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

BRS
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brandon429

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why did you put a reef in that
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you don't have to eliminate them, those ever-dispersed bacteria contribute to all our cycles and if left totally to themselves, still complete a cycle.

the whole trick is compliance dating, time to completion and activation of all surface area. it ranges on predetermined time scales relative to the type of cycle we select.

bottle bac, compliance date is day 0-10 when tracked on digital gear. non digital gear may require three months to complete for some folks, but that's not how long their cycle took.

completely unassisted cycling, no feed and regular clean made water not old used water, and no feed, self-cycles in 3 or 4 months see page 97 Dr Reefs bottle bac study/ MSteven1. this is a cycle using exactly the bac you're describing, free environmental bacteria that contaminate in unintentionally. they're the slowest, its the slowest of all cycling modes but the cycle still completes with a strong ending ability to handle waste.

Using old reef water on dry rocks dry sand takes twenty days to pass oxidation testing, its about half as fast as paid bottle bac cycling. we have threads for this but am withholding to page 3 ish :)
by the fact of it being ready on day 20 vs 3-4 mos is how we know the reef water contributed a significant degree of help.

reef tank water 100% has cycling bacteria in it that can cycle as well as bottle bac given the right number of wait days.
not just some bacteria, enough to make it cycle only ten days slower than paid bottle bac and about 3x faster than totally unassisted cycling.


ocean water, 1000%. *this one hasn't been tested. I'll bet up front if someone takes real ocean water from the beach, puts it in a test tank of dry marco rocks stacked full, swirls for 10 days, removes all the sea water and inputs bag prep saltwater, then doses half a ppm ammonia on seneye the tank processes it in 24 hours back to hundredths ppm or thousandths.

why not 2 ppm? because that's not required in reefing, we don't dose to 2 ppm in thousands of pages of cycling work I do, that's what trained buyers do. we cycle tanks in my threads with determinate start dates, and half a ppm movement is plenty considering the degree of surface area we all stack into tanks. there is zero validity in the requirement to dose an initial 2 ppm to a cycle, it comes solely from a bottle bac video and label.
 
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Maxout
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brandon429

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why did you put a reef in that
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Quietman this thread here is like what you mentioned


howabout me got the dry tank ready in 30 days / cycling chart date/ by merely feeding. the cycling bacteria weren't in the fish food, they were in the imported source water/make water for the tank. you are right about being able to boost them up to par quickly.

in my hopeful experiment here, someone takes old reef water and subs it over dry rocks and gives no feed, no bottle bac, and its ready actually a little quicker than howaboutme's system above...we did one of these tests and I bet if seneye owners repeat it, we can get a new pattern started around cycling truths vs tales.
 

Quietman

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My experiences with no additive start has been after adding 2 ppm ammonia chloride (I don't like adding dead shrimp to decay - adds time for ammonia build up but mainly it adds too much other crud and frankly...yuch). I had reduction in about 7 days and zero (non-toxic) at 10 day point. Clean tank, new dry sand, no rock. This is just me starting up tank and not doing any kind of controlled experiment so this is just anecdotal as well. Point is that I think the bacteria all around us can be much more significant than some report. That could vary by location and other environmental factors but don't think you can minimize the effect just because some report 30-60-90 day times.

Full disclosure (which I know you're aware of as we've talked but for others reading this). I personally don't use bacteria additives any longer because I don't need to. I have no rush to set up anything (no insta-tanks in my future) and I keep media bag in my sump just for that purpose for QT/Hospital/New Tank. My experience when I did was only a bit faster than without and if I set up clean tank - I'd go with adding NH4CL and waiting a week or so.

I think this kind of question is interesting but too many times we take these 'user experience' instances done in non-controlled way and draw inaccurate conclusions from the data.
 
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brandon429

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why did you put a reef in that
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zero (non-toxic) at 10 day point.



this is a profoundly constant variable we see posted in cycling tanks once TAN factoring of the kits is applied, nice to see it popping up again. = day ten on all cycling charts ammonia line too, sharp.

if unsupported bacteria are setting up shop that fast in marine settings then I'm impressed, the charts were for freshwater/much more bacteria present per average cycling locale/ but still the charts didnt expressly say freshwater vs saltwater either, we need some detailed digital testing that's for sure.
 

Quietman

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For some background and a pretty detailed tracking if I say so myself.

Here was my last startup (I still called it cycling 3 years ago - I think "startup" or "managing ammonia" is better as it's more descriptive and doesn't confuse what we're doing with the scientifically proven nitrogen cycle which we're taking advantage of to get to safe levels of ammonia before adding fish).

This is in my build thread for me details- but I didn't add any bacteria additives until day 7 (had some notion of increasing diversity which I've since come to believe was misguided). But as you can see adding the 2 ppm NH4Cl on day 0 was already reducing by day 5-6 and likely would have been 0 day 10-ish.

