Should we rethink and refine means and methods for cycling tanks?

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For scientifical purposes of course;)
I know that brs is looking at new ideas for setting up tanks.
They have fully cycled and stocked a successful tank in 48hrs.
I've done a tank in 24hrs.
We know that we can fully transfer tanks over to new systems and not even experience cycles as long as we don't exceed bioload from existing tanks.
We know that we can pretty much do the same thing with dry rock/bottle bac tank start ups if cycle protocol is followed and tank is stocked correctly.
We know that color coded test kits can read astronomically high when seneye shows ammonia levels in hundredths and sometimes thousandths on same new "cycling" tanks.
If by definition a cycle is considered over when ammonia and nitrite levels top out and begin to decline. Why do we continue to tell reefers they are still cycling when tanks are fully capable of handling bioload?

Why aren't we really exploring the benefits of these controlled approaches to cycling tanks? There are too many successful reefs being documented daily using new approaches and getting same job done more efficiently.
Why are we still regurgitating old school rules when they are out of date and no longer apply to new school data and methods?
 

Dan_P

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For scientifical purposes of course;)
I know that brs is looking at new ideas for setting up tanks.
They have fully cycled and stocked a successful tank in 48hrs.
I've done a tank in 24hrs.
We know that we can fully transfer tanks over to new systems and not even experience cycles as long as we don't exceed bioload from existing tanks.
We know that we can pretty much do the same thing with dry rock/bottle bac tank start ups if cycle protocol is followed and tank is stocked correctly.
We know that color coded test kits can read astronomically high when seneye shows ammonia levels in hundredths and sometimes thousandths on same new "cycling" tanks.
If by definition a cycle is considered over when ammonia and nitrite levels top out and begin to decline. Why do we continue to tell reefers they are still cycling when tanks are fully capable of handling bioload?

Why aren't we really exploring the benefits of these controlled approaches to cycling tanks? There are too many successful reefs being documented daily using new approaches and getting same job done more efficiently.
Why are we still regurgitating old school rules when they are out of date and no longer apply to new school data and methods?
Could you recap for us what the new method involves? What are steps?
 

brandon429

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Excellent.

proponents of extended wait cycles claim it’s less burn for the animals to wait until test kits show perfect three part compliance. their method is exclusively test kit based so misreads aren’t factored, no alternate start date assessments exist for the old way we simply wait till api says so.

however, in the fish disease forum, most entrants for disease help followed traditional rules on nitrite compliance before they stocked

we cannot find patterned loss threads in cycles that omit nitrite and nitrate testing during the cycle, but we find high degree of loss daily in the fish disease forum, disease prep is the most important part of the cycle it’s already a done deal regarding ammonia control- says a cycling chart on day ten.


any method that excludes nitrite and nitrate compliance from the start date on a reef tank is the new method, the old method firmly requires all yellow on api ammonia, complete light blue on the nitrite and some orange on the nitrate, wait four months if required is the old way.

this cycle below is completed plus some, not stalled. Per old cycling rules it’s stalled though.
new cycling science vs old cycling science derives polar opposite findings on the very same example—by using polar opposite markers on what constitutes a closed and finished cycle.


New cycling science wants two factors to decide: how much surface area do you have, and how many days has it been underwater. If you provide detail on boosters used we can specify an exact date in which the cycle will be done using no testing at all.



old cycling science is stuck until a new kit, a new purchase, gives permission to proceed. Old cycling science is hesitant, purchase and reaction based. New cycling science googled a cycling chart, saw it was thirty days to done at maximum wait, ammonia down by day ten, and noticed not one cycling chart in history was set to sixty days. We can rely on that in these fed -or- bottle bac dosed cycles. New cycling science has a direct aquarium example for any cycle troubleshoot and old cycling science doesn’t, all procedural allowance is unique to a given tank and its reported parameters.

reef tank cycles don’t stall, all stalls are non digital misreads. If we’re trained to believe cycles stall we will buy things to unstall.

anyone here ever seen a cycle chart that shows ammonia hovering at .25 for weeks and weeks? Why don’t cycling charts range all over the place site to site…ammonia control as reported by api testing aquarists sure does? which is right, the charts from eighty years or aquarists wielding seven dollar kits that are tricked the instant they use any Prime in the setup?

