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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are on day 18 of the cycle and wondering if our test kit is accurate. We have consistently tested in the 1.022 range for specific gravity, temp. - 77 degrees, ammonia has remained around .25, pH has stayed around 8.5, nitrites - .1, nitrates - 0. We are wondering if the test kit is a problem or this is to be expected. We started with a 34 gallon Red Sea Max (and its test kit) and 40 pounds of healthy live rock.

Is this where we should expect to be or should we be further along or should we get a new test kit? Lots of critters and algae bloom. Plus, lots of green growth in the tank.

We are trying to be patient, but wonder when we should consider a clean-up crew.

Any help appreciated!
 

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Saltwater Mom
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I am not familiar with the red sea test kit. I always use salifert after a bad experience with another test and everyone told me that salifert was the best for accurate results. Do you have a skimmer? To be honest a cycle can take months but usually you will see results of the cycle in the changing readings. Where did you get the live rock and how was it kept? Algae blooms are part of the cycle and normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We do have a skimmer that came with the kit. We are emptying about every few days as necessary. We got the rock from Drs. Foster and Smith and it looked/s great. Lots of red coralline algae and growth has seemed to continue.

It's just odd with the test that it's remained in the same range for three weeks now. I will try to find the salifert testing kit. We need something for comparison before we do anything.
 

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if you have a heater, try kicking the temp up slowly. At 77 degrees the cycle will be slow. I like to cycle my systems between 80 and 85. Probably closer to 85.
 

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Saltwater Mom
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I have heard great things about their rocks. Hopefully someone that has actually used the red sea kit will chime in but honestly your only 18 days in. I know that sounds so long but in reef thinking it's just beginning. Was the rock kept damp? I know a lot of places will ship the rock with wet paper so it doesn't dry out. This keeps you from having a huge die off which is what would cause the ammonia and nitrites to spike. I don't have a skimmer on my 24 gallon at all but my 90 I emptied daily sometimes more than once. Might up the skimming a bit if you want but mainly I would just wait it out, the levels will drop on down.
 
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