Mistaken scheduling of cycling/sand critter delivery timeline..need suggestions.

swiss1939

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I was not intentionally rushing to populate my new tank with sand critters before the cycle was done, but mismanaged the order/delivery timeline and am now receiving an order of sand critters with mud and copepods in 5 days when my cycle is not close to done and my nitrates/nitrites are high. Much like when I try to time my walk to public transportation perfectly so that I do not have to wait for it to arrive, and I end up missing my ride cause I didn't leave with enough time, I was trying to time my order to arrive as cycle finished and incorrectly thought it would be done in 14 days with seeded bacteria! I know this was poor planning on my part, and will eat the cost if some form of temporary storage won't work as I do not want to chance adding to tank prematurely and causing cycle delays or long term problems.

Not looking for cycle advice, but looking for help on how to keep the sand sifters alive in a sort of last minute temporary QT until DT cycle is complete and I can do a suitable and necessary water change. I am 7 days into cycle using seeded bacteria and ammonia in a tank started with dry rock and live sand, with ammonia still high and both nitrates and nitrites doing their jobs and going up exponentially which is good, but I do not forsee ammonia and nitrites dropping to zero and then handling another dose of ammonia to 2ppm in 24 or 48 hrs with enough time to change water in prep for this delivery in 5 days. Currently 2.4ppm ammonia, 4ppm nitrites and 20ppm nitrates after 7 days with only 1 dose of ammonia on day 1. Nitrites and nitrates are still on the rise, ammonia slowly going down.

I am hoping I can set up an emergency "tank" to store the sand critters and copepods in sw for the remaining time on my cycle so that I do not wipe out this whole order. Would it be wise to go to my LFS and pick up a decent sized live rock from them, then fill up a 5 gallon bucket with fresh sw the lFS live rock, heater and power head to dump this sand critter/mud order into and keep for the week or three remaining on my cycle? Assuming I would just need to do something like 50% water changes in the 5 gallon bucket every week or more?
 

tsouth

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Has the order already shipped? If not, can you at-least call the seller and ask to be re-delivered at a different time? This is going to be your best bet.

I don't think you should invest into a second setup because it's no different than if you were to put your critters in your current, cycling tank. The new tank isn't going to be critter ready due to the addition of one piece of live rock. Maybe, just maybe, you can load up your current tank with another bottle of bacteria, and just add your stuff to your tank.
 
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swiss1939

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I am processing ammonia but my nitrites and nitrates are high and would prefer not to do any water changes until it is complete. I was assuming adding these critters to a tank with such high nitrites and nitrates would lead to loss.

As far as new setup just for this, I was planning on using a 5 gallon home depot bucket, not a whole new tank for qt. And I also ordered another bottle of bac to try to help speed it up, but that order was delayed, so my timing did not work out multiple times!

I do have a pending query to the vendor about postponing shipment for an additional week or more. If not, I am looking for alternative steps as a last resort.
 

tsouth

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Understood, agreed - don't do a water change.

The 5 gallon bucket would still not be ready as its too sterile.

If the postponement falls through, I would say add it to your tank - maybe there's losses, maybe not, but it's probably the ideal solution (unless you hand it off to someone else - hey neighbor)
 
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Bryn

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Either 5G bucket, or 10G tank, not sure about power head, maybe a sponge filter. Forget live rock from LFS, could introduce their pests to your DT, plus ammonia level will be low from sand dwellers and copepods, unless feeding phytoplankton. If ammonia increases in bucket, use a piece of sponge over the end of some air line, and syphon out some water to do a water change. Am I missing anything.
 
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swiss1939

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Shouldn't be a ton of livestock as its just worms, mini stars a few snails and hermits in mud, with a bottle of copepods. But unexpectedly vendor included a free frag which I greatly appreciate, but was not prepared for.
 

