Another Noob Needing Help With Cycling :)

That Bingo

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Hello all, first i just want to thank everyone in this community. This is my first post but i have learned so much by reading through the forums.

Ok so here is my situation.
I have a 5 gallon fluval evo completely stock. I am currently on day 20 of a fishless cycle using pure ammonia from ace and seachem stability. I used carib sea live sand and dry rock. (i think its the reef saver, it was super clean).I am testing using the API kits. My base test were as follows. Specific Gravity: 1.025, Ph:8.1, Ammonia: .25ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm. temp: 77f. I filled my tank with distilled water and instant ocean but since about day 7 i have been topping off with RO water from my LFS. I also bumped the temperature up to 84f after a few days as i read it helps the bacteria populate better.

Ok so here is what i have done. I dosed my tank to 2ppm ammonia on the first day and haven't added any since. I used seachem stability as per the instructions for 7 days then stopped. I stayed at 2ppm ammonia levels until day 12 where it dropped to about 1ppm but no nitrites or nitrates. it stayed there then it seemed to be back up to about 2ppm on day 14 then the next day back down to 1ppm. That was probably just a testing error. It is now day 20 and i am still stuck at 1ppm ammonia and zero nitrites. I have not seen any nitrites during the whole process. I seem to have 5ppm nitrates but i can not be for certain and would error to the side of not having any just because i have not seen any nitrites and it is probably me just creating fake nitrates in my head to make it seem like it is progressing haha. Ph is still 8.0 and salinity is 1.025.

I am kind of stuck here. I just cant figure out how my ammonia went from 2ppm to 1ppm without nitrites and why it has just been floating around 1ppm for a little over a week now.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I am not in a super rush or anything, i just want to do this right and it seems like i should have better results by now since i am dosing pure ammonia and using stability. Hopefully everything made sense.
 

Ohio Mark

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Welcome aboard! I'm not an expert on cycling, so I'll leave that to someone better able to give advice, but I did want to welcome you.
 

Jesterrace

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Keep in mind that dry rock takes longer to cycle (in general) than live rock. Are you still dosing ammonia at this point? If so then stop and see if it drops. Also ditch the API test kit and go with something like Red Sea. API can give false positives for ammonia and the Nitrate test is horribly inaccurate. There is a good comparison video out there:

 
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That Bingo

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Jesterrace said:
Keep in mind that dry rock takes longer to cycle (in general) than live rock. Are you still dosing ammonia at this point? If so then stop and see if it drops. Also ditch the API test kit and go with something like Red Sea. API can give false positives for ammonia and the Nitrate test is horribly inaccurate. There is a good comparison video out there:

Thank you both for the replies yeah i figured it would take a bit longer but i figured the stability supplement should speed it up a bit. No i have only dosed ammonia on the very first day and that is all. Thank you for the tip on the test kits. I was under impression that the API kit was good enough for testing the cycle and then to move to something better later on, but i will for sure look at getting a red sea kit. I wonder if i am getting a false positive for the ammonia. It just seems weird it went down to 1ppm overnight and them just sat there.
 

Jesterrace

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That Bingo said:
Thank you both for the replies yeah i figured it would take a bit longer but i figured the stability supplement should speed it up a bit. No i have only dosed ammonia on the very first day and that is all. Thank you for the tip on the test kits. I was under impression that the API kit was good enough for testing the cycle and then to move to something better later on, but i will for sure look at getting a red sea kit. I wonder if i am getting a false positive for the ammonia. It just seems weird it went down to 1ppm overnight and them just sat there.
People will disagree with me, but I have found that treatment of chemicals (other than an ammonia source and some form of bacteria) doesn't help the cycling process (sometimes it actually impedes it), just let nature do it's thing. As for API, I have also heard the claim that it is good enough for cycling, but to me it's just not sound logic. You spend $20-$25 on an API test kit just to cycle and then after a month or two (for the cycle) you turn around and spend $40-$50 on a Red Sea, or you could simply spend $40-$50 on the Red Sea test kit in the first place and be good to go for months. After comparing my API Freshwater kit (virtually identical to the saltwater kit as proven in a comparison) to my Red Sea Test kit, I can safely say I would be happy to never use API again. I got a false positive with ammonia on it and could never figure out if my nitrates were 10-20. On the other hand with my Red Sea I can pretty clearly tell whether I have 2, 5, 10, 20 or 50 on my nitrates and have never had a false positive with Ammonia on the Red Sea kit.
 
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