Ep12: Finally the 4-month cycle explained! | BRS/WWC System

BRS

Do you use bacteria sources for your tank cycle, if so which one?

  • Don't use any, just let them come naturally.

    Votes: 21 17.6%
  • Bio-Spira

    Votes: 21 17.6%
  • Dr. Tim's One and Only

    Votes: 31 26.1%
  • Brightwell Microbacter7

    Votes: 32 26.9%
  • Prodibio

    Votes: 6 5.0%
  • AquaForest Bio S

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Red Sea Nitro Bac

    Votes: 6 5.0%
  • TLF BioPronto

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • BioZyme

    Votes: 2 1.7%

  • Total voters
    119

randyBRS

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Are you ready?!?

It's finally time to reveal why/how the 4-month cycle may be the most stable and simple approach to getting an SPS dominant tank a leg up from the outset!

Today Ryan shares some thought processes into a longer than normal tank cycle, how WWC does it and how we plan to follow it on our BRS/WWC System tanks.

 

pdiehm

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I'm at 2 months following the start of my cycle using Fritz Tubro Start 900. I'm actually going to start running 2 of my 6 bulbs today for 3 hours. Even with ambient room lighting, I'm seeing spurts of hair algae, doing 20-25% water changes weekly. My Marco (Reef Cleaners) rock is starting to turn green, so I added 5 Trochus snails, some pods, and 2 cleaner shrimp. I added a Tomini Tang and a midas Blenny the 2nd week of November because both were under siege from the Yellow Tang while in the 40 breeder. Today, I added the 2 clowns to the tank. Still no corals, but I have a piece of rock with coraline from an established biocube in there, which is where I am thinking the featherdusters that are appearing all over have come from. My Clearwater 100 algae scrubber is growing thick algae on the screen

This weekend, I'll probably scrape off some coraline from the biocube and toss it into the 120.

Questions: Do I run all my lights the normal 8 hour photo period? Or just run 2 for a few hours?

I was also advised by a local shop that I should dose small amounts of macro elements (kH, Ca, Mg) to give the tank a consistent supply of those, and currently I dose 5ml of each, which right now raises my alkalinity by 0.2dkh over the course of a week. His thought process was, even though there's no coraline yet, there's organisms growing that require those elements, and will add the stability you want, so when the corals come, there's no shock to the tanks system to start dosing them.
 

JDowns

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Four months before coral!

giphy-downsized-large.gif
 
U

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Good video. Thanks for taking the time as always.

Previous tanks I chose the more traditional way, or book way, of cycling by using shrimp and testing. Basically following Mr. Martin A. Moe's Marine Aquarium Handbook. It was slow but I liked watching the cycle from start to end. With my newly upgraded 210 gallon from a 40 breeder I went the route of using Dr. Tim's. Again, another success which more or less cut the cycle time down to about 28 days compared to the 90+ I was seeing before. Having said that I started in February with 150 LBS of your dry Pukani, then a couple days of bleaching, pressure washing, then lanthium chloride soaks only to end up in my tank for aquascape and starting of cycle.

I see in your video that you are adding shrimp along with the bottle which is rather interesting. You could have saved time by adding ammonia per Dr. Tim's instructions(additive vs. shrimp breaking down). Not that it is a race. Once mine was able to process 2ppm ammonia under 2 hours I still the tanks simmer with no lighting or skimmers on. It wasn't until April that I moved stuff over, turned on lights, and then the skimmer. While I didn't have the nasty unwanted hair algae, diatoms, or cyno I did have other thick green algae on the rocks which a steady snail population took care of in short order.

I really like the note about corralline algae has the marker to add test corals. That is a nice touch along with test corals. Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend.
 

smiley28

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I was thinking 4 months is short! Very good video considering all the factors that can change how an individual goes about cycling a tank.

Thought I might add I’ve used bio-spira 2010-12ish(first tanks), microbacter7 2013-2014ish(during enlistment), and prodibio 2016-2017ish(almost present). I am setting a new tank up with live rock now and have seen coralline die-off and will be watching for its return.
 
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Javamahn

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I'm at 2 months following the start of my cycle using Fritz Tubro Start 900. I'm actually going to start running 2 of my 6 bulbs today for 3 hours. Even with ambient room lighting, I'm seeing spurts of hair algae, doing 20-25% water changes weekly. My Marco (Reef Cleaners) rock is starting to turn green, so I added 5 Trochus snails, some pods, and 2 cleaner shrimp. I added a Tomini Tang and a midas Blenny the 2nd week of November because both were under siege from the Yellow Tang while in the 40 breeder. Today, I added the 2 clowns to the tank. Still no corals, but I have a piece of rock with coraline from an established biocube in there, which is where I am thinking the featherdusters that are appearing all over have come from. My Clearwater 100 algae scrubber is growing thick algae on the screen

This weekend, I'll probably scrape off some coraline from the biocube and toss it into the 120.

Questions: Do I run all my lights the normal 8 hour photo period? Or just run 2 for a few hours?

