Dry rock cycling issue

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jandlms

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So I am on day six of cycling my 120 gallon glass Cages reef. A bit of background. I haven’t actually had to cycle a reef in twenty years so this dry rock bacteria no fish cycling stuff is totally new to me.
I started curing a garbage can of Marco rocks with bacteria about six months ago. That got added to the tank along with live sand about two weeks ago.Water added. SG reads 1.025. Temp raised to 82 to speed the process up.
Dr. Tim’s added six days ago. Procedure of adding ammonium chloride followed twice.
Brightwell Nitrate block seeded and added to sump four days ago. Ammonia was around 4 ppm after first dose. Went up to 7 or 8 ppm after second dose. Still sitting there.
40E51464-9780-4223-94AC-19521A4ACD1C.jpeg

Am I reading this wrong. Is the test kit maybe wonky. I thought with using seeded dry rock it would maybe speed up cycling a bit. Am I just too impatient? Bad bacteria ? It was two separate bottles for about 1.5 the needed dose.
Help please! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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lapin

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Looks like you over dosed the ammonia. I would do a water change to help out the bacteria bring the ammonia level down.
I think cycling the rock for 6 months with bacteria then adding it when the rock went in the tank was all you needed to do.
I would have dosed 1ppm ammonia not 4ppm. High levels of ammonia can kill off some bacteria.
It will come down on its own, but im sure you dont want to wait it out
 

brandon429

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This cycle is done, simply begin reefing with clean water. Change out a good portion. You have not stalled, or killed any bac. You’ve merely overcome what that kit can read correctly with *metabolites* you don’t actually have that much ammonia above. Here is a 100% exact match thread to yours, note how it works after the water change:



he had same ammonia challenge as you, fixed in one clean water change. We need your thread for proofing to help others…so change water out and add life and add pics so we can track it out. Retire all ammonia testing going forward, six weeks of preps is enough and api will mislead you into hating reefing.


remaining steps are:
instate totally clean water

add life


update us with pics as proof it’s all fine

never use api ammonia or nitrite on your tank again, and when you use api nitrate realize the sample will just read wildly different on another kit, so it’s all an approximation.

you cannot kill water bac in water in any arrangement a cycling tank will ever see. That degree of overfeeding fed the bac better, vs harming them, you are ready. Change water and begin
 
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brandon429

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Once updated and proofed out a few weeks with pics, this thread can become a flagship example for updated cycling science.


the human urge is to keep running api lol even though the advice is opposite, this is understood.

we are trained to the point we cannot fully abandon old cycling rules. I won’t be mad lol

so, you will be able to see as the weeks go by that the animals you added to clean water were fine regardless of your kit.


take an api reading even after your big water change, I bet it still shows ammonia even though it’s known clean water, that’s how ornery the test kits are.

so if you want the easiest reefing possible, never run ammonia or nitrite on this tank again, they’ll self control from here on out. At no time do I expect api to ever indicate any status about your tank accurately, I expect api to merely cause frustration and hatred of reefing when the readings aren’t contextualized correctly.
 
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So if I am reading this correctly you added live rock to your tank that was 6 months old and additional rock?

I would replace 90% or as close to all of the water as you can. As this point you are likely cycled depending on the amount of cycled live rock you have which paired with the bacteria is enough to get you going. Tank size and how many lbs of live rock did you add?
 

brandon429

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@NeonRabbit221B

I wish we had a seneye reading on his water, right now, trimmed I truly bet its in hundredths ppm max and as we see in all seneye studies when tuned after six weeks, thousandths most likely.

a truly amazing contrast exists between that pic above and reality, even on his pre-water change water. I do not know what causes api to indicate stalls that bad but I bet 100% its not stalled, its a titration illusion somehow, some way. through some interference mechanism tbd. until we get the comparative readings that can't be said just yet. but i feel it lol
 

NeonRabbit221B

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@NeonRabbit221B

I wish we had a seneye reading on his water, right now, trimmed I truly bet its in hundredths ppm max and as we see in all seneye studies when tuned after six weeks, thousandths most likely.

a truly amazing contrast exists between that pic above and reality, even on his pre-water change water. I do not know what causes api to indicate stalls that bad but I bet 100% its not stalled, its a titration illusion somehow, some way. through some interference mechanism tbd. until we get the comparative readings that can't be said just yet. but i feel it lol
Yeah I think we disagree on how bad test kit accuracy is on some level. I can see if reading 1 ppm and be zero or just above zero but that looks like an ammonia OD to me. Either way, he has live rock so changing the water out should fix it.
 

brandon429

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I truly have never seen one seneye-checked cycle that ever hit tenths ppm, not a single one other than untrimmed ones out of the box. the bottle bac they add is so powerful...his above may be the first but that'd be out of line w the limited patterns we see for the digital meters.
 

