Instant Tank Cycle

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by Rabidwolf, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Rabidwolf

    Rabidwolf Member

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    Set up my tank Friday. Placed a sizeable chunk of frozen brine shrimp into the filter sock to stop it messing up the tank.

    Saturday PM Ammonia is 0

    Saturday PM added another chunk of frozen brine shrimp different area of sump. Added seeded live rock from other tanks also.

    Sunday PM Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0

    Monday PM added a large Turbo snail and 2 Scarlet leg crabs. Also added some algae pellets for them to eat.

    Tuesday AM Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0

    Had tank lights on for 2 days brown algae growing on rock.

    Is it possible to cycle this quick?
     

  2. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-microbiology-of-reef-tank-cycling.214618/

    A thread on skip cycle biology, yes is possible. I myself have never cycled a reef tank, since 2001 I only use group B rocks from that thread hence no cycle. The reason it works is because relocating wet rocks from one tank to another doesn't kill the original bacteria, they just xfer over

    The trick is this: when people move homes I noticed what they did to move the reef without loss

    I choose to run that method from lfs to home using their pristinely coralline covered live rock, whereas every post ever written on the internet says that direction is a requisite recycle. We found out that where goes detritus goes the recycle, moving clean rocks and sand will never recycle, and wet surfaces always retain the resident bacteria housed in insulating slime layers

    90% of ammonia test kits used in cycling have to be ran in a different way than normal to get them to work correctly and reflect the true actions of bacteria. A way not listed in the directions :) so we chose to make a thread where no testing is used at all to cycle dry tanks and skip cycle wet ones. For no-test dry rock cycling, we use timing from cycling charts off google lol that don’t vary, and are fifty years known, and then make everyone wait that long and do a big water change before they start. Admit that’s funny, it’s low tech cycling heh
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  3. smilinteddy

    smilinteddy Active Member

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    Yes, especially when starting with established and cured live rock from other tanks. Essentially you already have the nitrifying bacteria in your tank from the established rock you added and they are handling things.

    The only thing I could see is possibly you're not getting readings on ammonia, nitrite, nitrate because you haven't given enough time for the food you threw in there to break down and turn into ammonia to begin with. That's why a lot of people will dose liquid ammonia to a known level because then it goes right in and is detectable immediately, and then they test again to make sure it is being broken down.

    If you're starting with established liverock though, you're already way ahead of the game than someone starting with dry rock that doesn't have any bacteria going on it.
     
  4. Rabidwolf

    Rabidwolf Member

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    Thanks

    I recently cycled a nano from scratch and that took 3 months, but I didn't use any rock from another system.

    I was getting ammonia readings within 24 hours from that using the same process.

    I was expecting some kind of mini cycle for a few days given the larger volume of water & food I added conpared to the rock that I transferred over.
     
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  5. smilinteddy

    smilinteddy Active Member

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    This is a great and very informative read. I had run into different bots and pieces of info from this thread but this was my first chance to read it all in one place. Good stuff!
     
  6. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Thank you so much! We would always link up any cycling you might undertake, we like to collect work examples there to test claims and establish reliable actions to cycle tanks
     
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  7. smilinteddy

    smilinteddy Active Member

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    I wish I would have found that link before I started up my tank. I had been out of the hobby for about 12 years and I had just started learning about the newer ideas about cycling a tank, skip cycle, etc. I figured I would be ok using livesand and a half and half mix of cured and established live rock and dry rock augmented with some Dr. Tim's one and only reef, but it would have been nice to understand why.

    I went on heresay and things I had heard/read and so far (knock on wood) things are going well. I seem to have (by sheer dumb luck) followed a lot of the directives laid out in the above thread and it has allowed me to hit the ground more or less running.
     
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  8. BestMomEver

    BestMomEver Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Moved everything from one tank to another. It took the better part of two days. I used new sand and old rock. I kept rock completely submerged. No cycle. It’s like everything had been in the new tank from the beginning. If you use cycled rock, and keep it wet the bacteria won’t die.
     
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  9. William DeCoursey

    William DeCoursey Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    "Seeded Live Rock" Is this established, months/years old rock from an existing tank or very young rock you've just "seeded" with bacteria in a bottle?

