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Cycling Levels

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BGrand

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I’ve been following Dr Tim’s cycle process with the addition of One and Only(whole bottle), MicrōBacter7(2 caps full) and Prodibio Bio Digest(3 vials). After the third time of adding Ammonium Chloride (7 days ago)the ammonia and nitrates have been off the charts of my Red Sea test kit. The ammonia has been dropping the last couple of days and as of today my numbers are as follows:

Ammonia = 0 (Red Sea) —> 0 (Tetra Easy Strip)
Nitrites = 1+ (Red Sea) —> 10 (Tetra Easy Strip)
Nitrates = 50 (Red Sea) —> 160 (Tetra Easy Strip)
PH = 8.0 (Red Sea)
Phosphates = 0.01 (Hanna)

4 days ago my Nitites hit 0 and now they are high again.

My questions are as follows:

1. Do I do a 25% water change like Dr. Tim’s says now or wait?
2. Do I add ammonium chloride again to see if it disappears in 24 hours?
3. Do I wait on both? And if so when do I do both of those things.

I have been adding two caps full of Microbater7 daily since the start as per the instructions and I will be adding the other 3 vials of Prodibio and another bottle of One and Only in 4 days. Skimmer has been off the whole time and sump sock has been out the whole time. Temperature has been 78 and flow has been set at a medium flow.

I am absolutely in no hurry because I am taking off for a week at the end of February and won’t put fish in there until I get back. The first things to go in there are two clowns I have in a small cube.
 
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Big G

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When you can "daily" add 1 ppm of ammonia to your tank and 24 hours later both the ammonia and nitrite read zero, it's time to do water changes to lower the nitrates, which will be very high. Don't be surprised if the water changes amount to 100% of the tank size or even a bit more to get the nitrates down to the 10-15 ish range. Usually takes about 3-4 weeks for the ammonia + nitrite cycle to be able to eat 1 ppm of ammonia and read zero in 24 hours. Of course your mileage may vary a bit. ;)
 
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BGrand

BGrand

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When you can "daily" add 1 ppm of ammonia to your tank and 24 hours later both the ammonia and nitrite read zero, it's time to do water changes to lower the nitrates, which will be very high. Don't be surprised if the water changes amount to 100% of the tank size or even a bit more to get the nitrates down to the 10-15 ish range. Usually takes about 3-4 weeks for the ammonia + nitrite cycle to be able to eat 1 ppm of ammonia and read zero in 24 hours. Of course your mileage may vary a bit. ;)
So don’t add ammonium chloride yet until the nitrites are at zero?
 
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BGrand

BGrand

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Here are my numbers during the cycle. Sorry about the colors but I created an excel spreadsheet with conditional formatting to color code my perimeter goals which are under the column titles (Phosphate also has my math equation to convert the Hanna checker to ppm). Again I'm not putting anything other than some snails in until the beginning of March so I'm in absolutely no hurry. Does everything look right?

Tank Numbers.jpg
 

Liron Mishal

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wait until nitrite is at 0.
the way i do it is at that point dose ammonium chloride @1.5ppm and i wait until it drops to 0 (both ammonia and nitrite) within 24H.
after achieving that, do a water change to get the nitrate down. its going to be very high, mine was at 80 and i had to do an 80% water change.
i would do 100% but i dont have a mixing tank that big
 

Liron Mishal

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Also, i dont see much point at this stage to test for PH and Phosphate..
just a waste of the test kit in my opinion.
wait until after the WC.
 
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BGrand

BGrand

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wait until nitrite is at 0.
the way i do it is at that point dose ammonium chloride @1.5ppm and i wait until it drops to 0 (both ammonia and nitrite) within 24H.
after achieving that, do a water change to get the nitrate down. its going to be very high, mine was at 80 and i had to do an 80% water change.
i would do 100% but i dont have a mixing tank that big
Thanks it's the Nitrate levels that are freaking me out a little. So I will continue with my plan in the spreadsheet above but push the water change back?
 
