Dry rock cycling issue

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brandon429

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here is the #1 way api does not work well: on the wastewater sample of a tank after dosing large amounts of ammonia.


your first post here is that mode. we've done opposite as calibration.

what you want to know is if the bacteria you've provided are adhered to rocks, and functional, before spending $ on more bac with no where to attach. taking any wastewater sample to the LFS for alternate testing is still that mode above.

the end result of the test coming up is proof your whole tank is ready, after a water change, to begin now.
 
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jandlms

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OK so here’s the last test bucket with ammonia test pic.
Beats the hell out of me. Low levels of ammonia???
999AFDF3-E879-42C8-9D94-16F58515BBE3.jpeg

So the test kit is reasonably accurate. I overdosed the main system with ammonia when following Dr Ztims instructions. So muc ammonia went in that it either killed my bacteria or overloaded them with too much food.. either way the tank is not cycled and processing ammonia. Oh and the Seachem badge is not accurate either.
What next? Massive water changes and start the process over with new bacteria?
 

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Just to reiterate... As large of a water change as is feasible because you want to reduce ammonia and future nitrate. I wouldn't worry about bacteria dying off so much that you should spend money on more. Seachem badge is measuring free ammonia not total ammonia like your test kit.
 

brandon429

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You dosed the perfect amnt of ammonia! ok next pic tomorrow~

perfect

heres the calibrated one from bucket so they’re close on page
8DAE97D6-CC02-4E05-B29E-BA1070BD8F55.jpeg

and then spiked a little, perfect
98740B2E-49BF-422A-A05C-B86DFAF0FAB4.jpeg


Id call that .25 above, a slight change. Perfect

now we wait a day :) run one last bucket pic

api is looking clear and details as adjusted above. that second pic is what api reads on about 90% of running reefs; you've added a proper test dose of ammonia to scale this test in every way accurately. nice. in fact running reefs are slightly darker on the bottom pic usually, you really didn't overdose ammonia here you added the perfect amount and this kit caught it, quick, that's a plus for the kit!
 
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jandlms

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So the API test kit is basically useless when using a DrTims fish less cycle method? Maybe it has other uses but if this kit is accurate and all it shows are massive loads of ammonia how useful is it really for this method. Maybe DR Tim’s should specify what exact test kit to use when cycling with their product?
Next pic of bucket tomorrow and of main system tomorrow after a fifty gallon water change this afternoon.
 
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brandon429

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no i think its ok to use when ammonia has not been challenged much, when its normal loading.

Its still the backbone of all ammonia testing in the hobby, api. has been for 30 yrs yep. we just need to remember to apply TAN conversion to its readings before concerning over free ammonia ( and be working with a tamed water sample such as anything a normal reef would encounter )

but we're finding ways to use it more accurately to save money on having to wait weeks to clear out wastewater, and all the variables we make on a first go. once we remove the overage, what's left over is usable cycle material.


that's *if* it moves back down later on tonite or tomorrow

if it sticks, he he, then eighty people are going to message me an i told you so/ace ventura pump/ captain morgan pose on a stuck cycle meme. final outcome, tbd. the 24 hour drum roll begins

*if that sample moves back down by tonite I would not be surprised. Ill be amazed if it can't move it within 24 hours though. **we're guessing about the status of free ammonia in your main tank, maybe it is high who knows-without digital testing on it we may not know. I'm only guessing about metabolite interference, total guess on why api spikes like that. The badge certainly doesnt show free ammonia that high on the main tank.

at least we'll know here if a full water change on it is worth your time, so you can get to reefing as you planned.

Your second api pic shows the kit responding quite accurately in fact to the known dose. wow.

api is impressing me here, on your calibrated approach using scaled down ammonia in the range a real bioload would present. you have created a perfect mini scale test for a cycle, perfect. I have no excuse if it can't move down in a reasonable time
 
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InvertGang

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Just to reiterate... As large of a water change as is feasible because you want to reduce ammonia and future nitrate. I wouldn't worry about bacteria dying off so much that you should spend money on more. Seachem badge is measuring free ammonia not total ammonia like your test kit.
Free ammonia is the toxic ammonia and total ammonia includes both free ammonia and ammonia in other compounds, right?
 

NeonRabbit221B

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the toxic ammonia and total ammonia includes both free ammonia and ammonia in other compou
Correct. Total ammonia is in constant flux based on pH, temp and salinity so the ratio of free to total varies. Randy has a good article explaining the relationship.
 
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jandlms

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Here is the bucket test pic as of 10:30 this morning.