    I'm sure it's possible that everything is already cycled and ready to go, but you won't know for sure until you start seeing nitrate on your test results. Shrimp breaks down into ammonia, nitrite, then nitrate.
    At two to three days, it's just as, if not more, likely that you've yet to begin the process and that's why you're seeing no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. If the tank is "cycled," you may never get a reading for ammonia or nitrite, but you will get a reading for nitrate.

    How much seeded live rock and how much new dry rock?
    These pieces of brine shrimp... are you talking like a few tiny gravel-sized brine shrimps, or nice big sugar-cubed sized globs of shrimp. Get some in there :p
     
  10. EMeyer

    EMeyer Active Member

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    I'm afraid I dont follow the logic here. I see no evidence your tank ever had any ammonia. How then do you conclude it has developed the ability to process ammonia to nitrate (="cycled")?

    This isnt confined to this thread. I've seen several people make similar claims. The absence of NH4/NO2/NO3 isnt cycled; the ability to rapidly process some NH4 into NO3 is.

    Why not add some NH4 and see how fast it goes away?
     
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  11. Lasse

    Lasse Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    I do guess that you will read NH3/NH4 sometime around Thursday - Sunday this week - prove me wrong :)

    Sincerely Lasse
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  12. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    EMeyer

    in that no testing cycling thread above we like to avoid adding ammonia to live rock to avoid stressing the animals. They probably would survive a low level test anyway (when a fish dies and spikes, its not usually a tank wiper for example) but we're going off the microbiological premise that anything wet never uncycles unless you medicate it, subject it to extreme heat or cold, or truly dry it. there are also instances where nitrate will not register on a kit, though it is being produced in oxidation steps

    by only dosing ammonia where indicated we change the concept of cycling from something that varies into something that is rock solid predictable, without tests.

    This trust of what bacteria can endure then factors into the ability to rid the tank of massive invaders one day, even though they don't seem tied they totally are. being able to call a cycle without testing gives the ability to move a reef tank or advise how to move one from a distance without ever losing to a re-cycle event, or how to clean it to get it out of an invasion. its such useful science/skip cycle biology.


    Trusting bac, and being able to predict what they do ahead of time makes your reef live longer for sure. It reduces or stops hesitation which is critical in intercepting some invasions before they do wipe the tank.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  13. EMeyer

    EMeyer Active Member

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    brandon429, I'm afraid I don't understand your post.

    Simply put, a "cycled" tank is a tank that has the capacity to convert ammonia into nitrate. You seem to propose that we take it on faith that this capacity exists because the rock is "live". I propose a chemical test to verify this. You propose to instead, "trust"?

    I suggest an ammonia dose followed by a series of ammonia tests. If the tank is cycled this will clearly show it.
     
  14. Rabidwolf

    Rabidwolf Member

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    About 10kgs rock seeded from tank over 2 years old.
    There's about 12kg of unseeded rock in there.

    And planning on moving remainder of live rock from other tank over next few weeks.

    Sugar cube sized lumps, I have really been hammering it to try and get some readings and nothing.
     
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  15. Rabidwolf

    Rabidwolf Member

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    Tested before work this morning and still running 0.
     
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  16. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Emeyer

    It's ok to test chemically if you want, no prob.

    We have moved well beyond that in the thread years ago though because that introduces yet another variable in test kits that cannot read zero


    In order to manage a cycling thread nowadays and get everyone consistent we have to use these new tenets. We're not just blindly trusting either, we specifically talked about on page one how to see several different forms of life that --confirm the bacteria are there


    So you can't see the bacteria but you can see their associates and it's a hundred percent reliable we show. It's simply a more accurate way to cycle aquariums than the old way. We don't use testing in that whole thread even for dry Rock Cycles
     
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  17. EMeyer

    EMeyer Active Member

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    The ability to read zero isnt relevant. All tests have a limit of detection.

    The only way to demonstrate that a tank has the capacity to process ammonia into nitrate is to measure that ability. The only way to do that with techniques available in the hobby is to add some ammonia and measure its disappearance.
     
