Cycling help

Steevo

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Hi guys. I am new to this forum. My name is Steven and i am from just outside Glasgow.

I am not new to aquariums by any means what so ever but i am new to Marine setups. I have just converted my existing tank to a marine setup. The total volume including sump is 308 Litres. I am a bit weird in the sense that i drew my full tank and stand on AutoCAD and worked everything out from there. It may or may not be the way that you guys do it but the sump seems to be working correctly.

Anyway i am struggling with the cycling. I have 60lb of live sand. Arka rock in my display tank and 1kg of live rock in the sump ( i got this from my local marine stockist ). I originally started with the prawn cycling although i think this is where i went wrong, i used a frozen prawn. I have all test readings recorded almost every day. I then switch to feeding the tank with flake food. I started cycling on 4th of this month. My ammonia has never went above 1ppm and nitrite 1ppm but my nitrate is currently sitting at 20ppm. I am royally confused.

Any help that anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated and i am fully open to criticism as that's how we all learn.

I have attached a picture of my tank, not the best of pictures but i can take any pictures that anyone may want to see if it helps.

Marine tank.jpg
 
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brandon429

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classic cycling rules do not apply to your tank. common cycling rules are solely written for bottle bac cyclers who dose in massive amounts of liquid ammonia and track a drop within the timeframes your tank has been running.

you chose for an extended time contact-based cycle. there are no spikes we expect to peak and trough on the cheap test kits here; revert to the timelines from a common cycling chart for actionable dates. ammonia is the only line off a cycling chart we care about in marine tank reefing-this saves you from having to worry about nitrite or nitrate.

you are cycled because if you clean out the water for new, non cloudy water, and add fish, they live day by day as long as disease imports don't kill them (we can see in the fish disease forum that preps are needed in nearly all white rock cycles to avoid disease losses within the first 8 months)


the reason your cycle seems concerning is handled here



1. nh4 vs nh3 reporting from your test kits
2. non digital test kits for ammonia vs digital (seneye) which would show you in the low hundredths ppm nh3 or middle thousandths-far lower than the cheap non digital kits currently show you. your cycle is not stalled.
3. we have already tracked out the bacterial implantation time from feed-and-wait cycles and you are at that date; change your water for new water so its not full of algae feed, or use carbon filtration to filter out the clouding, and begin reefing.
4. frozen prawn start is harmless, it wasn't frozen within 1 hour of adding and at day 20 we are past the ammonia control date any cycling chart shows established on day 10 approximately.


the sole reason your cycle seems bad is due to not using seneye. *you do not need to buy one though, we have already outlined the implantation dates for your cycle in the thread above and your tank meets all the terms and conditions we need to know.
 
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brandon429

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here is one single aquarium that uses your feed + wait method and stocks up the tank like we've said. it saves you from having to read 30 pages on the prior :)

-any open-top reef tank in a home setting is cycled when we've fed and waited about 25 days or so for natural imported bacteria to set up shop. non digital ammonia testing may or may not confirm that, but the rule is firm.
 
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Steevo

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thats great thanks for the reply. I will go read the links you posted. So as for the feeding....should i be feeding little every day? if so for how long? im guessing ill find this answer when i read the links :).
 

brandon429

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No feed needed, save it for when animals are in tow to eat it

change the water or just carbon filter it back to clean / clear then begin reefing


you have packed enough bacteria onto surfaces enough to begin, once the water is made back to totally clear either by large water change or pre rinsed aquarium carbon in a filter somewhere


the cycle is done
 
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Steevo

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I think i may have confused things with the first picture i posted. that was an earlier picture. Sorry for the confusion. The tank water is pretty clear at the moment but i do intend on doing a 10-20% water change before adding livestock.

I have posted some picture's bellow that i took last night. Unfortunately it was mega late when i got home from work so haven't yet had the time to read through the links above but i intend on reading them tonight.

A brief description of my cycle so far has been. full water went in on 04.01.22. added live rock to sump 09.01.22 put prawn in on same day also. started feeding with flake on 14.01.22 and now as you can see from the pics i have some nice green and purple looking patches and some green growth on the sand. I just have some cleaning to do on the back glass.

