Cycling issues

shpobble

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Hi

Newbie here :) I am having nothing but issues with my main tank and if I hadnt sunk so many funds into this venture I would be throwing in the towel :( I realise in hindsight I have made a few mistakes and more than a few unnecessary purchases but here's the story:

Set up my system on Boxing day, and cycled using the red sea reef foundation program, supposed to be 10 days until cuc and 21days until coral i think - but the tank didnt behave the way it was supposed to according to instructions, ammonia went up, took 3 times as long to come down, then nitrites went sky high, nitrate was then produced but nitrite never went down, and still hasnt months later.

Its an aquaone 180l + modified sump (to fit in clarisea, over sized skimmer bubble magnus curve 7, and make larger refugium with miracle mud). Tank is live sand, eco reef rock (not live), i use rodi water 0tds i make myself and red sea coral pro salt.
There are several marine pure blocks in the sump in different areas, some maxspect blocks and spheres in different areas too. Gyre pump one end, mp40 the other. Ecotech s2 return pump, plumbed into UV system. Running 2 hydra 26hds, although didnt run these whilst following red sea cycling program.

So after a month with nitrates of 50ppm and nitrites off the charts other side of 2ppm (checked everything using multiple test kits, red sea, nyos, hanna etc), I dosed seachem stability for a while, no difference. Added some cheato to my refugium to start stocking pods, powered by a relatively cheap blue/red grow light. Side note, turns out there was aphasia in the cheato :( but think I managed to knock that out in time...time will tell!
Dosed Fritz turbo, no change. But as lights were now on I did get diatoms, which then went and replaced with a disgusting turf algae that covers everything the light reaches, sand rock, difficult to get off, so turned off the lights as got worried by it.
Did a few massive water changes, added seachem matrix media, added in my red sea carbon, seachem phosbond - and still dosing nopox as from the beginning but nitrate levels are sky high and algae out of control. Added chemipure blue at some point too. I wasnt feeding the tank for most of this, and then I started thinking the cycle had 'stalled' but doesnt make a difference to any readings, currently not feeding.
Dosed atm colony as had some left over...no change to nitrite levels. Again got diatoms (this is odd isnt it?) once lights turned back on, then replaced again by the turf algae - its not hair algae, its not briopsys (sp) its short like grass, thick and covers everything the tank looks black :( its so depressing.
Water changed basically all the water in DT last night (not sump) and nitrates down from 50ppm to 10ppm ish, tested phosphates were 0.00 on hanna pre water change (I expect the algae has something to do with that reading though?) Need to check nitrite reading post water change but not sure what i will do if there is still a reading.

Currently have my lounge over taken by qt tanks for fish I had stupidly reserved, thinking my tank would be habitable by now! 3 in total, cycled 2 with dr tims and ammonia, which didnt work fast enough (10days and still ammonia readings), so switched to seachem stabilty on both of these successfully. Just done another with atm colony and no complaints there either.

Now I appreciate nitrite is technically safe for fish in marine tanks, but wouldnt be for my inverts or corals...so why wont it clear off?! (Lowest it has gotten to is 0.75ppm) And what can I do about the turf algae, binning the rock is not an option theres about £400 worth of it as its fancy eco reef stuff, painstakingly aquascaped. Is vibrant worth a go?

On top of this, 2 clowns have had a tiff and may need to be split, think there are internal parasites in that tank too, so about to dose with GC, and the boxfish that arrived sunday came with ich in the invert qt (stupid idea) and likely cross contaminated the wrasse qt tank by using the same salinity checker between tanks :( as I say, about ready to throw in the towel! Sorry for the rambling and hope it makes sense.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Nitrite reads positive with nitrate, and water prep additives can cause direct false reads, you are fully cycled. Change out some of the algae feed water and proceed

nitrite has no bearing in a cycle, don’t even factor its measure it causes false sales of bottle bac in our hobby. Your tank was cycled fully with the first additive, when ammonia went down the first time. It is not possible in microbiology for you not to be fully cycled after this long, with those boosts in place, you are fully cycled one hundred percent with not one portion lagging whatsoever. You have only a test kit issue not a cycling stall. mighty easy troubleshoot here
 
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shpobble

shpobble

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in the other 3 tanks nitrite reads 0 permanently, why wont it in this one? There must be a reason? Dont want to kill all my cuc :D
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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No matter how you slice it, nitrite doesn’t factor in a reef. What’s being put out on YouTube about nitrite mattering in a reef tank has the effect of selling bottle bac, and it does that well.

cycling isn’t like iron management, calcium and alk can be out of spec for a while before issues. Cycling shortcomings are overnite, fast, always. Your bioload lives because you are cycled they’re not on the way out.
 
