Instacycle Challenge Thread Anyone?

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Yes but on one condition. There are no conditions haha. On a real note though I have a cpl projects im planning. I may or may not have to use UV but do plan on pushing some boundaries so that option can't be off the table.
Also using whats on hand as far as sodium nitrates and phosphates if and when needed.
Haha. Just picking at ya.

I never setup new dry rock tanks without dosing NaNO3. Never have to dose any form of PO4 in a young tank though. Only when bacteria is fully colonized and corals start growing well.

It does sound like a fun challenge though.

I’ve used Gulf Live Rock…and I live 20 minutes from the gulf. It’s an insta-tank for sure, but loaded full of undesirables. :)

Going back to dry rock.
 
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You can see how the PO4 behaved on my last Gulf Live Rock tank. This was after curing for a few weeks with several water changes. 0.6 was the highest it got and then bottomed out. Way sooner than dry rock usually does. Dry rock usually takes 3-6+ months.
4CA5F336-8059-4CB5-BD7C-5763F152B064.jpeg
 
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Haha. Just picking at ya.

I never setup new dry rock tanks without dosing NaNO3. Never have to dose any form of PO4 in a young tank though. Only when bacteria is fully colonized and corals start growing well.

It does sound like a fun challenge though.

I’ve used Gulf Live Rock…and I live 20 minutes from the gulf. It’s an insta-tank for sure, but loaded full of undesirables. :)

Going back to dry rock.
Awesome. I'm seriously leaning towards dry rock and new tank start ups at this point. Its way to easy to throw cured rock in a cage, keep params tight and grow an instant reef. I do think that alot of what we learn from doing insta reefs with live rock can be applied to new tank start ups and that where my focus will be:)
I know its totally morphed from the start but would be cool to see peeps do other things in here as well.
I may just do another live rock super insta reef after my dry rock journey but this time diligently record the data to compare!
 
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You can see how the PO4 behaved on my last Gulf Live Rock tank. This was after curing for a few weeks with several water changes. 0.6 was the highest it got and then bottomed out. Way sooner than dry rock usually does. Dry rock usually takes 3-6+ months.
4CA5F336-8059-4CB5-BD7C-5763F152B064.jpeg
Very interesting the gulf rock im using in my system has been put through boot camp, fully cured and functioning for a cpl years now. I'm having super hard time just keeping phosphates at detectable levels. Maybe I cleaned it up a little too much.

Are these raw numbers from rock pulled directly from ocean with no clean up and cure?
 

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Very interesting the gulf rock im using in my system has been put through boot camp, fully cured and functioning for a cpl years now. I'm having super hard time just keeping phosphates at detectable levels. Maybe I cleaned it up a little too much.

Are these raw numbers from rock pulled directly from ocean with no clean up and cure?
No, it was cured for about 2 weeks with several water changes. The numbers you saw above were the first couple of months. After that…the PO4 & NO3 bottomed out. However, I do run Ciporax which I’m sure contributed, but it takes much longer to get target numbers with dry rock.

The key to Dry Rock is making sure you cure it as long as possible beforehand. Then use bacteria through the ugly phase which is drastically reduced from the cure. Also watching nutrient levels making sure they don’t bottom out. If N&P become depleted, you’ll see Dino’s or Diatom’s pop up. If only Nitrate gets depleted you’ll often see Cyano begin to pop up. Of course there’s always exceptions to what happens with a new tank, but these are things I’ve consistently noticed with dry rock.

All these issues depend on skimming, feeding, light, water changes, etc. Not everybody runs a tank the same way. Some reefers start Carbon and GFO on day one. That tank will likely have a different result vs the tank that isn’t running those media’s and is dosing nutrients back to the system if needed and watching the skimmate color.

I say go for dry rock. Live rock is hard to scape and you cannot take your time like you can with dry rock. Plus you avoid a lot of pests.

Which Aquascape do you prefer?

Marco Rock
3014C700-6E43-4243-A54B-E920DEB794BA.jpeg


Gulf live Rock
B5B65D78-15AA-4F2C-BC27-41B79CAE280C.jpeg
 
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How many days since you added fish and started feeding?
just 3 days. The ammonia badge is still yellow but it's a darker yellow so I'm going to change 5 gallons. It's basically what I did for the first couple weeks on a quarantine tank, but that had very minimal biological filtration this tank has more. So the nitrifying bacteria should catch up with the ammonia output.