I told my son last night that i have joined on here and he is excited to hear that the tank is about ready for some movement inside now.

With regards to salinity. I put in 33g per Litre of water and my salinity is 1.021 it needs to be around 1.023 yes? Any tips on how to work out the magic number for 308 Litres of water to increase the salinity to the correct level? How important is it for a salt water tank for the salinity to be correct? Like what fluctuation is acceptable.

Sorry for the long post, its just good to be getting some solid advise rather than doing the google search.

Once i have some pictures with fish i will create a build post of my tank.

Marine 2.jpg
Marine 3.jpg
Marine 4.jpg
Marine 5.jpg
 
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Villareefer

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Hi Pal I'm from Yorkshire and have also just started a tank water went into mine at the end of November and I used Dr Tims to cycle which took 2 weeks before I could add fish! My tank is 350 ltr so not far off size wise and looking at it you'll need more flow another power head opposite the one you have and probably more rock??? I buy salt water from my local shop pre mixed because I'm lazy and want to make sure it's right at first. Bet you're looking forward to getting fish and clean up crew!


tank.jpg
tank full.jpg
 

pecan2phat

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If you are going to stock the tank with corals, then I would bring the salinity of the tank to 1.025
For my tanks, a range of 1.024 to 1.027 is acceptable but if you have an auto top off there should be little to no fluctuations.
 
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brandon429

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Hey nice updated posts too

Those patchy growths are proof it's ready from an aspect of updated cycling science called visual benthic proofing

I'll make a new thread on it using two recent example posts we've seen this week for the matter, yours will make a great example here
 

brandon429

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The whole point of having a visual benthic ready cue is it 100% takes the place of having to re proof the system for ammonia control


by rule of order of deposition on new reef surfaces, those growths above come after a fully functioning biofilter is ready to control common starting bioload waste. If anyone wants to proof it: get a seneye


do a feed only cycle or a blended rock cycle like this one and wait until new growths appear on sand and rocks. Do a light ammonia proofing test, half a ppm is plenty, and it will pass.


one of the most persistent rip offs in reefing destined to trick the masses is the advice to dose 2ppm ammonia and then use api to assess movement ability. New cycling science detests this information, because it’s irrespective of any seneye studies which show all forms of cycling working out just fine and it’s inclusive of false reading api panic posts where five bottles of bacteria have been bought as a knee jerk reaction to a perceived false stall-because a cheap non digital test kit (or an nh4 vs nh3 interpretation said it was stalled)


where visual benthic cues exist, reefers save money and gain resolve. They can then apply that new focus to actual fish disease preps instead of buying bottle bac they don’t need over and over


old cycling science will steal from you and set your fish up for disease loss by focusing on the wrong things

new cycling science, won’t.
 
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Steevo

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i am preparing my buckets of water as we speak so will do part water change over weekend and sort out the salinity at same time.

And yes i 100% need another powerhead. the 1 i have is 1600 LPH so i recon for now ill get another of the same which will give me 10x tank volume turnover in powerheads alone. But i do intend on getting the AI Nero 3 powerheads but i guess you need to start somewhere and build up.

Brandon that was an interesting read about visual benthic proofing, I had never heard of that before so thank you for that.

I am looking at getting the Fzone auto top up system, has anyone had any experience with this particular 1? Or should i go for the H2Ocean?
 
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Steevo

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Hi Pal I'm from Yorkshire and have also just started a tank water went into mine at the end of November and I used Dr Tims to cycle which took 2 weeks before I could add fish! My tank is 350 ltr so not far off size wise and looking at it you'll need more flow another power head opposite the one you have and probably more rock??? I buy salt water from my local shop pre mixed because I'm lazy and want to make sure it's right at first. Bet you're looking forward to getting fish and clean up crew!


tank.jpg
tank full.jpg

Your tank is looking good mate. and yes i am itching to get some fish in the tank i cant wait
 
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Steevo

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Just a quick question if somone could help quickly. i am going to do a 20% water change today, do i do a water only or should i syphon the sand also?

I have some impressive colours now.

20220129_104204.jpg
 
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