Cycling aquarium

mrjohnreed

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I started my cycling of my tank 4 days ago using the Dr. Tims One and Only with the ammonia drops. Prior to starting the cycle I checked my levels and they were as follows:
PH: 7.8
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia:0
Nitrate:0
After 4 days my levels are as follows:
PH: 7.8
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 1.0

I have not tested the Nitrates because it is a fish less cycle with dry rock and live sand. It seems as if I am either missing something but from all of the places I look everyone is saying by now I should be seeing nitrites and I am not. I have followed the program that Dr. Tims lays out exactly. Should I be seeing different numbers by now?
 
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Bo Lin

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Did you dose to 2ppm of ammonia? If you haven't added additional ammonium chloride yet after the first time, go ahead and test nitrates. The bacteria in Dr Tim's went quickly on the nitrite part of the cycle for me.
 

canadianeh

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Not too worry and take your time. Let the nature do its work. It is not always the same for everyone.

I used Dr Tims products to cycle as well, and mine finished cycling in exactly 30 days.

If you want, take a look at my build thread HERE. I recorded my daily test. Just to give you different perspective. Welcome to the hobby :)
 
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mrjohnreed

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Did you dose to 2ppm of ammonia? If you haven't added additional ammonium chloride yet after the first time, go ahead and test nitrates. The bacteria in Dr Tim's went quickly on the nitrite part of the cycle for me.
I have dosed the required 2ppm on day 1 as well as on day 3 as per the schedule that Dr. Tims chart says to dose. I will go ahead and test the nitrates to see where those levels are. Thanks for the info.
 

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So funny how your expectations & hopes change during a cycle. I am cycling a 105g DT (35g sump) with dry rock and live sand. I first added water on May 10 and got the cycle started with some pellet fish food in a mesh sock in my sump, plus Aquavitro seed bacteria (7 days of applications). My ammonia reached its peak 5 days later at which time nitrites began to appear, and I was so happy to see them. Three days after nitrites first appeared they reached a 5 on my Sera test kit, which is as high as it goes. And my ammonia dropped to zero a few days after that. So I said to myself "Now I'm in business!! Five +/- more days my nitrites will drop to zero and I'll be ready to do a water change and add my first critters." It has now been 12 days since my nitrites reached 5 and there is no sign of them waning. I know that I need to let mother nature do her thing, but it's brutal staring at a beautiful tank day after day without so much as a hermit crab in it. But I'm only on day 19 and several members (including canadianeh, who commented on your message) shared their experience. Will make it even more meaningful once it's all cycled. Good luck!
 
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brandon429

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K, you can start now if you like

nitrite no longer factors in cycle starts, since its neutral to the process. Only ammonia control matters

change out some water (less algae fuel) and begin, your starting animal list will live, eat, and be fine/sign of a closed cycle.

*am aware of online claims about nitrites, merely relaying the latest cycling info. this method is how they get 400 tanks in marine aquarium conventions to all start on time, without being late, or killing stuff. you have exceeded the required submersion time for the boosters you used + surface are in the tank, plus you have nitrate readings and ammonia control, that's all cycle completion confirmed. its not possible you're not cycled, actually. John should toss in a pinch of feed and wait to about 10-15 days/same outcome.
 
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Firthy13

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So funny how your expectations & hopes change during a cycle. I am cycling a 105g DT (35g sump) with dry rock and live sand. I first added water on May 10 and got the cycle started with some pellet fish food in a mesh sock in my sump, plus Aquavitro seed bacteria (7 days of applications). My ammonia reached its peak 5 days later at which time nitrites began to appear, and I was so happy to see them. Three days after nitrites first appeared they reached a 5 on my Sera test kit, which is as high as it goes. And my ammonia dropped to zero a few days after that. So I said to myself "Now I'm in business!! Five +/- more days my nitrites will drop to zero and I'll be ready to do a water change and add my first critters." It has now been 12 days since my nitrites reached 5 and there is no sign of them waning. I know that I need to let mother nature do her thing, but it's brutal staring at a beautiful tank day after day without so much as a hermit crab in it. But I'm only on day 19 and several members (including canadianeh, who commented on your message) shared their experience. Will make it even more meaningful once it's all cycled. Good luck!
I feel your pain. I have had extremely high nitrites for a months now with no signs of them subsiding in my 150gal. I think I'm going to have to do a water change.
 
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mrjohnreed

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So this morning I tested my water again including the nitrates and these were my results from today's test.
PH: 7.8
Ammonia: 1
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: it looks between 0 and 5.0ppm

I am only on day 5 and tomorrow I will be dosing ammonia again to the system. We shall see how it goes over the course of the next few weeks.
 
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mrjohnreed

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Finally on day 7 nitrites have appeared once my ammonia level seems to have peaked. Everything seems to be going just fine. Not on the schedule as the Dr. Tims time line but it is on the move finally. I've gotta top off the tank with freshwater and I hope that this doesn't stall the cycle but I will see what happens as we move forward. Thanks to everyone for their input. This is an adventure which will end up with a beautiful tank in the end.
 

Marsh980

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I started my 200 gallon cycle on 3rd March and used a whole bottle of dr Tims.

