Bacteria in bottle, busting myth, Seneye style.

Dr. Reef

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As some may know I started a study on this subject.
I am old school (kick start cycle by adding deli shrimp) and didnt think bacteria in bottle could survive packaging and transportation along with temperature variances etc. Too many people reported great success with the bottles and soon i was proven wrong.
Knowing that it works i decided to test their claims. Some say instant cycle some say add fish in few hours to few days. In the concurrent study i have been doing, I tested 4 products. Due to an error I ended up with 8ppm ammonia in each tank which could have stalled 3 products from performing but to my surprise Fritz Turbo Start 900 knocked 8ppm to 0 in 2 days. I repeated that test by dosing Fritz in a stalled tank that had been sitting at 8ppm for 5 days. Within 28 hours it dropped it down to 3ppm and a day later to 0.
To be fair to all the contenders i am resetting the study to start with 2ppm ammonia and the progress of this study can be found here:
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/bacteria-in-a-bottle-myth-or-fact.403226/

In course of this study at some point Seneye monitor was brought into discussion due to their unit being able to track ammonia in real time. I reached out to Seneye to see if they will lend out few units for us to monitor this study and process.
After exchanging few emails and discussing the way i am conducting the study we found out that there were issues on my end which if not addressed will not produce conclusive or reliable results and also pushing the limits of the unit itself.
So Seneye recommended a way to test the bacteria and ammonia. This recommendation took the current study off track and derailed the idea behind my original thinking.
I wanted to see which product would be best to setup a QT in case of an emergency and dose some bacteria and you are ready to go.
Seneye recommendation is more for a live mature tank cycling in which you mimic a living fish tank. In this situation i would have to dose each tank with 0.2ppm NH3 (about 1.8-2ppm Total ammonia). Then add bacteria and constantly add ammonia throughout the day representing waste produced my fish on hourly basis. Their claim is legit. Fish dont just dump a lot of ammonia once a day they produce ammonia throughout the day which steadily builds up.
From this i learned, There are 2 ways to cycle a tank,
1. Old school method, Dump ammonia to 1-2ppm and wait for bacteria to colonize and let the cycle complete either naturally (bacteria from air) or by adding bottled bacteria.
2. Setup tank add bacteria and fish according to manufacturers recommendation.

So we dont clutter the main study with both concepts and mix the info I am creating this thread to continue the study and breaking ammonia and cycle down Seneye style.

209522_seneye_reef-c.jpg


seneye-reef.jpg


seneye_tank_monitor.jpg


@AQD-Seneye, @mikeyn


I like to point out to everyone that SENEYE has agreed to provide 5 units for us to complete this study. So i like to thank them for their commitment and all the great info they will be providing in real time.



Procedure:
Due to limited space time and equipment I divided the study in 2 parts on 8 major products:

Each tank will be 5 Gal. HOB filter with ceramic rings and Filter floss. Bare bottom tank with 1000 grams of ceramic rings. Seneye monitor in each tank along with 1 control tank setup same way.
With a help of a doser I am going to measure how much it take to get 0.2 NH3. once i have that value i will dose each tank slowly upto 0.2 NH3 over 2 days. 3rd Day i will dose bacteria and forth day on i will continue to dose 0.1 NH3 spread over the whole day.
This process will be almost like having a fish tank with live fish in it. Producing waste throughout the day.
Additional bacteria dosing (if manufacturer recommends) over next few days.
Seneye monitors ammonia changes in real time and reports every 30 min. It will be interesting to see how Bacteria colonizes and converts ammonia to nitrites.
Products that have live bacteria will show decrease in ammonia and the ones that dont will continue to build up on ammonia.
Control should continue to build up ammonia till it max out the capability of the monitor.



First Group:



1. Fritz Turbo Start 900

fritz.png






2. ATM Colony


ATM-Colony.png






3. Dr. Tim One and Only

drtim.jpg






4. Seachem Seed

seed.jpg









Second Group:



1. Instant Ocean Bio Spira

biospira.jpg






2. Prodibio Start Up

prodibio.jpg






3. Microbe Lift Nite Out 2

nite out 2.jpg






4. Fluval Cycle

fluval.jpg
 
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Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef

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@Crabs Mcjones and other seneye users
Could you please share your views on the product and how you find it useful in your setup.
Also they claim that by monitoring small changes in your tank using Seneye monitor you can find trouble like fish dead or overfeeding etc.
 

