When to add clean up crew and clownfish?

christopher27
Member
My first ever saltwater tank is about to finish its cycle. Ammonia is reading zero and nitrite 0.25. Its been cycling for about 2 weeks. I used bottled bacteria, live sand, and pure ammonia to cycle the tank.
Should I add a few snails before the fish (aka this sunday) and then get the fish on thursday when the snails are doing fine? Also, I have almost no algae with just a few diatoms. what should I feed the snails if I get them?
(btw tank is 28 gallons with 15 lbs of live rock and 15 lbs of live sand)
 
HarrisonAquatics
Member
Congratulations on your first SW tank! It's a lot of fun.

To be honest, it sounds like you might be rushing it just a bit. How much ammonia have you been dosing with? Two weeks is pretty quick (even with bottled bacteria), and typically, a rushed cycle tends to be pretty fragile in the beginning. I'd probably continue dosing with ammonia until I saw a bigger algae bloom, and then introduce your CUC. After they've been working and the tanks began to level out a bit, you can introduce a fish.

Step-by-step - there's definitely more than one way to do it, but slow is almost always going to be the way most people go, for good reason.
 
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christopher27
Member
HarrisonAquatics said:
Congratulations on your first SW tank! It's a lot of fun.

To be honest, it sounds like you might be rushing it just a bit. How much ammonia have you been dosing with? Two weeks is pretty quick (even with bottled bacteria), and typically, a rushed cycle tends to be pretty fragile in the beginning. I'd probably continue dosing with ammonia until I saw a bigger algae bloom, and then introduce your CUC. After they've been working and the tanks began to level out a bit, you can introduce a fish.

Step-by-step - there's definitely more than one way to do it, but slow is almost always going to be the way most people go, for good reason.
The ammonia spiked up to about 1.5+ (closer to 1.5 but between 1.5 and two) and dropped over the course of a week. Nitrite was high a few days ago but when I tested last night it was about 0.25. Meaning its probably gonna be zero by today or tommorow (ill update you on the results when I test this afternoon)

When I mention adding a clean up crew I mean 2-3 trochus snails. something simple to produce enough ammonia to keep the bacteria from starving and allowing time for the tank to establish for another week or so before a real fish. I was hoping to feed them some dried herbivore food until I see hair algae. So, should I wait until thursday for the clean up crew and dose ammonia? or go with my original plan?
 
HarrisonAquatics
Member
Typically one "cycle" of ammonia probably isn't enough to build a stable colony. I'd still be dosing several times to build a healthy cycle.

I would dose ammonia a few more times, and maybe add a basic CUC once it's cycling through 2-3 PPM of ammonia in about 24-48 hours. If all goes well with them, I'd add a hardy fish a couple days later.
 
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christopher27
Member
HarrisonAquatics said:
Typically one "cycle" of ammonia probably isn't enough to build a stable colony. I'd still be dosing several times to build a healthy cycle.

I would dose ammonia a few more times, and maybe add a basic CUC once it's cycling through 2-3 PPM of ammonia in about 24-48 hours. If all goes well with them, I'd add a hardy fish a couple days later.
ok. ill add ammonia to 2 ppm and if its cycled by sunday ill get a few trochus snails and a clownfish on thursday. thanks for the info
 
kanzekatores
Member
Replenish ammonia, you can either dose or give some snails some wafers. But def don’t get fish until you read nitrates
 
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christopher27
Member
kanzekatores said:
Replenish ammonia, you can either dose or give some snails some wafers. But def don’t get fish until you read nitrates
I definitely have nitrates. My tank went through about 1.5 ppm ammonia in 3 days. I'm going through another 2 ppm before I get snails. I read nitrates at over 100 ppm which was definitely inaccurate because of the nitrite presence in the water. my tank is currently capable of processing about 0.25 ppm ammonia daily. So ill let it cycle through a few more ppm and get some trochus snails in a week.
 
kanzekatores
Member
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christopher27
Member
kanzekatores said:
What test kit are you using
salifert. When I first tested nitrates I read the highest number and the test vial was deep purple. I read about online how nitrate tests sometimes convert it to nitrite then measure that.
 
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christopher27
Member
Update:
In about a weeks time the bacteria went through about 1-1.5 ppm ammonia
 
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christopher27
Member
I think my cycle is stalling, the ammonia conversion is very slow and I haven't spotted any new diatom growth. I stopped dosing bottled bacteria, haven't dosed ammonia in about a week and the current ammonia is 0.5 ppm. Should I let the tank develop a strong bacterial colony over the course of the next few weeks or is their a faster way to do this. The tank has been up for 26 days
 

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