Having problems cycling with instant ocean bio spira

leo12345

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I’m new to saltwater fish tanks and I’ve been trying to do a fishless cycle on my tank for about 2 weeks now and I dosed with instant ocean bio spira (which was supposed to cycle instantly) and dr Tim’s ammonia in a 29 gallon, my nitrites ph and spiked for a while but are ok now but my ammonia is at .5ppm and my nitrates have been at 10 ppm for 2 weeks now and it won’t go down. I’ve added more bio spira and did a 25% water change but nothing seems to work, do I have to add more chemicals or something, or is this normal and I just need to just let it do it’s thing. Any advice would be great. I’ve also been using a api master test kit to test the parameters.
 

Dbichler

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Nitrates are not going to go down they are the end result of nitrogen cycle. Ammonia at .5 is slightly concerning at 2 weeks should be 0 by now with biospira 2 weeks ago. May be testing error api is notorious for that though. Leave it be another week and then do a large water change and begin. Are you using rodi water that’s the most important piece of equipment in the hobby imo.
 
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leo12345

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Nitrates are not going to go down they are the end result of nitrogen cycle. Ammonia at .5 is slightly concerning at 2 weeks should be 0 by now with biospira 2 weeks ago. May be testing error api is notorious for that though. Leave it be another week and then do a large water change and begin. Are you using rodi water that’s the most important piece of equipment in the hobby imo.
Hi! Thanks for responding and yes I have been using rodi water that I make myself with a ro buddy and there’s a chance my nitrates may be at 0 but it’s a little hard for me to tell since the shades are so close but my ammonia is definitely somewhere between .5 and .25ppm
 
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Tamberav

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I see some diatoms I think

I think the instant cycling claim is more for smaller amounts of ammonia a fish may add more so than dosing.

Since you got nitrates, it is processing ammonia.

I tend to errr on side of caution so I would probably just wait another week and not dose more ammonia and just see if it drops on its own. Sometimes test kits are wonky but I have never felt like I needed to rush. It gives a little more time for more diatoms and such to show up so your clean up crew have food anyways.
 
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leo12345

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I see some diatoms I think

I think the instant cycling claim is more for smaller amounts of ammonia a fish may add more so than dosing.

Since you got nitrates, it is processing ammonia.

I tend to errr on side of caution so I would probably just wait another week and not dose more ammonia and just see if it drops on its own. Sometimes test kits are wonky but I have never felt like I needed to rush. It gives a little more time for more diatoms and such to show up so your clean up crew have food anyways.
Are diatoms a good thing or a bad thing?
 
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Tamberav

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Are diatoms a good thing or a bad thing? Also only shows up every time i dosed with more bio spira, its all on one side of the aquarium because my wave maker is kind of weak so it just pushes anything i does to the side there.

it is a normal part of a tanks process. It can get really ugly and then clear up. So if the tank turns brown, don’t freak out right away :)
 
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jrmailo

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If you still see an ammonia reading, your tank is not done cycling. What you can do to increase the speed of cycling would be to increase the temperature of the tank up to around 85F. Bacteria grow and colonize faster as you increase the temp. just make sure you do not put any life stock in when hiking the temp.
 
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brandon429

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They will live, fine, not burned, as does any fish + bottle bac cycle you can possibly find to read.


meanwhile, all the readers will state your fish are being burned though they lack any symptoms. Simultaneously, you’ll be opting out of any decent disease prevention protocol and they’re likely to get sick a few months from now unless you are really lucky or really good.


lastly, if you added those fish right now while owning a seneye nh3 kit, your ammonia would show far lower than it does now and ammonia being safe since the day you added bacteria.


since you don’t have a seneye, we can roll with the stated .5 / it’s not actually that though. What people state as a test reading never, ever factors in me assessing a bioload carry start date. I go on precedent
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Please post a full tank picture so we can see how much surface area has stewed this whole time.


the only thing that is stopping you adding fish is determining if you want a fallow and quarantine plan in place first. The pics coming up will show why I’m not concerned about your ammonia carry. There are no failed display tank cycles on week two for Fritz, biospira, and dr tims bacteria that I have ever seen since joining this site. You’d have to have the first failed cycle ive ever seen in reefing in order to not be able to carry fish within the steady nh3 range of .001-.007~ nh3. I guarantee that’s where your ammonia is currently at, but not on the test kit you own.


only your test kit was the issue the whole time. Nothing is wrong w the bac. Your tank could carry fish on day one, this is well-studied using digital ammonia testers in Dr. Reefs multiple posts and studies of biospira.
 
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leo12345

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Please post a full tank picture so we can see how much surface area has stewed this whole time.


the only thing that is stopping you adding fish is determining if you want a fallow and quarantine plan in place first. The pics coming up will show why I’m not concerned about your ammonia carry. There are no failed display tank cycles on week two for Fritz, biospira, and dr tims bacteria that I have ever seen since joining this site. You’d have to have the first failed cycle ive ever seen in reefing in order to not be able to carry fish within the steady nh3 range of .001-.007~ nh3. I guarantee that’s where your ammonia is currently at, but not on the test kit you own
 
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brandon429

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I’m absolutely certain the tank can carry life.


the decision is based on precedent for all bottle bac cycles I’ve seen since joining, known test kit disparity between api and any digital kit, how long the ammonia line takes to drop on any cycle chart (within ten days wait) and finally the amount of surface area you gave for attachment.
I also see light diatom dusting on the left in the pics, proving your wait time underwater as those take a few weeks to develop. Those are visual benthic cues that prove cycling with a tank pic, knowing no other details about the tank at all.

