is this right... test ammonia every day/every other, once it starts to go down add more to keep it at 4ppm. than test nitrite and ammonia everyday until the nitrite spikes. what should the nitrite "spike" too? and than once the nitrite starts to come down wait until nitrite and ammonia read 0. than add ammonia test next day and if its all gone the cycle is done. correct?
Yup that is right. Nitrite spike will be different for each person. It depends on how much ammonia you add to the tank. More ammonia means it will get converted into more nitrite. You dont want your nitrite to go above 5 ppm as it can inhibit the growth of the nitrifiying bacteria. When they say "spike" they mean rise above 0. I would say if you can keep it at like around 3 ppm that would be good.
Then once you no longer are showing any ammonia or nitrite, dose your tank with ammonia back up too around 3-4 ppm and test in 24 hours. If cycled it will show 0 on ammonia and nitrate and only show nitrate. Same thing I said the other day.
i have a fluval 405 and 305 that have all the same media in them from my 90 before not sure how much bacteria is still alive. and i also have the same live (now dead) rock from before but i rinsed that off but there is no way i could possibly get everything off that
I would dose ammonia every two to three days and only 1-2 ppm. As others have said dosing more heavily will only result in higher nitrites which can slow down your cycle. It's a good idea to do small (20-25%) water changes if your nitrites hit 5 ppm. I have found that once ammonia hits 0, I just need to closely monitor the nitrites (not ammonia) until the end of the cycle. As you probably know, it's not necessary to monitor nitrates till nitrites have hit 0.
So I tested my ammonia today that started at 4ppm. My ammonia reAd 0 so I tested my nitrite and it also read 0. I have not seen a nitrite spike but both are reading 0. I dosed the tank with ammoni back to about 3-4ppm. Is this right? I'm confused. I started the cycle Saturday
There was probably still some bacteria. If you get a nitrate reading, I'd do one more dose of ammonia and double check the ntirite test to be sure. You could very well be good to go, but best to give it another day to make sure.