Dr Tim’s One and Only - Not working?

ReefWithCare

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Hi all,

I put in Dr. Tim’s one and only about 36 hrs ago and have not seen a change in my Ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate levels.

I think the big mistake I made was adding Dr. Tim’s Ammonia first before I added the bacteria itself. I dosed enough to get to 2 PPM then put in the bacteria.

I tested 24 hrs after I put in the bacteria and saw 2 PPM Ammonia on an API test kit. I went to the LFS to double check and got the same reading. I ended up purchasing bio spira and dropping it in last night in a panic thinking one and only was DOA as it has been very hot (may have gotten too hot during shipping I guess)

Any idea what to do now? I also got an ammonia badge that read this as soon as I put it in and it has not changed over the last 12 hrs.



I’m really in a panic thinking I nuked my tank from the start [emoji29].
 
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Reeferdood

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I am guessing you are just starting this tank up? If so, do not add anything to your system until your cycle is complete. I would begin by getting some reliable test kits and removing the badge as they are not reliable. A freshly started system takes about a month for the nitrogen cycle to complete, then you may start adding things, SLOWLY.
Patience is the first thing we all learn when just getting our feet wet.
Good luck.
 
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ReefWithCare

ReefWithCare

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I am guessing you are just starting this tank up? If so, do not add anything to your system until your cycle is complete. I would begin by getting some reliable test kits and removing the badge as they are not reliable. A freshly started system takes about a month for the nitrogen cycle to complete, then you may start adding things, SLOWLY.
Patience is the first thing we all learn when just getting our feet wet.
Good luck.
Ya I’m just starting up. I used one and only because various people I know used it and either dropped fish that day or cycled within 7 days (I have a 125G tank and a few of these folks had over 100G tanks when they dropped 1-2 fish that day). Good thing I didn’t listen to them and dropped a fish right away!
 

Reeferdood

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Well,
I am not saying that those products don't work but I am not a fan of using fish to cycle. The reason is because most people use hardy fish like damsels and then later decide they want to remove them because they become very aggressive towards other tank mates. Take it slow and don't be afraid to ask questions here, everyone is willing to help and offer advise.
 

Neoalchemist

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Maybe you have another ammonia source like the sand or something dead on or in the rock and its too much for the Tim's to handle this quickly.
 
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ReefWithCare

ReefWithCare

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Maybe you have another ammonia source like the sand or something dead on or in the rock and its too much for the Tim's to handle this quickly.
Its clean macro rock (about 120 lbs worth), RODI water, LA salt, and dry Caribsea special reef grade sand
 

4FordFamily

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Do you have any “sponge media” for the dr time to colonize? This is a fantastic product, but yes you should dose Tim’s several days before dosing ammonia. I try to add it 48 days before fish come in fresh QT. I do massive water changes to pick up any slack.
 
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ReefWithCare

ReefWithCare

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Do you have any “sponge media” for the dr time to colonize? This is a fantastic product, but yes you should dose Tim’s several days before dosing ammonia. I try to add it 48 days before fish come in fresh QT. I do massive water changes to pick up any slack.
No sponge media. I just have a traditional reef setup with rock sand and a skimmer. Skimmer has been off the whole time.

If I nuked the tank - what do I do at this point.

I wish the instructions had a giant warning sign about adding the bacteria first before the ammonia [emoji29]
 

4FordFamily

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No sponge media. I just have a traditional reef setup with rock sand and a skimmer. Skimmer has been off the whole time.

If I nuked the tank - what do I do at this point.

I wish the instructions had a giant warning sign about adding the bacteria first before the ammonia [emoji29]
There’s no fish in the tank right? I don’t think you nuked the tank unless you have fish, inverts, or coral in there. Edit I read you have a fish. Sell it and take it slow.

Just add more tims or biospira and wait it out! It’ll catch up in time.

Do you have a powerhead in there? Also, just a heads up— no saltwater tank is cycled in 7 days. A couple months and it’ll start to stabilize but it is probably 6-12 months before true stability is achieved in many cases— perhaps longer.
 

tvu

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Try Bio Spira. I’ve had success with it on several builds.

I had a friend also fail a cycle with Dr Tim’s and he switched to Bio Spira with success.
 
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ReefWithCare

ReefWithCare

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There’s no fish in the tank right? I don’t think you nuked the tank unless you have fish, inverts, or coral in there. Edit I read you have a fish. Sell it and take it slow.

Just add more tims or biospira and wait it out! It’ll catch up in time.

Do you have a powerhead in there? Also, just a heads up— no saltwater tank is cycled in 7 days. A couple months and it’ll start to stabilize but it is probably 6-12 months before true stability is achieved in many cases— perhaps longer.
There is no livestock in the tank right now.

I added 150 rates gallons worth of biospira last night and nothing seems to have changed.

I have two current Marine wave makers rated at 2100 GOH runnning in gyre setting at 100%

Yes I know about the stalibility. I’m raising concerns based on multiple testimonials and videos from folks like Mr Saltwatertank (who dropped 2 fish that day and said it’s okay to add them right away) and mad Hatter’s reef who said average time for him has been 7 days and the DR Tim’s instructions that said dose more ammonia on day 3 if ammonia is gone (cycle meaning you can add your first first not obviously stable which I feel is more like a year not 6 months). I figured something was wrong because I dosed ammonia first and because I haven’t seen any changes.

