Cycling an Aquarium

One of the earliest topics a new aquarium hobbyist needs to learn is how to properly cycle their aquarium. There is a ton of information on this...
  1. MBX5

    MBX5 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I didn’t actually add anything this time as the rock was cooking for so long. Wanted to see if it had any effect on the cycle. Any chance anyone came up with a formula for ammonia to system volume or do I just add and test until I hit 1ppm?
     

  2. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    What type of ammonia are you using?

    This calculator should work for you if you are using a diluted ammonia.
    https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/Calculators/AmmoniaCycling.php
     
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  3. MBX5

    MBX5 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So I added a bag with some Krill the other day and this is my tests since.
    11/6/17
    Ammonia =0
    Nitrate =5
    Nitrite =0
    11/7/17
    Ammonia =0
    Nitrite =0
    Nitrate =5
    11/8/17
    Ammonia =0
    Nitrate =5
    Nitrite =0
    11/9/17
    Ammonia =0
    Nitrite =0
    Nitrate =5
    11/10/17
    Ammonia =0
    Nitrite =0
    Nitrate =5
    The Krill is now disintegrated. Think I’m good to add a few friends?
     
  4. KCDallas

    KCDallas New Member

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    Just got water flowing in my 57G about 3 days ago, water is still slightly cloudy from the sand. When should I start running my first nitrate and ammonia tests?
     
  5. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I would feel better if you saw an increase in nitrate. The fact that the numbers haven't changed makes it hard for me to say one way or the other. Not getting ammonia is a great sign though.
     
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  6. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    What did you add as an ammonia source?
     
  7. billr65

    billr65 Member

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    thank you for writing this great info
     
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  8. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Member

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    I'm attempting a fishless cycle on my 40 gallon breeder. I added Fritz turbo start, and dosed 2PPM of Dr Tims ammonium chloride about 5 days ago. Yesterday I finally saw a decrease in ammonia and an an increase in nitrite both at 1PPM. I will check again tonight and add more ammonium chloride if they are both below 1PPM. My water has been very cloudy for the past 5 days. Is that normal with fishless cycling? Will it clear up on its own? How long will it take to clear up? I'm using dry marco rock and dry sand that I thoroughly rinsed.
     
  9. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Welcome to Reef2Reef!

    Sounds like you are off to a good start.

    As for the cloudy water, I wouldn't say it is common but it isn't unusual, either. Its hard to say how long to clean up, too, without knowing the cause and your filtration. If the cloudiness is caused by rock/sand dust filter socks should take it out. If you used a salt with probiotics in it, you will need to skim out the bacteria bloom it can cause. Sorry I can't give you a better answer!
     
  10. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Member

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    I don't use filter socks and I used fritz salt. I mixed the salt in the tank for 4 days before adding the bacteria and ammonium chloride. Initially, I thought it was from the salt just waiting to be mixed better but that doesn't appear to be the case. Also my skimmer has been off and I haven't run it the entire time. So essentially I have zero filtration in this tank at the moment.

    I have done the fishless cycle a bunch of times for African Cichlid tanks and never remembered the tank being cloudy like this. Any ideas on what I should do?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  11. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I would start up the skimmer. Odds are it is bacteria related which the skimmer should help remove. Any chance you have a canister with a very fine mechanical filter you could run for a few hours?
     
  12. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Member

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    Yea I guess I'll give that a whirl. I agree its most likely a bacteria bloom, I just figured it would clear up after a while. I got rid of all that type of stuff since I don't have room for 6 foot tanks anymore. Probably easier to just add a filter sock for the time being. This is a Triton setup so was never planning to run socks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  13. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    If it is bacterial the socks won't help much, stick with the skimmer and give it a day or two.

    I'm intrigued by the Triton system but didn't pull the trigger on doing it. I do run a large fuge but I do it after my skimmer. I didn't want the skimmer sucking in all my pods. I run socks about 2/3'ds of the time
     
  14. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Member

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    we will see how it goes. I know Joe over at manhattan aquarium/Unique corals very well and he convinced me to do it. I had always done the 2-part/balling method on previous tanks. I should probably make a build thread at some point on here. I have a direct automation PLC unit controlling the tank and RODI unit. You will probably be mad at me but I chose to not use GFCI receptacles or grounding probes on my tank for personal reasons (i'm an EE by trade). Skimmers is on now. I also reached out to Dr Tim himself. Maybe the good doctor can give me some of his wisdom to clear up my tank.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  15. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Yup, I'm done. Not talking to you any more. :p

    What PLC is it that you are using, if I can ask? And yes, build threads are a great idea. Not only do other members enjoy them but its nice to have everything in one place if you ever need help with something. It can provide an entire history.
     
  16. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Member

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    Lets just say I nearly lost my entire tank last time because of a faulty GFCI of a known manufacturer lol. I have a lot of things monitored on the tank tied in to my phone so it was a risk I was willing to take this time around. I'm using the Do-more PLC from automation direct. It extremely robust but very user friendly to program.

    https://www.automationdirect.com/ad...-a-_Stackable)/Do-more_H2_(Micro_Modular_PLC)
     
  17. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I would never risk my system on a single GFCI, which is why my current system uses 4 of them. My new system will be more complex so I am going down to 2 GFCI's. I will plug a light into each of them so I know if one has tripped.

    Love the idea of using a PLC and I almost went that route. Then I realized that I'm still a bit burnt out from years of automation programming at work and I went with an Apex for my first build. Trying a GHL on my new one.
     
  18. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Member

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    Honestly this is my first time ever programming a PLC. Its way easier than something like an Allen Bradley where you need to know all the address of each module. This thing is basically plug and play. My issue with things like the Apex is its not very robust and I'm tied into using all of their proprietary devices. I'm deff going to make a build thread tonight.

    BTW here is the response from the great Dr Tim:

    Helo

    Turn the skimmer on.

    The cloudiness will clear.

    Here is recipe on how to fishless cycle that may help you


    Regards

    DrTim’s Aquatics






    *************************************

    DrTim's Aquatics, LLC

    info@drtimsaquatics.com

    www.drtimsaquatics.com

    *************************************
     
  19. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I'm a big fan of Dr Tims and have read a few of his research papers.

    Not sure why I didn't think of starting up the skimmer.... :confused: :p
     
  20. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Member

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    Skimmer was on overnight. I have a BM Curve 7 such a pain in the *** to dial in. There was 1/4" of light brown stuff in there. Also my Nitrites jumped up to 2.0PPM last night.
     
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