quick cycle, doesn't seem right


New member
I got my 58 gallon tank4 weeks ago,I have a red Sea protein skimmer and a hang on filter, and 2 power jets. I got 55 lbs. of live rock from a wonderful LFS, put that in 3 weeks ago, had a very small ammonia spike, and then my nitrites and nitrates hit the roof and the water was really cloudy. I did a 20% water change. Everything looks great now. My Nitrites and nitrates are at 0. It just seems too fast for everything to be cycled already. The first thing I want to get is a cleaner crew. Any suggestions on that too?
You've got live rock. That's why cycling is so quick. It's got bacteria in it already. The holes and pores in the rocks maintain a high surface area for the bacteria to live and grow.

As for cleaner crews, I recommend Red Legged Hermits, Astrea snails, Cerith snails, and Nerite snails for many of the algae, diatom, and cyanobacteria problems. There are micro Bristle Stars available out there too, for detritus on the rocks (check out www.garf.org and just call them about the stars rather than navigate their site). It's too early in the game for sand sifting snails, but the Nassarius snails and Bumblebee snails are cool. Mythrax or Emerald Crabs are great for Bubble algaes (Valonia spp.) and Mat algaes.
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My tank cycled extremely fast also when I first set it up. As someone comming over from freshwater, it didn't feel right. Ahhhh, the wonders and beauty of live rock. :)

Keep your eye out for critters. I'm still finding creatures I never knew I had.

Nassarius snails are cool, they are quick and remind me of a "sand" submarine. Nerite snails are nice to look at, and are forever hungry. I like the little blue legged hermits best for size and total lack of aggression. Brittle stars are awesome, but you won't see them unless you watch your tank at night.