Question about cycling with Dr. Tim's One and Only.

glb

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I just started up a 40g breeder with dry Marco Rocks and dry aragonite sand. I used pure Ace ammonia. I'm on day 3 after adding and my ammonia is 3-4ppm with no nitrites. pH is 8.2. The directions say to add ammonia on day 3, but also say the ammonia shouldn't get to 5ppm. Since the ammonia has stayed the same, I'm thinking I shouldn't add any more. Should I wait until it starts to go down before dosing again? I've never cycled this way so any help is appreciated!!
 
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Brew12

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Nope, don't add more. I wouldn't add more until it gets less than 1ppm then kick it back up a little.
 
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Nope, don't add more. I wouldn't add more until it gets less than 1ppm then kick it back up a little.
I didn't think so. Is it unusual for the cycle to not start right away? I bought the bottle at a reef show from Dr. Tim's and it's not expired. They advertise that it starts working immediately but that doesn't seem to happen for everyone.
 

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I didn't think so. Is it unusual for the cycle to not start right away? I bought the bottle at a reef show from Dr. Tim's and it's not expired. They advertise that it starts working immediately but that doesn't seem to happen for everyone.
It is a bit unusual but if it were ever frozen or exposed to a higher temperature the live bacteria may have been killed off.

I know you said no Nitrites, but what about Nitrates?
 
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It is a bit unusual but if it were ever frozen or exposed to a higher temperature the live bacteria may have been killed off.

I know you said no Nitrites, but what about Nitrates?
I didn't check for nitrates yet because the ammonia is the same. I'll check it tomorrow. I went to the website and it says the product is only good for 6 months unless it's kept at 50 degrees, then it lasts a year. I bought mine over 6 mos ago but it still hasn't expired according to the bottle. The expiration date on the bottle is misleading.
 
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I didn't check for nitrates yet because the ammonia is the same. I'll check it tomorrow. I went to the website and it says the product is only good for 6 months unless it's kept at 50 degrees, then it lasts a year. I bought mine over 6 mos ago but it still hasn't expired according to the bottle. The expiration date on the bottle is misleading.
Odds are that some of the bacteria are still alive and some when into a cystic form. Once those dormant bacteria become active your results should improve rapidly.
 

jeff williams

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+1 on not dosing anymore ammonia Once the ammonia starts to be broke down I wouldn't add any more until ammonia is below 0.5ppm and if nitrites age also under 5 ppm because at 3-4 ppm your nitrites might jump off the chart of your test kit and this can stale the cycle if your nitrites (as well as ammonia ) gets over 5 ppm. If it does do a water change to lower nitrites. Dr Tims dosing recipe on his site is some what confusing "DO NOT DOSE REGARDLESS OF WHAT HIS RECIPE SAYS UNLESS AMMONIA AND NITRITES ARE BELOW .5-1.0 ppm. Also did you test dose a gallon of water first with your ammonia to check how much you need to add per gallon if not its a guessing game. Dr Tim also sells a bottle of ammonia on his site or dr foster and smiths site that takes all the guess work out of it 4 drops per gallon =2.0 ppm. This is also a problem when using ammonia other than dr Tims, because his recipe calls for 2 ppm but what he wants you to do is just add 4 drops of his ammonia per gallon and don't worry about testing to see if your tank is at 2 ppm (it will be) were the confusion comes from is once again his recipe says dose ammonia on day 1 and check ammonia on day 2 well people check it and it's lower so they add more trying to hit 2 ppm and pretty soon you have 3-4 or even higher. Hope this helps
 
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+1 on not dosing anymore ammonia Once the ammonia starts to be broke down I wouldn't add any more until ammonia is below 0.5ppm and if nitrites age also under 5 ppm because at 3-4 ppm your nitrites might jump off the chart of your test kit and this can stale the cycle if your nitrites (as well as ammonia ) gets over 5 ppm. If it does do a water change to lower nitrites. Dr Tims dosing recipe on his site is some what confusing "DO NOT DOSE REGARDLESS OF WHAT HIS RECIPE SAYS UNLESS AMMONIA AND NITRITES ARE BELOW .5-1.0 ppm. Also did you test dose a gallon of water first with your ammonia to check how much you need to add per gallon if not its a guessing game. Dr Tim also sells a bottle of ammonia on his site or dr foster and smiths site that takes all the guess work out of it 4 drops per gallon =2.0 ppm. This is also a problem when using ammonia other than dr Tims, because his recipe calls for 2 ppm but what he wants you to do is just add 4 drops of his ammonia per gallon and don't worry about testing to see if your tank is at 2 ppm (it will be) were the confusion comes from is once again his recipe says dose ammonia on day 1 and check ammonia on day 2 well people check it and it's lower so they add more trying to hit 2 ppm and pretty soon you have 3-4 or even higher. Hope this helps
Thanks, it helps a lot. I know the key is to not let the ammonia or nitrites go too high. I'll just wait until the ammonia starts to drop and test daily until then. I calculated the amount of ammonia I'd need with the exact amount of water I have, and it went to 3ppm like it was supposed to. So let's just wait and see....
 
