Just starting new tank

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Hi All,

Just started out and tank now running for 2 weeks and just added my dry Rock yesterday and as expected looking great !! when is best to start testing my parameters ?

TheJag77

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Reply #1

Did you add bacteria?
You can start testing when you want. Ammonia will still be high and will come down over the next couple of days followed by nitrites. When not if these are zero you can start to add livestock 😄

Water world

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Reply #2

Thanks,

Have not added any bacteria, but the dry rock was infused with living, spored bacteria to provide a fast start-up with compressed cycling time. PH is bang on and Ammonia and Nitrite all good level.

ajm83

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Reply #3

Hi @Water world

If you've not added something to rot (e.g. fish food) or a fish, then there will be no ammonia for the bacteria to work on, so a zero reading would be expected.

Are you planning to do a fishless cycle, or fish-in ?

If you're doing fishless, then you can get some ammonium chloride or add some fish food until you get an ammonia reading of 1-2ppm.   Then go through the normal cycle routine, waiting for ammonia and nitrite to go to zero then eventually you should have nitrate.

Or if you're doing fish-in,  I would recommend adding ATM Colony to the tank.  I know your rock has bacteria spores, but in my experience they weren't quite sufficient to get the cycle going on their own.  ATM Colony will do it though.

In either case I would test the day before you add the ammonia source (food or fish) then daily after that.
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Water world

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Reply #4

Thanks for the advise, appreciate the time and will update on progression.

TheJag77

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Reply #5

How’s the tank going, cycling by now? I would test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. The first two should go down to zero, but nitrates will stay high for a few months longer. Most people aim to get these down to 5ppm or so but many tanks thrive which much higher values. I now use Red Sea pro tests for better accuracy but in first stages Salifert kits give you a good indication of you parameters.

Water world

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Reply #6

Yes its started to cycle, but slowly, had 0 Ammonia and 0.3 Nitrite, but now have some Hermits in and a boxer shrimp, coupled with their feeding and hoping to see a rise and with some water changes over the next couple of weeks, a fall with the Nitrates Increasing. Have had an issue with the KH being slightly low, so have added a buffer and monitoring over this week.

TheJag77

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Reply #7

Great to hear!
Parameter will stabilise over the next few weeks, so looking good. I wouldn’t worry too much about KH yet, unless you have stony corals. Weekly water change should be fine to keep KH steady enough. When you are ready for corals I would start to measure KH and Ca/Mg although the latter will fluctuate less than KH. When you have a lot of corals then dosing to keep KH stable might be needed, but water changes should be fine for the first few months (unless you want to fill the tank with SPS from the start, but I would not recommend that 😄)

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