The official "does reef tank water or ocean water transmit useful amounts of cycling bacteria" thread

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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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of course we aren't making a poll, 99.9% will immediately vote NO and post the Dr. Tim's video that plainly says after you close the bottle bac ad that reef tank water doesn't have any cycling bac to offer



But does the .1% know something the 99.9% doesn't?

you decide collectively as a team, is swirling reef tank water devoid of cycling bacteria? what about water from the ocean? Can you use these waters to cycle a tank comparatively to bottle bac, or are they so sterile/free of bacteria the tank will never cycle

what is the proof from doubters that reef tank water has no cycling bacteria to offer?


what's the proof of the .1% that it does?

so let me get this correct before the 100% no votes come in

we can swirl reef tank water at high velocity over surfaces that constantly slough off floating rafts and that tested water will be sterile, no bacteria? (ever sat live rock in a white bucket of water for two hours? what's on the bottom as little black dots will be in suspension if in a high flow system)

what if the 99% are trained buyers, posting peer supports so that other peers will too become trained buyers and support retail sales at all costs. true or not true>
 
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brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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that one time aquabiomics tested reef water and found none, in that given sample, will stand as just about the full proof of the no contribution crowd I'm thinking.

is it possible we can change the mind of skeptics by cycling a dry rock system using no feed, no bottle bac, just old reef tank water? Has that ever been done before?
 
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Gtinnel

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100% No...actually I have no idea. I've always heard that it doesn't but I like most hobbyists probably just follow what we're told without having anyway of actually knowing. I've always heard that the bacteria has to grow on a surface, but i assume they can he suspended in liquid since there are tons of brands of bottled bacteria, that are supposedly live bacteria suspended in a liquid that I always assumed was saltwater. Of course maybe the bacteria can be suspended in liquid but just cant grow that way, which would make me think normal tank or ocean water has some bacteria but not huge amounts.

So I guess if forced to think about it my answer is actually, I don't know.
 

kittenbritches

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I can only speak to my own experience, but I started with NSW and it didn't convert ammonia on its own (with my live sand and life rock, both also allegedly seeded). I didn't use bottled bac and had to wait for nitrifying bacteria to grow over the course of a few weeks.

Whatever bacteria was in the boxed NSW I purchased, I posit that it didn't do jack.
 

Garf

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of course we aren't making a poll, 99.9% will immediately vote NO and post the Dr. Tim's video that plainly says after you close the bottle bac ad that reef tank water doesn't have any cycling bac to offer



But does the .1% know something the 99.9% doesn't?

you decide collectively as a team, is swirling reef tank water devoid of cycling bacteria? what about water from the ocean? Can you use these waters to cycle a tank comparatively to bottle bac, or are they so sterile/free of bacteria the tank will never cycle

what is the proof from doubters that reef tank water has no cycling bacteria to offer?


what's the proof of the .1% that it does?

so let me get this correct before the 100% no votes come in

we can swirl reef tank water at high velocity over surfaces that constantly slough off floating rafts and that tested water will be sterile, no bacteria? (ever sat live rock in a white bucket of water for two hours? what's on the bottom as little black dots will be in suspension if in a high flow system)

what if the 99% are trained buyers, posting peer supports so that other peers will too become trained buyers and support retail sales at all costs. true or not true>
I’m game. Gonna be setting up a QT soon anyhow. I will sterilize everything with bleach (tank, circ pump, bioballs, even the glass lid), then use my DT tank water only. Do you want a cycling period, time for colonization, or just an immediate ammonia reduction test? My ammonia source would be fish food, unless you require ammonia, which I would have to buy because I don’t use it.
 
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brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Thank you both for posting


**please list name brand of test kits used to assess movement or non movement of the cycle for each personal experience

example: I tested on api and the ammonia just stayed the same, so no bacteria could be active.
 

kittenbritches

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Thank you both for posting


please list name brand of test kits used to assess movement or non movement of the cycle
I used API and Red Sea concurrently with near-identical results.

