Thought I was cycled, guess I'm not ?

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by M4rtin, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. M4rtin

    M4rtin Well-Known Member

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    Small 10gal quarantine tank. I tought I was cycled, hit two month mark for cycle, ammonia hit 0. Tank is bare bottom, completely empty, just siporax for bacteria to colonize.

    I did 2ppm ammonia yesterday just to double check and it did not digest it in 24hrs. I used DR.Tim's ammonia per instruction. I wonder how accurate dosing is based on instructions.

    11/10/2017
    New tank, nothing added yet
    Salinity 35
    PH 8.2
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0


    12/10/2017
    Added one and only and ammonia


    13/10/2017
    Ammonia over 2 off scale
    Nitrite 0.05-0.1
    Nitrate 0


    14/10/2017
    Ammonia over 2 off scale
    Nitrite 0.05-0.1
    Nitrate 0


    19/10/2017
    Ammonia over 2 off scale
    Nitrite 0.05-0.1
    Nitrate 0

    27/10/2017
    Nitrite 0.2
    Nitrate 2
    Ammonia 2


    29/10/2017
    Nitrite 0.2
    Nitrate 2
    Ammonia 2


    28/11/2017
    Nitrite over 1 off scale
    Nitrate 10-20
    Ammonia 0

    29/11/2017
    20% water change

    03/012/2017
    PH 8.2
    Nitrite 0.05-0.1
    Nitrate 2
    (Spiked Ammonia to 2ppm to check in 24hr)

    04/12/2017
    Nitrite 1
    Nitrate 5
    Ammonia 2
     
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  2. Maggie321

    Maggie321 Well-Known Member

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    You need some surface area for the good bacteria to live. Add a sponge.
     
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  3. M4rtin

    M4rtin Well-Known Member

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    I thought Siporax was for that ?
    Or did I misunderstood what siporax was for ?
     
  4. Maggie321

    Maggie321 Well-Known Member

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    Well. I guess it is. The ceramic things have quite a bit of surface. I say give it more time. Sometimes it just takes a while. Are you going to have rock in it? If so, you should add it sooner rather than later. That way it will get colonized with the GB too.
     
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  5. ChrisRD

    ChrisRD Active Member

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    How are you using the Siporax...hang-on filter?
     
  6. M4rtin

    M4rtin Well-Known Member

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    Siporax is in left media basket, a lot more in there than I thought would fit.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Robink

    Robink Well-Known Member

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    What tank is that? I like it. ;)
     
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  8. M4rtin

    M4rtin Well-Known Member

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    IM Nuvo Fusion 10gal
    Media baskets are from InTank.
     
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  9. Robink

    Robink Well-Known Member

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    Nice!!
     
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  10. ChrisRD

    ChrisRD Active Member

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    I haven't used this media in particular but I have used others...so not sure if you have enough in there (not familiar with that filter to judge scale). It typically doesn't take 7-8 weeks to cycle a biofilter so something is strange...

    Were you adding ammonia periodically throughout this time period (i.e. trying to confirm that you didn't starve the bacteria)? What source was the water used for the water change (i.e. no chance of chlorine or chloramines that could have killed the nitrifying bacteria)? Do you check pH regularly (i.e. trying to confirm that pH hasn't bottomed out somewhere along the way).

    Worst case, I'd keep going for a while...it will eventually stabilize assuming you have enough surface area for the bacterial colonies.
     
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  11. Robink

    Robink Well-Known Member

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    I agree with ChrisRD. My qt tanks usually cycle within a month. I either use Dr Tim's bacteria or biospira. I've also done it with the fish in the tanks and just watch the ammonia and do water changes to control. Bb no rock just the filter media. I have a hob with sponge and small bag of media.
     
  12. M4rtin

    M4rtin Well-Known Member

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    -I never added ammonia through the process, just the initial one 2 months ago, was I supposed to ?
    Through the 2 months I could always get a reading of some ammonia in tank, so I thought there was food for bacteria.
    -Water was Rodi water, I make my own.
    -Didn't check PH, just the two times you see in my chart.

    Here's the updated chart, after 48hrs.