Crabs McJones

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@Crabs Mcjones and other seneye users
Could you please share your views on the product and how you find it useful in your setup.
Also they claim that by monitoring small changes in your tank using Seneye monitor you can find trouble like fish dead or overfeeding etc.
I primarily use mine for the PAR meter, but it seems to do good as far an ammonia and nitrate. When I do my testing with my salifert test kits, the seneye's numbers are for the most part spot on.
 

saf1

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Not sure if I am being nit picky but to me 'old school' is using a dead shrimp from the butcher or sea food counter to start the cycle. Some also used a smaller live fish. Bottle would be newer. At least this is how I've read the books of old and performed anyway on my first marine cycle in 1999. Probably doesn't matter but after I read this and the old school comment I never once considered or remember reading to dose to 2ppm.
 
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Dr. Reef

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I used and still start my tanks old school way. Add deli shrimp and wait till ammonia hit 1-2 ppm then pull it out and let bacteria cycle tank over many weeks. But according to new studies and technologies and development things have changed. We no longer have to wait weeks to add fish. Still in process of testing all their claim but from the first round i learned that there is truth behind some of this and Fritz Turbo Start 900 did perform well.
 

saf1

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I used and still start my tanks old school way. Add deli shrimp and wait till ammonia hit 1-2 ppm then pull it out and let bacteria cycle tank over many weeks. But according to new studies and technologies and development things have changed. We no longer have to wait weeks to add fish. Still in process of testing all their claim but from the first round i learned that there is truth behind some of this and Fritz Turbo Start 900 did perform well.

Yeah - I was part of that thread - and thanks. Like I said I didn't mean to derail. I've used the shrimp and recently with my 210 in Feb Dr. Tims. Glad Seneye is helping. I've been considering picking one up for the Par. Wish they just had that has a standalone unit and not all the other stuff. I just wouldn't see using it. Not that it is bad just another thing that has its own portal or controller when I already have a single source/portal to obtain my data via Apex.
 
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Dr. Reef

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For some that may not know. There are 2 types of ammonia in the tank. NH3 which is in gas form, deadly to fish and NH4 the non toxic kind.
If the pH was to be between 8.2-8.4 dosing ammonia or leaving a deli shrimp in tank will produce both kinds of ammonia in tank which would be in a specific ratio. Say you tested 2 ppm on your test kit which every hobby level kit on market is a TAN kit (total ammonia NH3/NH4) They dont break the toxic from non toxic apart. Only kit i am aware of that does both apart is Seachem multitest ammonia kit.
So if you had 2 ppm on a TAN kit its safe to assume toxic ammonia NH3 is about 0.2 ppm.

Seneye unit monitors the deadly type of ammonia NH3.

NH3 chart (according to Seneye)

Safe from 0.001 to 0.02
Alert from o.o2 to 0.05
Alarm from 0.05 to 0.2
Toxic from 0.2 to 0.5
Deadly 0.5+
 
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DLHDesign

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Could you please share your views on the product and how you find it useful in your setup.

I have two of them (both the "Reef" variety); one running on my DT, the other in my frag tank (which, for the moment, is disconnected from the DT); Each are hooked up to a SenEye web server.

TL;DR - Without the web server, the SenEye is basically a PAR meter. Yes; it can do more, but you likely won't use it for much more. WITH the web server, the SenEye is an active monitor and alerting system for key parameters of your tank (oh; and it's also a PAR meter when you need it to be).


To go into more detail on that; I think the SenEye is a wonderful little device that has paid for itself (or themselves, really) many times over. To set the stage; I got a SenEye as a way to avoid having to buy a controller. Yet after picking up 10's of thousands of dollars in Neptune gear (don't tell my wife), I still find value in the SenEye. Here's why;
One of the early lessons most reefers learn is the security that comes with redundancy. One main thing that the SenEye does for me these days is provide a backup and redundancy for all my Apex probes and sensors. My Apex probes are in the sump; the SenEye is in the DT (much less obtrusive than all the Apex probes). So I get monitoring of temp and Ph in two different zones of the tank. And while I could just use more Apex probes, I like that the SenEye uses something other than Neptune to alarm me - again; redundancy equals security. Beyond temp and Ph, the SenEye provides me with an "out of the water" alarm. I've got leak sensors on the ground around the tank, so this is another example of redundancy.
Beyond the redundancy, the SenEye also monitors the very thing that brings them up in this topic - ammonia (I'll leave off the NH3/NH4 for this review; though the difference is important). There have been many times (sadly) that I've received both alerts and alarms from the SenEye about ammonia levels in my tank (which, granted, is only just past a year old). Most of the time, the alerts were just barely above the limits (e.x.; 0.021) and they took care of themselves in short order. Though when the tank is in "SenEye alert", I did make sure to feed less - which often helped to bring it down faster. When I hit alarm states, it was generally because I had done something stupid - like disturbed a bunch of the sand bed and forgot to follow that up with a water change. Or I did a water change, but it wasn't large enough. My action here has been to get up off my rear and do another (larger) water change. So, basically, the ammonia notifications weren't always that something had died in the tank (though that did happen and I did find out because of the SenEye); it's been far more often that something was just a little bit off, so I knew to take action to fix it before it became a larger problem.

