Back to the basics.... Cycling a new tank...

Waters

"...in perfect isolation, here behind my wall."
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I had live rock shipped in over a 3 day period and never experienced the initial cycle. To this day I never showed any measureable ammonia or nitrites (or nitrates until I was 8 months in).
 
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Samarendu singha

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I made a 2.5feet marine tank with sand and neon velvet damsels but without sump tank but top filter is added and hang on back filter also there. Its about 3month gone. All going good. But i recently found reddish yellow algae occupying my glass and sand. And spreading faster. I wanna know is it harmful? If yes den what should i do to maintain it. And also would like to know proportions to put bacteria on my tank. Thank you.
 

Tahoe61

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A tank 3 months old does not really need any bacterial additives, it should be fully cycled. You can however add Microbacter7 as per instruction/directions.

Three month old tank is probably going through a Cyanobacteria bloom but without images that is just a guess. This bloom is not unusual for a new tank and should subside if you have enough flow and nitrates and phosphate levels are kept in check.

Below is an excellent reference to SW chemistry for the hobbyist.


http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/
 

Samarendu singha

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thanks but i would love to know is there any time interval for adding bacteria in water. like after how long i will add bacteria in my 2.5 feet tank.
 
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Russ265

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i tried mb7, stability, and night out. all made no noticeable difference ime. i also know depending on the manufacture and expiration date success occurs.

biospira helped a little bit on one tank

dr tims worked every time so i use that and some good ol fashioned WINDEX.

also, petco changes out their biowheels from their marine environments. ask which day they change em out, grab it, and stuff it's wholesome yumminess in your sump.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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If windex can be used for ammonia thats really neat. I promised never to be a doubter again after reading of people dipping corals in bug spray successfully. Or the poster garfieldnfish from planted tank who showed me how to dump goat de wormer in my planted tank and kill only planaria. Nonstandard additives are neato.

JohnandDawn has written well so far imo. Agreed
Beaslbob wrote well too.

On the prior page regarding the shrimp cycle, thats not needed with coralline loaded live rock. We know bacteria are fully there because coralline indicates excessive submersion time, not brief submersion time.

Bacteria colonize all submerged surfaces in our tanks before any other life form.
They do not die easily, even if you withhold things we think moderate them.

You do not have to provide ammonia to cured live rock in measurable quantities for it to wait a long long long time to handle what you want to throw at it later. It both creates and oxidizes its own wastes for a very long time. People routinely take all fish out of a tank to run it fallow for six mo for ich purposes, put them back in, and cruise.

Skip cycling is confusing I agree, its not for all tanks. Just ones using live rock, transferred to the new tank in good care underwater from bags or buckets for example, low to no initial fish as a safety hedge, and no waste organics transfer. This is the same biology whether we start new tanks, transfer full reefs from old into new tanks in our homes, and many other ways to work around the standard cycle. Keep posting questions and reviews of work done, good thread

Its great to master cycling early on, as in be able to predict it. When you know how much your reef will tolerate beforehand, you make deliberate actions that control the lifespan of your tank vs hesitations where holding back compounds a given challenge.

The time we use shrimp or boosted ammonia in bulk to cycle is when using dry surfaces we are trying to seed, since we want to speed up time in our favor a bit. Cured surfaces, those with coralline for example and other living growths, simply like to remain underwater if possible as you move them around and they are not hard to keep happy if you'll just keep them wet.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2014/8/review

Highly relevant

Translation as I take away

Bottled bac is legit. We routinely speed cycle bone white all dry tanks to fish bioload carry ability within two weeks using cleaning ammonia, a non API ammonia test kit, and bottle bac brand x (ranges, we see many work)
Thats -fast-
 

steve nicholas

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I just hope that people will STOP USING DAMSELS to cycle their tanks. It is a horrible and antiquated suggestion that is not an improvement over an of the methods suggested above.
I fully agree... damsels are tooo much for most tanks in the long run.. I have a domino molly in one of my tanks the other just chateo algae my maim question is after 8 weeks my nitrate reading is 15? ..in both I took a nitrate reading of R.O. water and it is 10. How can a A.P.I. kit read this on ( clean) R.O. water?
 

