Dr. Tims Cycle question

Jasontkd

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I am sure I am just being impatient and need to wait it out. I just had a concern and wanted to make sure I am not missing something. I have never cycled a tank like this before, so it is a little foreign to me. I set up a 20 gallon cube with dry rock and sand. I used Dr. Tim's One and Only, and Dosed ammonia per the instructions.

Everything has been going fine. Ammonia was 2 ppm for about 10 days, and then tapered down to 0 over the course of a couple days. Now, Nitrite is sitting around 1-2 ppm for well over a week with ammonia at 0 ppm. Nitrate is at 40.

My concern is that I have only dosed ammonia the one time. The instructions say to re-dose when both Ammonia and Nitrite are below 1 ppm. However, with ammonia being at 0 for over a week, and Nitrite still at 1 ppm or higher, I am not sure if I just need to wait, or if I need to re-feed the bacteria in some way.

I don't want my Nitrites to go higher, but I also don't want to starve the bacteria.

Am I overthinking this?
 
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Bender

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Jasontkd,

If nitrites are at 1ppm, the tank is still cycling. You should see Nitrates raising.

The second does of ammonia is to confirm that your cycle is complete, you should see ammonia raise, then nitrites, then nitrates as ammonia reduces, then nitrites. Once you read 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and * nitrates, your tank is "cycled".
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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You are cycled since we fully expect nitrite to misread, nitrite is harmless at any stage anyway, and ammonia has met the submersion timeframes plus testing for oxidation. The nitrite portion of your measures don’t matter, we can focus on the reported ammonia and nitrate portions.



Nitrate is proof of oxidation, your testing lines up with a closed completed cycle.

If you had zero nitrate, possible in many cycles as tester accuracy ranges, you’d still be cycled as submersion time is what matters and not the luck of a test read from api. Your reports just happen to confirm ammonia and nitrate performed luckily.


-Bottle bac get your tank ready in a few days, study threads show. People input fish day one, bb is designed for that approach if someone wants. You’re approaching half a month, well past the required timeframes to cycle using bac and feed.

If you add fish, they won’t die, that’s how you know cycle is ready. You’d change out as much water as you can beforehand so that bright new tank lights won’t grow as much algae.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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How about just this portion


-Bottle bac get your tank ready in a few days, study threads show. People input fish day one, bb is designed for that approach if someone wants. You’re approaching half a month, well past the required timeframes to cycle using bottled bac and feed.

We have active threads searchable here that show people inputting bottle bac and fish on the first day...bottle bac are that efficient at taking care of waste and depositing onto surfaces fast. Within 48 hours.

Imagine giving them not 48 hours but two weeks, they’re set in your tank. Nitrite is not required to be measured chiefly since our hobby testers show positive for nitrite when there’s nitrate, we do not have accurate ways of testing for nitrite. It’s just easier to write that nitrite testing doesn’t matter, kick it out of consideration.

You waited half a month on a system designed to instantly cycle the tank, so it’s ready. Google search about false nitrite reads

Here’s a skip cycle setup, yours is the same outcome here if fish were added he’s barely one week in, and fully stocked
 
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Jasontkd

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Wow. Thanks for the info. As I said, this is completely new to me. I have had several tanks in the past but I have always started with established live rock prior to now. This time I started with Dry rock and thoroughly rinsed all my sand.
 

Backreefing

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Just go to your local fist store and buy a cheap demsel. Drop him in and after a few weeks it’s cycled . Getting rid of nitrates is gonna take a long time , might be nice to buy a few lbs of quality live rock when you get your cheap fish . I would recommend a springer demsel . They aren’t the bully that other demsels can be and the springer demsel is great for coral pests . My $.02
 

tankstudy

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My concern is that I have only dosed ammonia the one time. The instructions say to re-dose when both Ammonia and Nitrite are below 1 ppm. However, with ammonia being at 0 for over a week, and Nitrite still at 1 ppm or higher, I am not sure if I just need to wait, or if I need to re-feed the bacteria in some way.
I would recommend waiting. A lot of folks will do the second dose and end up with too much nitrite stalling their cycle. It's best to wait for nitrite and ammonia to zero out before dosing a second time, especially if you have time to wait.