the non digital ammonia reports weren’t factored.


it’ll carry life after that much common surface area stewing fed, and boosted, for over two weeks.

watch out for acclimation, a guy at nano reef was opening his fish bag, rolling the top back over the bag, and floating it open topped and attached to the side of the tank with a clip. He then was taking hours to slowly add in tank water, this was causing an ammonia backup in the holding bag, not the tank. I had him just ensure the salinity was reasonably close to transport water on new fish, add them in, and they lived. Bad acclimation kills fish and gives speed cycling a bad rap. He was opting out of all disease preps, my job was to keep his fish alive on his requested start date which we did, after decent acclimation adjustment
 
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leo12345

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I’m absolutely certain the tank can carry life.


the decision is based on precedent for all bottle bac cycles I’ve seen since joining, known test kit disparity between api and any digital kit, how long the ammonia line takes to drop on any cycle chart (within ten days wait) and finally the amount of surface area you gave for attachment.


the non digital ammonia reports weren’t factored.


it’ll carry life after that much common surface area stewing fed, and boosted, for over two weeks.

watch out for acclimation, a guy at nano reef was opening his fish bag, rolling the top back over the bag, and floating it open topped and attached to the side of the tank with a clip. He then was taking hours to slowly add in tank water, this was causing an ammonia backup in the holding bag, not the tank. I had him just ensure the salinity was reasonably close to transport water on new fish, add them in, and they lived. Bad acclimation kills fish and gives speed cycling a bad rap.
I forgot to mention something that I forgot happened, when I added my ammonia and bio spira my heater was unplugged for 3 days and I didn’t notice because i went on a trip, but when i got back i fixed it and dosed a little more bio spira. would that have affected the ammonia? When i do acclimate my fish what can i do to make sure that doesn’t happen?
 
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brandon429

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no it just happened to my expensive, 16 year old nano reef full of prized corals.

while exchanging an airline last week I bumped my heater cable which I had cut and re spliced. I used crimp connectors vs solder for the reconnection. as I was crimping I remembered my grandad getting onto me in 1989 for not soldering every connection in my car and using crimpers/taking shortcuts. when I exchanged the airline I bumped a weak crimp heh and it separated the wire. my whole reef has been without heat for about 8 days so glad not winter.

my corals acted bad last week I figured the LFS just had incredibly bad water for sale and didn't want to admit it.


all that, from not listening to grandad.

the corals are back online it harmed nothing it wont harm your cycle. if in winter, it sure might have. I dont have any alarms to alert me for temp issues, it's the last thing I'd expect to happen in my reef lol.
 
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leo12345

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no it just happened to my expensive, 16 year old nano reef full of prized corals.

while exchanging an airline last week I bumped my heater cable which I had cut and re spliced. I used crimp connectors vs solder for the reconnection. as I was crimping I remembered my grandad getting onto me in 1989 for not soldering every connection in my car and using crimpers/taking shortcuts. when I exchanged the airline I bumped a weak crimp heh and it separated the wire. my whole reef has been without heat for about 8 days so glad not winter.

my corals acted bad last week I figured the LFS just had incredibly bad water for sale and didn't want to admit it.


all that, from not listening to grandad.

the corals are back online it harmed nothing it wont harm your cycle. if in winter, it sure might have. I dont have any alarms to alert me for temp issues, it's the last thing I'd expect to happen in my reef lol.
Ok, thank you for your help! One more quick question since you know your stuff. How many fish can i add at once without anything spiking? I was planning on getting 5 fish for this tank.
 
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brandon429

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That becomes a guess so opinions will vary but I think it can carry them, here's why:

If any peers find this analysis coming up uncouth and unresearched, let me know :)

after all-》we're reading me telling a new tank setup their stuff can carry five fish right now as they report .5 ammonia. The cards seem stacked against me, I'm aware

Look what one treatment of biospira can carry and how fast it carried it if we ignore the test kit and focus on the actual outcome of all this delicate life added day one, dry rock cycle, biospira, no wait time:

That's a full reef, way more than five fish, on day one, with corals anemone and inverts clean up crew. Because that thread exists and because all bottle bac quick cycles have the outcome of happy swimming fish, i think your tank can carry five fish.


when you mix acclimation variables and fish behavior/ fighting variables and disease variables (5 pet store fish bought and mixed all skipping disease prep= 2% chance you own those fish by December. High disease loss expected) outcomes change... but the bottle bac has that cycle locked up, I'm sure.
 
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brandon429

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If you want an ideal start do a big water change before you add fish that way a bunch of algae fertilizer from initial ammonia loading is gone, and your water is fresh to take on fish bioloading. The rocks won't fail to control ammonia afterwards, even though that non digital ammonia test kit is never going to agree
 
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leo12345

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If you want an ideal start do a big water change before you add fish that way a bunch of algae fertilizer from initial ammonia loading is gone, and your water is fresh to take on fish bioloading. The rocks won't fail to control ammonia afterwards, even though that non digital ammonia test kit is never going to agree
Are we talking a something like a 50% water change or more? I also wasn’t going to add all the fish at once i was going to add 2-3 fish a month (quarantine them all of course) until i have all the fish and inverts i want, do you think that is to fast and i need to spread out the time between adding fish?
 
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