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Philipgonzales3

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According to Dr. Tim's instructions you should do a water change if your ammonia or nitrite gets above 5ppm. The oponion I have heard is that this may stall the cycle. It is debatable whether that is true or not as I have heard both that it can and that it won't.

https://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling

Based on my cycle with Dr. Tim's it did seem high Nitrites stalled my cycle until I got them below 5ppm. I personally would do a >50% water change, possibly 75% or larger right now.

In all honesty I don't think it matters much either way. Just my opinion.
 
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BGrand

BGrand

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According to Dr. Tim's instructions you should do a water change if your ammonia or nitrite gets above 5ppm. The oponion I have heard is that this may stall the cycle. It is debatable whether that is true or not as I have heard both that it can and that it won't.

https://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling

Based on my cycle with Dr. Tim's it did seem high Nitrites stalled my cycle until I got them below 5ppm. I personally would do a >50% water change, possibly 75% or larger right now.

In all honesty I don't think it matters much either way. Just my opinion.
Thank you. That's one of the main reasons for my questions. If I follow Dr. Tim's plan I should do a water change today. But I have also read that it could stall everything.

My return pipe in my over flow chamber (reef ready tank) is sitting a little higher than it should so I plan on draining the over flow are anyway to cut an 1/8" off the return pipe so lid sits flush. I figured I would do that when I do the water change so i'm trying to plan a little.
 

lapin

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Thanks it's the Nitrate levels that are freaking me out a little. So I will continue with my plan in the spreadsheet above but push the water change back?
Nitrate levels can not be correctly measured until you have 0 nitrite. Nitrate is in the water column and can be removed with water changes. Each time you add ammonia you will see some nitrite even when showing o ammonia after 24 hours, as it is a bit slower to be processed than the ammonia when a tank is young. This bacteria grows slower. This is nothing to w0rry about. The fact you have nitrate shows us the cycle is working and growing bacteria. The 0 ammonia in 24 hours lets us know that the tank can handle the addition of live stock safely.
Since you are not in a hurry. If it was me I would dose 1ppm ammonia each time it hits 0. I would do the 25% water change to get rid of some nitrate and nitrite. Your cycle will be done to the point that it will be safe to add fish when you get back from vacation. Just feed the bacteria. Ammonia or fish food will be enough. When I cycle I add the table shrimp along with ammonia to feed the bacteria. After 2 weeks I stop with the ammonia all together and just let the dead shrimp decompose and feed the bacteria. This way im not testing everyday. After a month passes I do the 2ppm ammonia test just to be sure the cycle is done.
Hope this helps
 

lapin

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The 25% water change will not stall anything at this point. 100% might, as it could upset the food level it needs to grow. Bacteria is in the rock and sand and tank surfaces. Your not going to get rid of it now unless you chemically kill it. It can last a month without food but will not grow.
Fix the pipe,. It will give you something to do. *-}
 
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BGrand

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Fix the pipe,. It will give you something to do. *-}
LOL :D You are reading me like a book.

Thanks for the input. When should I fire up the skimmer and put the sock back in? The skimmer will need to go through it's break in period and I want that done before adding livestock (including snails).
 

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Also don't do a water change until Nitrites are at zero?
Do the water change change after your system can process 2ppm ammonia and nitrite to zero. Don't worry about how high the nitrates end up going up to... you will resolve that issue after the water change.

Also, Dr Tim's system recommends adding multiple bottles of their One and Only during a cycle? If so, rip off to get you to buy more of their expensive bacteria in a bottle. An initial dose should be sufficient to get the cycle started! I cycled without any bottled bacteria in 30 days just using straight ammonia dosing.
 

lapin

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LOL :D You are reading me like a book.
Thanks for the input. When should I fire up the skimmer and put the sock back in? The skimmer will need to go through it's break in period and I want that done before adding livestock (including snails).
I would get it going maybe a week or 2 or 3 before your vacation. That way it will break in and you have time to make adjustments. No need to add anymore bacteria in a bottle at that point either. The skimmer will just filter it out. I would also do that big water change 2 weeks before you go. If you are going to be doing weekly changes do one of those. Good to get used to a routine before adding fish and critters.
 

brandon429

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Want to know a handy microbial fact that comes from the microbiology of cycling thread? It impacts your original question here fully.