I don't want my Nitrites to go higher, but I also don't want to starve the bacteria.

Am I overthinking this?
Your bacteria won't starve. Keep in mind that they've been in bottles for a good period of time and then was put in to your tank. They don't die out that easily unless you put them in sub optimal conditions.

Play it safe and go with waiting for ammonia and nitrite to hit zero. Once you get really good and understand what's happening with bottle bacteria you can tinker with it much more but if your unsure, just play it safe. Troubleshooting once you go over involves a lot of water changing and testing.
 
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Jasontkd

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The more I look around, the more confused I am. I still have zero ammonia, and 1 ppm of nitrite. I am confident the test it is working because when my ammonia was high, the nitrite was reading zero.

i guess I don’t understand how using bottle bacteria is supposed to makethe tank safefor fish and inverts. I thought Nitrite was dangerous, so how is it safe if my readings are 1 ppm?

I know I need to be patient, I am just really confused how I have had the exact same readings for nearly two weeks and nothing is changing.

I have a big diatom outbreak right now too, so I would really love to get something in there to help clean some of that up
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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agreed its totally confusing. Im about to link you a thread that shows in twenty places on page one why we do not test for nitrite, BUT every cycle link you can ever find other than mine says to test for it, including the directions from Dr Tim. This is acknowledged.

The reason I branched off and made this work thread was to assess the severe range of completion time stated by marine aquarists regarding their cycle.

Pull up google and search in images: "aquarium cycling chart"

thats a million search returns, all showing without asking for API results of types of bottle bac used-

ammonia and nitrite are linked and zero by day 25 across charts.

they dont go up after that.

the same peaks and troughs on those cycling charts appear across pages, and dont vary, yet marine aquarium cyclers report completion times ranging 1 day to 90 days, and no avail cycling charts allow for that variance. the cause is mis testing and subjective test interpretation/reporting drift. adding a bunch of initial ammonia isn't factored in the charts; but we still make things work as the pages of the thread unfolds we talk about not testing the wastewater to assess a closed cycle but rather testing the post water change reef for proof of a closed cycle. Once you change out the wastewater, the new water behaves like the online charts :)

nitrate is varying but always on an upward trend. In our tanks we may not measure nitrate accurately, or it can be being uptaken by algae and not be free to register, or it can be getting denitrified...the graphs show usual trending but in the end nitrate doesnt burn fish, and nitrite only burns fish in freshwater due to differences in chloride balances between the two environments. (im a horrible chemist, thats all from summary of Randy's posts I collected)

in this thread, we test only ammonia when someone demands a test, and are out 18 pages losing no tank to a wrong cycle using # of days + ammonia testing as the sole determinant on whether or not a tank is cycled.

 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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All we are simply doing is evolving reef tank cycling away from testing, which is so prone to errors until we're all digital calibrated readouts, and into what those old school cycling charts show.

By day 30, all these reef tanks are cycled.

if you've added boosters known to prep a tank in one day, and waited 1/2 a month, then its still cycled. There is no harm in testing for nitrate, nitrite and ammonia in the classic sense.

but if someone wants a better way, we can turn out cycled tanks using other means that require zero testing, just a new option among options.

that you have diatoms stamps the cycle closed further. On page one we list the required order of operations, order of deposition, for items in a marine tank. Anytime you can see any growths on the bottom, brown/red green etc, those films and early colonizers by rule have showed up after nitrifiers. any time there are new growths in a reef tank of any type whatsoever, nitrifiers have already shown up long before that.

we can use things we can see, to identify things we cannot see, due to already known order of operations for reef colonization.
 
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