1634485013043.png


For those wondering...I added bottle of Dr Tims and started MB7 5 ml daily dose for week at day 7. I assume this is why my PO4 popped up (it's not proof just a logical assumption and in no way means anything negative against those products). The yellow diamonds are adding ml (not ppm) and I calculated 2 ppm for first and added 1 ppm subsequently (had long delay before adding fish due to catching a bad cold). Also I added a bottle of coralline at day 15 which added a small blip on ammonia (I'm sure due to die off in bottle). Nothing toxic at all though.

And yes, I monitored NO2 which is something else I probably wouldn't do again. Doesn't show much useful information, it isn't toxic in saltwater but it did come with the starter test kit (which I also wouldn't buy again). :)
 
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brandon429

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Paul B

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This is all very interesting and 95% of it is way above my pay scale and you people amaze me with your bacteria and chemistry knowledge, but one thing on these forums always confuses me. Why are we so often talking about cycling a tank?

What happened to your original tank? Whats the reason so many people have to cycle a new tank?

I cycled my tank probably with a dead trilobite fifty years ago and it stayed cycled so I never had to cycle a new tank. I just don't get it unless so many people have a lot of tanks and they don't want to just add water and sand from their original tank to start a new tank.

Should I dump out my tank, sterilize it and cycle a new tank just for fun?

Maybe it's me but I just don't get it. :confused:
 
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brandon429

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why did you put a reef in that
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my tank is a reef fishbowl that sits bubbling on the counter since 06 its fine until someone elbows it over accidentally. these discussions are to handle and file the onslaught of new cycling help requests accordingly. and to nit pick a little, if we can get a free and speedier cycle off old reef water, then its fun to point that out to the .01% population who wants to wait that long heh
 

Just a Wrasse.

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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.
Agreed.
 
Fritz
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brandon429

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Paul I'd say dry rock cycles comprise about 90% of all cycle help requests and tank starting methods nowadays. we need to know if there are non retail ways of helping them, retail is unfairly making everyone doser dependent, its fun to work against that collecting proofs where available
 

Quietman

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This is all very interesting and 95% of it is way above my pay scale and you people amaze me with your bacteria and chemistry knowledge, but one thing on these forums always confuses me. Why are we so often talking about cycling a tank?
Got to talk about something. :)
 

Paul B

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Unfortunately I know most people use dry rock. Live rock is expensive and that is a shame. Live rock IMO is just so much better and I think if you can, get at least some of it. Bacteria multiplies so fast that only a little of something real from the sea can be beneficial.

I don't know what, if anything is in bottled bacteria but you can't improve on Mother Nature.
 

Quietman

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I have sneaking suspicion that as long as we're talking about a tank over 40 gallons (and perhaps less) the just add a small fish method won't even get close to hitting ammonia levels approaching harmful let alone toxic before the bacteria population starts removing the NH3. Most of those historical ammonia level limits also came from total ammonia not just free ammonia (which is really what we're worried about and at normal reef pH free is 1/20th of total).

Need to find some data on fish waste amounts (hello fish farm forums) and some help on molar conversions. Maybe this bottled bacteria stuff only came about because of popularity of nano tanks.

Edited after reading above....could also be because of scarcity of affordable live rock and of course the dry rock international consortium keeping us scared of live rock hitchhikers so they can make a profit off of digging rock out of ground.

Or making concrete molds and painting them purple. I mean really, I'd like to been there at the first business model pitch to the bank on that one.
 
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AS
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brandon429

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So thats a work thread for the support that reef tank water carries cycling bac

-highlights:


notice how we used non digital ammonia testing to verify readiness



Sometimes, in the course of managing huge work jobs remotely, unseen variables come up. in this case he didn't necessarily dose ammonia heavily in the ready test shot, the big payoff picture of the whole thread, but that's not the point. the point was someone made a work thread that others use to help pattern expensive tank moves.

in person, he saw and remarked upon the change. Apologies we didnt drive the ammonia solid green for discernment in an internet picture, he sees and remarks upon the change or he wouldnt have trusted all his corals and fish in it :)

and then shortly after a reef worth roughly five or eight thousand dollars is instantly set up making quite the test for our roughshod rock bringup.


that thread is a direct, direct example that old aquarium water contains significant degrees of bacteria, not just contamination level but darn close to the abilities for cycle timing that bottle bac has. and its free. the test kit conditions must be calibrated in order to see the bacteria if we aren't using seneye to simply see trace nh3 changes without all the hassle.
 
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brandon429

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Quietman:
one thing stands out to me in that thread beyond the bulk pages typing. its the fact we chose day 20 as the start date and it worked, that doesnt mean day 12 wouldn't have :) it means that's to be determined. someone copy the experiment and cut it off on day 12, run calibrated ammonia testing and post it.

it can be done in home depot buckets full of marco rocks. stack em in, we're using surface area amplification to make up for weak new biofilming given the quick start test.


anyone with a seneye we need this data proofing
 
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