  18. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    we are out to sixteen pages of predicting what test kits w say before they're ran, and building several skip cycle tanks without loss, and moving them between homes without loss
    something in pattern has to account for the work....we show actual tank examples and follow up for the claims in the link so at least its not too frivolous of a claim :)



    Rwolf can we get pics of these rocks here... we'll run a visual cycling assessment on them like the thread, then get some measures after the fact n see.


    The reason this biology is so handy, and reliable, is it saves money.

    When they set up big reef conventions, they want a for sure way of skipping cycle so they don't lose a fifty thousand dollar display.


    home movers want to employ it. tank upgraders, downgraders, hospital tank makers. Skip cycle biology isn't about breaking the rules, its about making our reefs bulletproof strong by already knowing what a test kit will say before its said, for the major species of nitrogen involved in tank cycling.
    B

    I will also admit: coming into a chemistry forum and downplaying the role of titration testing to the level of not required at all is asking for it
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  19. William DeCoursey

    William DeCoursey Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    To my mind, it's probably cycled. I, personally, would still want to see a Nitrate reading to sleep better at night, but that's basically the end-game. If you read nitrate with zero ammonia and zero nitrite, you're "cycled" IMHO.

    How "cycled" is another matter that we don't often discuss on here. I know you understand, Rabidwolf. Just for the sake of the larger discussion... that doesn't mean that the tank is ready to be fully stocked with nine fish. It means there's enough ammonia processing material in it to process a certain amount.

    I think that's why the discussion @brandon429 and @EMeyer are having is so fascinating. To Brandon's point, yeah, sure.. visual observation is how we do most things. It's how Newton discovered gravity. If I go to the Dr. with a puss-filled wound, the doc gives me an antibiotic. They can tell it's bacteria bc of the visual cues and signs. There is no need to run a lab test on a piece of my tissue to confirm it.

    On the other hand, "how cycled?" The doc can't tell how much bacteria is in the wound. Perhaps some seriously experienced hobbyists can look at a piece of rock, feel its weight, see its porosity, and give a good "gut" judgment on how much livestock and feeding it can support. I can not. I'd bet brandon probably can ;). Can anyone who reads an explanation?

    To my mind, that's where Emeyer's preference for testing comes into play. It's not so much to prove that the rocks can cycle ammonia, but to what extent? If I put a well cycled, coraline-encrusted, crawling w tube worms rock in a 40breeder, but the rock is only the size of a golf ball, can I call that tank "cycled?" It will process ammonia into Nitrate, no doubt. Will it process enough? If I dose a set level of ammonia and time the process, it can be gauged. Ofc, if the rock is the size of a bowling ball, even a noob like me could safely call it "cycled"... at least enough for a small fish or two.
     
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  20. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    totally fair request on the # of surface area. awesome call

    we can provide that nitrate reading as well if requested too I bet w a quick change up in approach. we would change out the water, re oxidize test, and spike it up a bit this time.

    the pattern am using to rely on live rock being enough is based on patterns from the sand rinse thread below. the notion of how little surface area it takes to manage bioloading can be based on the common quarantine tank that is totally devoid of surface area except for PVC pipe and a cheap HOB filter- still handling eight large reef fish in a 20 g.



    extracted patterns from the work thread below are: any aquarium we want to rip the whole sandbed out all at once, gone, will not be lacking surface area if they use any degree of normal aged live rock.

    There is no such thing as ramp up time where rocks take on more bac to make up for lack of sand, it doesn't work that way. Aquarists said it did, and typed it, but it doesn't we show.

    Yes its possible to have such little live rock that there's not enough surface area, but we just never encounter it.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/t...ead-aka-one-against-many.230281/#post-2681445


    23 pages of no tanks loss by ripping out their sandbeds and relying solely on existing live rock ability. again, no testing used no tanks lost. a pattern

    we use the same methods everyone at Aquashella and MACNA use to move in full reefs and not bring deli shrimp + 30 days

    the tanks set up at MACNA are skip cycle aquariums, like 500 at a time. I give my word that the ladies and men setting up those tanks already know predictively the transfer will be a skip cycle one before they risk moving the livestock.

    At aquashella, in a skip cycle nano, they had a 12K anemone that someone did buy wow
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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