How long was your fishless cycle?

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How long did it take to cycle your tank?


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bleuchzsteve

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I'm cycling my first tank and am just wondering how long it took everyone else. I have dry rock and live sand, but the question applies to any situation (dry rock, live rock, dry sand, live sand, bare bottom, ect.)
 

Jay Hemdal

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I'm cycling my first tank and am just wondering how long it took everyone else. I have dry rock and live sand, but the question applies to any situation (dry rock, live rock, dry sand, live sand, bare bottom, ect.)
It depends on how well you prime the bacterial population - either bacteria in a bottle, or subculturing from an established tank.
The bacterial population grows exponentially, but like all of these curves, it starts slow. If you add enough bacteria to get the population to the truly exponential phase, it can go very quickly.
Remember though, cycling the tank for nitrifiers is just one part of the
Microbiome of an aquarium - there are other microfauna that takes time to grow; algae, other bacteria, etc.
Jay
 

Pvtgloss

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I'm 4 months in on my first tank. I used live sand, life rock, turbo start bacteria and fritz ammonia. My levels dropped in two weeks but I added ammonia a few times on the third week to see how fast it dropped. When 2ppm ammonia dropped in 24hrs I felt comfortable at calling it "cycled". I'm a straight newbie, so I'm not even sure if that's the correct approach.
 
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bleuchzsteve

bleuchzsteve

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I'm 4 months in on my first tank. I used live sand, life rock, turbo start bacteria and fritz ammonia. My levels dropped in two weeks but I added ammonia a few times on the third week to see how fast it dropped. When 2ppm ammonia dropped in 24hrs I felt comfortable at calling it "cycled". I'm a straight newbie, so I'm not even sure if that's the correct approach.
Sounds like you did it the right way, im also new so I could be wrong too lol. what kind of fish/coral do you have so far?
 

Pvtgloss

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Sounds like you did it the right way, im also new so I could be wrong too lol. what kind of fish/coral do you have so far?
2 mocha clowns, royal gamma, ywg & pistol pir and a cleaner shrimp.
4 zoa frags, sinularia and a toadstool.
I'm waiting to get into LPS until I get my tridant.
 

Freddy0144

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So my cycle was between 1-2 weeks, I used two shrimp in the tank (dead human grade food) put them in a mesh bag and let them sit in the display. I was also dosing Microbacter-7 during this time. The rock was dry, and had been dosing with MB7 for about a week before going in the tank, but was allowed to dry while I glues the aquascape ( I am not counting this time with MB7). I put a Seneye in the sump and watched the cycle through that, it took a couple of days for things to get started and once the ammonia began to rise it peaked within 2 days and then was back down to .001 two days after peek. (I was out of town during this time.) upon returning home we tested the water, validated my tests with the LFS and added some fish and shrimp. So far everybody is happy and healthy.
 

90's reefer

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No cycle was not an opption.
My 20g nano cube is 4 months old.
I started with live rock from my two other systems after one week.
All frags came from my other systems and I started glueing them to onto the surface.
20g 18" nano cube.
20220609_194639.jpg
20220609_194644.jpg
 
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Freddy0144

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No cycle was not an opption.
My 20g nano cube is 4 months old.
I started with live rock from my two other systems afte one week.
All frags came from my other systems and I started glueing them to onto the surface.
20g 18" nano cube.
20220609_194639.jpg
20220609_194644.jpg
Lots of recent info around insta tanks when you get to used rock that have come from a mature tank. Most that I have read or watched have had very positive results.
 
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bleuchzsteve

bleuchzsteve

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So I’m on day 7 and these are my tests, from everything I’ve gathered I just need to remain patient and let the process happen, right? Lights were on only for photo. I am using dr Tim’s and have live sand and dry rock

3DDF33BC-22FF-40A3-A726-6BE09A52A2A5.jpeg C30994D4-4B9A-4FBF-81B2-C32F33588870.jpeg
 

IslandLifeReef

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So I’m on day 7 and these are my tests, from everything I’ve gathered I just need to remain patient and let the process happen, right? Lights were on only for photo. I am using dr Tim’s and have live sand and dry rock

3DDF33BC-22FF-40A3-A726-6BE09A52A2A5.jpeg C30994D4-4B9A-4FBF-81B2-C32F33588870.jpeg
Did you use DrTim’s bacteria or ammonia or both. If you used the bacteria, did you use the whole bottle? After seven days, I would expect to see a drop if the bacteria was good.
 
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bleuchzsteve

bleuchzsteve

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Only thing I can think of is I added a small amount of additional live sand 2 days ago. It seems like nitrites are going up slowly, maybe the ammonia level is seeming unchanged for a minute if the love sand causes any ammonia spike ?
 

Erin1971Texas

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Don't add any more ammonia (or fish food, dead shrimp, etc) for a few days and see if that ammonia goes down. Measure your nitrATES at that point as well.
I know a lot of people use the (relatively) new Dr. Tim's method of adding a lot of ammonia along with the bacteria... I personally never used bottled ammonia but did "ghost feed", and that worked well for me. Seems like adding the ammonia drops can cause problems if the drops are too large and the system ends up with too much ammonia.

Regardless, you're on the right track and will soon be onto the "I'm so tired of algae" stage ;)
 

Erin1971Texas

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Only thing I can think of is I added a small amount of additional live sand 2 days ago. It seems like nitrites are going up slowly, maybe the ammonia level is seeming unchanged for a minute if the love sand causes any ammonia spike ?
This is certainly a possibility. The sand *shouldn't* cause a spike, but depending on the actual amount of live bacteria in the bag vs. any dead bacteria, this might have been the result.
 

Biokabe

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When I started my first tank, it was pretty much instantaneous. I still waited about 3 months to put anything in, but based on my results, I think the tank was ready to its first inhabitants within the week, possibly sooner. This was 14 years ago, so I actually had access to bona fide live rock through my LFS, which they kept constantly curing. Went home, put it in the tank... saw a brief ammonia spike on day 3, saw a momentary nitrite spike on day 4, and then I never saw anything else despite adding in ammonia sources. I was a newbie at the time, so I didn't believe the cycle had actually completed and was convinced there was something wrong with it... so I waited several months before I added in my CUC.

On subsequent tanks that I've started, it hasn't been quite as fast, but it has been similar - I've always used a piece of rock from the previous tank to jumpstart things in the new tank.
 
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