Stalled Cycle?

BeTreyed

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20 gallon QT tank set up 30 days ago. I do not have a DT set up yet, just trying to get a jump on fish to add to my tank and make sure they're healthy and pest free right from the get go.

Like I said tank was set up 30 days ago. Sponge filter and HOB filter running sponge and ceramic.

Used microbacter7 and added quikcycle to 1-2 ppm. Went almosy 3 weeks with API test only showing ammonia. worried that the test kit was bad, ordered red sea marine care test kit. First ttest with Red sea showed

Ammonia: 1.2
Nitrite: 0.2
Nitrate: 5

Today, I am still getting the same numbers, no change whatsoever for about a week and a half.

I have ghost fed some, and a day or 2 later my ammonia will spike to 2ppm and the next day it drops right to 1.2 again with no change to Nitrate or nitrite.

I'm so confused,any advice. Do I start over? Just give it more time?

Current tank parameters
Temp: 83
Spgr: 1.020
pH: 8.3
Alk: 6.5
Ammonia: 1.2
Nitrite: 0.2
Nitrate: 5

Any help or advice is great.
 
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Fritz

vetteguy53081

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Salt level way low ( at least 1.024) , temperature extremely high (77-79) and alk low ( 8-11 safe range)
API test kits are notorious for false readings and you may be getting false reading hence the numbers you are seeing. With red sea results, a Water change of 30% is warranted
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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There are no stalled cycles in reefing including qt tanks, including yours

post a picture of your qt tank so we can see ratios of surface area to water and we will fix your cycle easily

we don’t want to see or know your test kit levels, they aren’t correct as we show below on a hundred display examples using non digital kits.

again, non digital ammonia test kits are misleading. 100% fact your qt is cycled and ready, any surface area treated this long will be.

once you post pics I’ll troubleshoot your setup and link it here as the first quarantine tank false stuck cycle fixed.


the very first link on that page called ‘100% water change‘ shows the exact way to fix your tank, you change out all the water for new and it’s fixed and ready.

your answer is simple, qt tanks don’t get tested to the degree of ammonia that high surface area displays can be tested at, we need scaled down ammonia testing to match the surface area only and even though yours has too much ammonia you’d just simply change the water, add new water, and the whole system is ready just like all 18 pages above


in fact since you are doing qt vs just dumping in fish, your efforts deserve to be on page one after we fix your cycle and prove it was fixed by fish being in the qt. But first let’s see your filter ratios at work: as long as your setup mimics other known qt tank ratios then it’s ready.


and if your filter or sponge ratio to water volume is low, you’d add more surface area not bacteria


a

nitrite has no basis anymore in reefing, disregard it always we show above.

a qt tank does not have to move as much ammonia as a display in order to be cycled. The risk is too little surface area, not too little bacteria at all. And since literally any degree of sponge filter or hob filter runs all known qt setups, yours isn’t low on surface area I’ll bet.
post pics
b
 
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BeTreyed

BeTreyed

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There are no stalled cycles in reefing including qt tanks, including yours

post a picture of your qt tank so we can see ratios of surface area to water and we will fix your cycle easily

we don’t want to see or know your test kit levels, they aren’t correct as we show below on a hundred display examples using non digital kits.

again, non digital ammonia test kits are misleading. 100% fact your qt is cycled and ready, any surface area treated this long will be.

once you post pics I’ll troubleshoot your setup and link it here as the first quarantine tank false stuck cycle fixed.


the very first link on that page called ‘100% water change‘ shows the exact way to fix your tank, you change out all the water for new and it’s fixed and ready.

your answer is simple, qt tanks don’t get tested to the degree of ammonia that high surface area displays can be tested at, we need scaled down ammonia testing to match the surface area only and even though yours has too much ammonia you’d just simply change the water, add new water, and the whole system is ready just like all 18 pages above


in fact since you are doing qt vs just dumping in fish, your efforts deserve to be on page one after we fix your cycle and prove it was fixed by fish being in the qt. But first let’s see your filter ratios at work: as long as your setup mimics other known qt tank ratios then it’s ready.


and if your filter or sponge ratio to water volume is low, you’d add more surface area not bacteria


any surfaces in this qt tank are full up on bacteria, waiting can’t add more and dosing bac can’t add more, the attachment spaces are already used up. Lastly, in accordance with our pages above, if you had seneye it would probably still show total oxidation anyway of the big ammonia jolt. Your current readings are from color compare kits, those create false stall concerns in all cases. Your cycle is now fixed, free :)

nitrite has no basis anymore in reefing, disregard it always we show above.

a qt tank does not have to move as much ammonia as a display in order to be cycled. The risk is too little surface area, not too little bacteria at all. And since literally any degree of sponge filter or hob filter runs all known qt setups, yours isn’t low on surface area I’ll bet.
post pics
b
Brandon!

