brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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what makes us accept the stated reading as right vs wrong, amid these possible search returns:

api ammonia misread or

red sea ammonia misread
legit question: based on those search returns, is it possible to measure someone's cycle from api or red sea, even if it worked for another? how can we tell without other contextual clues vs the reading alone
 
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BamBam98

BamBam98

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Only thing that concerns me is ammonia still present at a month should have been gone after a week with bottled bac. Are you using rodi water or tap?
Using premade salt water from the reef supply store, so defiently not a water quality issue, all the reefers in my area use them
 

Quietman

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If I was forced to bet my life on it - well, maybe someone else's life, I would say your ammonia reading is off...if you're producing that many nitrates and it's been 3 weeks, very hard to see you not being cycled.

If it is cycled and your reading are accurate (the test kit accuracy, I'm sure your eyes and interpretation are fine) then tomorrow you'll have 0 ammonia. 2 ppm will be gone in a day if it's cycled. If you still have ammonia reading - it's really got to be the test kit.

Did you happen to pick up ammonia strips?

Anyone disagree with this?
 

Uncle99

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If I was forced to bet my life on it - well, maybe someone else's life, I would say your ammonia reading is off...if you're producing that many nitrates and it's been 3 weeks, very hard to see you not being cycled.

If it is cycled and your reading are accurate (the test kit accuracy, I'm sure your eyes and interpretation are fine) then tomorrow you'll have 0 ammonia. 2 ppm will be gone in a day if it's cycled. If you still have ammonia reading - it's really got to be the test kit.

Did you happen to pick up ammonia strips?

Anyone disagree with this?
Nope, I fully agree with you, cycled.
 
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Quietman

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To overstate a bit why we're all pretty confident.

Cycling is inevitable. You have to try and try hard to stop it. You could put some food or a dead shrimp in a tank for a week...take it out then wait 4 more weeks and you'll have no concerns about ammonia. Without testing a thing I'd feel fine about starting stocking at that point. Bottled starter cuts that in half.
 

Rmckoy

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Using premade salt water from the reef supply store, so defiently not a water quality issue, all the reefers in my area use them
I’d purchase a good refractometer to assure their salinity is within range .
I have read many posts of others using pre mixed water that was either extremely low or high .

next would be a rodi system and a bucket of salt .
puts more control of your water quality in your hands .
Next I’d invest in higher quality test kits such as salifert or Hanna . Or a combination of both

Hanna for phosphates and alk
Salifert for nitrates , cal and mag .
Ammonia will not need to be tested as often once cycled
 

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This thread has been very helpful as I am in the same situation only a couple of weeks behind. I started with "dead" rock that had been removed from am established tank and left outside for a few weeks, plus live sand. I added Dr Timms after checking for Ammonia and have dosed Ammonia a few times early on. As far as I could tell using API Ammonia strips and also a SeaChem Ammonia test with little dots the Ammonia dropped to zero quite quickly. ( The Seachem test is a very strange test method and the API strip stays the same shade it started) Nitrites just went high and have stayed there - that said the purple colour it goes could be 2 or 5 or something higher - it is impossible to tell! NItrates are OK using the API NItrate specific test but sky high on the Nitrate square using API 5 in 1 test strips.

Anyway, after 10 days I added some FritzZyme 9 to see if that would help the bacteria that turn Nitrites to Nitrates get going. I also did a few water changes. I have not added any Ammonia for a while because what is the point if the Nitrite is staying high? Actually I might as well add some more Ammonia to see if / how quickly it goes.

I have spent quite a lot of money on test kits that I don't have a lot of faith in and bottles of bacteria but don't seem to have made much progress!
 

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This thread has been very helpful as I am in the same situation only a couple of weeks behind. I started with "dead" rock that had been removed from am established tank and left outside for a few weeks, plus live sand. I added Dr Timms after checking for Ammonia and have dosed Ammonia a few times early on. As far as I could tell using API Ammonia strips and also a SeaChem Ammonia test with little dots the Ammonia dropped to zero quite quickly. ( The Seachem test is a very strange test method and the API strip stays the same shade it started) Nitrites just went high and have stayed there - that said the purple colour it goes could be 2 or 5 or something higher - it is impossible to tell! NItrates are OK using the API NItrate specific test but sky high on the Nitrate square using API 5 in 1 test strips.

Anyway, after 10 days I added some FritzZyme 9 to see if that would help the bacteria that turn Nitrites to Nitrates get going. I also did a few water changes. I have not added any Ammonia for a while because what is the point if the Nitrite is staying high? Actually I might as well add some more Ammonia to see if / how quickly it goes.

