How to unstick any seemingly stuck cycle

OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
Mine are just in response to growths on the tank walls, nutrient buildups any customized timing you had set can begin. Another way some folks gauge degree of water change is however much changewater it takes to siphon clean a section of the sandbed for example, cleaning a certain area then next time clean the other all possible approaches
 
RAP

OliverE

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
4
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Australia
@OliverE

hey I’d missed your post until Cell replied, agreed fully. Adding absolutely nothing other than water since April will fully cycle any substrates/rock in contact that long, and I’ve never met a lfs nor an lfs employee who would attest to that dynamic. Not by sheer will to mislead, but by training. Not any cycling reference made discussed wait time cycling. I’ve truly seen Dr Tim mention it a few times in works but not to the degree that nitrite stalling is mentioned, canonized in fact


once we add in non digital testing there’s no hope of completing cycles using the common method. There will always be a perceived problem that needs a purchase
Out of interest, does nitrite not factoring in for cycling apply also for corals, or is it purely for ‘livestock’, such as fish and inverts?
 
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
For everything :) I have not found any situation in where it matters.

Corals, fish, inverts, ammonia control, gastropods and clean up crew, all unimpacted
 
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
I have a twofold response to that

1. Who is in such a rush they need to input an anemone when cycling
2. this guy


that’s literally an anemone in a one day cycling tank with extended update. nitrite takes about thirty days or more to stabilize, so that’s an anemone among nitrite.


if this was freshwater cycling, nitrite would be hammering all our tanks. Lucky side effect of dwelling in saltwater: chloride channel blocking

what became the real challenge for him in that first year- disease prep. The cycle was as good as done (able to control ammonia) when he added the bottle bac. This is why disease prep is more important than concerning over cycle parameters —from page one post #1 disease preps should take our highest focus.




very easy one there. Look at the new diatoms forming...that only happens after the full cycle is set in, and it cannot happen before the full cycle has set in.
 
Last edited:

OliverE

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
4
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Australia
I have a twofold response to that

1. Who is in such a rush they need to input an anemone when cycling
2. this guy


that’s literally an anemone in a one day cycling tank with extended update. nitrite takes about thirty days or more to stabilize, so that’s an anemone among nitrite.


if this was freshwater cycling, nitrite would be hammering all our tanks. Lucky side effect of dwelling in saltwater: chloride channel blocking

what became the real challenge for him in that first year- disease prep. The cycle was as good as done (able to control ammonia) when he added the bottle bac. This is why disease prep is more important than concerning over cycle parameters —from page one post #1 disease preps should take our highest focus.
Fair enough response. I’ll certainly keep disease prep in mind when I add my livestock!
 

wrz0170

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
94
Reaction score
78
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Reno
Hi Brandon

I humbly submit my new tank for the good of the thread and analysis.
Biocube 32 (25.6 water volume). Dry rock, live substrate. Seachem Matrix in media basket. No other filtering. Lights off. Using Red Sea Master kit for ammonia and nitrites.

Cycle so far:
Day 1 -07/13/21 - added Dr Tim’s One and Only and 2ppm Ammonia. 100 drops
Day 2 - 2.4 NH3, .05 Nitrite
Day 3 - 2.4 NH3, .05 Nitrite
Day 4 - 2.0 NH3, .1 Nitrite
Day 5 - 2.0 NH3, .5 Nitrite
Day 6- 1.6 NH3, Did not test Nitrite. Added 2ppm of ammonia for my water volume
Day 7 - 2.4 NH3, .5 Nitrite. Added bottle of Bio-Spira.
Day 8 - 1.2 NH3, Nitrites off the color chart. (As of this posting).

I suspect for Day 9 that ammonia will remain at 1.2 or drop to 1.0. Speculating of course.

Water is crystal clear with no off smells.

61D03786-849E-4B3A-B102-73BCCAF0D8C2.jpeg
 
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
Wonderful really and thank you for posting! Even before the biospira, see that ammonia trending down darn near completing on day ten, or at least heading for it, like a cycling chart

That's the gold standard we use. *that it seemed to bump or raise back up shortly (possibly prompting the new bottle bac added) is right where updated cycling science differs from old cycling science. That's the interval where non digital test kits wouldn't agree with a tuned seneye. Nh3 never raises given a week and a trending down

Add to that many folks put fish in with Dr Tims, day 1, and we track that on seneye to hold safely while all along api would indicate all kinds of panic, and red sea too may not agree.