 
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Could you recap for us what the new method involves? What are steps?
No new steps. Same old cycle. Setting up new tank and going through same procedures following same protocol.
New equipment. Better ways of testing. Real time more accurate data. Applying new science to old rules.
I know you've done experiments with seneye. Would you say that seneye could be a better and more accurate tool than color coded test kits?
 

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For discussion sake,

I think the old methods are still peached because we are all creatures of habit. The old school way of doing things DID WORK and we should take a second to acknowledge that. Shrimp n wait worked for thousands of tank starts over a few decades.

Now is it still relevant today?? I suppose that's a matter of who you ask. I think those lessons are still important today because of the WHY factor. Why does this work is as important to me as does this work.

There are many companies doing exactly what you are asking, Should we do.

I'd venture a guess that the maker of every bottled BAC has done research into times, types of bac, temp, all while taking readings of the water with lab grade equipment that we just don't have.

They make big claims and there are some that can verify, and some that dissent on the effectiveness of these new methods.

In short, my opinion is that Yes, we should absolutely be questioning "Is this the right way to do this" but also understand that in a hobby like this, there are many right ways to end up at the same finish line. @LRT and I see eye to eye on many things. We also have different experiences and influences to support those. That doesn't make our differences wrong.
 
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I agree, but also would say that old school advice(ie toss a shrimp in and come back in 3 months) i think is very rarely given anymore.
Believe it or not I've seen a cpl tanks started this way in last couple months.
Let's look at that as well though.
If we can measure more accurate and precisely who's to say that method does not work just as effectively.
 

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I agree, but also would say that old school advice(ie toss a shrimp in and come back in 3 months) i think is very rarely given anymore.
I’ve never understood that advice. I’ve been reefing for 20+ years and never done it that way (not that it’s wrong). I’ve used sponges seeded from other tanks, skimmate from other tanks, bacteria packs for septic tanks, amquel, mb7, and combinations thereof. All have worked perfectly fine and I can’t say that I’ve ever lost a fish due to premature cycling, and have never waited longer than 3-5 days to add fish. Common sense applies in that you need to know which animals are more hardy to jump start a tank (damsels, clowns, yellow tangs), and have a reasonable idea of bioload to active bacteria.

You can start up a tank pretty quickly as long as you have a good foundation of the basic principles. I think companies are just pretending to reinvent the wheel on this for marketing purposes.
 
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For discussion sake,

I think the old methods are still peached because we are all creatures of habit. The old school way of doing things DID WORK and we should take a second to acknowledge that. Shrimp n wait worked for thousands of tank starts over a few decades.

Now is it still relevant today?? I suppose that's a matter of who you ask. I think those lessons are still important today because of the WHY factor. Why does this work is as important to me as does this work.

There are many companies doing exactly what you are asking, Should we do.

I'd venture a guess that the maker of every bottled BAC has done research into times, types of bac, temp, all while taking readings of the water with lab grade equipment that we just don't have.

They make big claims and there are some that can verify, and some that dissent on the effectiveness of these new methods.

In short, my opinion is that Yes, we should absolutely be questioning "Is this the right way to do this" but also understand that in a hobby like this, there are many right ways to end up at the same finish line. @LRT and I see eye to eye on many things. We also have different experiences and influences to support those. That doesn't make our differences wrong.
100% agreed.
All im realisticly trying to get across is the whole entire cycling process and game can be totally refined and fine tuned to be better and work more efficiently for folks.
Or we can stay on stuck cycles and api test kits showing crazy high numbers when seneye is showing us the exact opposite.
 
