The microbiology of reef tank cycling.

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by brandon429, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Robink

    Robink Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Here's a pic. Used bottled bacteria. Just started yesterday.
    Question. I didn't turn on the skimmer yet. Didn't think there's a need. Am I correct?
     
  2. USMC 4 LIFE

    USMC 4 LIFE Well-Known Member

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    I'm on the same boat. Started cycling two days ago with bottle bacteria. 90 gallon with 40 gallon sump. Not running lights or protein skimmer.

    I think I read that lights should be off until cycle has completed to minimize algae growth and that running the skimmer is optional.
     
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  3. BummersReef

    BummersReef Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    We waited a month before we turned on our skimmer
     
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  4. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Yes agreed to all above

    A little cleaning ammonia is the key teammate for the bottle bac starters to speed things up into three week cycle (passes a digest test)

    It's not that we have to rush it's just the liquid ammonia complements natural ammonia inputs (gnats and skin cells wafting in and especially non filtration bacteria that die within and algae contaminants that get in and die...household airborne plant spores and fungi...molds...all decompose into ammonia....) considering the real microbial universe it's easy to see where trace ammonia comes from

    Using only those foodstuffs we get a six week plus cycle which is nbd only the ability to command either or is what we show. Couple shots of hq ammonia it w take on life very fast
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
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  5. Robink

    Robink Well-Known Member

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    Ok. Great. Getting the ammonia tomorrow.
    Thanks for all the responses.
    Great thread btw.
     
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  6. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/376780-09g-aio/

    Look at this fascinating example of a rare type of cycle going on in this pico reef above, its group A rock cycling using only corals as the loading, and seed source, and it works for very specific control reasons we cover in that thread. Its still group A/B combined, but the active group B surfaces used are not live rocks they are actual coral skeletons lol/ super cool and appro for our cycling thread here. You can absolutely cycle a pico reef in this way, under tight controls covered (no fish)
     
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  7. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    4 pages and not once have we needed to know nitrite, not ever.

    Even for the group A cyclers, not required here, a theme is developing
     
  8. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    The single largest collection of group B rock transfers, all SKIP cycle instant reefs, we can locate and it happens every year


    see post 54:
    http://reef2reef.com/threads/macna-pics.265156/

    They have a couple days to prepare twenty thousand dollar reefs to run as if they are ten years in place using every single detail we review in this thread.

    Is moving rock from your pet store to your house much different? What if you want to rip your tank apart to the bone to clean it, or rid it of algae, can that be skip cycled? Did they move that big sps drop tank in that thread weighing a ton all at once via crane into the building, or was it installed in living sections, piece by piece? John have a good day at work man am soapboxing early this morn
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
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  9. john.m.cole3

    john.m.cole3 cyclOps R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Hub City Reef Club

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    Yeah the pros of those conferences might know a thing or two about setting up a reef
     
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  10. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Bowerbankii size of dinner plate must second mortgage to buy
     
  11. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member Article Contributor

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    I wish I had read this thread a few weeks ago. Not sure how I missed it. I used dry rock but live sand and a bottle of Bio-Spira. I added 4 shrimp and even though they are visibly decaying I have never had detectable ammonia. My nitrate test seems to show a bit of nitrate gain but nothing significant (150g total water in the system). So not have a clue what was happening in my tank since my tests didn't give me info I trusted I picked up pure ammonia and dosed up to 1ppm. It was back down to zero within 12 hours.
    Live and learn I guess. At least this confirms for me that I really had no need to even try to cycle my tank despite using dry rock.
     
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  12. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    your shrimp still helped you for that mainly group A cycle, only the sand component was pre ready per that description it seems. the sand was likely eating up the shrimp ammonia but that's still more than enough to feed bottle bac, and naturally seeded bac. I believe using shrimp in the mainly group A tank was wise and did boost its time frames for sure. It will also take close to the repeating time frames of ~30 days for the added bacteria in suspension to plate onto and reproduce on the crevices of the rock and tank surfaces (and the digest test will tell) and any form of bottle ammonia or rotting shrimp will speed up that process after dosing or natural import of filtration bacteria and associates.