I never got an ammonia, nitrite or nitrate spike. They all remained at 0ppm even when I added a pair of Ocellaris Clowns 12 days later.

It’s now been nearly 12 weeks and I’m still at 0ppm for ammonia and nitrates and between 0-5ppm for Nitrates
 

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So funny how your expectations & hopes change during a cycle. I am cycling a 105g DT (35g sump) with dry rock and live sand. I first added water on May 10 and got the cycle started with some pellet fish food in a mesh sock in my sump, plus Aquavitro seed bacteria (7 days of applications). My ammonia reached its peak 5 days later at which time nitrites began to appear, and I was so happy to see them. Three days after nitrites first appeared they reached a 5 on my Sera test kit, which is as high as it goes. And my ammonia dropped to zero a few days after that. So I said to myself "Now I'm in business!! Five +/- more days my nitrites will drop to zero and I'll be ready to do a water change and add my first critters." It has now been 12 days since my nitrites reached 5 and there is no sign of them waning. I know that I need to let mother nature do her thing, but it's brutal staring at a beautiful tank day after day without so much as a hermit crab in it. But I'm only on day 19 and several members (including canadianeh, who commented on your message) shared their experience. Will make it even more meaningful once it's all cycled. Good luck!
Buddy im in almost the EXACT SAME BOAT! Lol on day 17,seeded my 15G w/ hang on back refugium, dry rock and live sand. Day 5 Ammonia reached its peak and began to drop. Ammonia is now at zero and Nitrites at 5 and showing no sign of coming down. I know they will but yea it's hard to stare at a tank and know the potential beauty and have to keep waiting! Patience pays. Nitrates are really high too so I know the bacteria is doing work, just gotta play that waiting game. Good luck to you my friend.
 
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mrjohnreed

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So I wanted to give an update of where I am at on my fishless cycle. My parameters are as follows:
Ph- 8.0
Ammonia- .25
Nitrite- .50
Nitrate- 40ppm

I am using the API tests and am.currently on day 17. I have not yet done a water change. I was thinking if I did a 20-25% water change by this weekend then my parameters should be settled in and I am completed cycling and could begin to add my first macro algae into the tank before I add any livestock. Any thoughts on this from everyone?
Thanks again for your input.
 

kkelly007

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I feel your pain. My 105g DT peninsula took exactly 30 days to cycle. My ammonia peaked on day 6 and was gone after day 12 (got things started with fish food in a mesh sock, and applied Aquavitro seed). My nitrites rose very high quickly as my ammonia was waning (>5 after three days) and it took them two weeks to move off of >5--was like a 4 day camel ride checking them every day and not moving . . . But when they did fall, they fell like a rock and were gone in two days. I'm now in the process of cycling my quarantine tank and kicking myself every day for not starting my DT and QT at the same time. Oh well, just one more lesson I've learned in the early stages of this hobby.

What have your nitrites done--are they climbing? There are several very experienced reefers who will tell you that once ammonia has cleared that you have effectively cycled and it is safe to introduce fish (there are also many articles on this). There are just as many, however, that will tell you that ammonia and nitrites need to both be 0.0 before introducing any livestock. I erred on the side of caution and let them both run their course.
 

brandon429

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How is it that marine aquarium conventions for decades have managed to start on time, no late or stalled cycle tanks, but forum cycles are taking 30+ days

Be weary of assuming convention cycles are weak or rushed, nobody risks a 12K$ bounce mushroom in a weak cycle tank

The real hidden question for compare and contrast here is how are conventions getting cycles as good as a 90 day cycle, for 400 reefs, all on a given Friday and nobody shows up early to cycle?

Are the tanks in this thread using different means, or different measures to deem an ok start date?

I have dry start links handy... convention cycles aren't all live rock transfers... many are dry rock demos set up there, to demo bottle bac ability

They're making dry start cycles comply by a requested date too is the point. All forms of aquariums never stall a cycle depending on what meter one uses, and conventions aren't like forums, there's real money on the line to be lost from an unready, premature start.

At any time, an aquarist in this thread can utilize convention cycling rules in order to be done cycling before summer ends...

Conventions aren't one-offing it either, lucky skip cycles. It's twenty or 30 years worth of conventions always pulling it off

Forum posters are the sales targets, they buy what convention skip cyclers tell them to buy. To break free from that cycle means an aquarist will never need to own an ammonia test kit again, nor a nitrite test kit, as you'll be able to know the readings without the kits.
 
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brandon429

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The big picture scope isn’t the rule breaking or rushing aspect conventions use that seem to circumvent normal cycling rules or quality (fast and slow cycles are the same quality, they’re both immune to full water changes and can’t be undone, thats how you know any type of cycle is complete...when a full water change can’t undo it, ammonia still goes down after redosing after a full water change)


the real reason to control cycling so well you don’t need to test for a cycle is so that you can be dynamic in your *post cycle* skills, which determine the lifespan of your investment. Responding to pre crashes, or loss cascades brought on by keeper mistakes, or ending an invasion instead of starting over due to one is a crucial reef lifespan skill


I cannot accurately enumerate the thousands of online posted lost reef tanks I’ve seen where the keeper armed with api nitrite and ammonia sat frozen from action while all of some combo of those events took the tank. Due to the measures selected that allow or disallow access, keepers begin their action habits right at the start, during cycling. If bacteria are presumed weak or unable, an inaction happens (invasions and crashes relish hesitant inaction). If they’re deemed able, strong, an action happens (attending a convention and skipping the cycle wait time)


what we think bacteria can tolerate ties our hands, or frees us, for the rest of the time we‘ll be reefing. It is the difference between reefing confidence and no confidence.
 
