Fishless Cyling - Day 21

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LuisJr80

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Hi all! I’m new to this forum and first time reefer. I’m 21 days into a fishless cycle in a 16 gallon Biocube and I am using Dr. Tims Ammonia Chloride and One and Only Nitrifying Bacteria. The last few days I have seen my Ammonia drop between 0-0.25ppm whenever I retreat it with 2ppm ammonia chloride (once I see my nitrite drops to 0 as well). The issue that I am having is that my Nitrites take a few days afterwards to 0 out.

Is this normal? Should I keep treating ammonia chloride after both ammonia and nitrite hit 0 until they both zero out the next day?
 

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Ammonia and Nitrate are removed (processed) by 2 different bacteria. The ammonia removing bacteria will convert ammonia to nitrate. Then it will take some time before the Nitrate processing bacteria will develop.

It sounds to me like you are good to go. Just be sure to add new life to the tank SLOWLY!!! That is, only 1 or 2 fish at a time and then watch ammonia and nitrates again. Others like CUC can be added faster.
 
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LuisJr80

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Thanks for the feedback Ron and yeah I was thinking that by this weekend, I can finally introduce my first fish (Clownfish) and test weekly before I add another. Just needed some validation as the last thing I want to do is stress the lil guys out.

At that point, I think it’s safe for me add my filtration media (mechanical/chemical/biological), right? I haven’t had any in my tank since I didn’t want bacteria to colonize there and didn’t want any chemicals cleaning out any important nutrients.
 
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Welcome to the Salty Crew
 

Ron Reefman

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Thanks for the feedback Ron and yeah I was thinking that by this weekend, I can finally introduce my first fish (Clownfish) and test weekly before I add another. Just needed some validation as the last thing I want to do is stress the lil guys out.

At that point, I think it’s safe for me add my filtration media (mechanical/chemical/biological), right? I haven’t had any in my tank since I didn’t want bacteria to colonize there and didn’t want any chemicals cleaning out any important nutrients.
Mechanical is fine. What kind of chemical or biological filtration are you planing on using?

I only use chemical when I have an issue to resolve, which is quite rare for me. I do have some biological filter feeders in my tank.
 
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LuisJr80

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Mechanical is fine. What kind of chemical or biological filtration are you planing on using?

I only use chemical when I have an issue to resolve, which is quite rare for me. I do have some biological filter feeders in my tank.

I was going to use ChemiPure Elite and Fluval Biomax Bio Rings.
 
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LuisJr80

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Thanks for the feedback Ron and yeah I was thinking that by this weekend, I can finally introduce my first fish (Clownfish) and test weekly before I add another. Just needed some validation as the last thing I want to do is stress the lil guys out.

At that point, I think it’s safe for me add my filtration media (mechanical/chemical/biological), right? I haven’t had any in my tank since I didn’t want bacteria to colonize there and didn’t want any chemicals cleaning out any important nutrients.
So I just tested, Ammonia= 0 and Nitrite= 0 after 2 day of adding 2ppm of Dr. Tim Ammonia Chloride. This is the third time in the last 6 days where they both 0 after two day (not one day as per Dr. Tim instructions). I think the tank is ready but I don’t want to jump the gun and just patient. From your experience, what should I do? Have you or anyone else experience this before?

Day 9/17: Ammonia and Nitrite 0 (added 2ppm Ammonia Chloride)

Day 9/19: Ammonia and Nitrite 0 (added 2ppm Ammonia Chloride)

Today 9/21: Ammonia and Nitrite 0 (added 2ppm Ammonia Chloride)
 

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Ron Reefman

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I wouldn't use either of those unless or until you see some parameter getting out of hand. I've run tanks both big and small and I never use chemicals like those unless something goes wrong that I can't fix with just a good water change. Let your system mature on it's own.
 
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LuisJr80

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I wouldn't use either of those unless or until you see some parameter getting out of hand. I've run tanks both big and small and I never use chemicals like those unless something goes wrong that I can't fix with just a good water change. Let your system mature on its own.
Noted. Can carbon be added then alone with the floss? What do you feel is the best media to begin with then?

I honestly just wanted to add the bio rings just to produce more surface area for bacterial growth once the tank has matured for extra colonization like you said.
 

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Noted. Can carbon be added then alone with the floss? What do you feel is the best media to begin with then?

I honestly just wanted to add the bio rings just to produce more surface area for bacterial growth once the tank has matured for extra colonization like you said.
What kind of mechanical filtration does the bio-cube have now? BTW, what brand is it and how big is it? Do you have the room to add a layer of felt filter sock type material in with your other media?

I've been running a 17g tank I built myself with just a big HOB filtration system. But I added a lot to the stock filtration that Seachem offered. Besides their sponge media, I added 3 other sponge type filters and cut up some old filter socks and did 3 layers of that between the sponge layers. Now I have to clean it every week and I don't even have any fish in the tank. But I have zoas, lps and sps corals, a couple of Rock Flower Anemones and lots of CUC (Clean Up Crew). That includes lots of Astrea snails, Nerite snails, Cerith snails, a couple Emerald crabs, a couple of serpent stars, a couple of small sea cucumbers and a few others like limpets and clams (not the big pretty ones).