I'm certain you can begin reefing now. The reason it wouldn't have burned fish to start with them is they output trace ammonia, and you can see from day one on even massive bulk ammonia added was trending down. Your start date allowed was day one

If that was a destined macna reef we'd cart it over day one, bottle bac it, add what we wanted, then skip cycle transfer it all home after convention ends and it would never uncycle. The cycle above was never stuck, test kits designed to monitor trace ammonia were doing their best to track out large dose ammonia was all that happened

You don't have to do the big water change if you don't want. If you do it's less algae fuel
 

Jrink

New Member
View Badges
Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
3
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Calgary
This thread is very interesting and for a noob like me, kinda puzzling at the same time as it seems to contradict what most of the long term reefers typically preach. I've read many threads on cycles taking weeks and weeks and we can't rush these things. But this thread gives me hope that my seemingly stuck cycle isn't stuck and is not going to take weeks to complete... I hope.
I am on Day 10 of my Dr Tim's fishless cycle, (100 gallon system 40lbs dry sand, 40lbs dry rock and a couple little sacks of bio-balls for fun) and this is where I am now, and where I have been along the way..

Day 1: Add ammonia per directions on bottle
Day 2: Ammonia .5ppm; Nitrites 2.0ppm; Nitrates untested
Day 3: Add ammonia per directions on bottle
Day 4: Ammonia 1.5ppm; Nitrite .5ppm; Nitrate untested
Day 5: Ammonia 1.5ppm; Nitrite .5ppm; Nitrate 10ppm
Day 6: Add ammonia per directions on bottle
Day 7: Ammonia 1.5ppm; Nitrite .25ppm; Nitrate 10ppm
Day 8: Ammonia 1.5ppm; Nitrite .2ppm; Nitrate 10ppm
Day 9: Ammonia 1.5ppm; Nitrite .2ppm; Nitrate 10ppm (did not add fish as ammonia present per tests)
Day 10: Ammonia 1.5ppm; Nitrite .5ppm; Nitrate 10ppm
I used Salifert tests for all.

So from what I understand if I am detecting Nitrate, I can assume that ammonia has been processed? For what it's worth I've read that we shouldn't disrupt our substrate during the cycle as that's where our bacteria lives and I admit that while experimenting with my powerheads, my sand drifted all over the place and I straightened it out a couple times. But I don't understand how that would make any difference at all.

Water is not giving off any noticeable smell, and I haven't run my lights and there is no sign of any algae yet.

I have mixed up enough water for a 30% water change and plan on doing that tonight. I will test tomorrow and with your advisement, could purchase a couple clown fish if you think my tank is ready for them.

Thanks in advance!
 
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
really thank you for stopping by and agreed this info is very backwards for sure but its results based


so the way I'd assess your cycle is twofold, one portion is that most folks wouldnt even have waited to add fish they'd have done it on day 1 with Dr. Tims, so you've waited ten days and given that extra feed time, plus nice dilution.


better dilution than most, in fact.

And we've also never seen a single instance where after adding bottle bac and fish day one, the fish dart around dying/near death and obviously burned. What they do is swim normally and feed, for months, these bottle bac mixes work



secondarily this approach has already been tested on more than one seneye machine, fish-in cycling + bottle bac, and every single time even in less dilution than yours the ammonia is controlled and matches the display characters of happy fish, clean water. we hardly ever see api coincide with those seneye readings and the peace of mind of seeing nh3 at a calibrated/digital level. the colors you're interpreting mislead the cycle, if we were all dealing in digital equipment and precision the old cycling rules would line up better than they seem to.

The nitrate can be false elevated nitrite readings, its why for all the pages we've only considered ammonia and not the other two-too many cross interferences happen when trying to track all three params on non digital gear.


the main reason I think you are cycled is you met the # of days an ammonia line on a cycling chart shows to require control, plus you boosted that with feed and one day bacteria from a bottle a while back. the reported test levels above dont factor much in the assessment but we dont approach it flippantly/disregard its because you have other supporting details in your description beyond just the api levels.
 
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
jackalexander on page one has a proof thread where his ammonia held at 6 ppm or so for days, higher than yours seems to hold above. he then changed water and began as our first work link. yours w work the same, change as much water as you can and the system will certainly carry bioload ethically, you dont have to add bac again after the water change, its had enough bottle bacteria now for good.

it looks odd agreed to ignore ammonia levels directly reported on the api but that's why we had to lead with his example, they're ghost stalls all of them. with new water on top the worst-case scenarios all work fine.
 
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
Team

case study this thread.



do you see how he meets submersion timeframes, has been feeding, and is ready, but none of the chemists agree? the tendency when talking parameter measure is to accept any stated reading as accurate

They’re directly stating nitrite matters, an implied consequence will be a stall and fish death for not factoring nitrite.


fifteen + pages with total success, everyone gets a specific start date here and we want their accounted feedback.

watch for this pattern in today’s common cycle assessment posts: nobody is relaying disease info they just hyper focus on zero ammonia, zero nitrite, and some nitrate, heels dug in firmly. Disease is the established known risk to cycling fish, we don’t have a single example of a bad cycle loss on file.