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mrjohnreed

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I feel your pain. My 105g DT peninsula took exactly 30 days to cycle. My ammonia peaked on day 6 and was gone after day 12 (got things started with fish food in a mesh sock, and applied Aquavitro seed). My nitrites rose very high quickly as my ammonia was waning (>5 after three days) and it took them two weeks to move off of >5--was like a 4 day camel ride checking them every day and not moving . . . But when they did fall, they fell like a rock and were gone in two days. I'm now in the process of cycling my quarantine tank and kicking myself every day for not starting my DT and QT at the same time. Oh well, just one more lesson I've learned in the early stages of this hobby.

What have your nitrites done--are they climbing? There are several very experienced reefers who will tell you that once ammonia has cleared that you have effectively cycled and it is safe to introduce fish (there are also many articles on this). There are just as many, however, that will tell you that ammonia and nitrites need to both be 0.0 before introducing any livestock. I erred on the side of caution and let them both run their course.
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I feel your pain. My 105g DT peninsula took exactly 30 days to cycle. My ammonia peaked on day 6 and was gone after day 12 (got things started with fish food in a mesh sock, and applied Aquavitro seed). My nitrites rose very high quickly as my ammonia was waning (>5 after three days) and it took them two weeks to move off of >5--was like a 4 day camel ride checking them every day and not moving . . . But when they did fall, they fell like a rock and were gone in two days. I'm now in the process of cycling my quarantine tank and kicking myself every day for not starting my DT and QT at the same time. Oh well, just one more lesson I've learned in the early stages of this hobby.

What have your nitrites done--are they climbing? There are several very experienced reefers who will tell you that once ammonia has cleared that you have effectively cycled and it is safe to introduce fish (there are also many articles on this). There are just as many, however, that will tell you that ammonia and nitrites need to both be 0.0 before introducing any livestock. I erred on the side of caution and let them both run their course.
So my nitrites did spike as well as my ammonia around day 6 or so. Then I began to see nitrates going up. Since then both the ammonia and nitrite have been sitting where they currently are at this time.
 

Luckyduck

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So I wanted to give an update of where I am at on my fishless cycle. My parameters are as follows:
Ph- 8.0
Ammonia- .25
Nitrite- .50
Nitrate- 40ppm

I am using the API tests and am.currently on day 17. I have not yet done a water change. I was thinking if I did a 20-25% water change by this weekend then my parameters should be settled in and I am completed cycling and could begin to add my first macro algae into the tank before I add any livestock. Any thoughts on this from everyone?
Thanks again for your input.
Mine just finished last week. 18 days. When I made my last post to you Nitrites were at 5 and Nitrates were 50. Literally 2 days later nitrites were 0 and 5 days later (today) Nitrates are next to near zero. You can add macroalgae as, long as you have phosphates. Algae needs phosphates as one of its requirements to grow. The water change over the weekend or before is probably a good idea in my opinion. Thays what helped to get mine over that last hump. Good luck. I don't like API test kits because they aren't very accurate; at least I haven't had good experiences with them. When you need to get a refill go with a Red Sea kit.
 
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mrjohnreed

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Mine just finished last week. 18 days. When I made my last post to you Nitrites were at 5 and Nitrates were 50. Literally 2 days later nitrites were 0 and 5 days later (today) Nitrates are next to near zero. You can add macroalgae as, long as you have phosphates. Algae needs phosphates as one of its requirements to grow. The water change over the weekend or before is probably a good idea in my opinion. Thays what helped to get mine over that last hump. Good luck. I don't like API test kits because they aren't very accurate; at least I haven't had good experiences with them. When you need to get a refill go with a Red Sea kit.
So I went and switched my API test kits for salifert test kits yesterday and I tested my water today. My levels are all good to go. On day 19 my ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0 and my nitrates are elevated but not super high. This is good because this tank is going to be a macro algae display tank so where the nitrates are does not bother me as much. Now its time to start getting some macros.
 

Luckyduck

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So I went and switched my API test kits for salifert test kits yesterday and I tested my water today. My levels are all good to go. On day 19 my ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0 and my nitrates are elevated but not super high. This is good because this tank is going to be a macro algae display tank so where the nitrates are does not bother me as much. Now its time to start getting some macros.
All riiiiight!! Awesome man. So glad to hear. Post some pics when you get it stocked up with macro. That will be really cool, I love macro algae displays.
 
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mrjohnreed

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So macro is in the tank. This is where we are today. Might have to move some around but am going to watch them.over the course of the next week or so and see what happens. Hopefully all will be happy.

20200616_200105.jpg
 
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