Dry rock cycling issue

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ReefGeezer

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We all have made mistakes and had to suffer the consequences. I think there is ammonia there, would agree that the actual level in unknown, but I think it is certainly higher than the 2-3 ppm that will inhibit the cycle. One big water change is better than a bunch of smaller ones if you have the capacity. I'd say there is no way to know how much will have to be changed to get below 3 ppm.
 
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So I will leave this: If you used live rock you are cycled... but might have too much ammonia to add anything for a few days.

The caveat to this is if you added enough ammonia to a point of lethality of bacteria but I have yet to see data on this myself. The water change is only to reduce concentration of ammonia which will end up as future nitrate so its either a do it now or later type thing. I would regardless wait until a reading on ammonia that is less than .5 to add anything living. In my experience the margin of error on API is about .5 ppm on a new kit.

As I understand it you had the equivalent of a vacation tank sitter who made the error of adding whole cubes of frozen food instead of pre-portioned cubes. The good thing is that you have the established bacteria to eventually process the ammonia and no live stock to return to that are fat, algae issues or fish swimming on their backs. A few large water changes after you return of 25-50% will set you straight. No worries OP!
 

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@jandlms So sorry to hear about the funeral. My condolences.

+1 on the bucket test if you want to know definitively if your rock has cycled. It does not require fish and you'll find out pretty quick if your rock has cycled.

@jandlms @brandon429 This is my experience with API. For saltwater, make sure the box states it is good for saltwater. Otherwise you're screwed and you will get an ammonia reading with every test. While API are not the most specific (reading against a white background, ugh) I've found API to be reasonably accurate IF THE TEST KITS ARE FRESH. I buy a new set of test kits every year. And then I test them on clean water just to be sure. (I got a nitrate kit once that said distilled water had off the chart nitrates.) I love Brandon's idea of calibrating the test kit. Such a simple idea!

I also agree with doing a water change. It's a PITA but high ammonia takes FOREVER to get used up. If nothing else try to get it down to 2 or 3. Here again, the bucket test can save you time and worry. And you can indeed put livestock in the tank, if you wish, after the big water change.

And again, my condolences.
 
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jandlms

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Update
My Sea hem alert monitor reads .05 ppm Ammonia. I know i know. It’s not accurate either but it is more data.
Four gallons of freshly made saltwater at a specific gravity of 1.025 just had ABOUT ten pounds of my home cured live rock added to it.
Now if I remember correctly I test it in 12 hours with the API test kit that has been causing issues.?????
Oh a power head was added to circulate the water.
when I add a tiny amount of ammonium chloride tomorrow, how much? Dr Tim has us add four drops per gallon so that would equal 16 with four gallons of water. I’m thinking one or two drops total added.?????
 

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Oh I misunderstood I see you are testing in 4 gallons. Yes it’s a good test

dont add ammonia now, let this circulate for a few hours, take an ammonia reading and post it


then after that, add in only a few drops agreed, and then take second ammonia test and post it, let’s see if it’s slightly darker


then by tomorrow this time, post third pic. Nice job can’t wait to see


.05 nh3 ammonia is actually in the safe zone, the api was reporting 8+ so that’s neat to see another kit showing lower.
 
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jandlms

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Oh I misunderstood I see you are testing in 4 gallons. Yes it’s a good test

dont add ammonia now, let this circulate for a few hours, take an ammonia reading and post it


then after that, add in only a few drops agreed, and then take second ammonia test and post it, let’s see if it’s slightly darker


then by tomorrow this time, post third pic. Nice job can’t wait to see


.05 nh3 ammonia is actually in the safe zone, the api was reporting 8+ so that’s neat to see another kit showing lower.
Sorry but four gallons and rock are almost to the rim of the bucket. The Seachem monitor does seem a bit more reasonable.
oh and I won’t be testing any more today. Tomorrow by 8 AM with no added ammonia then add two drops ammonia immediately. I will test about five minutes after that and then test again around noon. It’s only one more data point but maybe it will add to the answer.
 

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Just approximate it all. at least you’re able to isolate the rock and truly test it as a micro model that’s a neat workaround for large tank owners to be sure of cycling. The pic successions will be neat to see, for sure the initial calibrated one
 

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Hey do you have the new baseline ammonia pic from the four gallon test, before the ammonia dose was curious

this could make a potentially great write up/ case study on cycling dynamics, your tank is set to feature some neat possible aspects of testing and outcomes for the hobby

also needed, before your main tank sample starts to degrade

can you post a clear side by side today of the api reading from main tank as is, to the seachem badge so we can see differential readings clearly / that context is very needed for the writeup
 
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So apparently the test reads zero ammonia appropriately.
1D593C7B-7488-4AF5-8278-0044E4476602.jpeg

I have added two drops of ammonium chloride to the test bucket with four gallons of salt water and live rock. Hopefully the next test in a few hours comes out showing massive amounts of ammonia. If it shows being accurate, I am not sure what to do. SeaChem alert badge for ammonia still shows a small amount.
 

