Cycling marco rock in advance of tank set up

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reeftwincities

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Hi all,

I'll be moving in 8 or 9 months so most of my major tank plans are on a hiatus until then. I was thinking I could still begin to cycle a bunch of old dry rock (mostly marco) in a stock tank the next few months to get a head start. Other than seeding it with some rock from an established tank -- is there anything else I should do to maintain the rock/system to accomplish the goal of having "cured" live rock by the time I am ready to set up a bigger system? I had considered purchasing a small fish to keep me honest with top-off, etc. I was planning on using an old LED so it will get at least some light. Is there anything you would specifically do? Seems like if I keep decent flow and consistently top-off the aquarium it shouldn't require much maintenance but curious what you all think?

Thanks!
 
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Lost in the Sauce

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I keep rock cycling in a brute trash can with a small heater and pump stacked into the middle of the pile to keep good circulation. I do keep a lid on it but there are air exchange holes. I don't believe supplemental light is needed and will only fuel algea growth.

I changed water in the brute with outgoing water from the main tanks to add nutrients to feed the bacteria. If you're going to do it, maybe hit up a few reefer friends and see if you can buy/trade for a small piece of cycled rock from their tanks to help yours with diversity.

If you will have no fish in there, no need to worry about transferring ick or velvet as you will be "fallow" in the bin for over the needed time frame.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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RTC any chance we can get you to do a mini proofing run on some of the rarest data in reef tank cycling with this?


the direct answer to your question is no, no help needed to keep the cycle ready beyond three pinches of fish food, that alone will begin and endure the cycle as many years as you want to hold them waiting, one round of feed not 3x a week like it’s an animal

the bac are feeding in addition to this massive boost

agreed keep topped off etc, simply withhold feed as a dire needed test for us to advance cycling studies, everyone studies the hyper boosted setups.


the test which I only have two other documentations covering: how much free bacteria and free cycle set in, unassisted, within 4 months.


so for the first four months have only water and rocks in a bin, heat and move the water to some degree vs let it freeze. At month four of submersion only, no feed no bottle bac no added bacteria other than natural contaminations, take one pic of an api ammonia test on the barren sitting reef rocks in the holding vat as a baseline, keep that pic handy and clearly shown


next, specifically don’t add two ppm ammonia. Add a trace of that until your next api test shows a bare bare rise, not hard green, a bare bare change up from the zero calibrated first pic. Keep second pic handy


take a third pic in 24 hours after the last pic (to see if it moves back to calibration pic one) don’t change up the method any, this is the right way to test unassisted cycling, need it for article compilations


we have two other tests on file like this but a true pattern is needed in order to study completely unassisted cycling science for the hobby, few folks are willing to wait as many months they want the setup boosted and dosed ready yesterday so we miss out on all kinds of new bacterial input.
 
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reeftwincities

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Thank you for the response! This might be a dumb question, but shouldn't I want to go through some of the algae cycles during this fallow period to avoid them in the future or is better to just get the bacteria cultures going and worry about the algae later?

Brandon - so for the test, I would need to start completely bare? I'll have to think about it for a few days. My thought process behind all of this is to get rock as close as I can to the "live rock" that used to be widely available so that I can more quickly advance past the ugly "new tank" stage when I set up my full system next summer. In my head, I was prepared to eventually dose the stock tank with pods/refugee type critters, maybe coralline plugs, etc. A science experiment kind of sounds fun tho...do you have any additional links or info on what you were thinking? :cool:;Pompus
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Two options exist

1. do the test anyway with all the rocks and then on month four add your boosters. They’re sitting many more months after to take on new addition to be cured. Will still be cured up by start date

2. Mature 90% of the rocks from the start and do the side bucket test on 10% unboosted as a mini reef bucket Home Depot best cycling data we will see in 2022, type setup :)
 
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Brandon,
I just happened to come across this thread and got to thinking about it. Does your test require the rocks and water to be in a glass aquarium, or can it be in a Black trash can ? I have plenty of rock, that I washed in vinegar and rinsed in RO, and has sat for like the last 5 years in a black plastic trash can. Although I do not have an extra aquarium at this time, or the place to put one, I can handle putting the extra black trash can on my enclosed back porch for a few months...
Feel free to PM me about any other details. I am interested in doing this.

Adam
 
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