Is my cycle over?

Crease123

New member
I have a 28 gallon JBJ tank. I started the cycle with cured live rocks ordered from premium aquatics (2 days shipping) and sand from Macro Rocks. I also have chaeto at the filter chamber.

Its been two weeks since I started, and there are some nice algae growing on the rocks and some diatom on the sand. My readings are Ammonia 0 (if I'm reading it right, a little hard to tell), nitrite 0 and nitrate 0. From what I understand, nitrates can only be removed from the water via a water change. I've yet to done one, and thus is wondering whether the tank's cycle is over. Is it time to do a 20% water change and add some cuc?

Advice please.
 
Last edited:

hogben

New member
Add to the tank what you would have otherwise fed the livestock. Some fish food, pellets, frozen food, etc.

If your biological filter is good, you shouldn't see ammonia, or nitrites rise.
 

Crease123

New member
Add to the tank what you would have otherwise fed the livestock. Some fish food, pellets, frozen food, etc.

If your biological filter is good, you shouldn't see ammonia, or nitrites rise.

I see. From your experience, what are your gut feelings telling you in terms of whether the cycle is over?
 

clarky11

New member
add a piece of frozen shrimp to kick start the cycle. This will start to break down and release ammonia, which will in turn build the bacteria that converts this ammonia to nitrite and so on.
 

hogben

New member
I see. From your experience, what are your gut feelings telling you in terms of whether the cycle is over?

I would say based on the size of the tank and the cured live rocks, you may have had a tiny cycle from any die off but nothing big enough to register on test kits. You should have the right bacteria established, the question is will there be enough?

My gut says you are safe to add a cuc based on the algae growing and diatoms in the sand.

Try the fish food or like clarky said, add a small piece of shrimp. See if the ammonia or nitrite rises. If they don't, I would move ahead slowly with your stocking plans.
 

Crease123

New member
I would say based on the size of the tank and the cured live rocks, you may have had a tiny cycle from any die off but nothing big enough to register on test kits. You should have the right bacteria established, the question is will there be enough?

My gut says you are safe to add a cuc based on the algae growing and diatoms in the sand.

Try the fish food or like clarky said, add a small piece of shrimp. See if the ammonia or nitrite rises. If they don't, I would move ahead slowly with your stocking plans.

Thanks for the very helpful response. Yeah, there's quite a healthy, but not overwhelming, growth of algae on the rocks. I wonder whether having chaeto at the back helped to minimize the cycle.

The reason why I'm asking this is because I will be going to my mother-in-law's house for easter, and there's a very nice reef shop near her place. Was thinking of buying a light load of cuc and introduce it to my tank if its ready.
 

evsalty

hmmmmmm
Just wondering, and this is what threw me off: why would my nitrate reading be zero? I did not do any wc yet.
Chaeto feeds on nitrAtes so if there was any free floating it has probably been absorbed by the chaeto.

Also since you never added anything that could break down to ammonia you would not have a huge buildup of nitrAtes. Especially if there was only minimal die off from the rocks.
 

Crease123

New member
Chaeto feeds on nitrAtes so if there was any free floating it has probably been absorbed by the chaeto.

Also since you never added anything that could break down to ammonia you would not have a huge buildup of nitrAtes. Especially if there was only minimal die off from the rocks.

Wow, good catch on the chaeto absorbing the nitrates. I added the chaeto right at the beginning of the cycle, so that might have helped.
 
Top