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Day 4:

Ammonia: 2ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 2ppm

Yay! The cycle has started. Is it normal to have no nitrites because the bacteria has quickly turned them to nitrates? Also, can I turn on the skimmer or would that be bad for the cycle? If ammonia is down to 1ppm tomorrow, should I dose it back up to 2 or 3? I'll start with two clownfish and have just them for a while, so the load won't be very big.
 

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Day 4:

Ammonia: 2ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 2ppm

Yay! The cycle has started. Is it normal to have no nitrites because the bacteria has quickly turned them to nitrates? Also, can I turn on the skimmer or would that be bad for the cycle? If ammonia is down to 1ppm tomorrow, should I dose it back up to 2 or 3? I'll start with two clownfish and have just them for a while, so the load won't be very big.
Yes, it is normal. Dr Tims One and Only contains a few types of bacteria, one of which is Nitrospira bacteria. These bacteria convert ammonia to nitrate within their cells so no nitrite is ever released into the water.
 
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Day 5
Amm: 3-4ppm (didn't add any)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 3ppm

Should I turn on my skimmer now??
 

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Day 5
Amm: 3-4ppm (didn't add any)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 3ppm

Should I turn on my skimmer now??
I would, but you don't have to. IMO it is much better to start it up earlier than needed to get it broke in and adjusted.
 

tutmatt3

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In case you havn't seen it, theres a quick guide & full guide on his website:
http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling
http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/how-to-start

Ya, there's no harm in turning on your skimmer (that I'm aware of), since it will extract actual waste
Since you're dosing ammonia, there is no actual waste from that, so it won't remove it per say

If your rocks / sand had any gunk on them, the skimmer will help extract those.

My skimmer took 3-4 weeks to finish break in. Had an annoying microbubble issue, but now there's foam at the waste gate so that's solved!
 
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Ok I turned on the skimmer. Is it normal for microbubbles to be escaping from the bottom like this? The white stuff on the left is microbubbles.
image.jpg
 
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Ack! It's day 7 and my numbers don't make any sense.

Amm: 4-8ppm (I haven't dosed since day 1)
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 3-4ppm

I have my skimmer and gfo reactor running now. Could that have increased my ammonia? What do I do????

PS I'm redoing the test now.
 
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Umm, insert red face. It's probably best to not use the dropper you used to add the ammonia when doing an ammonia test. I retested with the right dropper and it's at 2ppm. Have a laugh at my expense and don't do the same thing.
 

Brew12

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Umm, insert red face. It's probably best to not use the dropper you used to add the ammonia when doing an ammonia test. I retested with the right dropper and it's at 2ppm. Have a laugh at my expense and don't do the same thing.
lol thank you for sharing that!!! :D
 
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I'm starting to wonder if my cycle is stalled. For the past 5 days (days5-9 in the cycle), here are my numbers (ppm):

Ammonia: 2, 2, 2, 2, 3-4,
Nitrite: always 0
Nitrate: 2, 2, 3-4, 2-3, 2-3

I haven't added ammonia since the first dose. The pH has always tested 8.0-8.1.

I changed filter socks yesterday and I'm wondering if I lost some good bacteria, causing higher ammonia today. Or it could just be reading the test (API-hard to tell). The nitrates I'm testing with Salifert. Should I consider adding more bacteria or is this normal?
 

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I'm starting to wonder if my cycle is stalled. For the past 5 days (days5-9 in the cycle), here are my numbers (ppm):

Ammonia: 2, 2, 2, 2, 3-4,
Nitrite: always 0
Nitrate: 2, 2, 3-4, 2-3, 2-3

I haven't added ammonia since the first dose. The pH has always tested 8.0-8.1.

I changed filter socks yesterday and I'm wondering if I lost some good bacteria, causing higher ammonia today. Or it could just be reading the test (API-hard to tell). The nitrates I'm testing with Salifert. Should I consider adding more bacteria or is this normal?
You have something going on, hard to say what. A stalled cycle will not generate ammonia. Be patient. The cycle process will happen. If you are in a hurry to make it happen you can get a new bottle of bacteria product. Otherwise, just wait it out.
 
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