NeonRabbit221B

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I truly have never seen one seneye-checked cycle that ever hit tenths ppm, not a single one other than untrimmed ones out of the box. the bottle bac they add is so powerful...his above may be the first but that'd be out of line w the limited patterns we see for the digital meters.
Funny because I have been emailing Seneye and they explicitly told me not to trim which I thought was odd. I will post about it later though.
 
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Azedenkae

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So I am on day six of cycling my 120 gallon glass Cages reef. A bit of background. I haven’t actually had to cycle a reef in twenty years so this dry rock bacteria no fish cycling stuff is totally new to me.
I started curing a garbage can of Marco rocks with bacteria about six months ago. That got added to the tank along with live sand about two weeks ago.Water added. SG reads 1.025. Temp raised to 82 to speed the process up.
Dr. Tim’s added six days ago. Procedure of adding ammonium chloride followed twice.
Brightwell Nitrate block seeded and added to sump four days ago. Ammonia was around 4 ppm after first dose. Went up to 7 or 8 ppm after second dose. Still sitting there.
40E51464-9780-4223-94AC-19521A4ACD1C.jpeg

Am I reading this wrong. Is the test kit maybe wonky. I thought with using seeded dry rock it would maybe speed up cycling a bit. Am I just too impatient? Bad bacteria ? It was two separate bottles for about 1.5 the needed dose.
Help please! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
What are your nitrite and nitrate readings? If either are elevated, that could give some clue to the cycle potentially.
 
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jandlms

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Zero for both nitrate and nitrite. I just brought a sample of water to the LFS for testing but as Murphy would dictate it tipped and leaked with nothing salvageable. So I bought another test kit the API master with ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. We will see how that goes.
 

brandon429

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that's the wrong way to proceed, its opposite of the link above and the recommend. read the link/truly it will save you time. dont run future tests for ammonia on the same quality kits, if you arent digital use alt assessment means or you'll be falsely stalled for a year
 

Gedxin

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@brandon429 I agree with what you're saying (and have read a ton of your posts as I search through cycling details [I'm also cycling my tank right now.]) What I don't understand is, how could OP have 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate in a cycled tank, especially one with dosed ammonia? Bad test kits?
 

brandon429

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I truly believe non digital testing to range this wildly, this broadly.

it’s really rough. Sometimes things like prime are used in water preps but not stated, that messes with the kits and other times reagents aren’t shaken, or waited long enough to register before reporting, it never ends/ the various reports.


if that was Hanna digital nitrate assessment and seneye ammonia, we’d have something to consider for six weeks bac establishment. I agree that if a cycle ever was stalled legit, it’d read like that above but there’s a difference in dealing with wastewater sampling and with assessing known forced clean water…those actions 100% turn out ready reefs like the matched example from jack alexander above.

* I believe the ops tank will also pass calibrated api testing, from that thread, which is neat because we don’t have to give up on the kits. We just need to calibrate what a zero reading looks like on that kit (and no, fresh saltwater won’t work it has to be from the actual tank with bioslicks in order to set a baseline zero accurately)


in that example thread, Jack was able to use api to prove readiness.

**creative option for this op: you can test a sample group of rock in a paint bucket of water so you aren’t having to manage all new water, twice over, from the main tank.

simply move your ten pounds of suspect rock into the paint bucket test, post the baseline, run the spikes we show and post the three succession pics. Lol it takes all that to make api work, they need to adapt new instructions for their panic inducing kits.

the exact test order is:

move ten pounds suspect rock into clean saltwater in a paint bucket, circulated somehow. Heat is not a big deal.

run it half a day

post the calibrated zero api pic after it’s swirled half a day. Let the kit pick up metabolites from the suspected active surface rocks, if any. that’s our known safe zone color, the calibrated zero

then, dose a few drops into the bucket of actual cycling ammonia, a tiny degree, solely enough to raise the zero reading up one tiny increment. A tiny discernible darker change, the least you can show in a second pic posted that’s slightly above baseline. If you make it solid green again, ten steps above the change we want, redo the sub test. Pic #2 is the barest change you can register up from pic 1


post third bucket api pic in 24 hours, it’s back to calibrated zero, suspect rocks are ready and still do big tank water change and all will align.