Carbon can help keep your water a bit more clear, but I don't find my water being very discolored. I even have a Tunze in-tank skimmer that I have used in my small, temporary holding tanks in the past. But I haven't been using it in this 17g tank.

I've been seriously considering getting out of the hobby after 20+ years. We travel a lot more now and the bigger tanks worry us some while we are gone and possibly putting the clean up burden on the friend who feeds our cat and the fish. When I sold my last 90g tank I thought I was done. But I had a few tiny frags and a pricey RFA that I put in a 5g holding tank. That's when I decided to give the smaller size tanks a try. The 17g tank has been running for months and even the sps corals seem to be doing well.

Now I'm just finishing the process of setting up a 40g breeder tank with a Fuji aio insert. It's probably a temporary tank. I've recently stripped down an old 40g rimless cube I built several years ago and re-assembled it. Now I'm working on what I want in a bigger aio insert for this tank so I can have better filtration (like a 4" filter sock) and can also fit the Tunze in-tank skimmer inside. I'd also want more flow from a bigger pump (the 40g breeder insert from Fuji came with a cheap little 500gph pump). I'd like at least a well made 800 to 1200gph pump with flow control so I'll have less need for wave makers in the visible part of the tank.

All this explanation is just to say, I don't intend to run any chemical filtration. I'll have a spot for it in the aio insert, but it won't get used unless some water parameter gets out of control.
 
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LuisJr80

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What kind of mechanical filtration does the bio-cube have now? BTW, what brand is it and how big is it? Do you have the room to add a layer of felt filter sock type material in with your other media?

I've been running a 17g tank I built myself with just a big HOB filtration system. But I added a lot to the stock filtration that Seachem offered. Besides their sponge media, I added 3 other sponge type filters and cut up some old filter socks and did 3 layers of that between the sponge layers. Now I have to clean it every week and I don't even have any fish in the tank. But I have zoas, lps and sps corals, a couple of Rock Flower Anemones and lots of CUC (Clean Up Crew). That includes lots of Astrea snails, Nerite snails, Cerith snails, a couple Emerald crabs, a couple of serpent stars, a couple of small sea cucumbers and a few others like limpets and clams (not the big pretty ones).

Carbon can help keep your water a bit more clear, but I don't find my water being very discolored. I even have a Tunze in-tank skimmer that I have used in my small, temporary holding tanks in the past. But I haven't been using it in this 17g tank.

I've been seriously considering getting out of the hobby after 20+ years. We travel a lot more now and the bigger tanks worry us some while we are gone and possibly putting the clean up burden on the friend who feeds our cat and the fish. When I sold my last 90g tank I thought I was done. But I had a few tiny frags and a pricey RFA that I put in a 5g holding tank. That's when I decided to give the smaller size tanks a try. The 17g tank has been running for months and even the sps corals seem to be doing well.

Now I'm just finishing the process of setting up a 40g breeder tank with a Fuji aio insert. It's probably a temporary tank. I've recently stripped down an old 40g rimless cube I built several years ago and re-assembled it. Now I'm working on what I want in a bigger aio insert for this tank so I can have better filtration (like a 4" filter sock) and can also fit the Tunze in-tank skimmer inside. I'd also want more flow from a bigger pump (the 40g breeder insert from Fuji came with a cheap little 500gph pump). I'd like at least a well made 800 to 1200gph pump with flow control so I'll have less need for wave makers in the visible part of the tank.

All this explanation is just to say, I don't intend to run any chemical filtration. I'll have a spot for it in the aio insert, but it won't get used unless some water parameter gets out of control.

The only mechanical it comes with is a small 4x4 sponge that sits in third chamber floor collecting any substrates from the second chamber, which is the filter chamber. The Biocube came with a Coralife filter Carbon cartridge that is suppose to go in chamber one but I remove the false bottom and added my heater there.

I also have an InTank Media basket so have yes I have room to add additional medía. The top basket would eventually have filter floss but the other two baskets are open. I wanted to use one of the basket space for my carbon leaving one basket space open.
 

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Ammonia and Nitrate are removed (processed) by 2 different bacteria. The ammonia removing bacteria will convert ammonia to nitrate. Then it will take some time before the Nitrate processing bacteria will develop.

It sounds to me like you are good to go. Just be sure to add new life to the tank SLOWLY!!! That is, only 1 or 2 fish at a time and then watch ammonia and nitrates again. Others like CUC can be added faster.


+ it takes longer for the nitrite to be converted to nitrate
 
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LuisJr80

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Yeah that's fine. Fish can tolerate some nitrite without issue so as long as ammonia is rapidly removed, its ok.
Awesome! First fish this weekend. Need to do a water change right before to drop Nitrates. Exciting after 3 weeks of cycling. Need to drop the water temp though as right now it’s in the 82-84 degrees range. What a good temp range 76-78 degrees?
 

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Good luck with the fish. I'm sure you are OK now. Just start checking nirates now .

I won't be around much over the next few days as we are helping friends gear up for Hurricane Ian. I just hope Mother Nature pushes it a bit further west. Some models have it aimed right at our house! o_O:face-with-spiral-eyes::cool:
 
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