Bryn

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I think you will be fine, I understand not wanting to lose the copepods with a water change on the DT. You should be able to store your copepods in a refrigerator with the top open for gas exchange. Call the vendor about copepod storage, and length they can be stored.
 

tsouth

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Why wouldn’t you do a wc?
During the cycle, a water change is a disruption in the nitrification process and build up of various bacteria forms, essentially removing them from the water column. It's good practice to wait until the nitrification cycle has finished to do a very, very large water change (usually 50%) to bring your nitrates down, an effective 50% so say 50ppm to 25ppm, and then perhaps another 50% the following week bringing it from 25ppm down to 12.5ppm.
 
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During the cycle, a water change is a disruption in the nitrification process and build up of various bacteria forms, essentially removing them from the water column. It's good practice to wait until the nitrification cycle has finished to do a very, very large water change (usually 50%) to bring your nitrates down, an effective 50% so say 50ppm to 25ppm, and then perhaps another 50% the following week bringing it from 25ppm down to 12.5ppm.
As long as it is cycling ammonia it is cycled. The dissipation of nitrites and nitrates can happen later but technically if he wanted to stock he could. I would just recommend a wc so his nitrates aren’t at 50ppm as you said.
 

Uncle99

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As long as it is cycling ammonia it is cycled. The dissipation of nitrites and nitrates can happen later but technically if he wanted to stock he could. I would just recommend a wc so his nitrates aren’t at 50ppm as you said.
I thought both ammonia and nitrite should come to zero before a cycle is complete.
 

brandon429

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for sure this thread needs cycle advice.

depending on where your assessment comes from, you're either already cycled since you used bacteria already tested to fully cycle in 3 days, or you're not cycled and wont be able to make the blend


to help you decide which is correct, start by asking how do they set up marine tank conventions where 400 reefs all start skip cycle on the same day, and how much different is your setup to theirs? you have double sources of bac (live sand, bottle bac + time for them to transmit to dry surfaces) and feed in place... dont forget Dr Reef already tested how fast bottle bac works

you have a case of api induced misreading, that's all. if you were using seneye there wouldnt be a problem reading ammonia action. nitrite and nitrate no longer factor in cycling, but they used to.

if you want to make your critters live, simply change all or most of your experiment waste water that has already cycled, for new water, and add the critters when they come in.

your tank is cycled. I dont buy into non seneye readings lock stock and barrel, we know how fast bottle bac works already.

duality:

reef conventions have never stalled a cycle in 30 years


forum cycles stall all the time, every day, in every forum

who does the buying and who does the selling> flip the script, use new cycling science to assess your tank, not old cycling science.
 
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brandon429

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before it looks like im inciting reef anarchy

simply consider Dr. Reef's bottle bac testing thread. all strains used he simply added to dry media test nanos, fed them, added a brand of bottle bac for testing purposes, and did 100% water changes + redosing ammonia to check for movement down

that method remarks solely on adhered bacteria and the bare minimum attachment times required. the reason people are pulling off fish in cycles, which isn't burning fish like all the masses state so readily, is because bottle bac works pretty much instantly as a suspension cycle and it will adhere to surfaces and be FULL completely cycled in a few days, fritz is overnite fast.

you have nitrate because all machinery is working, plus you're past measured deposition times.
we arent factoring nitrite anymore in updated reefing, thats from yesteryear it no longer applies and no reef is harmed by nitrite at any stage its never caused a delayed cycle not once. We got hip to what they're trying to sell us to unstall cycles, from the skip cycle conventions...

change your wastewater out for new, as much % as you can

when you add the animals, or fish, they live because its cycled.
 
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swiss1939

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for sure this thread needs cycle advice.

depending on where your assessment comes from, you're either already cycled since you used bacteria already tested to fully cycle in 3 days, or you're not cycled and wont be able to make the blend


to help you decide which is correct, start by asking how do they set up marine tank conventions where 400 reefs all start skip cycle on the same day, and how much different is your setup to theirs? you have double sources of bac (live sand, bottle bac + time for them to transmit to dry surfaces) and feed in place... dont forget Dr Reef already tested how fast bottle bac works

you have a case of api induced misreading, that's all. if you were using seneye there wouldnt be a problem reading ammonia action. nitrite and nitrate no longer factor in cycling, but they used to.

if you want to make your critters live, simply change all or most of your experiment waste water that has already cycled, for new water, and add the critters when they come in.

your tank is cycled. I dont buy into api lock stock and barrel we know how fast bottle bac works already.

duality:

reef conventions have never stalled a cycle in 30 years


forum cycles stall all the time, every day, in every forum

who does the buying and who does the selling> flip the script, use new cycling science to assess your tank, not old cycling science.
Appreciate the feedback!