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Excellent.

proponents of extended wait cycles claim it’s less burn for the animals to wait until test kits show perfect three part compliance. their method is exclusively test kit based so misreads aren’t factored, no alternate start date assessments exist for the old way we simply wait till api says so.

however, in the fish disease forum, most entrants for disease help followed traditional rules on nitrite compliance before they stocked

we cannot find patterned loss threads in cycles that omit nitrite and nitrate testing during the cycle, but we find high degree of loss daily in the fish disease forum, ergo disease prep is the most important part of the cycle it’s already a done deal regarding ammonia control- says a cycling chart on day ten.


any method that excludes nitrite and nitrate compliance from the start date on a reef tank is the new method, the old method firmly requires all yellow on api ammonia, complete light blue on the nitrite and some orange on the nitrate, wait four months if required is the old way.
I'm glad you brought up the fish disease forum and things.
You know I didn't even check nitrites in my 24hr instastocked tanks.
Just prior to transfer and instastock I took a bunch of frags that where not fully healed, some still spewing guts to be exact. All frags healed. Some are even dropping there own babies now.
 
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Huh. I guess I'm just an oddball. I started a freshwater tank just by throwing a couple of rocks into an ice cream bucket full of water and setting it outside till I saw a touch of green. Then into the tank with one fish. Watch for ammonia. Five days later, still no ammonia. Add another fish. No ammonia. Five days after the third fish, no ammonia, I didn't check it anymore. If I skimped on water changes, then I would check PH and nitrate before the water change. And once the first tank was cycled, I never had to cycle again. Just moved some gravel -with- gunk in it. Done.

Then I got the saltwater bug (anybody find a cure for this yet?) and started a pico. I have been lurking off and on here for years n years. Biobac? Pfft. I figured that was for the really big tanks and big fish. My first pico was about 3/4 of a gallon. I set it up, put a rolled up media bag in it with a magnet to keep in place (for critters n bacteria) and and then I put in 3 coral frags, -not- dipped for the bacteria, and a blue-legged hermie to get things started. No ammonia.

I guess I'm just a natural rule breaker.
 
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Could you recap for us what the new method involves? What are steps?
I felt like I owed this post and extra one:)
Here's a 24hr instacycled/stocked or whatever we want to call it tank.
Method was simple.
New saltmix water was put in new tank. Rock and critters put in same time. Tank fed. Seen no more than a .006 spike in ammonia and back down according to seneye. Fed twice during first 12 hrs.
Tank fully stocked with over 100 corals, 3 fish, full CUC brigade within first 24hrs.
Applied all the same cycling rules. Used more precise tool of measurement.
Never checked nitrites. @Lasse
Can anyone explain what toxic levels of nitrites means when it pertains to our saltwater critters?
Are all new tank start ups created equally and could refined approaches be considered when setting up different tanks especially when it comes to bioload?
How much bioload can a new tank start up actually handle?
What does that even mean and how should it be applied to this tank?

This tank and its inhabitants have never been happier or more healthy since I transferred and instastocked it.
Could instantly stocking it after cycle actually helped disperse appropriate bioload quicker to better handle a healthy stocked tank more efficiently?
20211013_173042.jpg
20211013_173051.jpg
 

brandon429

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Isn’t it amazing none of the article writers have updated the process formally, it’s all dose two ppm ammonia and wait.

But look how the top three cycling methods in reefing do polar opposite things with initial ammonia loading, where’s the training on this truth:

-live rock skip cycles. zero ammonia added, live rock relocated to tank never, ever needs dosed with ammonia or even verified. It’s 100% skip cycle when rocks simply move tanks because they stayed wet. anyone who thinks that mini cycles happen here doesn’t own a seneye nor track seneye pattern threads, these are total skip cycle/ zero ammonia used cycles and no bottle bac either. Adding bottle bac doesn’t plate more bacteria onto live rocks, they’re full already. Skip cycle means skip cycle. This method runs all reef conventions for decades, carrying fifty thousand in animals in tanks that never, ever stall. Stalls are for the sales targets walking the convention.


