Yet another Cycling Post (Maybe I'm ok?)

Siberwulf

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Good morning!

I'm into the cycling phase of my tank and wanted to confirm if I'm seeing what I should be. Realize all tanks are different, but hoping I'm not butchering this process too bad.

I'm currently on Day 4 of the Fishless Cycle according to Dr. Tim. Here's some readings over time

DaypHTempdKHAmmoniaNitriteNitrateActions
-2 (4/16)7.748081.20.3520
-1 (4/17)7.79817.9.20.3520
1 (4/18)7.83827.90010Dr. Tim's O&O / Ammonia Chloride
2 (4/19)7.74827.71.20.825
3 (4/20)7.71827.50.20.520Dose KH to 8.2
Ammonia Chloride
4 (4/21)7.76827.91.2125Dose KH to 8.2
5 (4/22)7.71827.900.725Dose KH to 8.4
6 (4/23)7.71828.350025Ammonia Chloride
7 (4/24)7.70827.8.8.75NADose KH to 8.4
8 (4/25)7.7781.58.000.2NADose KH to 8.4
9 (4/26)7.81818.6N/AN/AN/A
10 (4/27)7.8280.58.5N/AN/AN/A
11 (4/28)7.74808.50050

Total Tank Volume: 90g
Salinity: 1.026 (maintained with ATO)
Live Rock: 140 lbs (some in Sump)
Live Sand: 50lbs (Special Grade Arag-Alive! Reef Sand - CaribSea)
Sump is running with some Chaeto in it, and it's growing nicely. Running a AI Fuge about 16 hours a day in there.
Skimmer: Reef Octopus 152-S. Running 24/7 except the 48 hours after dosing Dr. Tim's O&O
Lights: DT Lights are off until I actually need to run em.

Is this about what you should be seeing? I was thinking the second dose of Ammonia would go away faster than the first, but Nitrites have spiked pretty high and wondering if that's affecting it?

Also, am I going for the right dKh target here? Is 8.2 good? I know pH is gonna remain low while the cycle works itself out, but it still feels low. I'm not trying to rush or adjust anything here if I don't have to, just want to make sure I'm not doing anything obviously stupid.

Finally, yeah the tank temp is on the rise as I'm trying to help those little bacteria multiple. The plan is that once I'm cycled, I'll drop it back down to 78 over the course of a week or so.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Azedenkae

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Good morning!

I'm into the cycling phase of my tank and wanted to confirm if I'm seeing what I should be. Realize all tanks are different, but hoping I'm not butchering this process too bad.

I'm currently on Day 4 of the Fishless Cycle according to Dr. Tim. Here's some readings over time

DaypHTempdKHAmmoniaNitriteNitrateActions
-2 (4/16)7.748081.20.3520
-1 (4/17)7.79817.9.20.3520
1 (4/18)7.83827.90010Dr. Tim's O&O / Ammonia Chloride
2 (4/19)7.74827.71.20.825
3 (4/20)7.71827.50.20.520Dose KH to 8.2
Ammonia Chloride
4 (4/21)7.76827.91.2125Dose KH to 8.2

Total Tank Volume: 90g
Salinity: 1.026 (maintained with ATO)
Live Rock: 140 lbs (some in Sump)
Live Sand: 50lbs (Special Grade Arag-Alive! Reef Sand - CaribSea)
Sump is running with some Chaeto in it, and it's growing nicely. Running a AI Fuge about 16 hours a day in there.
Skimmer: Reef Octopus 152-S. Running 24/7 except the 48 hours after dosing Dr. Tim's O&O
Lights: DT Lights are off until I actually need to run em.

Is this about what you should be seeing? I was thinking the second dose of Ammonia would go away faster than the first, but Nitrites have spiked pretty high and wondering if that's affecting it?

Also, am I going for the right dKh target here? Is 8.2 good? I know pH is gonna remain low while the cycle works itself out, but it still feels low. I'm not trying to rush or adjust anything here if I don't have to, just want to make sure I'm not doing anything obviously stupid.