I was hoping you'd respond. For clarity sake I did search for stuck cycle before I posted and didn't come across this post for some reason. But anyway, yes, I'm betting I have enough surface area. Here's a picture.
 

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brandon429

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Perfect. I dont know how many tangs that can carry but you can qt some clownfish and gobies lol thats for sure. The setup has more surface area than most will have for that gallonage, so any quarantines you’ve seen carrying fish in that size reef your tank can now carry the same.

your ammonia tests aren’t going to become more reliable and since you need to assess ammonia in qt setups the right way here is by fish observation and water clarity continuance. Begin using the setup after the water change, if water stays clear you don’t have free ammonia issues and your surface area is sufficient


if the fish + very light feeding stay acting normal, same. Don’t just immediately dose prime in reaction to testing, the kits are going to continue misleading/ watch for the non test kit cues before adding ammonia offsets. Post updates after fish have been in a week or two we really need these rate qt tests to round out our cycle inspection logs

just for kicks after you change all the water post one pic of the new ammonia test on the known totally clean water, lets see if the test kit goes back to zero out of just curiosity. No need to re test ammonia afterwards, just curious if that one calibration pic will reflect the true known levels from clean saltwater tested from this actual tank, not the holding container of clean saltwater.
let the water swirl overnite in the new qt before that test

b
 

ying yang

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Brandon!

I was hoping you'd respond. For clarity sake I did search for stuck cycle before I posted and didn't come across this post for some reason. But anyway, yes, I'm betting I have enough surface area. Here's a picture.
You definately got the surface area with all them bio media at the bottom.i did something similar but used plastic balls for surface area but was a pain as all the fish poo and uneaten food would fall inbetween them so fed slowly to the fish given them chance to eat so didnt drop to bottom was my plan but sometimes fish just used to watch it go past them lol but i used airline tubing to siphon the waste out so lost very little water lost ,could even siphon it into a filter sock or pair of woman's tights or anything that will trap the food/ fish poo etc then put water back in.
I added an internal sponge filter and took the sponge out,just to add flow over my bio balls at bottom off tank as thought it be better as the bacteria on surfaces need flow to bring them amnonia to use was my thinking,how much or how little i didnt actually know so just gave th flow plus be good for fish to have bit of flow and strengthen them up and get them used to flow when go in dt ( not sure if needed but thought couldnt hurt)

Screenshot_20210818-131127_Gallery.jpg 20210818_131340.jpg
 
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BeTreyed

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How are you going to syphon the base of the tank? I think your better off putting the ceramic things in a mash bag tbh, and direct flow towards that or even put a bubbler to it.
I agree, that does make sense. Is it really all that different from rock in the bottom or glass beads. Also, do I necessarily need that or is the sponge filter and the ceramic/sponge in the HOB enough surface area?
 
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BeTreyed

BeTreyed

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Perfect. I dont know how many tangs that can carry but you can qt some clownfish and gobies lol thats for sure. The setup has more surface area than most will have for that gallonage, so any quarantines you’ve seen carrying fish in that size reef your tank can now carry the same.
Display is going to be a 40b, probably not gonna have any tangs anyway. Don't want the Tang police after me
your ammonia tests aren’t going to become more reliable and since you need to assess ammonia in qt setups the right way here is by fish observation and water clarity continuance. Begin using the setup after the water change, if water stays clear you don’t have free ammonia issues and your surface area is sufficient
What about an ammonia alert badge? Is there any point in them either? I do plan to probably prophylactically treat with copper.

if the fish + very light feeding stay acting normal, same. Don’t just immediately dose prime in reaction to testing, the kits are going to continue misleading/ watch for the non test kit cues before adding ammonia offsets. Post updates after fish have been in a week or two we really need these rate qt tests to round out our cycle inspection logs

just for kicks after you change all the water post one pic of the new ammonia test on the known totally clean water, lets see if the test kit goes back to zero out of just curiosity. No need to re test ammonia afterwards, just curious if that one calibration pic will reflect the true known levels from clean saltwater tested from this actual tank, not the holding container of clean saltwater.
let the water swirl overnite in the new qt before that test

b
I can do that, this is really interesting, and your "stuck cycle" thread is really a great read. Thanks for the advice.
 
