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Frank1971
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I started cycling my 80 gallon reef 9 days ago. I used crushed coral substrate that had been previously used in another well maintained tank, and it had been sitting covered in a bucket for a few months. I added live rock almost immediately, and started the cycle with some brine shrimp on day 1, and then after about 5 days I added a small Damsel and a couple Chromis. I tested my water after day 6 with a small spike of ammonia .50. Since then the ammonia has leveled off to 0. I never saw a spike in nitrites as it stayed constantly at 0, and now I'm seeing a spike in nitrates somewhere between 10ppm and 20ppm. I know the cycling period is supposed to take somewhere between 4-6 weeks, but these water parameters are strange. Could it be that because I used substrate from an established tank that is cycled faster? Or am I miss reading something all together.
 

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I suspect you got what you got in Ammonia and Nitrites levels because you have a very lage tank (80G) and added very few fish (3). Your Nitrite values went by so fast they were not detectable. If you triple the number of fish in your tank you should see anothe spike in Ammonia and possibly one in Nitrite.
 
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