The microbiology of reef tank cycling.

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

  1. Darbna

    Darbna Well-Known Member

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    pellets and some frozen Rods food(Shrimp, fish peices, etc.)
     
  2. john.m.cole3

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

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    that's goos stuff to fed. Here's my experience...

    Ghost feeding takes fooorrreeeeeeevveerrrrrrr... I used a bottle of Dr. Tims one and only, followed directions, and added fish 12 hours later. 8 fish to be exact. Kept a bottle of prime around to dose mid week before my usual 10% weekly water changes. My dry rock is very dark now, 6 months later. there are good videos on dosing ammonia to do this also. Just never tried it myself.
     
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  3. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Agreed

    That type of feeding is to get started with the cycle and give the bacteria food...we show on page one here how liquid ammonium chloride is an alt and they are equal ends

    is correct to either ghost feed to start your cycle or speed on up and hit the liquid ammonia for a three week speed cycle, thanks for posting and adding to our big cycle thread Darbna
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
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  4. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    The running summary for this thread:



    if the numbers .25 are appearing anywhere in your cycle for any length of time more than 1 day, you should be highly suspect of your test kit, not bacteria, and verify that reading using an alternate test kit from a differing brand before taking concern over any guess reading that seems to indicate an ammonia measure of .25 or multiples of .25 as a sustained reading from no apparent source of ammonia.

    The false test result reading/color interpretation of .25 ammonia emitting from group B rock is the number one error occurring in reef aquarium cycling. Be suspect of your reading and post any you get for analysis
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
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  5. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  6. Brew12

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

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    Nice bump! I had forgotten about this thread! How about a quick rehash and further explanation focused on nitrites?

    Nitrogen cycle:
    Ammonia (NH3) to Nitrite (NO2) to Nitrate (NO3)

    Nitrosomonus are the most common strain of bacteria that convert NH3 to NO2.
    Nitrobacter are the most common strain of bacteria that convert NO2 to NO3.

    More recently discovered are marine species of Nitrospira bacteria. These convert NH3 to NO2 to NO3 completely within their cell structure such that NO2 is not released into the water.

    It isn't uncommon for newly cycling aquariums (especially those using Biospira or Dr Tims) to have lowering NH3, raising NO3 and consistently detectable NO2. This could be testing error, but it could also be a bacterial unbalance.

    If you have a high level of Nitrospira and Nitrosomonus bacteria but a low level of Nitrobacter bacteria it would be expected to see elevated nitrite levels and is not indicative of a problem. Eventually, the bacteria in an aquarium will establish the proper balance. Yes, nitrite is extremely toxic to fish and even low levels in their blood can be fatal. Fortunately, this isn't a problem in marine tanks. The same receptors within fish that would absorb nitrites have a much higher affinity for absorbing chlorides. The salt in the water effectively blocks the nitrite and protects the fish.

    So as has been summarized before in this thread, there really is no reason to test for nitrite or worry about nitrite test results other than personal curiosity.
     
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  7. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    yes fun summary
    nitrite measurement would be the main way this thread differs from any other cycling thread, we disregard it altogether on both kinds of cycles because the measurement gear is so finicky and imprecise and because where it will show up is predictable without test kits at all. I enjoy reading about the chemistry behind it and I find it challenging to understand the interplay of N in our tanks, i have to reread Randys articles a few times to try and grasp~

    When nitrite does show up, we don't have animals in play as a key timing here and its fun to remove testing error from making new reef keepers think a cycle has stalled.



    after day 40 submersion and a little feed, I know of no cycling charts that show active nitrite and ammonia. fishless cycling times can be as fast as two weeks to the same ends.


    Microbiology has changed twice in the last decade the microbial divisions that determine when and at what locus nitrite is produced interestingly, I would have thought they had that down in the 50s.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  8. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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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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    can you link the cycling thread for me so I can post there when I set up the 40?
     
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  10. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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  11. john.m.cole3

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

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    ok, I'm on track and here now. Need to copy and paste my post from the sand thread
     
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  12. john.m.cole3

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

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    Heck yeah 2017, bring it on. Bacteria still acts the same and they make no new years rsolutions, so we shopuld be good to continue using them for our own good. The reason I'm posting now is bc I am setting up a new frag system. I took some partially dried rock and threw it in a bucket w/ a lid, a heater, and 2 powerheads about 4 months ago. Ghost fed mysis and pellets about every 2 weeks. Then I removed some live rock from my sump and did the same in another bucket. I'm guessing I have about 40 ish lbs of cycled rock. I want to do an experiment and post my findings here. The new tank will be a 40b and it will be bare bottom for the initial set up. I have ammonium chloride and Salifert ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test kits. This weekend I'll set it up and report back. Definitely pictures to be included. Is there anything else I should test or measure? This is going to be a fun cycle I'm thinking and am hoping to skip cycle like @brandon429 says we can. Stay tuned!
     
  13. john.m.cole3

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

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    Alright folks I set up the frag system on Friday and have only added the live rock but only 20 lbs of it. I had to scrap the other live stuff cuz I saw an aiptasia on one of the rocks in the bucket and would rather skip that headache. So the tank has 50 gallons of saltwater and 20 lbs of live rock in it for 4 days now. Time to dose some ammonium chloride and test for ammonia. Party time!!!
     
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  14. john.m.cole3

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

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    Pics 20170124_203952.jpg 20170124_202927.jpg
     
  15. john.m.cole3

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

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    This minus the bac in a bottle

     
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  16. john.m.cole3

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

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    So I put 50 drops of the ammonium chloride in and waited 30 minutes. Tested and came up with a reading of 0 ammonia. I'm wondering if the bacterial populations of the rock or so on the status that they just consume the ammonia right away? What does everybody else think? 20170124_213903.jpg
     
  17. john.m.cole3

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

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    My salifert test kit was bad. I checked it my making a fresh gallon of saltwater and dosing ammonia up to 2 ppm. Tested with the expired salifert kit and it was still clear. so, I added 10 more drops of ammonia directly to the test vial and still no color change. I found a new API kit in my garage and guess what, it has a reading of .25 ppm 24 hours after initial ammonia dose. I've read where these kits show a false positive. Made more new water and dosed to 2 ppm, and the API tested that water with a true 2 ppm reading.

    Conclusion: The live rock I had curing in a bucket for 5 months was well enough established with bacteria to digest 2 ppm of ammonia in 24 hrs, therefor deeming this tank cycled! So, it is very important not to focus on the lbs of rock per gallon that we used to believe in the past, but the rock's porosity plays a much bigger role.

    I just skipped cycle!!!!!!!!!
     
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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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    Now hulk can go in!
    20170125_194926.jpg
     
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  19. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Coralline plate him!!
     
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  20. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    API low end reads can make establishing finality difficult agreed. One trick we like to use with them is measuring any sort of color shifting at 24 hours even if it seems to stop at .25

    The rationale is, given time frames (your rocks spent five months in a circulated and heated prep bucket) and feeding noted, by rule there's bac on the rocks and the move from 2.0 approx to .25 approx is greater than any acting bioloading the new tank will see, that much motion is proof enough
     
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