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Ammonia barely going up, cycling

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Diveks

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Hey everyone, so this is not exactly my first time setting up a saltwater tank. But ive never tried cycling with shrimp, so ive decided to do it with my new tank. It is 210 gallons, and ive put in 2 chopped up table shrimp (in a filter bag) in the sump. And ive been letting it rot in there for almost a week now. It doesn't smell at all. ive checked for ammonia, it started at 0, then 2 days ago it was 0.20 then dropped back to 0 yesterday. I used dead rock, sand, and sea water (its hard getting bucket salt here so its really expensive, i will be doing water changes with the aquaforest salt though). Should i throw this shrimp and add a new one or do i leave it like this?
 
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SifuMemphis

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I would probably add more shrimp.

I did 2 full shrimp, in a 130g tank. Since yours is a lot bigger, i would prob add more. If it's going back to 0, it means the bacteria is able to process that ammonia source over night
 
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Diveks

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I would probably add more shrimp.

I did 2 full shrimp, in a 130g tank. Since yours is a lot bigger, i would prob add more. If it's going back to 0, it means the bacteria is able to process that ammonia source over night
Okay ill make sure to do that. One question, does the shrimp method need to smell to work or is it normal for it to not smell at all?
 

SifuMemphis

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Okay ill make sure to do that. One question, does the shrimp method need to smell to work or is it normal for it to not smell at all?
It will take time to break down. It will eventually smell... ;) You will know after a few weeks haha. If you want to speed it up a bit, dosing ammonia directly is another option
 
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Diveks

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It will take time to break down. It will eventually smell... ;) You will know after a few weeks haha. If you want to speed it up a bit, dosing ammonia directly is another option
Got it, wanted to try dosing ammonia, hard to find pure ammonia here though, scared of accidentally dosing something toxic into the tank and nobody sells the ones made for cycling aquariums (at least i dont think so)
 

Lightspeed

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many advise against NSW, there is a thread recently in the last week or so, where it was discussed. Though for many there are far too many benefits versus mixed ro/di

I will venture forth to say check your Nitrites and Nitrates.
I have used NSW as my normal routine in my last Marine and see no reason to change for my new build, last time my tank cycled in less than 2 weeks 380 litres.
As you know there are massive beneficial bacterial populations in NSW.

Would like to know though how often you have tested Ammonia? Which brand of test kit? What is your water temp? Any other bio filtration you are using in your sump? or any other bacterial boosters added?

Interesting anyway, but i would not be too concerned, you could pull the rotting stuff and wait a few days testing away, then re introduce some more manky shrimp and continue testing to see how the system reacts. Observe and chart your results.
 
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Diveks

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many advise against NSW, there is a thread recently in the last week or so, where it was discussed. Though for many there are far too many benefits versus mixed ro/di

I will venture forth to say check your Nitrites and Nitrates.
I have used NSW as my normal routine in my last Marine and see no reason to change for my new build, last time my tank cycled in less than 2 weeks 380 litres.
As you know there are massive beneficial bacterial populations in NSW.

Would like to know though how often you have tested Ammonia? Which brand of test kit? What is your water temp? Any other bio filtration you are using in your sump? or any other bacterial boosters added?

Interesting anyway, but i would not be too concerned, you could pull the rotting stuff and wait a few days testing away, then re introduce some more manky shrimp and continue testing to see how the system reacts. Observe and chart your results.
Actually, as i pull out the last rotting stuff to add to it, i found out that everything is gone, it has all been processed by my system. I check the ammonia everyday, its the salifert testkit. And for the temp, i didnt raise it to what people usually raise it when cycling, its at 77f. I have 2 marine pure blocks, and loads of biorings and pieces of live rock in the sump. Ive decided to add some more shrimp to make sure the filtration is good enough. Im quarantining the fish and the cleanup crew anyway so loads of time to build up the bacteria hopefully.
 

Lightspeed

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Actually, as i pull out the last rotting stuff to add to it, i found out that everything is gone, it has all been processed by my system. I check the ammonia everyday, its the salifert testkit. And for the temp, i didnt raise it to what people usually raise it when cycling, its at 77f. I have 2 marine pure blocks, and loads of biorings and pieces of live rock in the sump. Ive decided to add some more shrimp to make sure the filtration is good enough. Im quarantining the fish and the cleanup crew anyway so loads of time to build up the bacteria hopefully.
Sounds like the System bio function is performing well and seems to be establishing well, congrats.
You could bump the temp to around 80f to increase bacterial population expansion if you wanted to but really i think your system is finding a good balance as evidenced by your report.
Keep a track of it and Kudos for quarantining.