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BeTreyed

BeTreyed

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for a quarantine the alert badge is fine to have agreed
So, a ~95% water change yesterday and added 2 black ice clowns. They are doing well and no signs of clouding in the water and no signs of stress. I appreciate the help with this. Another one for your files.

20210823_173702.jpg
20210823_172902.jpg
20210823_172912.jpg
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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thats perfect

I thank you so much for following up, really

new cycling science has to be pitched like a broken record over and over, a thousand times, to get 3 or 4 willing to use it and put the pics on the line. Can't thank you enough

what will matter most is how the system works over the next week, that clarity...can't wait to see how it does. no feed wasting lol but if they're eating with no wasted food dropping down, the system is predicted to carry that without future bottle bac dosing

unless meds burn out this filter setup, what we're tracking so far is biofilter establishment based on time frames vs test kits

**your test above is handy to see. that is .2 as total ammonia


and what we care about is nh3, free form, so its .02 and that's literally what seneye shows quarantine tanks to run at with scaled down surface area. its directly safe, its directly not a failed ammonia test above that's a total ammonia slight green color and ten thousand fully matured reefs would show that just the same. your test is new cycling science gold, its super clear pics and a good ammonia kit too I can't hack on it.
 

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I want to add this to our proofed no stall thread in about 5 days of bioload carry, any not ready system will go gray water and crash well before then

wanted to show you this case study.

that's an example of helping them unstall

they’re slowly buying in, timed with your updates it would be perfect to see outcomes in two similar systems, that reef there has even more surface area than this qt, the advantage is in their favor

your updates will stand out here
 
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brandon429

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Updates how are we with clowns need tank pic


it’s ready to add to our thread, it would be a cloudy wrecked mess by now if not cycled
 

brandon429

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Thanks tons for your documentation it really helps our cycle study patterning!

plus you’re assessing disease potential before vectoring in pestilence into your reef, starting with quarantine vs placing them right into the display

this is pure updated cycling science to focus on disease prevention as the initial setup

it’s now placed in the top two of all work outcomes in our unstuck cycles thread. Hundreds of quarantine cyclers will benefit from seeing your documentation
 
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@brandon429

So far the clowns are doing great. they've been eating well, although that has been a little bit of an issue. they tend to either spit out a lot or let some fall to the floor. so I've started feeding tiny bits at a time so i can make sure they are eating all that goes in. the water quality/clarity has been great. this weekend i noticed the color of the alert badge had creeped up to the first color (pea green) or 0.05 (i really wonder if these are actually that sensitive). that is what prompted me to be a little bit more controlled in my feeding them.

I've done a 25% water change the past 2 days, and no change on the alert badge. should i be concerned or is this just another poor ammonia test and i should depend on behavior and water clarity. the big reason i ask is that i havent started any prophylactic treatment because i know some meds can adversely affect ammonia or the biofilter.

thanks
20210831_185051.jpg
 

brandon429

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I believe it

in any restricted surface test I’d believe it yep, you are doing well to pair it with water changes. That’s how to guide a qt and deal with feeding challenges, it’s about being dynamic and intercepting ahead of time and the water changes are perfect.


your thread is really great to show the balance in free ammonia, surface area, days sustained and feed loading it’s a joy to watch unfold. Given the context of your badge and the small change based on feeding accept / deny this all really sounds on track and if it was a tank of fifty pounds of live rock I’d never believe the raise nh3


your thread shows readers that only systems with surface area tipping points can drift out of control, never display systems. Very nice details so far. This is a very helpful thread to have for tracking updated science claims and outcomes.


readers get to see someone buying and managing the right quarantine supports to make a main display tank run the ideal way, the way the fish disease forum would advocate. Nobody can accuse this of being a rush its just a well-planned reef coming together and this is the fish ready step
 
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