-dry rock starts. Add ammonia and bac its indicated here, or sub ammonia for pinch ground fish flakes and get the same outcome.



-ocean rock cured cycles. They pump ammonia themselves due to dieoff we certainly wouldn’t add any more. We do cpr water changes to stop the cascade.

three major cycle options, only one procedural guide running which always demands high initial ammonia dose, and in the gray zone bottle bac sellers capitalizing on the doubt and especially public response to perceived nitrite stalls. When we use the old cycling rules, we kill fish by the bucket load five months after carefully waiting eight weeks for perfect nitrite compliance and having dosed multiple strains of bottle bac in response



the old cycling rules are lined with doubt, reactive purchases, Prime-induced false reads, unnecessary self-imposed action restrictions, hesitation, and constant re purchase of means to ‘coax’ a process that was all done two weeks ago. Sellers at the convention don’t act that way, they’re assertive.


ever been to Macna on first Friday nite, heaviest traffic, and two of the twenty thousand dollar display systems are being dismantled among the foot traffic in a failed attempt to get ready to carry life? Their nitrite stalled, so time to go home?


sellers never miss the convention and they’d never, ever burn two hundred bounce mushroom frags in dangerous conditions. They’re resolute, and what doesn’t sell skip cycles back home never using bottle bac once in the coming or the going.
 
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Lost in the Sauce

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100% agreed.
All im realisticly trying to get across is the whole entire cycling process and game can be totally refined and fine tuned to be better and work more efficiently for folks.
E how are you proposing we streamline it?

Without ideas and specifics to be implemented, we are just hollering into the ether about there being a problem (which we can agree there is not an overwhelming consensus on)

What specifically would you put in the LRT "New Skool of Cycling" class?

What would you omit?

What I'm trying to get at is what is the "problem" we are looking to solve?

IF the endgame is to get all reefers to agree on one method being best, it's a fools errand.
 
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E how are you proposing we streamline it?

Without ideas and specifics to be implemented, we are just hollering into the ether about there being a problem (which we can there is not an overwhelming consensus on)

What specifically would you put in the LRT "New Skool of Cycling" class?

What would you omit?

What I'm trying to get at is what is the "problem" we are looking to solve?

IF the endgame is to get all reefers to agree on one method being best, it's a fools errand.
Haha first business or lrt quick cycle class would be to do exactly what ive done in my instastocked tanks.
An extremely high threshold has been set so there is alot of wiggle room in there to maneuver safely.
I dont think we really know the exact science to answer the rest of those questions but we should be asking them.
 
AS

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Some of the longer wait times are to keep the idiots from being idiots to live things. Smart people can always be outliers. Success is long term and too many declare victory too quickly.

I have laid out step by step instructions to do many things on this board and still get f-u posts and PMs from time to time from people who cannot do it right. My first thoughts go to any poor animals that these people killed or harmed. Don't assume that the people that will read your stuff will have the same experience, knowledge or resolve that you have... they don't. I have told people to spend a few hundo on real live rock and save the trouble of tricky cycle, algae and all of that, yet most still order dry rock and spend 3x as much on chemicals over the next few years to fight it.

Don't discount the rite of passage and accumulation of knowledge. We all would like to get a college degree in a month, or go from Law School to a well-respected justice or even have our kids be as smart as possible as early as possible and I wanted to drive a car at 12 years old but sometimes time and patience is there for a reason for the masses. I probably could have drove at 12 years old, but my siblings and none of my friends were ready. If people are going to be in this hobby for the long term, then maybe a month of watching a tank come along while reading up on stuff and learning is a good idea. Anybody remember the hobby just after Finding Nemo came out? A whole flock (I mean huge) of biocube buyers quick into the hobby wanting instant results and most were gone in short order... most never earned the experience that they needed to be successful.

