Help With Cycle

ClownFish664

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Hello,

I have 2 clowns currently in my new reef tank (3 days old right now). I am using the ATm coloney method for cycling the tank. I have done a water test today that shows 1.2 ammonia, no nitrites but 0.2 ntrates.

Is this right? As I am concerned the amonia is going to cause harm?

Any help or advice is much appricated. ATM advise not to feed or do a water change for 4 days.
 

Zer0

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If I’m being honest, cycling the tank with live animals in it is bad enough, but not feeding your fish for 4 days? What exactly is this method? Throw some fish in a tank and pray to god they don’t croak?
 

Azedenkae

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If I’m being honest, cycling the tank with live animals in it is bad enough, but not feeding your fish for 4 days? What exactly is this method? Throw some fish in a tank and pray to god they don’t croak?
In a nutshell, instant cycling with nitrifying microbes.
 

Azedenkae

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Hello,

I have 2 clowns currently in my new reef tank (3 days old right now). I am using the ATm coloney method for cycling the tank. I have done a water test today that shows 1.2 ammonia, no nitrites but 0.2 ntrates.

Is this right? As I am concerned the amonia is going to cause harm?

Any help or advice is much appricated. ATM advise not to feed or do a water change for 4 days.
Presence of nitrates, no matter how low, indicates there is oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate, so that's a good thing (presuming no other sources of nitrate). Kinda slow though, gotta say. Ammonia can harm your fish, yes. It is suggested to keep ammonia below 0.57ppm: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10499-015-9965-9, though bare in mind the relationship between ammonia and ammonium in saltwater: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-02/rhf/index.php.

Really there is not a need for fish-in cycling anymore as it just causes potential headaches, but anyways moving on past that, to be safe you can dose something like Prime to ensure that ammonia is de-toxified, especially if nitrification rates is not as high as we are hoping for and ammonia really starts climbing up.
 
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ClownFish664

ClownFish664

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Presence of nitrates, no matter how low, indicates there is oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate, so that's a good thing (presuming no other sources of nitrate). Kinda slow though, gotta say. Ammonia can harm your fish, yes. It is suggested to keep ammonia below 0.57ppm: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10499-015-9965-9, though bare in mind the relationship between ammonia and ammonium in saltwater: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-02/rhf/index.php.

Really there is not a need for fish-in cycling anymore as it just causes potential headaches, but anyways moving on past that, to be safe you can dose something like Prime to ensure that ammonia is de-toxified, especially if nitrification rates is not as high as we are hoping for and ammonia really starts climbing up.
Thank you. I was advised to cycle with them. I was never offered the fishless cycle as I was advised marine differed to freshwater in that sense which I thought was odd. I will be dosing something like seachem AMgaurd I think. Do you think I should perform a water change with addition of more bacteria after that?
 
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Azedenkae

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Thank you. I was advised to cycle with them. I was never offered the fishless cycle as I was advised marine differed to freshwater in that sense which I thought was odd. I will be dosing something like seachem AMgaurd I think. Do you think I should perform a water change with addition of more bacteria after that?
If you are dosing AMguard and ammonia has stabilized, I don't think you need to do a water change. Dosing bacteria won't harm anything.

Ammonia and nitrite and stuff can work differently in marine aquariums, but that by no means fishless cycling is still not the better option. To be frank, I don't care if someone does fish-in cycling in freshwater or saltwater aquariums, that's up to them. I just find it more of a pain, that's why I personally prefer fishless cycling is all. I don't have the same sense of ethics as a lot of people in the hobby.

So specifics time.

When we measure ammonia, most of the time we measure 'total ammonia', which comprises of both ammonia and ammonium. In saltwater, the balance of both is dependent on pH. At lower pH, there is less ammonia and more ammonium. As pH increases, more ammonia starts to exist. Here, have a look at this: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-02/rhf/index.php. So if someone says ammonia is not to be worried about in marine aquariums for example, or it is a minor issue... that has *potential* to be true, but 1. at higher pH levels that some of our tanks are at, ammonia can start existing at levels that can cause harm, and 2. it is unclear if ammonium is truly 'harmless' either. This I am just parroting from what I read based on what @Randy Holmes-Farley wrote, so might just want to read the article directly just in case I got something wrong. :p

As for nitrite, a lot of people say to not worry about it because nitrite is non-lethal for marine fish. This is largely true and for the most part, one can think of it as that to simply things. But to be 100% accurate, nitrite CAN be lethal to marine fish, just at very high concentrations: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-06/rhf/index.php.

And of course, ammonia and nitrite can cause disease at lower concentrations, as in my last reply.

So it is true that marine and freshwater systems are different, but 1. not broadly so with ammonia, and thus 2. fishless cycling is probably still preferable.

Though now I am curious. Did the LFS say why marine differed from freshwater?
 

jiffyjhn

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I have just cycled a 32G aio with a couple of clownfish added on day 1. In my previous tanks I've always done fish-less cycle. I think if you are able to test frequently and react in time, the fish need not suffer in a fish-in cycle.

This is how I cycled. I only used the Fluval cycle bacteria booster

day 1: put in sand(special grade live), aquascape(dry rock) and salt water. Wait for water to clear and add fish. Add 60 ml(or 20ml for each 10 gallons water) bacteria booster
day 2-day 3 : add 60 ml bacteria booster
day 4 onwards: add 30 ml bacteria booster each day until nitrite disappears

water changes: 15% every 3 days since day 3(or when you first detect ammonia levels), this will export some ammonia but isn't enough to disrupt the cycle

feeding: light feeding once a day

lights: off

I tested the water twice each day. throughout the cycle:

- ammonia never exceeded 0.50ppm
- nitrite never exceeded 0.25 ppm
-nitrate never exceeded 20ppm
- ph: 8.0-8.2

Fish never appeared to be stressed

note I also have another mature tank as a backup that I could move the fish to temporarily if cycling parameters get out of hand.

After Nitrite and Ammonia is 0, cycle is complete. Do 40% water change, and keep light off for couple weeks - 1 month before adding corals. This will prevent algae from getting out of hand. do regular 10% weekly water changes.

Before turning on the light and adding corals, add some: https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/microbacter-clean-brightwell-aquatics.html. To fight potential algae growth
 
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