Russ265

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Is live water worth the extra cost starting a new red sea 450? I plan on using 50# base rock the first two weeks then adding 50# live rock til cycled. Or 50/50 with ro/di, all ro/di?
never heard of live water before. maybe this can be clarified.

you can go 95% base/dead rock and 5% live and the bacteria will establish. -im assuming you are patient after mentioning your 2 week wait.

ro water is used to prevent metals and contaminates from entering the system in the first place. the same metals that will stay there until you place corals in the tank in the future.

hth
 

beaslbob

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Following. This is super interesting! My tank was already established when we got it. I'm going to set up a QT though, and I assume it needs to cycle as well?
+1

One of the problems with a QT tank can be the lack of a mature system due to low bioload. so you add the new fish and stress it due to a new cycle. Might be a good idea to keep some bioload (even just a molly) and algae in the QT to reduce that stress.
 

brandon429

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macros are perfect in every cycling scenario except for possibly the mode where we cure live rocks harvested from the ocean to curb the dieoff, that can raise ammonia high enough to kill macros but they'll be the last to go. they are ideal. they bring in nitrifying bacteria as seed sources, pretty much all good as long as non invasive types. if they are species that uptakes free ammonia nice side benefit
 
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brandon429

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once the tank is verified to handle the typical bioload, pretty much instantly for cured rocks, or after the 2 ppm digestion test for uncured rocks is the typical time. they count as minor bioload, so the system needs to be ready for that and more in case some die. I want to insert something here uncalled for heh

this venture about clean up crews is the first step to tank invasions, see our giant peroxide thread in the marine plants forum for examples. im not saying to anyone you have to use peroxide in a new tank, not at all. im saying that clean up crews should never ever decide whether or not you have algae in your tank, if you get some, hand remove it any way you justify and reset your tank back to clean.

in our peroxide thread, if you check it + the reefcentral one + the nano reef.com one all linked, you see 1000 tanks who thought leaving algae in the tank initially was ok.

having a cuc is wise. if you see algae on the rocks after them, that's your signal to act since they let it through. just that act alone, vs leaving in the tank for CUC to eat what they already haven't eaten, would have saved 997 of those example tanks.


The sole cause of problem algae in the modern reef tank is seeing algae where it shouldn't be, and leaving it in place for any reason to purposefully take the risk. if you have the final say on algae, then CUC or no CUC ever matters. they are still a great idea though in case you get lucky and they do prevent the growths.


there is no uglies stage in cycling unless you want to take risks with your tank. to be risk free, hand clean the reef anytime it calls for it, cycled or matured. so simple to avoid problem algae, but most wont. they literally farm it on purpose not knowing of the counter options.
 

Jakepen

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I have a question. I'm currently cycling my 30 gallon. 30lbs fiji pink sand, 25lbs of dry pukani. It's been cycling since March 23, using the Red Sea reef mature pro kit. A few days in I had no ammonia, and a lot of nitrates. And I wasnt suppose to dose the given bacto start (looks like pieces of mysis shrimp in a bottle) for another couple days. So I decided to dose with pure ammonia, but I dosed to much. I have the Red Sea ammonia test kit, and it wouldn't pick it up (only goes as high as 2ppm). After changing about 10 gallons of the water, I'll do the test, and it's a dark green. Still doesn't match the 2ppm shown on the card, but it's somewhat close. So could be 3 maybe 4. My question is, should I just leave its and continue using the Red Sea kit? Or should I change out a large amount of water and start over. If I start over, I'm going to use pure ammonia and bio Spira.
 

brandon429

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Yes that's ok level

I would be adding bottle bac now to speed things up

The nitrates are likely from the wet sand, if it came wet packed to you it likely had filtration bacteria working on the organics breaking down from initial hydration of the pukani

You just need some ammonia, sustained alongside some bacteria, consistent for about 30-40 days then it should rapidly eat up that ammonia fast towards the end. At that point, along with what the sand already contributes, you can reasonably start. Ammonia levels don't have to be exacting at all, just some Is fine. Adding bottle bac is wise, speeds things up a bit
 

Jakepen

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Yes that's ok level

I would be adding bottle bac now to speed things up

The nitrates are likely from the wet sand, if it came wet packed to you it likely had filtration bacteria working on the organics breaking down from initial hydration of the pukani

You just need some ammonia, sustained alongside some bacteria, consistent for about 30-40 days then it should rapidly eat up that ammonia fast towards the end. At that point, along with what the sand already contributes, you can reasonably start. Ammonia levels don't have to be exacting at all, just some Is fine. Adding bottle bac is wise, speeds things up a bit
I heard if ammonia levels are to high, it will stall the cycle
 

brandon429

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Yes but it's not a practical level we would reach per your details. Massive sustained doses that stink up your whole house, maybe.

If someone posts online that 5 ppm is max level accepted, you can go to six ppm sustained, follow the timelines advised, keep bottle bac in place, tough out the smell, and still cycle in 30 days. high ammonia accidentally as a jolt 1x will not kill them off only gross sustained overages, not done so far. Good question, those limits are discussed online at times.

What we test as ppm using hobby kits varies, plus minus a little here and there, bac are tough enough to just put up with it.

I've no doubt, that in a glass tank lab setting using exact lab measures some biologist can reliably show death levels required to actually sterilize a tank. It won't happen in practical reef tanks, even with some variations in approach.
 
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