Real rock and sand tanks were nearly always instant start once the rock and sand cycled after being shipped. People forget this - or never knew it. Cycling got harder with sterile tanks when BRS some other sellers started to convince people that pests were going to ruin your tank. Nearly anybody with some established live rock and some self control to go slow with fish (stocking and feeding) could do OK with this. Even these need time to truly be able to handle a large influx of fish or load... so not truly cycled in a sense that the tank can adjust to meet needs super quickly at first, but also not going to see ammonia spikes. Somewhere in the middle.

Cycle is not over until ammonia can be kept under control with an equilibrium of oxic bacteria. If you get stable early on and then get another spike if you add more fish, then you were not cycled since the bacteria could not reproduce fast enough.

The last thing that I will add is that truly mature tanks with diverse micro and macro fauna are very easy to keep fish. Most of the parasites that infect fish are quick meals for these critters - especially those that fall from the fish into the rock or substrate.

Nitrite is harmless to most fish unless in SUPER high concentrations, but it can harm inverts and some sensitive fish at lower levels. It can be incredibly toxic in freshwater and I don't understand why people do not know the difference. Ammonium mostly is not toxic either, but it can switch back and forth to ammonia quite quickly. Do people not read Dr. Holmes-Farley's articles anymore?
 
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Isn’t it amazing none of the article writers have updated the process formally, it’s all dose two ppm ammonia and wait.

But look how the top three cycling methods in reefing do polar opposite things with initial ammonia loading, where’s the training on this truth:

-live rock skip cycles. zero ammonia added, live rock relocated to tank never, ever needs dosed with ammonia or even verified. It’s 100% skip cycle when rocks simply move tanks because they stayed wet. anyone who thinks that mini cycles happen here doesn’t own a seneye nor track seneye pattern threads, these are total skip cycle/ zero ammonia used cycles and no bottle bac either. Adding bottle bac doesn’t plate more bacteria onto live rocks, they’re full already. Skip cycle means skip cycle. This method runs all reef conventions for decades, carrying fifty thousand in animals in tanks that never, ever stall. Stalls are for the sales targets walking the convention.


-dry rock starts. Add ammonia and bac its indicated here, or sub ammonia for pinch ground fish flakes and get the same outcome.



-ocean rock cured cycles. They pump ammonia themselves due to dieoff we certainly wouldn’t add any more. We do cpr water changes to stop the cascade.

three major cycle options, only one procedural guide running, and in the gray zone bottle bac sellers capitalizing on the doubt and especially public response to perceived nitrite stalls. When we use the old cycling rules, we kill fish by the bucket load five months after carefully waiting eight weeks for perfect nitrite compliance and having dosed multiple strains of bottle bac in response



the old cycling rules are lined with doubt, reactive purchases, Prime-induced false reads, unnecessary self-imposed action restrictions, hesitation, and constant re purchase of means to ‘coax’ a process that was all done two weeks ago. Sellers at the convention don’t act that way, they’re assertive.


ever been to Macna on first Friday nite, heaviest traffic, and two of the twenty thousand dollar display systems are being dismantled among the foot traffic in a failed attempt to get ready to carry life? Their nitrite stalled, so time to go home?


sellers never miss the convention and they’d never, ever burn two hundred bounce mushroom frags in dangerous conditions. They’re resolute, and what doesn’t sell skip cycles back home never using bottle bac once in the coming or the going.
Why the 2ppm and who set the rules on that?
Do we know how many fish and critters 2ppm of properly cycled ammonia can actually handle?
Can a 300 hundred gallon tank be fully stocked directly after cycle with the 2ppm method you describe?
 

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Not to be a downer, but if you think that a bottle of bacteria with some fuel is going to get you to the finish line, then think again. They contain only a few small strains and have nothing like what you can get coming out of the gut of a fish or on something from the ocean or another mature tank. I imagine that this is better than nothing, but it is probably better to spend that $10 on a pound of LR and put that in there.
 