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did that pic come from the test bucket water, after a few hours circulating


can you post a pic of the setup, for the writeup we w like to see the actual test bucket


thats why we want a calibrated test from after a few hours w rocks in the 4 gallons, to get a baseline. that's a good pic above.

your second pic coming isn't a massive dark green, its .25 ish, barely green above that. bare change not the dark green one from the start.

also, can you post this 2 pic addition:
1 recent ammonia vial from the main tank
1 pic of the seachem badge from the main tank with it, so we can compare readings as the main tank sits



***if you cant get a light green change even after adding drops of liquid ammonia that's an issue w the test, it should instantly recognize the addition. dont add more, just to make up for inability to read the first few drops. if it stays hard yellow after the first few drops post that, dont add more ammonia.
 
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brandon429

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thank you tons for the posting this is rare to have the different kits to compare in different settings, really rare

a new test on the main tank for today plus the badge read off the main tank is perfect.


for the bucket, after you add a few drops it will be neat to see if api shows that or stays at hard zero

if we can make a neat flow from the pics and data from each setting the readers will like seeing the vessels created etc. a fun way to side test cycling stuff for sure.
 
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brandon429

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put in two more big rocks, take up that space a bit so we get more water contacted to surfaces then its all set. its ok if some water has to come out for the addition

the second pic at noon is after adding a few drops to the bucket is that right? currently the water in it is hard yellow on the api.

Nice badge pics above, clearly it shows .05/gray/alert on the main tank.
 
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ok np. we arent dosing the bucket very high anyway sounds good. 2/3 swimming room and 1/3 surface area closely models a common setup as well.
 
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jandlms

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As I expect the upcoming test on the bucket to show some ammonia thus showing the test to be reasonably accurate and the Seachem badge to be inaccurate should I get another dose of bacteria at the LFS? I am already picking up whatever salt they have for the massive water changes recommended.
 

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no I wouldnt, we have never seen six month prepped rock lack bacteria. we have seen ten thousand examples though of two non seneye test kits disagreeing...i say wait till this one passes or fails before buying more bac.

it is not hard to get api to read as dark as it does on the main tank, in our example link JackAlexander's was the same, and was fixed with one water change, showing his original bac to be enough. his example link was one of the hundreds and hundreds of examples of api issues along with the countless reports of it showing .25 on most running tanks (which tan converts to .025/safe range even though its not hard yellow)


we dont expect reefs to run hard yellow on api, they're continually producing ammonia from bioload and its being converted, and over reported as .25 we can see in post patterns. on very few running reefs does api show hard zero.

I do believe thats accurate for the bucket though, clean water and zero bioload and literally only slicks on the rocks. very clean so far. you've arranged a nice clean concise test for sure. we can use both this current badge too on the test! try to include those pics if possible, when you add a few drops can the seachem badge pick it up too?

using the badge and the api on the bucket test is more range of feedback to compare on a water sample we truly agree is zero/hard yellow accurately. your badge is not necessarily wrong so far. it could just as easily be the api overreporting, plus your badge is applying TAN conversion and the tube is not, so it will read higher by rule. ten times higher than the badge. digital testers report the actual number an extra decimal out= .00x but getting to hundredths via titration is still good and accurate and decent as a reference for api.


**api isn't being made out the villain here :) when it shows .25 on a running reef, no TAN conversion, that's .025 TAN and that's not toxic, its safe. They're decent when calibrated.
 
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jandlms

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You keep using the term calibrated regarding the API test. I am not understanding how the test is calibrated per se. Nothing is done to the test kit hence no calibration. All we are really doing is testing a bunch of samples without really knowing the ammonia concentrations or bacterial levels. MAYBE my bacterial curing of the rocks for months didn’t take for some reason.
 

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let me know if it clarifies everything, if not Ill clear it up


notes: he was hard green before calibration

calibration proved api was misleading him

becomes a reef instantly thereafter because it was cycled the whole time. green didnt mean he had free ammonia it was interference on the api kit from dosing way too much initially and causing metabolite reading interference/tbd

either way, that thread directly shows he was never stalled. his tank was able, and he didnt have to buy more bac.

disease becomes the challenge eight months later from skipping qt and fallow, but the cycle never was stuck


see how your thread so far, is like his first post?

Im not thinking your outcomes will be different than his, your rock is more prepared than his was. the only reason we're testing your tank is to alleviate doubt from that thread above not being applicable to other reefs. I think it is.
 
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