Questions on Tank Cycling

katsreef

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Hi again, I'll be ready within the next week to begin cycling my tank and for every answer I get, I seem to come up with five more questions haha. I was told by a fellow hobbyist to use home hardware's all purpose cleaner as it is pure ammonia to cycle the tank. I have heard this method before but I am too nervous for it so I think I will go with Dr. Tim's one and only nitrifying bacteria along with Dr Tim's ammonia. I am setting up a IM 20g peninsula reef tank with Caribsea's dry liferock and special grade reef sand (expired live sand so pretty much dry sand)

Now the questions:
1. Is a 2oz bottle of both the nitrifying bacteria and the ammonia the right size for cycling a 20g tank?
2. Any substitutes for Dr. Tims ammonia because it is almost impossible to find in Canada!
2. Do I need a full test kit for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite? Or just ammonia test kit?
3. Should I use the ato, wavemaker, and light during the cycling phase?
4. The media basket that comes with the tank has: PurityPack Filter Media (1 – Mechanical Fiberball, 1- Premium 0.8 ROX Carbon Pack, 1 – High Capacity Coarse GFO Pack). Should I keep these all in during the cycle and only remove the filter sock?
5. HELP IN GENERAL- Can any fellow Canadians tell me what online stores you purchase this stuff from because I don't want to pay 40 dollars shipping for two Dr. Tims :(
 
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Subsea

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There are many successful ways to cycle a rank. I would not run light during initial cycle. If you are using Dr Tim’s, then follow his recipe.

With respect to item #4, you can use it all or none. Not knowing your skill level or your goals, I suggest you cycle with diver collected live rock from the Gulf of Mexico to maximize diversity and increase stability of system.

 
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katsreef

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There are many successful ways to cycle a rank. I would not run light during initial cycle. If you are using Dr Tim’s, then follow his recipe.

With respect to item #4, you can use it all or none. Not knowing your skill level or your goals, I suggest you cycle with diver collected live rock from the Gulf of Mexico to maximize diversity and increase stability of system.

Would a 2oz bottle of Dr. Tims be enough to cycle my 20g?
 
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LordofCinder

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I've only seen Dr. Tims once in a store in Toronto, but they dont have it in stock anymore. You can try Brightwell Quickcycle or Fritz Turbostart, I believe they are similar.

Test kits are very important in this hobby, you need ammonia nitrite nitrate just to track through the cycle, try not to get API brand, anything but. Once you start getting algae you will want a phosphate test to help you control phosphate, then when you get corals you will need alk, calcium, magnesium and others.

Its a personal choice to use equipment during the cycle or not. Personally I do use all equipment, I believe its the best chance to try out all equipment, get through the break in period, get used to how the machine works, dial in the settings the way you like, etc... but again its up to you.

Depends where you are in Canada, there could be some really good LFS's in your city. If you live in a rural area and need online ordering and delivering, there are threads on this forum with suggestions of good places to order. candycorals.com and Frag Rack Coral are 2 of my favorites, located in Toronto area but they both deliver.
 
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Hi again, I'll be ready within the next week to begin cycling my tank and for every answer I get, I seem to come up with five more questions haha. I was told by a fellow hobbyist to use home hardware's all purpose cleaner as it is pure ammonia to cycle the tank. I have heard this method before but I am too nervous for it so I think I will go with Dr. Tim's one and only nitrifying bacteria along with Dr Tim's ammonia. I am setting up a IM 20g peninsula reef tank with Caribsea's dry liferock and special grade reef sand (expired live sand so pretty much dry sand)

Now the questions:
1. Is a 2oz bottle of both the nitrifying bacteria and the ammonia the right size for cycling a 20g tank?
2. Any substitutes for Dr. Tims ammonia because it is almost impossible to find in Canada!
2. Do I need a full test kit for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite? Or just ammonia test kit?
3. Should I use the ato, wavemaker, and light during the cycling phase?
4. The media basket that comes with the tank has: PurityPack Filter Media (1 – Mechanical Fiberball, 1- Premium 0.8 ROX Carbon Pack, 1 – High Capacity Coarse GFO Pack). Should I keep these all in during the cycle and only remove the filter sock?
5. HELP IN GENERAL- Can any fellow Canadians tell me what online stores you purchase this stuff from because I don't want to pay 40 dollars shipping for two Dr. Tims :(
1. Is a 2oz bottle of both the nitrifying bacteria and the ammonia the right size for cycling a 20g tank?
Yes, that'll be more than enough to get you started.

2. Any substitutes for Dr. Tims ammonia because it is almost impossible to find in Canada!
I would suggest ordering online. I usually don't get anything from the LFS aside from livestock.

2. Do I need a full test kit for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite? Or just ammonia test kit?
Ammonia will be good to know at first but after the cycle is compelte it should stay just about zero or a trace. A healthy tank will stay that way. You will however need to have a Nitrate and later a Phosphate test. I would highly suggest the Red Sea tests and I would not recommend the Salifert tests as they totally led me astray in the past.

3. Should I use the ato, wavemaker, and light during the cycling phase?
Yes for sure. You want to get the tank into equilibrium, practice running everything and ultimately start to create your biosphere. I'd also suggest treating with coraline spores so you can get that growing.

4. The media basket that comes with the tank has: PurityPack Filter Media (1 – Mechanical Fiberball, 1- Premium 0.8 ROX Carbon Pack, 1 – High Capacity Coarse GFO Pack). Should I keep these all in during the cycle and only remove the filter sock?
You won't need the GFO at the beginning because you won't be adding Phosphate from food during that time. I'd also not use the carbon pack at first, again you're not adding anything at first so no real reason to use it.
So when do you start? You can add the carbon when you add fish and start to feed. The GFO on the other hand will be there to reduce the Phosphates and if you plan on having coral you cannot make this number zero. So this is where the Phosphate test comes in, you'll want to introduce the GFO when that gets to around 0.1 PPM and make an effort to stabilize in that neighborhood.

5. HELP IN GENERAL- Can any fellow Canadians tell me what online stores you purchase this stuff from because I don't want to pay 40 dollars shipping for two Dr. Tims :(
I would buy from Bulk Reef Supply here if that works for you: https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/reefing/Canada
 

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