New tank. Cycle advice/tips.


New member
I am now four days into my new 75G tank. Roughly 30lbs of live sand with another 40lbs of aragonite mixed with it. 80lbs of cured live rock from a local member. I have the K4's running continuously with no lights and heat around 78 +/-.
Tank Params as of today:
Ammonia- .25ppm
Nitrites- 0
Nitrates- 0
pH- 8.0
Salinity- 1.024
Temp- 78.3

I tested these levels a day prior to this and the pH and salinity has risen that is all. API test kits (I know not the best but its something)

I have noticed a little bit of organic matter coming off of the rocks. A few zoas have died as well ( I am sure from the hour long transit) The bristle worms are having their way with these as well as other things they are scavenging in the middle of the night Is this small amount of die off enough for that magical ammonia spike? Is there a particular ppm measurement that would be considered a spike? Should I add the piece of shrimp and let it decay? i am asking this due to having the mature rock and its filtration capability. I know it sounds like I am impatient, but i am in no hurry to add livestock, as I am fascinated enough by the tank and all the small organisms in it already.


New member
with cured rock you probably won't see a large spike. keep an eye on it for the next couple of days and see how quickly the ammonia disappears and/or if any more shows up. your salinity is a bit low, most go for 1.0264 aka 35ppt, and you saying it has risen leads me to guess you've been having some evaporation. you'll need to top off to make up for that using pure rodi water to maintain salinity. you can, this once, since you need to raise salinity anyway, top off with a small amount of premixed saltwater included. be careful about it though so you don't raise salinity too high. small dose, then test after a bit, and do another small bit the next day if needed. i wouldn't add a shrimp to the tank given that you got cured rock and there are living things in there already and if your ammonia disappears into nitrite and that disappears into nitrite you've already got the bacteria you need. no need to stress everything out with ammonia you don't actually need.


New member
I believe that salinity has risen due to my improper mixing of my saltwater and the K4's are doing the rest of the mixing for me.. The water was very cloudy for the first two to three days. As a matter of fact, it was one of your posts prior that made me aware of my mistake. So thank you.
I forgot to mention I also seeded the current water with the water that was in the bottom of the tub with all of the live rock. I am sure it was full of both good and bad things. Figured it was a good idea. Thanks