New to salt water hobby..hello...cant seem to cycle..nitrates wont go down..been over a month


HI there, I am brand new to the salt water hobby so so eager to get things going. I have made many posts in the nano room and seems they don't like me in there! haha. I feel I was getting a lot of bad advice and being picked on. I was told not to keep adding ammonia and I havt done a thing but a water change and then added bacteria, because I wasn't getting anywhere

I had many delays and bad mistakes made. Son was hospitalized for almost 2 weeks the day after I set it up. Thank God he is fine but I just left it alone and dint do anything. I was to busy worrying about him and staying there with him. After that my LFS did my firs test she said I was high on nitrates and amina and nitrites and to do a water change. I don't thing she knows much other than ammonia and nitrites should be 0 and that was bad advice. After water change I started testing it and I was at
0.25 amonia
5.0 nitrite
40 nitrate. I think I was about 4.0 ammonia or less when she told me to change water. This was 3 weeks into cycle. I feel if I would have left it alone I would be cycled. I then added biospiria because my numbers just stayed the same for 6 days in a row. Nothing happened then either so I added ammonia after reading I should have been dosing to 2.0 all along after nitrates.

That's when people really let me have it in nano room. I am being careless and impatient they said. They all told me I should not add ammonia and I was very close but I kept reading otherwise. I added way to much..slip of the hand and bad instructions on dr Tims ammonia so I was about 8 ppm so I did a water change and next day I am at 2.0 then today 0.25 to maybe zero hard to tell. I added a few more drops tonight. the nitrites and ammonia still the same! Water change didnt phase them at all! Am I doing the right thing? I started with infused dry rock... carib sea moaini. I think it is. Live caribsea figI pink. Please help. I started cycle up on dec 27th. It may seem I am getting impatient and I but in 2020 it shouldnt take a month plus to cycle! I should have just added biospira and a fish! I could have a coral or 2 in by now and I have nothing but rock!


Some forums can be brutal. The mods don't allow that here even from me. Lol. I do have to ask about the new water your putting in. Tap water? Ro? Rodi? Could it have nitates in it? Chlorimine or chlorine? Chlorimine is simply chlorine with ammonia added to stabilise it.


Its a lot of years since I had salt water aquariums but basically salt and fresswater are the same, I have not kept up with new fangled gadgets to keep water parameter good but basically,
To start a cycle you need some ammonia in the water, this causes the growth of a bacteria that converts the ammonia into nitrites, then comes along another group of bacteria that change nitrites to nitrates.
once you get nitrates your cycle is underway but weak, to get it stronger you need to keep adding amonia, Why? if you stop adding ammonia the bacteria that change it to nitrite will reduce and eventually die as there is nothing to eat, same goes for the nitrite bacteria, if there is no nitrite they will die too.
The trick is to balance them out so that the moment you add or produce ammonia its changed to nitrite and then nitrate.
There are bacteria that will remove nitrate from the water, chemicals too but forget them for now. The way to remove nitrate is to remove it in a parcial water change.
This is where I get flamed
The best way to a constant supply of ammonia is a fish, you dosing every day or 2 is not constant but a small fish will produce ammonia constantly and therefore keep the nitrification bacteria alive, Once you see the ammonia level at 0 constantly you can add another fish to produce slightly more ammonia and thus build up the overall capabilities of the nitrification bacteria. This is the way I was taught to do it some 40+ years ago.
Its important to check the parameters of your water when you start as you can get nitrates in your tap water and be misled.
Where many go wrong and desaster strikes is they start with a small amount of ammonia for a few weeks and once they get a reading of 0 ammonia they think the cycle is finished and put in a few fish, and they die and cannot understand why. What happens is the tank was cycled for the amount of ammonia you were adding but when adding say 6 fish the nitrification bacteria gets overwhelmed and cannot cope so the ammonia gets up to a dangerous level and kills everything. When using a fish you need to be vigilant and not let the ammonia level rise to an uncomfortable level so as to distress the fish.
If cycling without fish you need to be constantly adding ammonia and once you see it goes down faster each time add slightly more each time.

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