Day 21 of Cycling New Tank

sofisk

Hi! I'm fairly new to this hobby and I have a few questions about cycling my tank but I want to give you a little background first so I'm sorry if this is a long post. My boyfriend and I have a 40 gallon breeder tank with a shallow bed of live sand, about 28 lbs of dry rock and a few pounds of live rock, a Fluval C4 power filter, a Hydor slI'm skI'm protein skimmer, a heater, a 1 gallon refugium (filled with rubble, live rock, and chaeto,) 2 powerheads (500gph), a thermometer, and a hydrometer. Initially this tank was supposed to be a birthday gift for my boyfriend and his birthday is next Wednesday (November 23rd) so we were hoping to at least have one fish in the tank by then. Today is day 21 of our cycle and we are using an API liquid saltwater master test kit.

We decided to go with a fishless cycle and we ghost fed for about the first week or so as well as doing daily doses of MicroBacter7. Starting on day 5, I made an excel spreadsheet and we have been recording our water parameters daily (Temp, Salinity, pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate). Our ammonia started reading high around day 7 and stayed the same for a few days before seemingly peaking around day 13. On day 13 we had almost off the charts readings for ammonia and nitrites and our nitrates were also pretty high. We were advised to do a water change and stop ghost feeding. We probably changed around 30% of the water. After that the ammonia started going down and our nitrites started rising. I could not match the color to anything that came with the test kit. As soon as I added the test solution, it would immediately turn bright fluorescent purple and was unreadable against the test kit. It stayed that way for about a week, until about 2 days ago when we (finally) started seeing a change and today the nitrites read at .25ppm (read about a .50ppm yesterday). Since doing our water change, we haven't had a problem with our nitrates and the chaeto and the protein skimmer seem to be doing a pretty good job of keeping those in check. Our ammonia is at 0.

My boyfriend is a member of another forum site (reef2reef) and was told, that when we think the cycle is complete,to dose with ammonia and if it's gone the next day, we're good to add fish. So we bought some pure ammonia with no additives or anything but we don't really know how much to add. My boyfriend thinks it will make no difference to add the ammonia today but I think that we should wait until the nitrites are at zero. What do you think? We definitely had a cycle happen but I want to be 100% sure that everything is ready before we add fish.

TIA
 

Coradee

Welcome to Fishlore, hope one of our salty members can help you today
 

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