20 Gallon Tank Help with cycle

Lukanani

Member
So this is my first saltwater tank. I started with dry rock and caribsea fiji pink which is labeled live sand. I added water 2/28 and have been monitoring the cycle which I’ll link below. I started ghost feeding and as soon as I saw ammonia I added bacteria in a bottle and kept ghost feeding to keep ammonia up as well as added the bacteria daily as instructed. You could see that the ammonia turned into nitrites pretty quickly but it seems like it’s stuck on nitrites. I did a 60% water change on 3/17 to dilute the nitrites a bit and they still seem high. Am I doing anything wrong or is this normal to see this with adding bacteria.
 

Andres391

Member
I would stop doing water changes until its time for it and stop adding bacteria you already have nitrites it will take some time up to 3weeks for nitrates to appear keep dosing around 1ppm of ammonia or 2ppm until all 3 are at 0. Once you have nitrates you can use another type of bacteria that will eat nitrogen bacteria and complete the main cycle in a short time. 3inches of substrate, red lava rocks from home depot and not allow or the most reduced flow to gravel will also help to keep it stable for nitrates can be a pain in the butt.
 

fish 321

Member
What brand bacteria are you using? I used instant ocean bio-spira and I had nitrates in three days.
 

Jesterrace

Member
Lukanani said:
So this is my first saltwater tank. I started with dry rock and caribsea fiji pink which is labeled live sand. I added water 2/28 and have been monitoring the cycle which I’ll link below. I started ghost feeding and as soon as I saw ammonia I added bacteria in a bottle and kept ghost feeding to keep ammonia up as well as added the bacteria daily as instructed. You could see that the ammonia turned into nitrites pretty quickly but it seems like it’s stuck on nitrites. I did a 60% water change on 3/17 to dilute the nitrites a bit and they still seem high. Am I doing anything wrong or is this normal to see this with adding bacteria.
I know some folks recommend that you keep dosing ammonia and bacteria after the cycle has started but IMHO this only prolongs the process and causes problems as do water changes during the ammonia/nitrite phases in many cases. I would stop dosing EVERYTHING and let the cycle do it's thing and don't do any water changes until it's totally broken down to NITRATES. The more you mess with it, the more problems you run into at this stage and you have plenty of ammonia and bacteria at this point to carry you through the cycle.
Andres391 said:
I would stop doing water changes until its time for it and stop adding bacteria you already have nitrites it will take some time up to 3weeks for nitrates to appear keep dosing around 1ppm of ammonia or 2ppm until all 3 are at 0. Once you have nitrates you can use another type of bacteria that will eat nitrogen bacteria and complete the main cycle in a short time. 3inches of substrate, red lava rocks from home depot and not allow or the most reduced flow to gravel will also help to keep it stable for nitrates can be a pain in the butt.
Generally a good recommendation but the last part (ie gravel and lava rock) only applies to freshwater tanks. The OP is doing a saltwater so neither of those would help him.
 
  • Thread Starter

Lukanani

Member
fish 321 said:
What brand bacteria are you using? I used instant ocean bio-spira and I had nitrates in three days.
I first started with microbe-lift nite out 2 started bacteria and ran out of than so then I got Seachem stability
 

Dechi

Member
It looks really good and you should be cycled within 7-10 days. I would just keep doing what you’re doing because it works.
 

Andres391

Member
fish 321 said:
What brand bacteria are you using? I used instant ocean bio-spira and I had nitrates in three days.
Seachem stability to help control nitrates
Jesterrace said:
I know some folks recommend that you keep dosing ammonia and bacteria after the cycle has started but IMHO this only prolongs the process and causes problems as do water changes during the ammonia/nitrite phases in many cases. I would stop dosing EVERYTHING and let the cycle do it's thing and don't do any water changes until it's totally broken down to NITRATES. The more you mess with it, the more problems you run into at this stage and you have plenty of ammonia and bacteria at this point to carry you through the cycle.


Generally a good recommendation but the last part (ie gravel and lava rock) only applies to freshwater tanks. The OP is doing a saltwater so neither of those would help him.
Or 3 inches of sand and it does work unless you have a separate tank to do the same or better.
Lukanani said:
So this is my first saltwater tank. I started with dry rock and caribsea fiji pink which is labeled live sand. I added water 2/28 and have been monitoring the cycle which I’ll link below. I started ghost feeding and as soon as I saw ammonia I added bacteria in a bottle and kept ghost feeding to keep ammonia up as well as added the bacteria daily as instructed. You could see that the ammonia turned into nitrites pretty quickly but it seems like it’s stuck on nitrites. I did a 60% water change on 3/17 to dilute the nitrites a bit and they still seem high. Am I doing anything wrong or is this normal to see this with adding bacteria.
Forgot to mention only dose ammonia if needed if you see the ammonia gone in 24 hours dose one more time to see if it will go away again for 24 hours. Dose to keep at a certain level of ammonia or just leave it alone will take longer. By steadily keeping ammonia as if fish were there. You should be able to put half the fish you were planing to keep. If you wait and let it do its thing on its own you would have to start with 2 fish per week and go through mini cycles the old school way.
 

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