I have spent quite a lot of money on test kits that I don't have a lot of faith in and bottles of bacteria but don't seem to have made much progress!
Salifert or red sea test kits will be your best bet for most parameters. Alot more positives using these kits instead of API
 
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Islandvib3s

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Let me help make it easy in a empty tank. Use rodi water only.mix well. Add live bottle of bacteria. Introduce small amount of food. So now you have ammonia(food) and nitrites(bacteria). Next step is nitrite will break down ammonia into nitrates. With that being said the nitrites will raise because they were fed.when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates and some nitrites CONGRATULATIONS you have cycled. Some like to do this multiple times to confirm its cycling.i wouldn't do any water changes because that just pulls money you invested in the bacteria and put it down the drain. Just wait till its fully cycled. Also it'll speed up the process if you have smaller particles of food so it's easier to break down.good luck!
 

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Let me help make it easy in a empty tank. Use rodi water only.mix well. Add live bottle of bacteria. Introduce small amount of food. So now you have ammonia(food) and nitrites(bacteria). Next step is nitrite will break down ammonia into nitrates. With that being said the nitrites will raise because they were fed.when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates and some nitrites CONGRATULATIONS you have cycled. Some like to do this multiple times to confirm its cycling.i wouldn't do any water changes because that just pulls money you invested in the bacteria and put it down the drain. Just wait till its fully cycled. Also it'll speed up the process if you have smaller particles of food so it's easier to break down.good luck!
Oh, I thought one type of bacteria turns the ammonia into Nitrite then another type of bacteria turns the Nitrite into Nitrate? I assumed both of these types of bacteria were in the Dr Timms. I was thinking that the cycle had stalled because the NItrite was staying high rather than being converted into Nitrate

I used shop bought saltwater to start the tank but have now ordered a RODI filter and will make my own
 

Quietman

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There are different species of bacteria that consume/oxidize different nitrogen compounds. AOB - Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria and NOB - Nitrite Oxidizing Bacteria. You can look up the various genus and species. They are ubiquitous - meaning everywhere. Which is why starters just speed up cycling. The tank will cycle without them.

Starter additives usually have both species, however the strains they use may vary. If you add multiple brands of starters you can actually delay (but NOT stop) cycling. This is reported from vendors as due to competition among the bacteria. I think starters are good things - reducing time is a plus. However, I think it gives the false impression to new reefers that cycling is something you have to manage aggressively. It's not.

The test strips are simply a way to save money. You do not need expensive kits or burn through the reagents to monitor cycling. Basically what's needed is a something that says "ammonia present", "ammonia not present". The indicator will vary by brand. Same for nitrate....present and increasing (getting darker usually) or not present yet. Once you have 'zero' ammonia and increasing nitrate - then you can break out the expensive and more precise kits to tell you how much water change to reduce nitrates you need before adding fish.

Note I did not say test for nitrite. Nitrite is just a step between ammonia and nitrate. It's not toxic to fish in marine environment. You can look at it because it's on the test strip, but as long as nitrate is coming up a few days to a week/10 days after you see ammonia - don't worry about it. I do not know what nitrite stalling is. See earlier...cycling is inevitable. Even without adding any starters. You can of course, dump the entire bottle of ammonia in your tank and kill off bacteria (it's toxic to most life at high enough concentrations - and I'd recommend a 100% WC and start over - but that's it - it will cycle after that).

You do have to add some more ammonia if you're going to delay adding fish. Bacteria have to eat. But it's much, much less. Maybe 2 ppm once or twice a week will be fine.

Also, as BRS pointed out, there are differences in what type of tank you have, but mostly in timing. Bare bottom may take a little longer (sand is a great media), live rock from the ocean may not need a formal cycling exercise at all. Most of have sand and dry rock and those are what my times are based on.

Lastly, cycling only applies to this initial period to make sure there's no toxic levels of ammonia before you add fish. After cycling your tank, based on how you've set it up will change where the dominant nitrogen processing is. Maybe your tank will have the right combo of rock, sand and media to manage nitrate as well. Maybe you'll have a refugium that does the bulk of ammonia/ammonium mgmt.

If you add more rock that wasn't cured (dead stuff allowed to decompose) then you may have some ammonia spikes (what is referred to - inaccurately as a "mini-cycle". It's just stuff dying off - same as if you had a fish die off.