I wanted to see if API is as inaccurate as everyone claims. The only time I got false readings was when I didn't rinse the test vial well enough, and got accurate readings upon thorough rinsing and re-testing.
 

dank reefer

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I’m game. Gonna be setting up a QT soon anyhow. I will sterilize everything with bleach (tank, circ pump, bioballs, even the glass lid), then use my DT tank water only. Do you want a cycling period, time for colonization, or just an immediate ammonia reduction test? My ammonia source would be fish food, unless you require ammonia, which I would have to buy because I don’t use it.
You can pee in it.
No need to buy
 
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brandon429

brandon429

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Thank you KB for posting nice double confirmation run.

if reef water has bacteria but not as concentrated as bottle bac, will that alter expected completion dates compared to bottle bac and also compared to truly sterile water?

meaning if reef water can’t be as fast as biospira, is it faster in promoting cycles than sterilized water?

slower may not mean useless, devoid, it may mean it takes twenty days vs being able to move ammonia day one like bottle bac does on seneye machines




But if that’s the case, it means free cycling vs paid retail bottle bac requirements exist and a with mere three week wait we can do a free cycle in a dry rock system, as long as we can score someones old change water before they toss it.
 
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Gtinnel

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I’m game. Gonna be setting up a QT soon anyhow. I will sterilize everything with bleach (tank, circ pump, bioballs, even the glass lid), then use my DT tank water only. Do you want a cycling period, time for colonization, or just an immediate ammonia reduction test? My ammonia source would be fish food, unless you require ammonia, which I would have to buy because I don’t use it.
It seems to me if trying to do it somewhat scientifically it would make sense to add bottled ammonia, since you're not sure exactly what is in the food that you'd be adding.

Also, I started my qt tank with dry rock (it was previously used but had been sitting dry for over 10 years), newly mixed saltwater, and used equipment that had been sitting unused in my garage for the same amount of time as the rock. I added a piece of frozen shrimp from the grocery store and my tank cycled just fine. I have no idea where the bacteria came from, can the bacteria we want live for years and years in dry conditions, with huge temp swings from one season to another? If not where did my bacteria come from?
 

kittenbritches

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I may be game for a trial run with my 40B that I'm moving. It would be filled with RODI and salt mix, dry rock, live sand (unrinsed to your dismay, for the sake of consistency).

I would dose ammonia and test in the same way I did with the NSW tank and plot the data.

I hypothesize that the cycle will take the same amount of time.

*I counted "cycled" as both NH3 and NO2 reading 0ppm, and would do the same for this experiment.
 
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brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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GTinnel I asked Dr Tim that once, he thinks its the prep water. our filter bac don't dry out or sporulate, they're water vectored and we aren't boiling our prep water.

the place I asked him was in the first few pages of Dr Reef's large bottle bac thread/90 pager.


if anyone goes to their tap and inserts a pipe cleaner and swabs scum from 5 inches back in the faucet, and plates that out, they'll find nitrifying bacteria in the biofilm. standard mixed aerobic slough bacteria are fully capable of performing oxidation/filtration, hence the dual use bacteria mixes like mb7

and all that tap water pipe got was hot, warm or cold water with chlorine and that still couldnt keep the pipes sterile and clean.

those pipe scum bacteria were also secretly getting fed from means we don't consider, and bottle bac sellers make good money if we view reef tank water as totally devoid of helpful filter bacteria. it may very well be, but we should test it


I know folks with seneyes now and nothing better to do after they saw how easy their own cycle went :)
 
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brandon429

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I would not factor nitrite in my setups for reasons covered prior. It adds additional open ended wait time for a completely neutral parameter.

if anyone provides an experiment that shows both lines of control, ammonia and nitrite, in my cycle posts we'll be using only the ammonia line as the starting date of tank readiness but its totally harmless to track both, most would want it that way.

if someone using hanna digital nitrite wants to provide sample tracking though we'd check that out just compare it against cycling chart's day 25. still a fully neutral param for reasons covered prior in display cycling, but am interested in verifying what cycle charts claim using strictly digital nitrite measuring gear
 

jfoahs04

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I started my current tank and continue to run it with natural sea water that I collect locally and don’t treat apart from running it through a sock to collect macro particles (seaweed, hitchhikers, sand, etc) and leaving in the bucket with a cheap koralia powerhead and heater to match DT temp. I also used cured/established live rock from local reefers. I didn’t see a cycle to speak of - zero ammonia spike, registering nitrates pretty quickly (within 3 days) after ghost feeding. I used both API and Red Sea test kits.

I attribute most of it to the rocks, but I’ve started all of my previous tanks with cured live rock and have always registered ammonia and had something of a cycle (though far less than using dry rock) when using RODI and salt mix. So I wouldn’t be shocked if the NSW was a significant factor.
 