TBH im not sure how many fish it takes to get ammonia to the same level that you would do a fishless cycle with. I'm thinking a lot. Anytime I've brought ammonia up to 2 and added bottled bacteria the tank is cycled inside of two weeks.
 
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No, it was cured for about 2 weeks with several water changes. The numbers you saw above were the first couple of months. After that…the PO4 & NO3 bottomed out. However, I do run Ciporax which I’m sure contributed, but it takes much longer to get target numbers with dry rock.

The key to Dry Rock is making sure you cure it as long as possible beforehand. Then use bacteria through the ugly phase which is drastically reduced from the cure. Also watching nutrient levels making sure they don’t bottom out. If N&P become depleted, you’ll see Dino’s or Diatom’s pop up. If only Nitrate gets depleted you’ll often see Cyano begin to pop up. Of course there’s always exceptions to what happens with a new tank, but these are things I’ve consistently noticed with dry rock.

All these issues depend on skimming, feeding, light, water changes, etc. Not everybody runs a tank the same way. Some reefers start Carbon and GFO on day one. That tank will likely have a different result vs the tank that isn’t running those media’s and is dosing nutrients back to the system if needed and watching the skimmate color.

I say go for dry rock. Live rock is hard to scape and you cannot take your time like you can with dry rock. Plus you avoid a lot of pests.

Which Aquascape do you prefer?

Marco Rock
3014C700-6E43-4243-A54B-E920DEB794BA.jpeg


Gulf live Rock
B5B65D78-15AA-4F2C-BC27-41B79CAE280C.jpeg
Fullest respects.
And without giving up too much info.
I sincerely do feel you could have done a much better job based on what you have shown me.
I think we can do way better than that.
On a real note I have been talking to the wife about firing up a social media account considering how much attention all this has seemed to generate.
Google horizon in feeds and all that I didnt even know what that meant until someone pointed it out i had to actually Google that.
Is there some kind of Epic cycling showdown about to go down and all I wanna know is how do I get free stuff out of it?
;)
 
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Fullest respects. And without giving up too much info.
I sincerely do feel you could have done a much better job based on what you have shown me.
I think we can do way better than that.
On a real note I have been talking to the wife about firing up a social media account considering how much attention all this has seemed to generate.
Google horizon in feeds and all that I didnt even know what that meant until someone pointed it out i had to actually Google that.
Is there some kind of Epic cycling showdown about to go down and all I wanna know is how do I get free stuff out of it?
;)
I’m about to setup a dry rock tank. I welcome you to do one with me. I’ll be documenting my numbers and logging them as I always do. Would be interesting if you joined in and I could Vlog our similarities and differences along the way on YouTube. Both our struggles and failures if any at all.

My rock has been curing in a brute since late December 2020. Let me know if you wanna play. :)

 
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I’m about to setup a dry rock tank. I welcome you to do one with me. I’ll be documenting my numbers and logging them as I always do. Would be interesting if you joined in and I could Vlog our similarities and differences along the way on YouTube. Both our struggles and failures if any at all.

My rock has been curing in a brute since late December 2020. Let me know if you wanna play. :)

I cant think of any way I could compete with your dry rock considering its had close to a yr to soak considering ill be starting from scratch.
However if your willing to put your 1 yr soaked dry rock up and feel its ready to challenge my fully cured gulf live rock that's been put through boot camp and processing levels to 0.
Then I'm all in:)
I'll even do a few side bets along the way:)
This could be super informative and invaluable for all agreed.
 
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Reefahholic

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I cant think of any way I could compete with your dry rock considering its had close to a yr to soak considering ill be starting from scratch.
However if your willing to put your 1 yr soaked dry rock up and feel its ready to challenge my fully cured gulf live rock that's been put through boot camp and processing levels to 0.
Then I'm all in:)
I'll even do a few side bets along the way:)
This could be super informative and invaluable for all agreed.
I wanna recap about what you feel is good rock or what makes the rock good?

When you say processing levels to 0…do you feel that is good?

What is good or the best rock for you and why?
 
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I wanna recap about what you feel is good rock or what makes the rock good?

When you say processing levels to 0…do you feel that is good?