    03/012/2017
    PH 8.2
    Nitrite 0.05-0.1
    Nitrate 2
    Ammonia 0

    Spiked Ammonia to 2ppm to check in 24hr

    04/12/2017
    Nitrite 1
    Nitrate 5
    Ammonia 2

    05/12/2017
    Nitrite 1
    Nitrate 10-20
    Ammonia between 1.2 - 2
     
  13. ChrisRD

    ChrisRD Active Member

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    Yes, you're basically trying to consistently introduce small quantities of ammonia (to simulate bioload) until the bacteria can readily consume it. You're monitoring it to make sure it doesn't get too high (which can be counter productive as it will start killing bacteria).

    That may have been the problem. If ammonia bottomed out for a while it probably delayed the process (not feeding the bacteria). It looks like it's getting back up to speed now...almost there. If you have anymore bottled bacteria product you can add more to help seed the filter.

    If you're not already using one, check out those Seachem Ammonia Badges...pretty useful for cycling and keeping a continuous eye on Ammonia levels when fish are in your QT.

    Best of luck with your QT...great practice that will save you a lot of heartache.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  14. M4rtin

    M4rtin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I think I'm there, just bacteria colony is small, at least that's my amateur take on this.
    I have some frags waiting for me in local growers tank, what's your take on when to introduce them ?

    Once I hit 0 ammonia again can I add them ?
    Or keep feeding ammonia whenever it hits 0, and introduce once it can process 2ppm in 24hrs ?
    This is just a tiny frag tank, no fish, just maybe 20 frags maximum at a time.
     
  15. ChrisRD

    ChrisRD Active Member

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    For a coral QT I wouldn't be as concerned as they won't produce ammonia the way fish do...I think you should be fine for that provided you've got the needed lighting, flow, etc.
     
  16. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    you have too low surface area to test at 2

    that's calc'd and intended for the typical overages a full reef employs, sand, lr. do .5 I bet it passes, and that's still enough to handle some fish

    all you need to do is register any movement towards zero with your current setup (good luck finding an ammonia tester that w be as accurate) you don't have to actually clear zero in 24 given current conditions. two months submersion time is 30 days beyond whats required given any form of ammonia/bottle bac boosting at the start. the tank has the same abilities now as it had at day 30, due to surface area limitation.

    that siporax is good, but lr and sand w beat it longways.
     
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  17. M4rtin

    M4rtin Well-Known Member

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    Awsome, thanks for good input.
    Dont think it would be good idea to do sand in small 10gal tank for frag qc only ?
    And there is no place for live rock, not much real estate here :)
     
  18. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Agreed fully

    That's supposed to be low surface area so you can keep it clean.

    Opposite to the reef
    It'll get dosed with this n that, all kinds of backwards to the dt and we want the surfaces cleaned in opposition to a display tank accordingly

    If it was mine I'd not sand. Sip is great.

    Low organic storage is directly lower bacterial substrate and a qt wants only the bare minimum surface area for performance against a known ammonia loading. Any surface area beyond slick glass and PVC pipe for example is a catch zone and begins to make it a reef, not a quarantine hospital zone. A sponge or your remote sip zone is the ideal controlled surface area for the qt. Power rinsing detritus out of the filter occasionally will not harm bacteria, as the sand rinse thread shows.
     
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  19. tankstudy

    tankstudy Well-Known Member

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    Your tank didn't completely cycle. You did a water change prematurely. You need to let nitrite also hit 0 before doing a water change. You were almost there.

    Also you always want to run atleast 1 digestion test after an initial dosage. This lets you know where your bacterial numbers are.

    Based off your numbers on 12/4/17, its best you just let both ammonia and nitrite zero out. At that point, once those two are zero, add another 2 ppm ammonia and if your tank consumes it all in 24 hours, your good, if not, just wait till both zero again and then run another digestion test.
     
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  20. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Linked your thread to our huge cycling thread as an example of adjusting ones digestion level to changes in typical substrate amounts

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-microbiology-of-reef-tank-cycling.214618/

    We are directly looking for a tank who's cycle doesn't follow predicted patterns such that it wasn't possible to cycle it without any testing at all.


    The point of that thread is how we can cycle tanks with no testing at all due to the predictable nature of bac. I hope your tank throws it a curve, let's test.

    First need to make sure not API here
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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