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Gtinnel

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GTinnel I asked Dr Tim that once, he thinks its the prep water. our filter bac don't dry out or sporulate, they're water vectored and we aren't boiling our prep water.

the place I asked him was in the first few pages of Dr Reef's large bottle bac thread/90 pager.


if anyone goes to their tap and inserts a pipe cleaner and swabs scum from 5 inches back in the faucet, and plates that out, they'll find nitrifying bacteria in the biofilm. standard mixed aerobic slough bacteria are fully capable of performing oxidation/filtration, hence the dual use bacteria mixes like mb7

and all that tap water pipe got was hot, warm or cold water with chlorine and that still couldnt keep the pipes sterile and clean.

those pipe scum bacteria were also secretly getting fed from means we don't consider, and bottle bac sellers make good money if we view reef tank water as totally devoid of helpful filter bacteria. it may very well be, but we should test it


I know folks with seneyes now and nothing better to do after they saw how easy their own cycle went :)
The scum in our faucet still stays wet the whole time so it only answers part of my question regarding bacteria staying alive, plus the faucet doesn't get the extremes of cold that my detached uninsulated garage would see.

I've always openly told people to not take advice from someone trying to sell you something (usually referring to a lfs), but it is ironic that the experts saying that there isn't bacteria in tank water are selling bottled bacteria.
 

Big Smelly fish

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I wouldn't say say reef water or oceans water it devoid of Bacteria. I'm would think it would have as much as a piece of rock or cup of sand from an establish reef. The bacteria is present in everything in one form or another. In the shrimp being placed in our tanks for cycling, in the water we drink. The dirt in our yards.
 

Auquanut

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I've never tested the theory, but I can't imagine that a high flow mature system has ABSOLUTELY zero beneficial bacteria being captured in the water column. Over time, even a sterile tank can be cycled with no bacteria introduced other than what is in the source water and household air and surfaces.

That being said, while I it's a no brainer that a tank cycled only with water from a mature tank would take considerably longer than one seeded with bottled bac, it would be interesting to compare how quickly a tank might mature with the possible introduction of extremely few of the multitude of bacterial strains living in a mature tank compared to the few strains in bottled bac or no bac added at all.

Of course, one could always cheat and syphon a bit of the sand in the mature tank before adding the water to the new system.
 
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brandon429

brandon429

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GTinnel its not from your garage or anything dormant there, its from your prep water


your topoff water, the lines of the RO DI system are slimed inside, cut one open and feel it.

literally when you bring water in your door except for drinking water, its about a fourth as strong as bottle bac for cycling, but that's only if we are measuring oxidation digitally. non digitally heck-- even a carefully prepped and fed system shows stalled about 80% of the time on non digital gear, see any current cycling post.

not one reefer on this site boils their water before making or scoring saltwater. I use LFS premade water from a 300 gallon vat that's never had the insides clean, its 100% got cycling bacteria in it but it depends on who you ask. forum peers usually will not agree.

so these cycling bacteria aren't vectoring in the air unless you live near a waterfall, they're vectored in the water we build up to put in our tanks. not from the frozen shrimp, or dried out surfaces.

anyone who makes lemonade with tap water is drinking cycle-facilitating lemonade, that's awesome.


see this quote from aquabiomics as posted by Taricha:

AquaBiomics said:
AD: Great question. The system tested is not that old. I set it up in the spring of 2017, after construction of my new facility was completed. While I actually didn't use any of the rock from my older system, I did use a lot of the water. I transferred a few hundred gallons from the old, to the new when I initially set it up. Some of the rock in my older system had been in saltwater tanks dating back 20+ years, most of the rock over 15 at least. So it's been long established, built from many different sources, and through a great deal of ups and downs over the years.


EM: Really interesting that you used old water but not old rock. I sometimes encounter the view that “most of the microbes are in the rock, what’s in the water doesn’t matter”. Of course, direct counts show tens of thousands of bacteria per ml of aquarium water, and DNA evidence shows these include many of the ones hobbyists care about.

Your experience shows that this water can also be used to establish a healthy microbiome in a new aquarium. At least if you add enough of it
 
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Quietman

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If the nitrifying bacteria is ubiquitous (as it is), how are you going to run an experiment eliminating the bacteria all around us from just the bacteria in the saltwater transfer.

RODI removes alot of bacteria but as you said, it won't remove all. And I suspect (and may have read) that even boiled/purified water if left open will develop a bacteria film and eventually process nitrogen.

So first you'd have to make sure you can eliminate all other sources of bacteria otherwise you'll have no proof that's not what's occurring. The bottles we buy are not saying they provide the only bacteria, just quicker startup times for safe fish additions.

Also, the science here is well established. Sure there are going to be bacteria in the water column, there's nitrifying bacteria all around me just sitting here. But most of the nitrifying bacteria we're concerned with is benthic/surface film.
 
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