Regards
B.
 

brandon429

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Testless cycling your reef using microbe tracing:



if you added a quarter shrimp to rot


or six shrimp to rot, that's the same outcome. how long it takes the system to process that much varying rot across tanks will vary, but the deposition time for bacteria won't.

the key is assessing your tank after a known deposition time, and a full water change. Then it'll be all compliant and you can start.

yours is a cycle of duration time, you've already provided all blocks for the cycle

u need to wait, then start


To put a veneer of living bioscum across your surface area isn't a matter of what we withhold or offer to mo nature, forums always make bacteria dependent on us

she's been feeding long before us
they developed the cycling charts that show ammonia controlled in ten days, and nitrite in 25, in the 40s if I had to guess. and no matter what web page you pull from, thats the rate and the charts dont ask if you used a shrimp or not. they're environmental exposure charts. self feed, self inoculation charts.
but you've boosted the time to quicker


One day it'll be a neat venture to look that up who wrote aquarium cycling charts, and when

probably as long as humans have been treating wastewater to make it potable is when the cycling chart was invented (non aquarium use for the science handy gauge)




the bacteria are feeding, and inoculated with your seawater.

if you added zero shrimp to rot, same outcome, you have a duration-based cycle and we wouldnt need testing to call it done, u have the charts + you started with boosters/seawater is the best booster, sure beats fritz bottle bac

how long to wait?

using comparative cycling threads on file will beat api's guess. nitrite wont factor at all, nor nitrate (its for algae tuning not cycling required confirmation)

we're looking for how fast you can make transfer from living to nonliving surfaces and make em stick

twenty days is more than enough. on day 20, drain your tank of rot algae water and replace with all new or mostly new. the veneer is stuck to all surfaces, and any fish you add will live.


here's one that did 20 days. water-only full cycle linked transfer of bac no increased feed no dosing for bac. what's purely in our tank water did this work. *yes I would have liked a darker confirmation test lol but he's in person and can see details better than us. plus his new system didnt kill stuff when he removed the connection. support of life is the final cycle confirmation


when we see that macna cycling video that claims reef water has low cycling bacteria, I guess thats not the case.
 
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brandon429

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you sure could put a neat stamp on our exposure cycling studies w your upcoming tank

do the calibrated ammonia oxidation test before you add any life

the chem forum is all about measure :)

calibrated vs haphazard API ammonia testing:

after you've changed out rot water and removed shrimp, you have clean water that we know is safe. run a baseline ammonia test and keep the picture, that's calibrated 'zero'

dose liquid ammonia to the slightest degree your tester (and a new pic) can register, to prove you've dosed ammonia a very small amount (not 2ppm, a tiny increment up)

take that pic and post the two

in 24-48 hours take another pic I bet it moves back down to calibrated zero.


haphazard api testing: run one test only on the day you want to start, it shows .25 or .5 like it shows in most full running reefs lol and we're left in total confusion. in order to make use of non seneye ammonia measures, a song and dance is needed
 
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blasterman

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Sometimes I wonder if people are more interested in cycling tanks than having a tank. Maybe have a new sport called "tank cycling".

I would like to meet the guy who came up with the dead shrimp method and send a terminator back in time to eliminate him. Do humanity a favor.

Dead shrimp and other proteins decay into ammonia which fuel the bacteria cycle. This is where a sentient mammal uses its forebrain and says "why not skip the dead meat and just use ammonia" . You're right.

Any grocery store ammonia will work. Doesnt need to be pure ammonia. Whatever the heck that it. Ive used grocery store ammonia to cycle tanks with no problems for decades.

Remove the rotting corpse and add ammonia. When ammonia starts to dive then the initial tank cycle is complete.

At this point it doesnt matter how you started.
 

brandon429

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there's no harm in using shrimp and if someone had some already in freezer, it wouldnt make sense to buy a stand in for any amount of cash. shrimp decay provides carbon too, per Dr Reef's bottle bac thread he began using fish food along with ammonia for that reason, and got a measured boost in cycling time where each tank could endure a full water change and still pass oxidation.

a degrading shrimp might be better than straight ammonia due to complete nutrient availability, although agreed we've done thousands of cycles with just ammonia... carbon still gets in the system from numerous natural imports. its nice to know the ends are the same no matter what is used
 
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Diveks

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there's no harm in using shrimp and if someone had some already in freezer, it wouldnt make sense to buy a stand in for any amount of cash. shrimp decay provides carbon too, per Dr Reef's bottle bac thread he began using fish food along with ammonia for that reason, and got a measured boost in cycling time where each tank could endure a full water change and still pass oxidation.

a degrading shrimp might be better than straight ammonia due to complete nutrient availability, although agreed we've done thousands of cycles with just ammonia... carbon still gets in the system from numerous natural imports. its nice to know the ends are the same no matter what is used
Thats what i thought, Thats the reason i wanted to try out the shrimp method this time around.
 
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Diveks

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Sounds like the System bio function is performing well and seems to be establishing well, congrats.
You could bump the temp to around 80f to increase bacterial population expansion if you wanted to but really i think your system is finding a good balance as evidenced by your report.
Keep a track of it and Kudos for quarantining.

Regards
B.
As for the quarantining, im traumatized from my last tank crash, the dreaded marine velvet, wiped out my tank in 2 days. I quarantined them all, although i got too lazy with the last fish and just let him go since i thought it was too long for the fish to be in quarantine.
 
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