Wow, wrote more than intended. Who doesn't love chit chatting about reefing, right? Anyway, hope this clears up some confusion on the points I was trying to make and cycling in general.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Fun exercise I really want us to try it here, takes about one minute or so

try and search out or google a truly stuck cycle, the ones with true consequence. Everyone reading here agrees we’ve all been trained on these steps above and if any are violated, the tank can’t be cycled and things will die

so, let’s see one.


ability to find a truly stalled cycle or three among a million searchable returns, we might have something

but if you can’t find one single true stall, then we’ve got something even bigger from the patterns. Ammonia burns fish, they writhe and die and dart around and hover for oxygen and they never feed

so let’s see one example even if it’s from a 1998 search return (cyclers inside joke lol they used live rock and no dry rock back then, all cycles were complete already when they set up the tank)


let’s see a sole example I’m curious how old it is, and how far away from any reef ever posted to rtr we had to travel to find it.

in case it’s not clear from my last decade of posts, we agree ten million stated stalled cycles based on a test read have been posted, we are looking for the consequence ones. It’s easy to rule out test kit error if all the fish are dead, post em


post one
 
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SigmaVX

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There are different species of bacteria that consume/oxidize different nitrogen compounds. AOB - Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria and NOB - Nitrite Oxidizing Bacteria. You can look up the various genus and species. They are ubiquitous - meaning everywhere. Which is why starters just speed up cycling. The tank will cycle without them.

Starter additives usually have both species, however the strains they use may vary. If you add multiple brands of starters you can actually delay (but NOT stop) cycling. This is reported from vendors as due to competition among the bacteria. I think starters are good things - reducing time is a plus. However, I think it gives the false impression to new reefers that cycling is something you have to manage aggressively. It's not.

The test strips are simply a way to save money. You do not need expensive kits or burn through the reagents to monitor cycling. Basically what's needed is a something that says "ammonia present", "ammonia not present". The indicator will vary by brand. Same for nitrate....present and increasing (getting darker usually) or not present yet. Once you have 'zero' ammonia and increasing nitrate - then you can break out the expensive and more precise kits to tell you how much water change to reduce nitrates you need before adding fish.

Note I did not say test for nitrite. Nitrite is just a step between ammonia and nitrate. It's not toxic to fish in marine environment. You can look at it because it's on the test strip, but as long as nitrate is coming up a few days to a week/10 days after you see ammonia - don't worry about it. I do not know what nitrite stalling is. See earlier...cycling is inevitable. Even without adding any starters. You can of course, dump the entire bottle of ammonia in your tank and kill off bacteria (it's toxic to most life at high enough concentrations - and I'd recommend a 100% WC and start over - but that's it - it will cycle after that).

You do have to add some more ammonia if you're going to delay adding fish. Bacteria have to eat. But it's much, much less. Maybe 2 ppm once or twice a week will be fine.

Also, as BRS pointed out, there are differences in what type of tank you have, but mostly in timing. Bare bottom may take a little longer (sand is a great media), live rock from the ocean may not need a formal cycling exercise at all. Most of have sand and dry rock and those are what my times are based on.

Lastly, cycling only applies to this initial period to make sure there's no toxic levels of ammonia before you add fish. After cycling your tank, based on how you've set it up will change where the dominant nitrogen processing is. Maybe your tank will have the right combo of rock, sand and media to manage nitrate as well. Maybe you'll have a refugium that does the bulk of ammonia/ammonium mgmt.

If you add more rock that wasn't cured (dead stuff allowed to decompose) then you may have some ammonia spikes (what is referred to - inaccurately as a "mini-cycle". It's just stuff dying off - same as if you had a fish die off.

Wow, wrote more than intended. Who doesn't love chit chatting about reefing, right? Anyway, hope this clears up some confusion on the points I was trying to make and cycling in general.
Do you think one should avoid live sand until after the tank cycles so the bacteria don’t compete or is it better to have diverse bacteria from sand and start cycle doses?
 

workhz

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Do you think one should avoid live sand until after the tank cycles so the bacteria don’t compete or is it better to have diverse bacteria from sand and start cycle doses?
Not sure what’s better or worse but my ammonia wasn’t dropping very quick with dr. Tim’s. I emailed them and they stated live sand slows the process down. It still cycled but probably took and an extra few days to a week tops.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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The statements about slowing down are made to fill in gaps from mis testing


All these claims about slow or stalled cycles come from non digital test owners nobody on seneye would say what they said.

in no way does anything wet compete with or slow down a cycle, on seneye. Their claim is as astounding as them saying reef water doesn't have filter bac floating in it, and then we prove it does by cycling an entire dry reef system in 20 days by only adding water from another reef. We make threads for fifty pages showing any cycle has an exact start date known before its even began... that timely and they all use sand.


Here's a perfect example of a fake stall that really wasn't (had sand)


Anything above 5 ppm was claimed to stall a cycle, but that's not true either. He was at eight ppm for days before we fixed it with the water change out/ calibrated test.

what it takes to stall a cycle: measured and sustained doses of actual antibiotic medicine. Nobody has been able to find a single link so far of a stalled cycled, a real stalled cycle.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Ammonia is always gone four weeks after dosing bottle bac, what she needs is a test that shows when ammonia is gone correctly, or use means that don’t misreport an allowed start date. Forum peers always accept any stated param as factual then instantly assume the bac aren’t alive, second cause of cycling confusion


this cycle confusion is simply a test misread, they all are.
 
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