Water parameters for new tank cycling tank - all 0 ppm - why?

clowny78965

New member
I am 8 days into setting up a new biocube 32 gallon. Salinity is 1.025, ph 7.8 - my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are all 0 and have been all week long. I have 2 clownfishes and live rock/sand. Why is my ammonia 0, it has not spiked? Salt is Red Sea Coral Pro - I am careful about not overfeeding. Why are my levels 0?
 

Uncle99

Crab Free Zone
Premium Member
Bad test kit or not fine enough to detect.
Ammonia could be “0” or just super low that the test can’t see.
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
Welcome to Reef Central! Did you start with live rock and sand? Also which test kits are you using? If your fish are living and don’t appear stressed, your ammonia and nitrite could very well be 0 and if your getting algae growth, they could bring what nitrate you have
 

Anemone

Cloning Around
Staff member
RC Mod
Premium Member
You say you're using live rock/live sand. Where did they come from? Depending on where those things were before they were in your tank, you may very well have zeros in ammonia and nitrite, and your nitrate may not be showing yet (again, depending upon the sand and rock, it may be able to process low levels of nitrate).

Kevin
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
Anemone raises good questions. My concern is cycling the tank with fish. I would not recommend cycling a tank with fish. Corals, sure, but fish and ammonia no bueno.
 

clowny78965

New member
Welcome to Reef Central! Did you start with live rock and sand? Also which test kits are you using? If your fish are living and don’t appear stressed, your ammonia and nitrite could very well be 0 and if your getting algae growth, they could bring what nitrate you have
I have live rock and sand. I am using an API test kit. I realize API is not the best but I would assume it would be in the ballpark. The fish are fine and no algae growth.
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
Reason I use live rock (maricultured & quarentined first) is to avoid the initial cycle and so I can start adding fish and hardy corals right away. Your system still has to go through a maturing process though so expect various algae to show up and disappear.
 

VWD

Smelly fish
At this point I would continue to monitor and buy more accurate test kits. Feed light and monitor. You maybe cycled because of the rock. But you will probably still get the ugly stag at some point but maybe not bad.
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
Following up with @Anemone post, since you used live rock and sand, it sounds like you may have used established rock basically creating an instant cycle as @Timfish mentioned.

I would say your tank is likely cycled, but as mentioned still needs to mature so you may still go through algae stages. API aren’t the best for test kits but better than nothing.

I would encourage getting better test kits (I use salifert) and just continue to monitor the tank inhabitants.
 

clowny78965

New member
Following up with @Anemone post, since you used live rock and sand, it sounds like you may have used established rock basically creating an instant cycle as @Timfish mentioned.

I would say your tank is likely cycled, but as mentioned still needs to mature so you may still go through algae stages. API aren’t the best for test kits but better than nothing.

I would encourage getting better test kits (I use salifert) and just continue to monitor the tank inhabitants.
What water parameters are you monitoring?
 

Uncle99

Crab Free Zone
Premium Member
Me to.
Great stuff.
It is not unusual these days to add saltwater, dry rock, bacteria, heat and flow and be “cycled” enough for a pair of clowns in a couple of days.
Bottled bac has come a long way.
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
What water parameters are you monitoring?
I personally monitor phosphate, nitrate, Alk, calcium, magnesium, ph and salinity. I almost never worry about ammonia or nitrite as those are usually minimal or 0 on an established tank.

Sounds like you may have used caribsea life rock or a similar product. If you added any bottled bacteria, those also help to quick cycle a tank
 

clowny78965

New member
I personally monitor phosphate, nitrate, Alk, calcium, magnesium, ph and salinity. I almost never worry about ammonia or nitrite as those are usually minimal or 0 on an established tank.

Sounds like you may have used caribsea life rock or a similar product. If you added any bottled bacteria, those also help to quick cycle a tank
caribsea live fuji sand - ty for all of the information.
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
I actually used rock that was painted with purple stuff - that is suppose to turn live.

Sounds like you used "life rock" that's just been treated with nitrfying bacteria and not actual maricultured or wild live rock. You've bypassed the initial cycle but using "life rock" you haven't introduced cryptic sponges and a host of microbial stuff essential for establishing healthy microbiomes and significantly reduces the "uglies" during maturation. Research has shown less than 2% of the microbial stuff can be cultured and stuck in a bottle so I'd encurage you to get at least a few pieces of maricultured live rock, there are several good suppliers online (I use gulfliverock.com).

Here's some links to research on microbial stuff and nutrients you may find interesting. I find myself often going back and reviewing them.

"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

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)

Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching
Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching / Curr. Biol., May 21, 2020 (Vol. 30, Issue 13)

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"
What's up with phosphate? by Richard Ross | MACNA 2014
 

clowny78965

New member
Sounds like you used "life rock" that's just been treated with nitrfying bacteria and not actual maricultured or wild live rock. You've bypassed the initial cycle but using "life rock" you haven't introduced cryptic sponges and a host of microbial stuff essential for establishing healthy microbiomes and significantly reduces the "uglies" during maturation. Research has shown less than 2% of the microbial stuff can be cultured and stuck in a bottle so I'd encurage you to get at least a few pieces of maricultured live rock, there are several good suppliers online (I use gulfliverock.com).

Here's some links to research on microbial stuff and nutrients you may find interesting. I find myself often going back and reviewing them.

"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

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)

Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching
Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching / Curr. Biol., May 21, 2020 (Vol. 30, Issue 13)

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"
What's up with phosphate? by Richard Ross | MACNA 2014 Ty for all of this wonderful information.
 
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