Reef Tank Cycling ?


Premium Member
Hello, I have a few questions about my 210 gallon reef I setup about 2 weeks ago. I added 200 lbs of live sand at the begining. 2 days later I added 100 lbs of cured premium fiji rock and 145 lbs of uncured Lalo rock. Today will be 10 days since adding the rock. I went ahead and installed a Calcium Reactor/ Controller, Ozonizer/ controller and 4 powerheads for wave maker. I changed 65 gallons of water last week when the ammonia levels rose quite high. In the last 24 hours my Ammonia level went form near toxic to 0 but my nitrates went from 0 to 44 this morning. PH is around 8.06. My calcium levels also dropped from about 396 to 251. Redox/ORP is running at 325mv.I have been running 4 96 watt actinics about 8 hours a day sporadic and the last 2 days I ran 3 250 watt 10,000k halides. Do I need to change anymore water or will the nitrates decrease as the rock cures further. Also when is a good time to introduce a cleanup crew to the tank? Any suggestions is appreciated.

Daren Brantley


New member
nitrates will drop on theyre own what are your nitrites?

clean up crew? some say after the cycle is completely over. i waited till my ammonia and nitrites were gone, when my diatoms went crazy. (i was at 4 weeks in) im at 5 weeks now and growing

(1 have a mature reef that im changeing out water with the new tank and adding cured rock to tho)


New member
I am nearing the end of my cycle on my 75g/30g sump. I too experienced hight ammonia and then a sudden drop followed by a spike in nitrites. A few days later my nitrites dropped and my nitrates spiked. I waited a few days, added a turbo snail and 5 astrea snails. My nitrates were around 60-80. I did a 50% water change and my nitrates are around 10-20. 2 of the astrea snails aren't looking so hot.

I read that nitrates can only be removed through water changes. If you have no livestock in the tank, then you can do a mass water change with no effects on the tank.


Premium Member
Add your cleaners when your amonia and nitrites are 0 and there is green stuff growning (or brown) for them to eat. Don't add your full crew all at once, let the tank dictate how large of a crew you need. Each tank is different.