Cycle Day 6; Weird parameter readings

TBishop

New member
I'm currently cycling my 90 gal aquarium using the Dr. Tim's fishless guide. I bought the Brightwell Aquatics beneficial bacteria and Dr. Tim's ammonia chloride to dose the tank. When I tested my water yesterday my parameters were quite wonky. If anyone could give me sound advice that would be great.

I'm using Red Sea Coral Pro salt.
RODI when mixing salt water and in my auto top off.
Yesterday's readings were.
Salinity: 1.030; using a calibrated refractometer
Ca: 600; using salifert test
KH: 4.5; using salifert (I tested twice and got the same reading twice.)
PH: 8.1; using salifert and trimmed my seneye to match as it was reading 7.41
Ammonia: <0.15; using salifert but the seneye was reading .001
Nitrite: was between 0.05 and 0.1; red sea test
Mag: 1620ppm; using salifert test

Due to my levels being so wonky I decided to make a small batch of salt water, 8oz, and scaled for that measurement. When I originally tested the Salinity it was at 1.030ppm but after adding 1/4c of RODI water it leveled out to 1.026ppm. Alk was a tad low at 10.9ppm, Calcium was at 425ppm, and Mag was at 1350ppm.

ETA: Seneye is currently reading my PH at 7.34ppm despite the trim and it heavily dropped after dosing the ammonia today. Ammonia is majorly dropping and is technically in the safe zone according to the seneye at .049ppm. Also my temp has been fluctuating between 78-80 degrees f.
 

kfisc

Well-known member
Unless I'm missing something, I'm not seeing parameters that would indicate anything hugely out of whack during the cycling process. I'd try avoiding any kind of dosing for a week or two and see if the numbers fall more in line with your test batch.
 

TBishop

New member
John, I am a bit concerned that the PH is too low while cycling. I'm hoping the other parameters are going to fall into place and I know the ammonia spiked because I'm dosing it. I believe today is another test day and can post my results afterwards. Would any of the parameters need me to do a water change today?
 

Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
T-- You don't say where you are but generally in colder winter climates with all the windows closed PH runs on the lower side due to more CO2 in the air.
I do not reach 8.0 & would love a reading of 8.1.
 

TBishop

New member
I'm on the East coast. I did read about that in my search to figure out what could be going on. Based on that I actually have had my windows open near the tank to help the CO2 escape the room.
 

TBishop

New member
Today's Testing:
PH: 8.15ppm
NH3: <0.15
NO2: 1ppm
KH: 4.1
Ca: 630
Mg: 1650

Dosed yesterday with NH3 which makes sense as to why my NO2 is high. Would you guys say that this is a normal range for day 7 of cycling?
 

JohnL

RC Staff
Staff member
Admin
Today's Testing:
PH: 8.15ppm
NH3: <0.15
NO2: 1ppm
KH: 4.1
Ca: 630
Mg: 1650

Dosed yesterday with NH3 which makes sense as to why my NO2 is high. Would you guys say that this is a normal range for day 7 of cycling?

I wouldn't be concerned.
 

TBishop

New member
I know that feeling. Try to be patient.

Haha that's a lot easier said than done. My parameters look a lot better today. Everything seems to be dropping into place. According to the Dr. Tim's guide it says I can add fish tomorrow if my NH3 and NO2 are at 0. Should I wait and still dose the tank with ammonia or would it be okay to add a pair of clowns?
Salinity is still at 1.030; I might pull out a little bit of water just to correct that.
PH: 8.5
NH3: <0.15
NO2: 0.05 seneye says 0.001 though
KH: 4.1
Ca: 625
Mag: 1560
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
Welcome to the club! :)

FWIF I don't bother testing anything when a system is initially set up. I always will use some quality maricultured or wild live rock transhipped to get cryptic sponges and microbial stuff that can't be stuck in a bottle (which is something like 97% of the microbial stuff that can't be cultured). Here's some videos you may find informnative:

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" This video compliments Rohwer's book of the same title (Paper back is ~$20, Kindle is ~$10), both deal with the conflicting roles of the different types of DOC in reef ecosystems. While there is overlap bewteen his book and the video both have information not covered by the other and together give a broader view of the complex relationships found in reef ecosystems
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R2BMEfQGjU

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7hsp0dENEA

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont
https://youtu.be/DWItFGRQJL4

BActeria and Sponges
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oLDclO7UcM

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)
https://youtu.be/dGIPveFJ_0Q

Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching
https://youtu.be/oadKezUYkJE

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"
https://youtu.be/ZRIKW-9d2xI
 

TBishop

New member
Preface this with a 20 gallon water change done yesterday.
Today's Water Test Update:
Salinity: 1.026
PH: 8.5
NH3: <0.15
NO2: 0.05 seneye is reading at 0.001
KH: 5.4
Ca: 500
Mg: 1350

It's been about 4-5 days since I last dosed ammonia chloride, I'll be dosing that today. Tomorrow I think I'll dose a little bit of Reef Code B-P to up my alkalinity. Then in two days I'll test again to make sure everything is stable.
 

TBishop

New member
Day 14:
PH:8.5
NH3: <0.15
NO2: 0.05
KH: 7.7
Ca: 530
Mg: 1410

10 gallon water exchange for RODI to reduce salinity.
Day 15: 3/28/22
PH: 8.3
NH3: <0.15
NO2: 0.05
KH: 6.3
Ca: 450
Mg: 1140
Salinity: 30ppt

Day 16: Today
Dosed with 30 ML of Reef Code B-P for an alk boost
PH: 8.3 Jumped after dosing to 8.8 but slowly coming back down
KH: 8.0
Ca: 430
Mg: 1170

Hoping to be able to add fish in by Thursday. I feel like the parameters are stabilized and the last time I added in ammonia to feed the bacteria the ammonia was reading at 0.001 on the seneye within 12 hours.
 

TBishop

New member
Why are you trying to lower salinity?

I knew I forgot something. That's my bad. Day 14 the salinity was at 38ppt so it needed to come down. It had dropped to about 37ppt when I topped off my ATO. I dropped it down to where I had a good buffer range to account for evaporation.
 

JohnL

RC Staff
Staff member
Admin
I knew I forgot something. That's my bad. Day 14 the salinity was at 38ppt so it needed to come down. It had dropped to about 37ppt when I topped off my ATO. I dropped it down to where I had a good buffer range to account for evaporation.

So, is this correct >Salinity: 30ppt<?
 
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