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shpobble

shpobble

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No matter how you slice it, nitrite doesn’t factor in a reef. What’s being put out on YouTube about nitrite mattering in a reef tank has the effect of selling bottle bac, and it does that well.

cycling isn’t like iron management, calcium and alk can be out of spec for a while before issues. Cycling shortcomings are overnite, fast, always. Your bioload lives because you are cycled they’re not on the way out.
ok so inverts should be ok in measurable nitrites too? I know they are nitrate sensitive.
 

Quietman

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@brandon429 ...what he said. Stop worrying, 0 ppm ammonia, positive nitrates = cycled.

Don't try to solve all your problems at once. Don't add too many additives at once. Your parameters look acceptable, add some fish and get some stability for a few/several weeks before doing anything other than managing nutrients/minerals. Do water changes to control nitrate (most of those marine pure blocks/balls really don't do much for nitrates).
 

Jamesrup0411

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Just tank, just wondering about this algae problem you’re speaking of. Could just be minor but as your speaking of po4 which isn’t a issue with cycling. I agree above ...tank is cycled.
 

brandon429

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I literally blame bottle bac makers and sellers for tricking us.



see that nitrite example. Nitrite won’t harm your cuc it’s all safe.
 
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shpobble

shpobble

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Thanks everyone :) all great advice, wish I had come on here earlier, rather than youtube to learn. Will send a pic of the algae later and pop a hermit crab in to be a canary :) wish him luck!
 

brandon429

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Pls post pics as you update your thread we are watching it on new cycle science threads, without exaggeration your tank is contributing to new cycling science that specifically battles a retail-centered cycling approach.


As your animals build up in safety, others can learn to trust the new system and spend less or spend more efficiently. We know exactly how filter bacteria work in reef tanks *regarding ability to carry bioload, and when* so every week that goes by in our rule breaker examples is contributing to our hobby breaking free of false notions such as stalled cycles. Reef tank cycles can’t stall. Do a big water change to start cleaner, less algae fuel, and export any mixes of compounds not from mixed up saltwater. Start clean do an updated water change, post pics
 
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shpobble

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Ok - here are the pics of the algae - bear in mind this was after a 80% water change siphoning all the sand and going to town with a toothbrush...also got a few weird things popping up on the glass after I scraped it...? Nitrite last night was 0.5/0.75ppm (was 2ppm ++ pre water change). I'm not feeding the tank, have turned the skimmer back on, and the clarisea and the UV (all off as dosed the atm) and picking up 100l of fresh salt water tonight to do another big water change. Will then re-test and decide who to move over :) although fairly limited as the boxfish in the invert qt system came in with ick (doh!) but I have a shrimp and snail in another system that should be good candidates :)

thing on glass.jpg algae1.jpg algae.jpg tank 2.jpg tank1.jpg
 

brandon429

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Those growths are closed case biomarkers for an up-and-running reef, you’re now into managing typical new tank growths. Cycling was done a while ago

Let’s arrest some of that algae even though this is a legit growth phase.

lift out an easily accessible top rock with algae on it, set it in the sink.

pour peroxide across it and rub off the algae after, use clean saltwater to rinse it all off. Put rock back


do any rock like this anytime you want. Following suit with not recommending crazy things to you here :) this is simple peroxide dosing we have been doing in reefing ten years. It does not, not, harm your filter bacteria or nobody would be doing it. It is possibly the best reef cheat I have ever been shown as a person, clean off your substrates and manually clean those rocks outside your tank back to no algae. Do a couple rocks at least so you can compare manually guided ones to nonguided ones.
 

brandon429

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This is a very, very important thread in proofing that no reef cycle can stall. not one. Nearly all cycle umpires accept your readings at face value and agree something is stuck even before seeing pics of your growth succession. Even if your algae was one tiny whisp, on the back of a rock, but all the rock had been in the tank since the same start date, we would know solely by that growth hallmark you are fully cycled.


it is not possible in reefing for algae to grow faster than a complete ammonia controlling filter bacteria colony, in every reef. No variance.


there are no cycling issues, there are only non seneye ammonia test issues.
 

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