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. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    I just pulled my Curve 7 out after fighting it for a year. Replaced it with a Deltec just 3 days ago. Had it dialed in better in 5 minutes than I ever was able to get my BM working.
     

  2. LeonThePeon

    LeonThePeon Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Not sure if the is the place for the question - but in regards to cycling a QT/observation tank that I was going to keep running - I use seeded sponge filters, some bio media, and DT water to help cycle the QT tank - and while it's running and I'm doing the water changes - do I want to squeeze out the sponge in the tank water?

    I do and there a good amount of brown that comes out. I read about ammonia factories and worry the sponge is a growing source of ammonia if not cleaned out.

    Or am I just making my life harder by restarting whatever good stuff I had in that sponge?
     
  3. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    I doubt it matters one way or the other, but squeezing it to remove crud is fine. :)
     
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  4. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    I squeeze mine out every few days under warm tap water. Never caused a problem. The bacteria will stick to the sponge and won't rinse out. As long as you don't dry them out, cook them, or freeze them you should be good.
     
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  5. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Active Member

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    When I was breeding cichlids I always used sponge filters in my grow out tanks. I usually would give them a few squeezes under tepid tap water every week or so to get rid of all the crap stored in them. After a while they get too clogged to work properly if you don't rinse them out. If you use tepid water its fine. They actually work really well once they are seeded with enough bacteria.


    Another note tank still cloudy and the skimmer doesn't seem to be pulling out much. Ammonia down to 0-.25 but nitirite still 1PPM or so. Hopefully tonight they will both zero out and I can add more ammonia. Still worried about the tank being cloudy.

    Side note I also add a tank thread here if anyone interested: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/r...n-setup-with-diy-plc-based-controller.342127/
     
  6. LeonThePeon

    LeonThePeon Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Was just thinking, and this might be more appropriate in the “disease” forum, but if I wanted to use live rock to help cycling along - but worry about any disease hitchhikers (i.e. ick) - is ick with a 72 day fallow the longest to wait for an “all clear” of anything that could be on the rocks before adding QT’d fishes? Are there other diseases to worry about that could last longer?
     
  7. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    As far as I am aware, 76 days will cover pretty much everything. There are some fish pathogens that going fallow will not rid from your tank but I don't know of any reason to go more than 76 days.
    And remember, that is 76 days from the time it is removed from a system with fish, not when it is put in your system.
     
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  8. ericbost23

    ericbost23 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So I'm cycling another tank and my ammonia is almost 0 my no is 1.0 and no3 is 80 and I cannot for the life of me remember what to do to remedy this situation
     
  9. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    Wait a little longer. Odds are your nitrate isn't that high because you still have nitrite. Shouldn't be long now.
     
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  10. Crashjack

    Crashjack Active Member R2R Supporter

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    When I put in my tank, I was worried about overloading the circuit so added a second circuit. I have my two relay boxes for my controller split, each plugged into a GFCI outlet on each circuit. One box has my Gyre pumps for circulation, and the other has my main pump. They each also have a heater. That way, I still have water movement and a heater if I trip a GFCI outlet.
     
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  11. ericbost23

    ericbost23 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks for the advice
     
  12. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Active Member

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    Unfortunately the way I have my tank tank controlled with a DJ strip, I couldn't separate devices easily. I could have added a seperate DJ strip but it would have been alot more complex and difficult to program. Under normal situations having 2 duplex GFIs feeding different equipment is the way to go. Most of my issues with nuisance tripping GFIs were when I was using very large AC pumps (iwakis, reeflos, panworld etc). The large inrush curernt upon startup would cause all sort of issues.
     
  13. Ezrunner23

    Ezrunner23 Member

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    Hello I have been reefing for about a year know. I started with a 10 gallon and an opportunity came for me to get a whole 75 gallon system for free. I jumped on it and started this new upgrade. Here is the run down! The guy that gave me the system had the rock out didn’t leave it in the water. Sand was left in a bucket with very lil water.(both water and sand were left out of a proper system for about 2 weeks). So I set up the tank and added 3/4 of dr Tim’s one and only a week later added the rest. First test 2ppm ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0 nitrate. Next day ammonia goes to 1 ppm nitrite and nitrate stay at 0, stay like this for about a week. The first change ammonia is at .5 ppm nitrite and nitrate stay at 0. Next day( today) everything is at 0. So the golden question is is my tank cycled or should I run an ammonia test to find out!
     
  14. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    I would run an ammonia test to make sure. As long as the rocks didn't completely dry out they probably had a good base of bacteria in them. An ammonia test is a quick easy way to make sure the system is safe for fish. Costs a lot less than replacing a fish because you put it in too early.
     
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  15. Ezrunner23

    Ezrunner23 Member

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    Okay thanks, I got lucky the rock didn’t dry out I made sure to put it in water when I got it, I did scrub some algae off some rocks some still has a bit. I’m going to have to wait till my lfs open tomorrow so I can buy some dr Tim’s ammonia and run the test!
     
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  16. Ezrunner23

    Ezrunner23 Member

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    Okay update I just added the ammonia and tested it was in between 4ppm and 8 ppm I’m going to wait a few hours so it can circulate better and test again. I did notice a bit of diatoms after I had added the ammonia!
     
  17. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Active Member

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    Just an update on my tank. The bacteria bloom has been gone for a little over a week now. But for whatever reason my nitrites have been pegged at 1-2PPM for over 10 days. I added a 1PPM does of ammonia about 5 days ago and within 1 day the ammonia reading was zero. I also added Dr Times One and Only on the 13th. Last night nitrites are still pegged at 1PPM. I'm wondering if my API nitrite test kit is giving me false readings. Or maybe my cycle is stalled? Anyone have any experience with this?
     
  18. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    It is very possible to get false positives from nitrite tests. Since nitrites aren't a problem with saltwater systems don't worry about them too much. If you are processing 1ppm ammonia in a day you are ready to start slowly stocking your tank, provided you have everything else in order.
     
  19. mdd1986

    mdd1986 Active Member

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    So I guess its safe to say my tank is "cycled" If I add ammonia and process it in a day? Without worrying too much about the nitrite levels? Should I test Nitrates (salifert kit) to see where they are?
     
  20. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    I dislike the term "cycled" but it should be safe for a smaller fish or two. In freshwater, nitrites are very dangerous. In saltwater, the chlorides block absorption of the nitrites so the fish are safe. You can test nitrates but don't read too much into the results. Most nitrate tests break down nitrates into nitrites and then perform a color change to read them. If you are showing nitrites it can cause a false high reading on nitrates.
     
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