I assumed frag swap cycles work because they bring well established live rock to populate a sump under the display frag tanks. I have never set up a booth at a frag swap or asked anyone who has done so how they set up their frag tanks in such short order to know how it is done so regularly and with no risk to expensive livestock.

My understanding which is probably flawed from your advice is that bottled bac takes weeks to replicate and spread completely covering dry rock at levels that can handle livestock. But all of my opinions is based on forum posts and old information like you said, plus what appears to be more scientific knowledge shared by various sources online including you!

With that said, I was able to get the livestock shipment postponed a week which wil give me enough time to get the necessary water change done as I only handle a 5 gal change at a time, maybe 10 gal spread over two buckets in a 6 hr timespan, so a 50% water change will actually be two 25% water changes over a couple days. Plus I just realized I have some Brightwell Erase-Cl which can be used to knock back whatever remains of high nitrates/nitrites after those water changes.
 
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brandon429

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at aquashella Dallas last yr, they had a tank of bottle bac + dry rock + clowns in a nano all doing well/here below is another neat dry start skip cycle/literally full reef on day one, no wet imports all dry start.

and 95% are live rock transfers like you mentioned.

the real risk on insta-starts is disease/non fallow and qt, its no longer ammonia control that has been easily handled for a while, merely the way we measure and assess cycles (which params matter) is still being adjusted

that above link is hilarious and awesome science if you think about it. We chide people daily for cycling with two clowns :)

how about as an alternate on day one: a 300$ large anemone, eight fish, ten corals, plus feed. and some macro lol

2020 cycling is like 2020 vs 1998 downloading of songs/rate/speed/quality of transfer. moore's law of reef cycling

with the extra time you have after changing ship dates, your tank w certainly be fine. even if it still shows nitrite
 

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before it looks like im inciting reef anarchy

simply consider Dr. Reef's bottle bac testing thread. all strains used he simply added to dry media test nanos, fed them, added a brand of bottle bac for testing purposes, and did 100% water changes + redosing ammonia to check for movement down

that method remarks solely on adhered bacteria and the bare minimum attachment times required. the reason people are pulling off fish in cycles, which isn't burning fish like all the masses state so readily, is because bottle bac works pretty much instantly as a suspension cycle and it will adhere to surfaces and be FULL completely cycled in a few days, fritz is overnite fast.

you have nitrate because all machinery is working, plus you're past measured deposition times.
we arent factoring nitrite anymore in updated reefing, thats from yesteryear it no longer applies and no reef is harmed by nitrite at any stage its never caused a delayed cycle not once. We got hip to what they're trying to sell us to unstall cycles, from the skip cycle conventions...

change your wastewater out for new, as much % as you can

when you add the animals, or fish, they live because its cycled.
I'm not sure that's a fair summation of Dr. Reef's testing thread. I would advise people to check out the summary for themselves, to make sure they are making decisions with a full understanding- Their summary is a pretty quick read :). Some of what you summarized is correct, but other statements have a bit of "artistic license" with the original findings ;)

 
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swiss1939

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All those threads are quality reading! I've skimmed through some of both of them already. And this discussion kinda goes hand in hand with my own research online that there are different comfort levels among experienced reefers on how fast this stuff works and what the appropriate timeline is for stocking. I had initially watched the BRS 52 week series and was shocked they added a bottle of bac and fish right away, but figured the science and available products in the industry have improved since I initially started researching reef tanks 20 yrs ago (yes it took me that long to finally give it a serious try) when all my experience with aquariums prior to that was fresh water.