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They have fully cycled and stocked a successful tank in 48hrs.
I've done a tank in 24hrs.
One cycle starting the family of nitro-bacterias breaking down ammonia into nitrates does not mean you have a free pass to start adding corals and sensitive fish.

Stop these mad thoughts....


.
 
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Some of the longer wait times are to keep the idiots from being idiots to live things. Smart people can always be outliers. Success is long term and too many declare victory too quickly.

I have laid out step by step instructions to do many things on this board and still get f-u posts and PMs from time to time from people who cannot do it right. My first thoughts go to any poor animals that these people killed or harmed. Don't assume that the people that will read your stuff will have the same experience, knowledge or resolve that you have... they don't. I have told people to spend a few hundo on real live rock and save the trouble of tricky cycle, algae and all of that, yet most still order dry rock and spend 3x as much on chemicals over the next few years to fight it.

Don't discount the rite of passage and accumulation of knowledge. We all would like to get a college degree in a month, or go from Law School to a well-respected justice or even have our kids be as smart as possible as early as possible and I wanted to drive a car at 12 years old but sometimes time and patience is there for a reason for the masses. I probably could have drove at 12 years old, but my siblings and none of my friends were ready. If people are going to be in this hobby for the long term, then maybe a month of watching a tank come along while reading up on stuff and learning is a good idea. Anybody remember the hobby just after Finding Nemo came out? A whole flock (I mean huge) of biocube buyers quick into the hobby wanting instant results and most were gone in short order... most never earned the experience that they needed to be successful.

Real rock and sand tanks were nearly always instant start once the rock and sand cycled after being shipped. People forget this - or never knew it. Cycling got harder with sterile tanks when BRS some other sellers started to convince people that pests were going to ruin your tank. Nearly anybody with some established live rock and some self control to go slow with fish (stocking and feeding) could do OK with this. Even these need time to truly be able to handle a large influx of fish or load... so not truly cycled in a sense that the tank can adjust to meet needs super quickly at first, but also not going to see ammonia spikes. Somewhere in the middle.

Cycle is not over until ammonia can be kept under control with an equilibrium of oxic bacteria. If you get stable early on and then get another spike if you add more fish, then you were not cycled since the bacteria could not reproduce fast enough.

The last thing that I will add is that truly mature tanks with diverse micro and macro fauna are very easy to keep fish. Most of the parasites that infect fish are quick meals for these critters - especially those that fall from the fish into the rock or substrate.

Nitrite is harmless to most fish unless in SUPER high concentrations, but it can harm inverts and some sensitive fish at lower levels. It can be incredibly toxic in freshwater and I don't understand why people do not know the difference. Ammonium mostly is not toxic either, but it can switch back and forth to ammonia quite quickly. Do people not read Dr. Holmes-Farley's articles anymore?
Hey Jda I never seen more than a .006 spike in ammonia for more than the first few feedings for first cpl days. Since then seneye has been pegged on .001 tracking just like system my real ocean rock came out of.
I precisely took the old school cycling rules and applied them here. I do believe folks can have same results or maybe even better results if they apply those same rules and have where with all to do that.
Mine was a little different in transferring an old system in that I could and should have done a better job with keeping params and nutrient levels locked in tighter I just had nothing to base the move on so I learned as I went.
You can actually cram a PE degree down to around 5 years if your determined to do it.
I do believe that if these tanks fail or have issues it will be to no reason or from fast set up means and more probably closer to life changes and no longer able to maintain a reef.
I've had a few since 1996.
I've never seen a happier more thriving, healthier tank.
Should I be concerned my instastock tank is going to crash anyday on me here?
I'm feeling the exact opposite vibe. In fact I've added 15 or so corals, more fish and critters to tank since I set it up just a few months ago.
 
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