Time duration is all you need now. No hardware use or non use matters, no water change matters now due to very specific submersion durations you've already met.

Your ammonia species params, don't matter. Ballparking of boosters like bottle bac (which you've exceeded w multi strains) is all that's required if you've got a total of 20-30 days duration underwater adding -any- form of boosting. You've added better than most.


People who are in charge of laboratory compliance know right now your cycle is unstoppable. They apply every manner of cleaning to hopefully get bacteria to abate, it takes professional design for a hydrated substance NOT to grow bacteria, and this media was directly inoculated with the target.

How you may test the wastewater in between now and then doesn't impact the fact that at our stated submersion times, you are cycled if you'll just change out that initial water table. If you want to oxidize test the clean condition aquarium after duration times, it'll pass.

If your ammonia or nitrite get too high, doesn't matter. If they get too low, doesn't matter. Change water at day thirty and oxidize test it, it'll pass. Cycles do not stall, interim testing just varies.

After hydration, cycles do not stall or stop. If no boosts are added, cycles revert to the unassisted cycle timeframes which is what got us through the eighties, before bottle bac and two days completion was the go to way.

This is why every cycle chart on Google is 30 days. You can still rely on that

Your interim charting doesn't matter (chemists, revolt!) peaks and troughs align after your final water change and submersion time requirement.

:)

You added water, approximated boosters, receptive surface area, and allowed submersion time. This thread says you'll cycle even if you never tested again, changed all your water, and ran six skimmers. Within 30 days of your original hydration date for said substrata heh
B

Cycle ump meme

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-microbiology-of-reef-tank-cycling.214618/
 
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BGrand

BGrand

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Want to know a handy microbial fact that comes from the microbiology of cycling thread? It impacts your original question here fully.

Time duration is all you need now. No hardware use or non use matters, no water change matters now due to very specific submersion durations you've already met.

Your ammonia species params, don't matter. Ballparking of boosters like bottle bac (which you've exceeded w multi strains) is all that's required if you've got a total of 20-30 days duration underwater adding -any- form of boosting. You've added better than most.


People who are in charge of laboratory compliance know right now your cycle is unstoppable. They apply every manner of cleaning to hopefully get bacteria to abate, it takes professional design for a hydrated substance NOT to grow bacteria, and this media was directly inoculated with the target.

How you may test the wastewater in between now and then doesn't impact the fact that at our stated submersion times, you are cycled if you'll just change out that initial water table. If you want to oxidize test the clean condition aquarium after duration times, it'll pass.

If your ammonia or nitrite get too high, doesn't matter. If they get too low, doesn't matter. Change water at day thirty and oxidize test it, it'll pass. Cycles do not stall, interim testing just varies.

After hydration, cycles do not stall or stop. If no boosts are added, cycles revert to the unassisted cycle timeframes which is what got us through the eighties, before bottle bac and two days completion was the go to way.

This is why every cycle chart on Google is 30 days. You can still rely on that

Your interim charting doesn't matter (chemists, revolt!) peaks and troughs align after your final water change and submersion time requirement.

:)

You added water, approximated boosters, receptive surface area, and allowed submersion time. This thread says you'll cycle even if you never tested again, changed all your water, and ran six skimmers. Within 30 days of your original hydration date for said substrata heh
B

Cycle ump meme

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-microbiology-of-reef-tank-cycling.214618/
Thanks Brandon. I was hoping you would chime in after our previous discussions. I like that you are telling me I don't need to test but the Chemist in me starts twitching when I try to stop. ;Nailbiting LOL
  • 25% water change today and keep feeding it for now.
  • I'll add the rest of the bacteria over the next few days since I already bought it.
  • Add the sock and turn on the skimmer a couple of weeks before vacation (approx. Feb. 8th).
I should be good when I get back from vaca at the beginning of March?
 
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