I would love to get a better test kit - but my LFS uses API as well so not really getting anywhere unless I order a red seas kit online.

My major concern is the ammonia may be too high for the bacteria to survive, but I’m not sure if that is the case.
 

Surfside74

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Slow down. Your ok. I just cycled my 120 with dr Tim's and ammonia. It did not do it in a week like they said. It took about a month before ammonia and nitrite gone. You're doing fine. Just let it do its thing. The ammonia will convert eventually. Dont worry. Take things slow and you'll be fine.

Rob
 
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ReefWithCare

ReefWithCare

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Slow down. Your ok. I just cycled my 120 with dr Tim's and ammonia. It did not do it in a week like they said. It took about a month before ammonia and nitrite gone. You're doing fine. Just let it do its thing. The ammonia will convert eventually. Dont worry. Take things slow and you'll be fine.

Rob
Ya that sounds crazy. I could have just cured Pukani if that was the case. I thought these products are faster than that.
 

Katieandjon

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We’ve cycled 2 tanks exactly as you have. Bottled ammonia and dr tims one and only added a few days later. Both now stable and working well. It took 5 weeks to cycle our 600L tank and 7 weeks to cycle our 85l tank.

It’s just a waiting game I’m afraid. Keep testing and monitoring your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings, and when ammonia and nitrite have both been 0 for a few days, you’re good to start adding stuff - but like everyone else says - add slowly.
 

lapin

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So lets take a break here. Breath in slowly. Now exhale slowly. No tank that large is going to cycle in 3 days with dry rock and sand. You can add bacteria until the cows come home and you will not see a change. You have not nuked your tank. You will see results in a week to 2 weeks. People can tell you that "oh ya 2 days i added fish just like my lfs said. They didn't die. Ask the fish "feel a little burn in the gill area????". To cycle a tank we start with rock and sand and add ammonia. Some use a table shrimp, other dose ammonia, other do both. If dosing ammonia you want to add enough so you get 1 to 2 ppm. You dont need more than this. Now you can add bacteria to speed up the cycle. Then you wait until the ammonia level falls. Nitrite levels will rise. You can now add a little more ammonia at this point. (1 time) but dont over do it. Once you see the ammonia drop to near 0 and the nitrite level drop to near 0 you are ready to remove some nitrate with a water change. Nitrate is the end product of the bacteria processing the ammonia and nitrite. Now you can add livestock slowly. With most tanks that people have added bacteria to speed the cycle, it takes around 3 weeks. Some a little less some a little more.
 
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ReefWithCare

ReefWithCare

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So lets take a break here. Breath in slowly. Now exhale slowly. No tank that large is going to cycle in 3 days with dry rock and sand. You can add bacteria until the cows come home and you will not see a change. You have not nuked your tank. You will see results in a week to 2 weeks. People can tell you that "oh ya 2 days i added fish just like my lfs said. They didn't die. Ask the fish "feel a little burn in the gill area????". To cycle a tank we start with rock and sand and add ammonia. Some use a table shrimp, other dose ammonia, other do both. If dosing ammonia you want to add enough so you get 1 to 2 ppm. You dont need more than this. Now you can add bacteria to speed up the cycle. Then you wait until the ammonia level falls. Nitrite levels will rise. You can now add a little more ammonia at this point. (1 time) but dont over do it. Once you see the ammonia drop to near 0 and the nitrite level drop to near 0 you are ready to remove some nitrate with a water change. Nitrate is the end product of the bacteria processing the ammonia and nitrite. Now you can add livestock slowly. With most tanks that people have added bacteria to speed the cycle, it takes around 3 weeks. Some a little less some a little more.
If that is the case - why are folks like dr tim, mr saltwater tank, and madmatter reef (his was a 200+ gallon tank) saying it can take 7 days or less. Seems like marketing hype and I should have done this the ole fashion way like I did 15 yrs ago (by curing live rock for 6-8 weeks) [emoji848]. I guess that’s what I get for trying a newer method.

Curing pukani was an option for me - but I didn’t go that route because there was an import ban at the time and no one had it in stock so I went the dry macro + Dr Tim method instead.

My original expectation was 7-14 days using the product. The protocol on Dr. TiM instruction went to 10 days with the water change on day 14
 
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NeuroticAquatics

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I have used Dr Tim’s in past tanks and it was about a week to cycle. It’s been a while, but I seem to recall there being a list of step-by-step instructions of what to do each day. I’m not sure that you nuked your tank but it may take a while to see results. Maybe call Dr Tim’s and see what they think?
 
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ReefWithCare

ReefWithCare

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I have used Dr Tim’s in past tanks and it was about a week to cycle. It’s been a while, but I seem to recall there being a list of step-by-step instructions of what to do each day. I’m not sure that you nuked your tank but it may take a while to see results. Maybe call Dr Tim’s and see what they think?
Ya I left them an email since it’s a Saturday. My guess is I likely added ammonia first instead of the bacteria first which is a big no no
 
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