Cycling my New DT. Is this Right?

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AKL1950

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Hey everyone, I need some help.

Finally got my DT and have started the cycling. At least I think I have. My 29 gallon QT cycled in 7 days and the DT doesn’t seem to be on that same schedule.

DT has about 200 gallons of water (including sump). Salinity is 1.024, Temp is 77, and PH is 8.0. Everything is turned off except for the pumps and the filter socks are removed. There is about 180 lbs of dry rock in the tank.

Added ammonia (MicroBacter Quikcycle) and it’s at 2 ppm (API Test Kit). also added 250 ml of MicroBacter Start XLM (Instructions said 30 ml per 25 gallons). That was three days ago. Ammonia is still test stable at 2 ppm, but nitrites are still zero, zip, nada. Shouldn’t I be seeing at least a little nitrite build up by now? I’m worried the XLM I got was dead.

Jetson
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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All you do is this

Take two normal pinches of fish food and grind it up into powder in the palm then add to tank

Wait a total of five more days stewing

Do a big water change, as much as you're willing to do.

The tank will be cycled due to submersion timing rules already established by the average cycling chart (ammonia control by day ten for example)

Your type of cycle can be converted into a no test, wait- based cycle and none of your tests will matter because it can't not be cycled in the timeframe stated, given your current additions.

We study testless cycling in huge work threads.


If you owned a digital ammonia meter, it would confirm the timing above. Folks without digital ammonia meters will register a false stall and won't be ready for weeks to come.


Do a fish food wait based cycle for the win. Any possible error made in the current setup will be remedied by the actions and timing above.

We don't factor nitrite in updated cycling science. It's all about ammonia control, and a common cycling chart says ten days will do... if a non digital test kit disagrees, convert the readings from it into nh3 instead of nh4 ammonia and the safe zone will be revealed.
 
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AKL1950

AKL1950

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Lol! My brain exploded. That was like explaining to me the method to determine the gravitational center of a binary star system with 10 planets. Blank stare on my face and All I heard was put in fish food. I can do that! I think I will wait a couple more days first. Looking at the cycling charts you mentioned, most show no visible nitrites till about day 7-8. I think I’m just worrying too early. I will wait till then, continue testing and if I see no change, then add the fish food. My first four fish have another month in quarantine, so I can go slow. Thanks.
 
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AKL1950

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Well, I think the answer presented itself. Never expected this. Nitrites kept showing zero, so I started tested for nitrates with a Hanna tester. Yesterday, nitrates at 2.2 ppm and today at 6.6 ppm. Ammonia dropping, nitrates going up and nitrites still showing zero.

Guess the nitrites are being converted to nitrates as soon as they show up. Cool bean. Ammonia has dropped from 2 ppm to 1.0 ppm in 5 days. looks like this is working perfect. Brandon 429 I couldn’t help myself. I did through in a little fish flake you recommended. Just for good measure. Guess patience is the hardest part of this hobby (At least, so far for me).

Jetson
 
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AKL1950

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I feel like I’m back to square one. Ammonia holding at about 1.0 ppm, and nitrites and nitrates testing at zero. Showed nitrates for a couple of days, but now nothing again (Hanna tested 3 times). I want to put in more bacteria, but I’m trying to be patient. Grrrrr! Fish over in the QT are screaming “Come on Dude, get us out of here!”.
 

Erin1971Texas

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I feel like I’m back to square one. Ammonia holding at about 1.0 ppm, and nitrites and nitrates testing at zero. Showed nitrates for a couple of days, but now nothing again (Hanna tested 3 times). I want to put in more bacteria, but I’m trying to be patient. Grrrrr! Fish over in the QT are screaming “Come on Dude, get us out of here!”.
No reason not to add more bacteria. I recommend Fritz turbo start.
 
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AKL1950

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Well I’m up to day 9 and no change. Ammonia still hovering around 1 ppm (API test), nitrites and nitrates still showing zero. This is painfully slow. Even me Seachem badge is stuck at what appears to be slightly less than 0.05 ppm. I’ve added a little MicroBacter 7 and a few good pinches of flake food over the past few days. No change. Am I cycling or am I stuck in cycle netherland?
 

