How do you cycle a reef tank?

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ReefStache

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Share your reef tank cycle tips in the comments.

I chose to cycle with AlgaeBarn’s Nitrocycle, PNS Substrate Suace by Hydrospace LLC and Fritz’s Turbo Start 900.

I also added CaribSea Fiji Pink Aragonite Live Sand and MarinePure Ceramic Cubes for more surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize. I think this is hugely important when using a negative space aquascape (NSA) where surface area can be minimal in the display.

 
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ReefStache

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Dr Tim’s ammonia, bottled bacteria and patience. It took me about 21 days starting from scratch, wit dry rock.
I used Dr Tim’s products a couple of years ago on my last cycle. Worked great. He also has a wealth of information on the subject. Hard to search the subject and not find something from him. 100!
 

Idech

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I used Dr Tim’s products a couple of years ago on my last cycle. Worked great. He also has a wealth of information on the subject. Hard to search the subject and not find something from him. 100!
I’ve only been using it for about a year. I’ve done 3 cycles with it and all three were really easy.

Before I was doing fish in cycles, but never again !
 

flourishofmediocrity

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Great video... I'm curious about the PNS, Dr. Tim said in an interview with reefbum that if you put it in your aquarium it will help the life there, but he didn't think it would replicate. Are you planning on getting a microbiome test later to see if it's been established?
 
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Great video... I'm curious about the PNS, Dr. Tim said in an interview with reefbum that if you put it in your aquarium it will help the life there, but he didn't think it would replicate. Are you planning on getting a microbiome test later to see if it's been established?
Thank you!! I hadn’t thought of that. Great suggestion, can you point me in the right direction of obtaining that sort of test?
 

flourishofmediocrity

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Thank you!! I hadn’t thought of that. Great suggestion, can you point me in the right direction of obtaining that sort of test?
I don't have any experience personally with testing micro biome in a marine aquarium yet, but one of the companies I have heard of recently is aquabiomics, Devon from ReefDudes recently interviewed Eli:

 

Devaji

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I am a big fan of turbo start 900 and Dr. ammonia has I have it on hand. cycled my nano really fast. a bit spendy for larger tanks for the on RS 650P I went with brightwell start xxl or something like that. work pretty good not as fast and turbo start but was 3o--4o-% of the price. so a extra week was worth it. as I was in no rush.

I am a big fan of micro bio and excited the the hobby is looking in to it. always been a fan of LR/LS and NSW but had to come by these days.
 
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ISFNick

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For my nano LPS tank I’m gonna do a 3-month cycle to stabilize the parameters before adding corals and prevent excessive algae outbreaks. I’m gonna seed the tank with Bio-Spira and Algaebarn Copepods and use mysis shrimp as an ammonia source, since that will generally get fed to the tank anyway. A month or so later I’ll add a pair of small clowns and my cleanup crew. Maybe a tail spot blenny as well. I’ll feed the tank and perform regular maintenance, with the LIGHTS OFF. This will help prevent algae outbreaks. The pods will also help manage micro algae. A month after that I’ll turn my light on with acclimation mode, for another month. After the third month, I’ll add test corals. After the fourth month, if the test corals are doing well, I’ll periodically add coral to the tank!
 
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For my nano LPS tank I’m gonna do a 3-month cycle to stabilize the parameters before adding corals and prevent excessive algae outbreaks. I’m gonna seed the tank with Bio-Spira and Algaebarn Copepods and use mysis shrimp as an ammonia source, since that will generally get fed to the tank anyway. A month or so later I’ll add a pair of small clowns and my cleanup crew. Maybe a tail spot blenny as well. I’ll feed the tank and perform regular maintenance, with the LIGHTS OFF. This will help prevent algae outbreaks. The pods will also help manage micro algae. A month after that I’ll turn my light on with acclimation mode, for another month. After the third month, I’ll add test corals. After the fourth month, if the test corals are doing well, I’ll periodically add coral to the tank!
This is the type of old school cycle I grew up on. Get some ammonia in the tank and let it ride for 3 months. Personally I feel this is still the best all around way to set up a stable reef tank for success.

Thanks for commenting. :)
 
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homer1475

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Same way I've done it for 20+ years.

Throw in some sand, live or dead rock, salt water, piece of shrimp/fish/some organic material to rot, or straight ammonia, and wait.

Everyone wants to rush things now a days, welcome to the new world where everything is disposable, and needed in an instant!

Reefing is a very long lesson in patience, and the first lesson starts with cycling. Sure you can rush it, and it works, but it does not teach you the patience needed for reefing.

Yes I'm an old school reefer, but nothing, and I mean nothing can be added to a tank that will replace good old fashion time and patience(maturing).
 
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Same way I've done it for 20+ years.

Throw in some sand, live or dead rock, salt water, piece of shrimp/fish/some organic material to rot, or straight ammonia, and wait.

Everyone wants to rush things now a days, welcome to the new world where everything is disposable, and needed in an instant!

Reefing is a very long lesson in patience, and the first lesson starts with cycling. Sure you can rush it, and it works, but it does not teach you the patience needed for reefing.

Yes I'm an old school reefer, but nothing, and I mean nothing can be added to a tank that will replace good old fashion time and patience(maturing).
Agree with you mostly. I’m also an old school reefer and have cycled many tanks over the years same as you with the classic add ammonia and waiting it out 3 months.

On this build I thought I’d give the “new school” way of cycling a tank a try and it’s working just fine.

There are many ways to do the same thing in this hobby and I think the most important is research and understanding options - how they work and why you would choose one option over another. A reefer can then make the best decision on their current system and scenario.
 

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Great video... I'm curious about the PNS, Dr. Tim said in an interview with reefbum that if you put it in your aquarium it will help the life there, but he didn't think it would replicate. Are you planning on getting a microbiome test later to see if it's been established?
@Kenneth Wingerter
 
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