3541B71E-4A4E-4B07-AC62-146A6E5DAAB5.jpeg

I read this as under .25 but my eyes are bad. The bucket test is officially over. The rock and water were recycled back into the display. I think not enough ammonia to be concerned.
I also tested the display this morning after about a 30% water change.
5A62BD68-F7BB-4431-9FB7-2A5B1F7D533D.jpeg

Looks like maybe 2.0 to me so the water change helped. I will change another 30% this afternoon. That’s about all I am geared up to change right now on a daily basis. Test pics of the display to be posted tomorrow after today’s water change.
Thoughts and comments appreciated because I am hoping that while I am out of town this weekend I may find a fish or too to quarantine for a couple or more weeks to add.
 

brandon429

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One last thing, if you add prime to protect against ammonia that will change usage of the test enough we can’t know when it is safe
but the application will render any problem water ready too

it will still be very neat to see how long using your change allowance it takes for the untreated main tank to work It’s way to sub-.25

few few folks would participate to this degree w the time and effort I appreciate it for sure



it’s studying the connection or lack of connection among tanks for cycling times within extremes of assembly

the data will help the hobby beyond the standard hey here’s my new tank post, you were thorough and the pics are clear gold.
 
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jandlms

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Thanks but not completely finished with the saga
Main tank water change today and one tomorrow along with ammonia tests for both.
Do you think the tank will be safe to add just a few fish to in about a month? Assuming of course they survive quarantine.
 

brandon429

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For sure I do think that. If you search online in any forum any post made, we still haven’t seen one single event where initial fish didn’t live. That means if all these cycle arrangements are burning fish when folks don’t even wait a day to add the fish after the bottle bac, we can’t tell.


we never see the behavioral issues in fish that are being burned, or losses associated with incomplete cycles on all the searchable returns

we had assumed in the hobby a long time that losses were happening, cycles weren’t being completed and if that’s the case we expect to find more than one initial cycle crash/loss post. I can’t find one, neat data to consider on why I think you’ll be fine now or in a month after a decent water change total.

i don’t expect your api to ever agree, we merely have the collective patterns from others to consider until you add fish, then we will know. Burned fish dart around all crazy, don’t eat and die fast
 

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Going to throw out another suggestion. API misreads happen but the risk must be considered. If you get a more reliable test kit (salifert/red sea/nyos) and verify you do spend a few bucks and its likely a bit more accurate. API is trash but not so terrible that it doesn't indicate an issue.

I would prep a 60% instead of two 30%... Lets do some math. If you are at 6 ppm (just guessing) then after 2 30% changes you would be at 2.94 ppm which is toxic and a bunch of added nitrate. A 60% change you are down to 2.4 which should put you in better standing. In a month you would be fine but you should consider the end result of letting it settle or doing small changes.
 
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Going to throw out another suggestion. API misreads happen but the risk must be considered. If you get a more reliable test kit (salifert/red sea/nyos) and verify you do spend a few bucks and its likely a bit more accurate. API is trash but not so terrible that it doesn't indicate an issue.

I would prep a 60% instead of two 30%... Lets do some math. If you are at 6 ppm (just guessing) then after 2 30% changes you would be at 2.94 ppm which is toxic and a bunch of added nitrate. A 60% change you are down to 2.4 which should put you in better standing. In a month you would be fine but you should consider the end result of letting it settle or doing small changes.
I would love to do a 60% change today but I don’t have the RO and I have to leave the state early Sunday for a funeral. My plan is another 30% today. Another 30% tomorrow and a 50 to 60% change on Tuesday when I return. Best I can probably do on my schedule.
 
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jandlms

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So another 40% water change today. I’m just not geared up yet for anything larger. After a five hour wait for the system to mix thoroughly I tested again.
68D870C0-FD19-4633-A0D0-9599A17821A6.jpeg

Looks to be about 1.0 or less so apparently the system is breaking down some of the ammonia in addition to the dilution by the water changes. I will test nitrate and possibly nitrite tomorrow morning to see if any present. I am not so sure about the accuracy of API test kits from a quantitative standpoint.
The Seachem ammonia alert badge is leaning heavily toward tan at this point so that’s positive.
FD92A3D3-A502-4C25-BEAE-A7321F766BDE.jpeg

Next scheduled water change on Friday. Got to get more salt!
 
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jandlms

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So some new test shots to peruse.
A9FD1A01-2E3A-498D-8036-A9982AE1DBB3.jpeg

So ammonia below 1.0????? Probably should cook up another water change.
Nitrites low but not low enough so cycling is still occurring.
Nitrates at zero or low indicating nitrites are not being converted into nitrate or nitrate has dissipated completely?? Doesnt make sense to me.
pH is way too low. So should I be thinking of adding something to bring the pH up to 8.4 at this point or wait for cycling to complete?
Finally water is looking a bit cloudy like there is a bacterial bloom going on. Any thoughts?
3B3F93A6-E4F0-4D3B-971B-7DF01AF8F8B2.jpeg

It’s not horrible but I am used to crystal clear water in my tanks. I was planning on a filter sock addition next week but I think this is too small to catch in filter material. As always any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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sounds abit pricy but i always add in 1 large chunk of Carbisea rock to my new tanks to help get it going faster. also watch out for those Ammonia tags i use to run those and they seem to be hit or miss if they work. best to test it out with some pure ammonia diliuted in water in a cup before using it as a base to go off of
 
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