I was also advised by a local shop that I should dose small amounts of macro elements (kH, Ca, Mg) to give the tank a consistent supply of those, and currently I dose 5ml of each, which right now raises my alkalinity by 0.2dkh over the course of a week. His thought process was, even though there's no coraline yet, there's organisms growing that require those elements, and will add the stability you want, so when the corals come, there's no shock to the tanks system to start dosing them.

I used Fritz Turbo Start and within a week the initial cycle on my 150G was complete. It is the best startup I have used so far
 

Scurvy

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Fritz Turbo 900 on my most recent setup.

Biospira, Red Sea or Dr Tims previously.

Never had an issue with any of them but with the Fritz I pushed 4 fish in after a few days with no measurable spikes in ammonia ot Nitrite.

May add another source for diversity sake.
 

Dan_P

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Nice video. I always pick up something watching these.

While most of the information and suppositions provided by the video are reasonable, the statement that the long fallow period will “drastically reduce the potential of challenges or reduce the number of challenges” borders on being over the top. Where is the data? Given the variability of systems set up exactly alike and therefore the need for a large number of control tanks, I imagine BRS has not set up enough systems in its history to support such a claim.

It is a clever business tactic to encourage a longer fallow period which also involves buying more bacteria products originally meant to speed up aquarium setups. Priceless! The approach belongs in the class of great tactics, such as increasing shampoo sales by simplying adding the word “repeat” to the instructions “wet hair, shampoo, rinse”.

I know, too cynical, but in the absence of data, analyzing your business tactics was the next best thing :)

Looking forwards to the next video.

Dan
 
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It is a clever business tactic to encourage a longer fallow period which also involves buying more bacteria products originally meant to speed up aquarium setups. Priceless! The approach belongs in the class of great tactics, such as increasing shampoo sales by simplying adding the word “repeat” to the instructions “wet hair, shampoo, rinse”.

I know, too cynical, but in the absence of data, analyzing your business tactics was the next best thing :)

I don't think you are being cynical. I actually picked up on that as well. Technically you shouldn't need to add another bottle, dose, or round of bacteria regardless of the brand you used. Pretty sure there is a thread here that was showing how they do work and in one case one working extremely well - I think that was Fritz (?).
 

Ryanbrs

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Nice video. I always pick up something watching these.

While most of the information and suppositions provided by the video are reasonable, the statement that the long fallow period will “drastically reduce the potential of challenges or reduce the number of challenges” borders on being over the top. Where is the data? Given the variability of systems set up exactly alike and therefore the need for a large number of control tanks, I imagine BRS has not set up enough systems in its history to support such a claim.

It is a clever business tactic to encourage a longer fallow period which also involves buying more bacteria products originally meant to speed up aquarium setups. Priceless! The approach belongs in the class of great tactics, such as increasing shampoo sales by simplying adding the word “repeat” to the instructions “wet hair, shampoo, rinse”.

I know, too cynical, but in the absence of data, analyzing your business tactics was the next best thing :)

Looking forwards to the next video.

Dan

Thanks for the fair and honest feedback. It's important to really consider what we share.

In the end, you are right there are no peer-reviewed studies that show any cycling method works best and there probably never will be. This is particularly true when referring not just an ammonia cycle but also the mindset of just getting a tank ready to support SPS corals and avoid some undesirable pests. As with all the information we share I would encourage everyone to take the bits that are valuable and leave the rest.

That said, because of the lack of peer-reviewed studies all we can go off of are our own experiences and those we know and trust. All you are seeing here is the combined experiences of the BRS and WWC team, all the individuals that work here as well all those we know and have talked to. This is hundreds to thousands of tanks and experiances but I still can't guarantee we are right, in fact, we often learn many things over the years and find there are even better ways to do things as time goes on. In this case, it has been our collective experience that longer cycle times produce better results. To a lesser degree, the available bacteria products will likely help many reefers with components of the cycle. In the end, it is difficult to prove anything definitively does anything in this hobby but I can say after the hybrid series is over we will all watch the tanks, share how they do and I want to circle back with BRSTV investigates to start learning why and how certain approaches of the method work or don't. The bacteria claims are one of the more interesting.

I will never blame anyone for saying "those guys are just trying to sell stuff" because we are a business that sells stuff :) That said the approach that sells "the most stuff" is one that helps people be the most successful with their reef tanks, it is not suggesting snake oil or magic elixirs :) I can only hope that comes through in what we do. I can't garuntee we are always right because we certainly aren't but I can guarantee the goal is always the most successful reef tanks possible.
 

Dan_P

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Thanks for the fair and honest feedback. It's important to really consider what we share.

In the end, you are right there are no peer-reviewed studies that show any cycling method works best and there probably never will be. This is particularly true when referring not just an ammonia cycle but also the mindset of just getting a tank ready to support SPS corals and avoid some undesirable pests. As with all the information we share I would encourage everyone to take the bits that are valuable and leave the rest.