So this leads to confusion from someone like me as I was prepared to throw bottled bac in with a fish right off the bat, but my first post about it led to expected responses of why would you do that! And its not that I agree with one or the other, but the science of bottled bac seems to be legit in my readings and so I adopted a personal comfort level of sure it could probably be instant, but i'll give it a couple weeks to completely remove the dose of ammonia and do a water change before adding livestock, not so much cause I don't trust the process, but because it will give me time to get comfortable with my new equipment/setup and any regular tasks before having to also deal with keeping tangible things alive! This is more why I meant not so much looking for cycle advice, felt comfortable the process was working, but more concerned with the effect of high nitrates/nitrites on the worms, snails and hermits during my personal comfort level of waiting till the ammonia was no longer present at whatever natural timeline the bottled bac could handle with also knowing my slow water change process compared to having ability to do 20 gallons at once. It has been over 20 yrs since I have had a functional fresh water tank for any extended period of time, aside from a failed 3 month SW tank 6 years ago that I just did not have the resources or space to maintain. So the past week and next few are my re-acquaintance period with maintaining an aquarium.

But as I mentioned, I welcome the cycle information and ensuing debates on the science of it all!
 
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andrewey

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All those threads are quality reading! I've skimmed through some of both of them already. And this discussion kinda goes hand in hand with my own research online that there are different comfort levels among experienced reefers on how fast this stuff works and what the appropriate timeline is for stocking. I had initially watched the BRS 52 week series and was shocked they added a bottle of bac and fish right away, but figured the science and available products in the industry have improved since I initially started researching reef tanks 20 yrs ago (yes it took me that long to finally give it a serious try) when all my experience with aquariums prior to that was fresh water.

So this leads to confusion from someone like me as I was prepared to throw bottled bac in with a fish right off the bat, but my first post about it led to expected responses of why would you do that! And its not that I agree with one or the other, but the science of bottled bac seems to be legit in my readings and so I adopted a personal comfort level of sure it could probably be instant, but i'll give it a couple weeks to completely remove the dose of ammonia and do a water change before adding livestock, not so much cause I don't trust the process, but because it will give me time to get comfortable with my new equipment/setup and any regular tasks before having to also deal with keeping tangible things alive! This is more why I meant not so much looking for cycle advice, felt comfortable the process was working, but more concerned with the effect of high nitrates/nitrites on the worms, snails and hermits during my personal comfort level of waiting till the ammonia was no longer present at whatever natural timeline the bottled bac could handle with also knowing my slow water change process compared to having ability to do 20 gallons at once.

But as I mentioned, I welcome the cycle information and ensuing debates on the science of it all!
I think you've absolutely nailed it :) I think it's also important to understand there are different endpoints being considered here, which is why the issue can sometimes get muddied. If we step away from the idea that not all bacterial additives are equivalent (and just assume we're all talking about a product that will "work"), it's important to make sure everyone has the same endpoint. Is that the soonest a single fish can be added? Multiple fish? Is it defined as the minimum time to process ammonia? Is it the minimum amount of time by which you can process both ammonia and nitrite? Is it the minimum time by which the other biochemical processes of a reef tank are achieved? Is it the time frame that will best set you up for success at 6, 12, or 24 months? Is it the time frame that reduces the incidence of unwanted events (e.g. dinoflagellates?). All of these are very valuable endpoints and what one reefer considers an endpoint might not be the same for another.

I have a different set of standards for my home aquarium then when I set up a tank at a coral convention, just as I have a different endpoint when I set up a QT. It's not that any of these endpoints are right or wrong, but they often lead to disagreements and oversimplifications and hyperbole are rife!
 
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swiss1939

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Agree with both of you. Personally, if I had already maintained a successful reef tank in the past, I would have just thrown the bottled bac in with a single fish and left both for a month or so cause I'd be fine just watching a single fish swim around over that month while I got used to running a tank again. But after finally setting up the tank, being my first sump tank, I realized I needed to learn how it works and how I can manage my maintenance tasks in my current home prior to juggling livestock, so I decided my course of action which was bottled bac, add ammonia and wait for the bottled bac to grow enough to completely remove the ammonia.

It took me a month between setting the tank up, until I started filling it with water, and took 5 days to slowly fill the tank out of caution to make sure the tank was good, so I have no problem being patient!
 
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