There are downsides; it's not all blooming zoas and freebies in the frag order. Having to buy the slides every month (in order to get Ph and ammonia monitoring) is a pain. Having to remember to soak them has caused me to go days (weeks) longer than I should have several times. It's not hard, of course - it's just something else that needs doing. I even have alarms and such on my phone to tell me to order slides on such-and-such a date, soak them on this date, change them the next. Still; it's something I have to actually do. And when I forget to order slides, the whole process can slip pretty far... This has never really caused a problem, however. When (if) I check the values, they may show a bit off (or have alarmed) and then I recall that I've not changed the slide in (mumble, mumble) and so it's more likely sensor drift than an actual problem in the tank. It's usually Ph, so I'll look it up on the Apex and see a proper value, then go on Amazon and order more slides (and/or soak ones I've got).
About the only other complaint I have is regarding the suction cup. I call it a "suction cup" because that's obviously what it was designed to be; not because that's the job it does. I'm not sure which side of it I dislike more - the side that is supposed to attach to the SenEye, or the side that's supposed to stick to the glass. Neither works, so not only does the unit end up just bobbing about (it's negatively buoyant, so it at least doesn't float), but I had to fish out the suction cup a few times in the early days. I've thrown out both of mine long since... I think they make a better holder for them that could be purchased - and I've no doubt I could 3D print something that would work - but I'm not really all that worried about it. I like some movement in the tank, after all...
 

AQD-Seneye

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We very pleased to announce that Seneye will be providing 5 units pre programmed for this study and will be on hand to provide both technical and methodology assistance.

As a point of reference should anyone be interested in purchasing we will be setting up a special discount code for this thread alone. I will announce this code shortly. This code will be used through all participating dealers.

If anyone has any questions we can be reached at [email protected]
 

AQD-Seneye

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Seneye and ourselves (The distributors) felt it important as this thread will gain a lot of interest in the product to reward the thread with a discount purchase offer. This will run from tomorrow 15th September to midnight PST 1st October.

Use code SENTEST at the following stores, if the code does not work simply email the store

Marine Depot
Saltwater Aquarium
Premium Aquatics
Aqua Cave
Aqua Specialty

10% off
Reef
Home
SWS with Wi-Fi

I do not wish to turn this thread commercial so will only post a weekly reminder to this. I will only also get involved in the thread should I be asked a specific question or see a question or comment that requires addressing from a Seneye point of view.
 
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Brew12

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@Crabs Mcjones and other seneye users
Could you please share your views on the product and how you find it useful in your setup.
Also they claim that by monitoring small changes in your tank using Seneye monitor you can find trouble like fish dead or overfeeding etc.
I have to admit that I have underutilized mine. I don't have a good excuse other than I tend to only think of it as a PAR meter. I'm pleased that this has come up and I have some plans that I'll share separately to not clutter up this thread.
 

XLOR8T

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Seneye have great service and response. I usually communicate on Facebook messenger with them. It’s a very useful piece of redundancy for my apex and the constant NH3 reading really sheds light on the bio filter of a tank. You see the small changes undetectable by any test kit. Like when you overfeed or forget to clean your filter socks/replace floss. When you add a bunch of new fish. Or even when you do carbon dosing (it really kicks the bacteria in high gear) I’ve been using nopox to accelerate cycling of tanks and may be anecdotal but I’ve seen very solid results with it. The PH monitor also lets me see when apex and seneye fall out of sync and I recalibrate my apex probe. I wouldn’t have another tank without seneye.
 

DLHDesign

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In regards to the cups are you aware Seneye make two different magnetic holders?
Yup - and I've heard good things about them both. My review was referring to the suction cup included with the unit. And I'd like to make sure I'm clear here; my only complaints above about the unit has more to do with my lack of attention and a suction cup. The former is 100% my issue and the latter is not even remotely required for the unit to achieve 100% of it's functionality. So really, despite making every effort to provide a fair review, the negatives I could come up with are pitiful. Even the price on the unit is very reasonable for what you get out of it - and that's without a 10% discount! (Though I did get a 10% discount on my second unit due to a seasonal sale.)

In short; buy this thing if you want to keep an eye on your tank. Even if you have a fancy controller, a SenEye is a great addition to your disaster-aversion toolkit.

Thanks, again, @AQD-Seneye, for supporting not only this experiment, but also R2R. We really appreciate the contributions great sponsors like you make here!
 

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