Garf

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Well I’m up to day 9 and no change. Ammonia still hovering around 1 ppm (API test), nitrites and nitrates still showing zero. This is painfully slow. Even me Seachem badge is stuck at what appears to be slightly less than 0.05 ppm. I’ve added a little MicroBacter 7 and a few good pinches of flake food over the past few days. No change. Am I cycling or am I stuck in cycle netherland?
Can you post a pic of the tank?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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From above



-If you owned a digital ammonia meter, it would confirm the timing above. Folks without digital ammonia meters will register a false stall and won't be ready for weeks to com—


your cycle isn’t stalled if you followed directions given last week, you simply are looking at a non digital ammonia kit, and reporting the nh4 measure: all we want to consider is the nh3 measure which is over ten times less than what you’re seeing.

if you owned seneye it would confirm the call and timing made, and it would report in nh3 vs nh4 saving you the required conversion step. You’re in a false stall because folks won’t follow the advice regarding nh4 vs nh3 and digital vs non digital testing. As long as the nh4 reading exists you’ll feel stalled, but it’s not true.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Your seachem badge is excellent proof, it’s converting for nh3. I’ll let you handle it from here on out, your cycle is ready but I realize only the incomplete-seeming details stand out, above the details we listed that say you’re complete
 
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AKL1950

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Brandon429 I’m trying to believe you, but still afraid to put the clowns in to see what happens. Would hate to hurt the little guys. They need about another 10 days of observation in the QT. Hopefully, by then I’ll believe I’m cycled. I’ll keep adding a little food each day to keep the bacteria fed ti the clowns are ready to come out of quarantine.

Garf, here’s a couple of pics of the tank. It’s a WaterBox 220.6. Lights aren’t up and running yet. Got one bad Radion GF30 and waiting for the new one to get all the lights hooked up together. The rock was all dry rock.

Jetson
C1EB2DF4-D518-4865-A634-A75985B13DAB.jpeg
35AAF842-3ED8-4996-A8DD-BA9FF2C390CF.jpeg
 

nereefpat

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There isn't a reason to keep adding food, until you add fish. I would quit doing that. The bacteria don't need it. They have ammonia to eat. I would do nothing.

Test for ammonia again after your final 10 days of QT is over.
 

Garf

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Brandon429 I’m trying to believe you, but still afraid to put the clowns in to see what happens. Would hate to hurt the little guys. They need about another 10 days of observation in the QT. Hopefully, by then I’ll believe I’m cycled. I’ll keep adding a little food each day to keep the bacteria fed ti the clowns are ready to come out of quarantine.

Garf, here’s a couple of pics of the tank. It’s a WaterBox 220.6. Lights aren’t up and running yet. Got one bad Radion GF30 and waiting for the new one to get all the lights hooked up together. The rock was all dry rock.

Jetson
C1EB2DF4-D518-4865-A634-A75985B13DAB.jpeg
35AAF842-3ED8-4996-A8DD-BA9FF2C390CF.jpeg
Nice, I’m sure all will be good by the time Q.T. is over. If not for some strange reason you could bring the filtration from the Q.T. over to polish it off.

Obviously only applies if there has been no sign of infestation during QT.
 
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AKL1950

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Thanks everyone for the guidance. Very nervous starting up my first tank in 15 years.

Here’s a three light pic. Had to edit out the blue. Lights are set on maximum and I don’t have the controller connected to adjust color.
water is actually clear, but I accidentally plugged in the UV pump and Skimmer. Flooded bubbles everywhere.

jetson

5040C1C3-6AFD-4619-A993-166D32CF3708.jpeg
 
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Erin1971Texas

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I again am suggesting that you add a bottle of Fritz turbo start (the little one that the LFS keeps in the refrigerator). While I agree with others that your tank is *probably* ok, you seem like the cautious type (like myself) and would probably feel better knowing there's plenty of bacteria to handle the bioload of your first fish.
Again, just my humble opinion :)
 
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Starting to see what I suspect are Diatoms starting in the tank. Little stringy hairs on a few of the rocks. Should I be concerned or just let it play out?

From what I’ve read, diatoms eat silicates. A new take, with new dry rock releases a lot of silicates in the tank, which gives the diatoms a food source. When the diatoms eat all the silicate up, they will die and go away. Is that correct? I would like to not do anything and let their process work. Plan on the big water change in 7 days and my first fish will be put in about 10 days from now. Lights, skimmer and UV are all still off.
 
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