    The time frame plays a role here because added bacteria in suspension in the water can produce nitrate, but that's not coming from the myriad surfaces we need it to originate if those were mainly group A at the beginning, neat distinction there about nitrate readings in the mainly group A tank. it also confounds a little bit that the sandbed can produce nitrates if it was wet packed...wet equals bacteria/we should give group A rocks at least 3 weeks unless extreme needs are present even if they do pass digestion tests, to ensure water-table nitrification isn't the source of the nitrogen metabolite measures.


    When a tank can pass a digestion test after the correct timeframes, you can do a 100% water change and it will still pass the same digest test. When nitrification is happening in the water chiefly, a big wc will lessen that conversion and be verifiable in that way too.



    to continue with the nitrite theme, we still wouldn't care what it was doing at 3 weeks and known digestion test passing, especially if a live sand component had been there the whole time, because our free ammonia limits for the whole thread have been maybe 1-2 or 4 max ppm at all points. theres a volume calculator on page one that handles ammonia levels even if the cycler has no ammonia test.. which is preferable to using the cheap entry level ones everybody uses (without verification)

    Thanks for posting!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
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  13. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    http://reef2reef.com/threads/live-rock-cycle-question.266155/

    friend Ryan posted a full test of live rock skip cycling, low initial bioloading + new sand setup. Cycle not required we want to show in our thread this is repeatable not haphazard. Leaving out or at least accounting for all organics and loss of benthic life during any kind of a move is all we have to do to be able to move group b rocks among tanks indefinitely.
     
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  14. edinphilly

    edinphilly Well-Known Member

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    As previously commented this is one of the best threads a new reefer can stumble onto. If you're just stumbling onto it definitely read from the beginning.

    Brandon can you comment on something? With the prevalence of man made rock that is dyed (or whatever) to make it look coralline... where does that fit in A/B, other? How would you go about judging it? I don't like the stuff but see more places pushing it and more people in local groups looking for it.
     
  15. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    thank you tons for posting!


    In my opinion those are able to be digest tested to know. They shouldn't have the other pods/worms/sponges etc to preclude a zapping of ammonia up to 1-2 pm and the test 24 hours later to discern ability. has bac painted in that coralline pigment/color http://www.caribsea.com/caribsea_liferock.html
    if the lfs has submerged them 30 days it might have diff digestion abilities than you getting it dry and hydrating it yourself, those details w help to know

    bac painted on a rock, or bottle bac added to Group A is still the same. its 30 days and a test, with some ammonia in between, if we are the ones aging the new rock.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  16. john.m.cole3

    john.m.cole3 cyclOps R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Hub City Reef Club

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    Those rocks with the coralline painted on them are dead. They will need to be cycled. The benefit of them is that algae has a hard time growing on their smooh surfaces.
     
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  17. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    quit testing for nitrite, update for page 4
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  18. john.m.cole3

    john.m.cole3 cyclOps R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Hub City Reef Club

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    In regards to the bacteria maintaining w/o ghost feeding. we were talking the other night and mu yheory is that as some bacterial die off occurs, the dead bacteria feeds the existing ones therefore creating a perpetual cycle of life. That's just my theory. I'm no scientist... well not on the cellular level anyways
     
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  19. Darbna

    Darbna Well-Known Member

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    I started a 265 gallon (300 Gallon with Sump) 2.5 weeks ago, dry rock, live sand. Been ghost feeding every day, and Ammonia hasnt spiked at all. Should I just keep ghost feeding or start to add the ammonia? Not sure where to get it though.
     
  20. john.m.cole3

    john.m.cole3 cyclOps R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Hub City Reef Club

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    What have you been ghost feeding?
     

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