Right here where every reef can feed back months later, and every reef gets a specific start date, we discussed disease models as the first read in our thread because that’s where the real risk lies, it’s never in cycle completion.

we have shown any common cycling arrangement completes just fine, and if we cease using testing in this thread for the next fifteen pages the results will still be the same, we are using objective vs subjective measures.

What people post on api has no sway in our assessments, that’s where the timeliness comes from.
 
Last edited:
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas


the LFS was stumped here because every LFS I've ever known uses old cycling science vs new.

100% of Fritz-dosed cycles 4 weeks in duration wait are done, and can't be stalled, so this is added to our collection of false stuck cycles.


all reefs here get a specific start date where they can carry bioload ethically. His start date was at the same time he added fritz, its instant-cycle bac. tops rated in fact. the other 3.9 weeks wait were due to training that causes doubt and repurchase in retail-taught cyclers. that false training continues today anywhere we are instructed to earn total nitrite compliance before proceeding in any cycle analysis or where instructions tell us the cycling chart timeline for ammonia control won't apply to a given boosted cycle.
 
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
**Remote Forum Cycle Troubleshoot**

team watch this one develop. seeing how updated cycling science plays out in other forums where it seems to be outlandish.







And to keep on track with our thread, timely start dates for pages etc

I would set this reef's start date on day ten, our common fallback wait time from a chart, after he inputs the bottle bac and feed. We have the first link on post #1 to chart out how a water change unsticks any seemingly stuck cycle.

So his tank is at day 21, and has two different doses of bottle bac, massive amounts of ammonia and feed this whole time, and his ammonia moved to clean zero even before TAN conversion.
 
Last edited:
RAP
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
Unstuck a quarantine cycle with one big water change

 
Last edited:

JCCook07

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tulsa
Brandon this is a great thread for beginners like myself trying to figure out the do's and don'ts of cycling a reef tank. I am on day 10, I've added quite a bit of bottled bacteria in an attempt to get the nitrites down to a manageable level. I am able to drop ammonia levels quickly in my tank. I have a 13.5 fluval tank.

I started by adding fritz ammonium chloride into the tank along with fritz 9 bottled bacteria. I miscalculated the dose and pegged the ammonia at 8+ ppm. That stuff is powerful in small amounts. In fear of stalling out/killing my ammonia bacteria I let it sit for a couple days and then did a 50% water change. Brought it down to 4 ppm ammonia. It has since dropped to .2 ppm ammonia. Nitrites on the api test kit depending on the light are 1ppm to 2ppm. Nitrates are roughly 40-80 ppm.

I added 1oz fritz turbo start yesterday with roughly .5 to 1ppm ammonia.

I was thinking of doing a 90-100% water-change based on the information here, testing parameters, and then adding a couple of hermit crabs today to see how they do.
IMG_6735.jpeg
IMG_6734.jpeg
IMG_6733.jpeg
 
OP
brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
20,453
Reaction score
16,852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
your tank looks great that’s laser clear pics and multi dosed bac

regarding eight ppm initial dose we have that same instance as the first post in the thread, variances away from the norm are expected in initial setups this tank above is ready. Your plan above is 100% certain to work, post updates when you have bioload


after selecting a clear and concise fish disease stocking plan and order
 
Last edited:

JCCook07

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tulsa
Curious to know what your disease prevention approach will be

I guess I didn't have much of a disease plan, I don't have a way to quarantine fish, this is my only tank. I completed a ~90-95% water change on the tank, checked my parameters. I came out with 0 ammonia, ~.5 nitrite, and between 0 and 5ppm nitrate.

I added two hermits and a green chromis to see how they get along. The chromis was hiding in the rocks at first but I dropped 2 small flakes of food on him and he is darting around the tank now. Hermit crabs are active and moving around quite a bit.
 

How long does it take to you to get an inch of acropora growth? (on average)

  • A couple of weeks or less

    Votes: 3 1.3%
  • Up to 1 month

    Votes: 14 6.2%
  • Up to 2 months

    Votes: 22 9.7%
  • Up to 3 months

    Votes: 38 16.8%
  • Up to 6 months

    Votes: 51 22.6%
  • Up to 12 months

    Votes: 17 7.5%
  • 12+ Months

    Votes: 7 3.1%
  • I can't grow acropora

    Votes: 64 28.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 4.4%
AF
Top