That said, because of the lack of peer-reviewed studies all we can go off of are our own experiences and those we know and trust. All you are seeing here is the combined experiences of the BRS and WWC team, all the individuals that work here as well all those we know and have talked to. This is hundreds to thousands of tanks and experiances but I still can't guarantee we are right, in fact, we often learn many things over the years and find there are even better ways to do things as time goes on. In this case, it has been our collective experience that longer cycle times produce better results. To a lesser degree, the available bacteria products will likely help many reefers with components of the cycle. In the end, it is difficult to prove anything definitively does anything in this hobby but I can say after the hybrid series is over we will all watch the tanks, share how they do and I want to circle back with BRSTV investigates to start learning why and how certain approaches of the method work or don't. The bacteria claims are one of the more interesting.

I will never blame anyone for saying "those guys are just trying to sell stuff" because we are a business that sells stuff :) That said the approach that sells "the most stuff" is one that helps people be the most successful with their reef tanks, it is not suggesting snake oil or magic elixirs :) I can only hope that comes through in what we do. I can't garuntee we are always right because we certainly aren't but I can guarantee the goal is always the most successful reef tanks possible.

OK, but you aren’t off the hook just yet :)

Aren’t you guys keeping the stats on the sucesses and failures? Bases on balls? Number of first downs in a quarter? Points per shot on goal? If you did, the credibility of your claims could be enhanced. Of course, the downside is the stats might show that your aporoach has a fifty fifty chance of working but that’s OK it if you are really trying to innovate. Innovators in this hobby are needed.

I have seen you guys do some interesting things. You are soooo close to going beyond creating great PR.

Dan
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Some readers know that you can't starve bacteria during a fallow period, so they won't be making extra purchases. The masses might, but they'd do that even if brs didn't hint it. 99% of people would agree a fallow period starves bac, the other 1% work in microbiology. Source: my collected years long fallow test threads. Got a thirty six monther passing oxidation testing immediately, zero feed for three years.
 

ReeferReefer

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How much of this process can be done in trash cans?

I want to cycle my dry rock in cans for a few months before setting up the system as I am going to be transferring the coral and livestock from an existing tank (replacing the old tank in place).
 

Bouncingsoul39

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Nice video. I always pick up something watching these.

While most of the information and suppositions provided by the video are reasonable, the statement that the long fallow period will “drastically reduce the potential of challenges or reduce the number of challenges” borders on being over the top. Where is the data? Given the variability of systems set up exactly alike and therefore the need for a large number of control tanks, I imagine BRS has not set up enough systems in its history to support such a claim.

It is a clever business tactic to encourage a longer fallow period which also involves buying more bacteria products originally meant to speed up aquarium setups. Priceless! The approach belongs in the class of great tactics, such as increasing shampoo sales by simplying adding the word “repeat” to the instructions “wet hair, shampoo, rinse”.

I know, too cynical, but in the absence of data, analyzing your business tactics was the next best thing :)

Looking forwards to the next video.

Dan

Watch enough BRS Youtube vids and you'll begin to notice a pattern. Certain verbiage and biases meant to influence consumers and increase BRS sales is woven throughout. Which is unfortunate, and mars otherwise informative and helpful videos. It is a business after all so you can't get too mad about it. It only makes me wish we had some other high quality sources of hobby information outside of the retail sphere.
Anyways, there are published books out there by the forefathers of this hobby, one of the original coral farmers and fraggers Anthony Calfo who recommended one year before SPS. So four months for SPS doesn't sound like a novel or revolutionary idea at all. The idea that established, healthy coraline is a sign the tank is maturing isn't new either. The four month thing, or even the one year thing doesn't apply to all SPS either. Its pretty common for people to have success with easy SPS like Montis and Bird's Nest well before the four month mark. There are also plenty examples of people having success with delicate Acros before the 4 month mark. Some of that may be attributed to using real ocean seeded live rock and benefits from all the organisms it contains that help create a more natural and stable ecosystem in our reef tanks compared to a tank started with dead dry rock.

Plus, Bio-Spira has been around and in use to cycle tanks for over 15 years! One of the things that bothers me the most about this site is people seem to live in an information bubble, ignorant to the fact that there is already a massive established database of best-known practices out there already in books, WetWebMedia website, ReefCentral, Reef-Keeping Magazine online archive and others. I guess that's the internet for ya. We will continue to talk about the Reefing hobby as if it is a brand-new thing in an endless repeating cycle. What's old is new yada yada...
 

DesertReefT4r

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Awesome video as always BRS! I have been a firm believer in a long slow cycle when starting a new reef tank for a long time. My current tank is 6 months old, started with live rock cured in the dark for 3 months, cycled with MB7 and frozen food for 2 months no fish and 3 months lights. After a few weeks I added a few snails and started the fuge, at 2 months I started adding fish. 3 months slowly started increasing lighting and adding hardly corals. Everything went great, all corals are doing very well, no uglies and no algea blooms at all. Take the cycle slow, have patients and you will have a much cleaner and healthier tank thais ready for fish and corals while avoiding many of the new tank issues.
 

Z-man

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Anyone that asks me about marine tanks versus freshwater, I always say it's about patience. Freshwater you can set up and add fish. Not great for the fish, but possible. Marine tanks, I tell people that at a minimum it's 6 weeks before adding anything. Personally believe the longer you can wait; slower to add things to the tank is better. Get the bacteria built up, small additions when making them and wait another 6 weeks before adding anything else.
 
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