*recommended: we have done this two hundred times lol just change water and go already in the main tank. the first 200 was to pattern that all reefs are ready by now
 
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brandon429

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I wish we could get the bucket test here. It’s api test vs a cycling chart, like a cage match between test kits and a common cycling chart


the common cycling chart of ammonia control by day twelve, not factoring one day instant bottle bac dosed, and nitrite control by day 25 and some degree of nitrate is the backing standard…api routinely challenges it am aware but api calibrated is much more accurate, I don’t have any noncompliants logged for calibrated tests given rock this old. Bucket test it, that would be very helpful
 
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jandlms

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So if I am reading this correctly you added live rock to your tank that was 6 months old and additional rock?

I would replace 90% or as close to all of the water as you can. As this point you are likely cycled depending on the amount of cycled live rock you have which paired with the bacteria is enough to get you going. Tank size and how many lbs of live rock did you add?
120 gallon tank. 80 pounds live rock (ish). Another 20 pounds uncurled dry rock.
Not going to be easy doing a 90% water change especially in one change. I’ll start making RO immediately and add salt but I won’t have fifty gallons until tomorrow morning. Does three fifty gallon exchanges over the next three days sound like it will work?
 

brandon429

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How about the bucket sub test edited it in above

agreed save all the big new water work till after proofing. Take us good pics if you can for the bucket sub test




move ten pounds suspect rock into clean saltwater in a paint bucket, circulated somehow. Heat is not a big deal.

run it half a day

post the calibrated zero api pic after it’s swirled half a day. Let the kit pick up metabolites from the suspected active surface rocks, if any. that’s our known safe zone color, the calibrated zero

then, dose a few drops into the bucket of actual cycling ammonia, a tiny degree, solely enough to raise the zero reading up one tiny increment. A tiny discernible darker change, the least you can show in a second pic posted that’s slightly above baseline. If you make it solid green again, ten steps above the change we want, redo the sub test. Pic #2 is the barest change you can register up from pic 1


post third bucket api pic in 24 hours, it’s back to calibrated zero, suspect rocks are ready and still do big tank water change and all will align. How this small group performs in easy 5 gallons test scales up reliably.
 
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jandlms

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This cycle is done, simply begin reefing with clean water. Change out a good portion. You have not stalled, or killed any bac. You’ve merely overcome what that kit can read correctly with *metabolites* you don’t actually have that much ammonia above. Here is a 100% exact match thread to yours, note how it works after the water change:



he had same ammonia challenge as you, fixed in one clean water change. We need your thread for proofing to help others…so change water out and add life and add pics so we can track it out. Retire all ammonia testing going forward, six weeks of preps is enough and api will mislead you into hating reefing.


remaining steps are:
instate totally clean water

add life


update us with pics as proof it’s all fine

never use api ammonia or nitrite on your tank again, and when you use api nitrate realize the sample will just read wildly different on another kit, so it’s all an approximation.

you cannot kill water bac in water in any arrangement a cycling tank will ever see. That degree of overfeeding fed the bac better, vs harming them, you are ready. Change water and begin
I will follow your advise with the water change but I am very Leary of just running out and grabbing some sacrificial fish at Petco which is my only quick option. I was planning on ordering some fish next week but I want to run them through a prophylactic quarantine before adding them to the tank. I really don’t want to inadvertently add Ich or velvet or any other problem to the system. It’s boring but I m trying to take this whole process slowly and patiently.
 
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jandlms

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How about the bucket sub test edited it in above

agreed save all the big new water work till after proofing. Take us good pics if you can for the bucket sub test




move ten pounds suspect rock into clean saltwater in a paint bucket, circulated somehow. Heat is not a big deal.

run it half a day

post the calibrated zero api pic after it’s swirled half a day. Let the kit pick up metabolites from the suspected active surface rocks, if any. that’s our known safe zone color, the calibrated zero

then, dose a few drops into the bucket of actual cycling ammonia, a tiny degree, solely enough to raise the zero reading up one tiny increment. A tiny discernible darker change, the least you can show in a second pic posted that’s slightly above baseline. If you make it solid green again, ten steps above the change we want, redo the sub test. Pic #2 is the barest change you can register up from pic 1


post third bucket api pic in 24 hours, it’s back to calibrated zero, suspect rocks are ready and still do big tank water change and all will align. How this small group performs in easy 5 gallons test scales up reliably.
I will attemp this tomorrow IF possible. Sorry but I have to attend a funeral out of state this weekend and I am scrambling a bit for time. Will keep this thread updated.
 
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