What is good or the best rock for you and why?
Good questions.
I feel like I've fully "cured" my gulf rock to the point nothing is growing on it that I don't want growing on it at this point. Sure and occasional patch after hair algae may pop up or linger but doesn't do to much for too long before CUC or fish handle it.
When I say processing levels to 0. Means my rock is not showing elevated levels of any nutrients like the gulf rock #'s you posted. When I say boot camp I mean ive taken all my rock out of system, fully scrubbed and rinsed several times throughout the course of last 2.5 years to achieve that.
When I say 0.
What im saying is with my turnover through tank, nutrients levels are staying at as close as possible to 0 or NSW levels all on its own no matter how much I feed the system. Im actually dosing phosphates regularly and nitrates on occasion to keep nutrient levels at least detectable.
This is how id define my rock doing the job it has been intended to do. At an acceptional rate.

Never said I believe any rock is the greatest.

I've seen dry rock bottle bac start ups pretty much capable of doing the same thing when done right.
What dry rock bottle bac done right means? I can't tell you because I've never working with it but can tell you I fully intend on joining that conversation soon.

Your 1 yr rock has the potential of doing all the same. I hope you document your findings.
How do you plan to stock it is really the million dollar question?
 

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Good questions.
I feel like I've fully "cured" my gulf rock to the point nothing is growing on it that I don't want growing on it at this point. Sure and occasional patch after hair algae may pop up or linger but doesn't do to much for too long before CUC or fish handle it.
When I say processing levels to 0. Means my rock is not showing elevated levels of any nutrients like the gulf rock #'s you posted. When I say boot camp I mean ive taken all my rock out of system, fully scrubbed and rinsed several times throughout the course of last 2.5 years to achieve that.
When I say 0.
What im saying is with my turnover through tank, nutrients levels are staying at as close as possible to 0 or NSW levels all on its own no matter how much I feed the system. Im actually dosing phosphates regularly and nitrates on occasion to keep nutrient levels at least detectable.
This is how id define my rock doing the job it has been intended to do. At an acceptional rate.

Never said I believe any rock is the greatest.

I've seen dry rock bottle bac start ups pretty much capable of doing the same thing when done right.
What dry rock bottle bac done right means? I can't tell you because I've never working with it but can tell you I fully intend on joining that conversation soon.

Your 1 yr rock has the potential of doing all the same. I hope you document your findings.
How do you plan to stock it is really the million dollar question?
Sounds like you have some good established rock sir. I wouldn’t say it’s too much different from other live rock though. Once they become established they all do fairly well.

Scrubbing the rock is a lot of work and kinda defeats the purpose of having some good live rock, because you’re likely removing a lot of beneficial organisms/ bacteria. I do see why you would want to do that because some of the gulf rock is loaded with detritus and other organic material that could definitely raise your nutrient levels in the beginning. That being said…just join the dry rock club. :)

As far as the dry rock… it’s more difficult for sure, which is why I cure mine for as long as possible. When I even have the thought of setting up a new tank I immediately get my rock curing first. I think it’s an excellent idea to add some fish, live sand, nitrifying bacteria, coralline algae, pods, etc in with it to really get it going. I didn’t do all that this time, because I was busy fighting a pandemic on the front line. I did use nitrifying bacteria and live sand which should get me ahead of the game a little bit though.

I’ll be Vloging the whole ride which the new system. The twist is I’m doing something much different that could likely get me into some trouble. I’m trying to avoid Vermetid snails. My number one best friends! HaHa. Which means I can’t add a CUC like normal to help with the first 6-9 months (ugly period) surface algae. The plan is it keep the light lower in the DT, higher in the Sump as I try to get some Macro’s going. The problem is…to get them going I need to dose a little bit of iron and raise nutrients slightly which will then also help promote algae to establish in the DT. :)

So…it’s really a delicate dance (as you know) in the first 6-9 months. However, using products like EcoBalance, WasteAway, MB7, MB Clean, should help stop or eradicate some of the problematic algae that pops up. I guess we’ll find out.
 

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I technically haven’t done one with 100% live rock, but I did use 20% live rock and bottled bacteria. Parameters came out stable in 3 days and the first coral/inverts went in after a week. Some say I rushed it, but all the original coral are thriving!

Interesting thread to read up on. :)
 

Jeffcb

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Not 1 day but 4. I cycled 125 pounds of fresh picked Caribbean live rock from KP shipped in water. Did three 60 gallon water changes in 4 days. 192 gallon tank. Shipped in water is nice.

 
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