nitrites: 0.3, Ammonia: 0.25, Nitrates: 25 (I think). pH seems a bit high, around 8.6, even though I've been adding a pH buffer.
Is our tank cycled? Or should we still expect Nitrite/Ammonia spikes
I hope you dont mind but I broke up your post a little so it would be easier for me to focus on a few things. I think over all you have a good start. As I'm sure you know, the tap should have been Ro
ideally, but..you know that so I'll move on.
The Wet/dry...Does it have bio-balls in it? If it does, you might consider removing them. 5 years ago they were considered the newest thing and the most modern way to filter a tank. Then they figured out that Bio balls and Bio bail can and does trap Nitrates. This will cause algae problems for you..Might want to take them out if you do have them.
You said you have Cc as the floor. I hate to be the barer of bad news, but this is also known for trapping Detritus and Nitrates. Sand shifters and your cleaning crew will generally have a hard time w/ it due to its rough texture and size.
A block of trace elements. I'm not familure w/ "a block" of them (usually liquid) but in a new tank your Trace El's should be fine w/ just water changes.
The bacterial starter kit is something that basically makes us feel good. In the right temp water (82) the bacteria can actually double in a matter of a half hour (per Dr. Ron). Because of this, the bacteria on your LR
will be plenty to get things going in a new tank.
The only thing that I saw that REALLY worried me was ....
"After that, we purchased two clown fish.
Nitrites: 0.3, Ammonia: 0.25, Nitrates: 25 (I think). pH seems a bit high, around 8.6, even though I've been adding a pH buffer. "
Nitrites and ammonia should always be a 0 before putting anything living in a tank. Even in small amounts these chemicals can be very toxic. With regular water changes your clowns may have a chance, but w/ your tank only being 2wks old...your maybe a third to half of the way through the initial cycle. Be prepared to loose them.
As far as a spike..maybe not since you have Cured LR
. Hopefully it wont go any higher than it is now. Just keep an eye on it...if the parameters go any higher do a water change. There is an old saying in the hobby. "The Solution to Pollution is Dilution." So...small frequent water changes and they will have the best chance!