Finally, yeah the tank temp is on the rise as I'm trying to help those little bacteria multiple. The plan is that once I'm cycled, I'll drop it back down to 78 over the course of a week or so.

Thanks in advance!
I think it is looking good, ammonia-oxidizers do multiply relatively slowly after all. You defo have both ammonia and nitrite oxidation according to your tests, and the nitrite confentrations are nowhere near high enough to inhibit nitrification. 1ppm isn't much.

just keep doing the same thing, and if after a week it is still super slow then I'd be worried.
 

brandon429

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when you say 140 lbs of live rock

was that wet when you brought it home/truly live

curious because a special type of cycle not like the others follows that kind of live rock xfer

the hobby and all written publications have no steps on live rock transfer cycles, 100% of the information you've ever read about reef cycling comes from bringing up dry rocks with bacteria and feed. mighty curious to see tank pics and know the rocks wet v dry history before you bought them.

its awesome our hobby has literally no written material from any author to cover about a third of todays specialized marine setups. We're in the wild west of cycling but its 2021 that's awesome.
 
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Siberwulf

Siberwulf

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when you say 140 lbs of live rock

was that wet when you brought it home/truly live

curious because a special type of cycle not like the others follows that kind of live rock xfer

the hobby and all written publications have no steps on live rock transfer cycles, 100% of the information you've ever read about reef cycling comes from bringing up dry rocks with bacteria and feed. mighty curious to see tank pics and know the rocks wet v dry history before you bought them.

its awesome our hobby has literally no written material from any author to cover about a third of todays specialized marine setups. We're in the wild west of cycling but its 2021 that's awesome.

It was totally wet, yeah. I picked it out of the holding tanks in the back. Even came with a little aptasia (nuked it) and a turbo snail (His name is Salsa). They wrapped it in wet newspaper and threw it in my tubs for the ride home. When I get back to the LFS, I'll throw some pics up of the space (if they let me).

Here's a tank shot from a day or so ago:
Tank and Sump Light.jpg
 

brandon429

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Your cycle is 100% done the minute you set the rocks in water.

cool right

because that’s how they set up reef conventions on time for 30 years

your cycle testing doesn’t apply, those tests are mere approximation they are not digital. And if they were digital you’d see correct cycling numbers
check this bad boy out:





the day a reef author wants to write about skip cycling, the science we use there will fact check ‘em he he
 
MotorCityCorals

brandon429

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So the rule on live rock skip cycle transfers is nothing ever goes wrong.


the old rules pre 2020 said when worms die we get .25 on api and that means something went wrong, the problem is that’s 100% not true.


you can’t mess up this type of cycle even if you brought your rocks home in your trunk or tailgate area, in the air.

yes, we have threads for that too :) there’s a thread for every proof needed.


live rocks are 100% tough and simply skip cycle all the time, the only time this seems to not be the case is when someone is not using seneye to measure free ammonia. Non seneye tests cause sheer unfounded panic

your ammonia levels are in the thousandths not tenths. For your readings above you have to add a TAN conversion and it lowers the reported numbers, but we don’t need testing anyway on this type of cycle per the new rules
 
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Siberwulf

Siberwulf

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So the rule on live rock skip cycle transfers is nothing ever goes wrong.


the old rules pre 2020 said when worms die we get .25 on api and that means something went wrong, the problem is that’s 100% not true.


you can’t mess up this type of cycle even if you brought your rocks home in your trunk or tailgate area, in the air.

yes, we have threads for that too :) there’s a thread for every proof needed.


live rocks are 100% tough and simply skip cycle all the time, the only time this seems to not be the case is when someone is not using seneye to measure free ammonia. Non seneye tests cause sheer unfounded panic

your ammonia levels are in the thousandths not tenths. For your readings above you have to add a TAN conversion and it lowers the reported numbers, but we don’t need testing anyway on this type of cycle per the new rules
Ok, so how do I go about adding that TAN conversion? I'm not even sure what that is. :)
 

brandon429

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we'd have to refer to the conversion chart in the instructions, most kits have this requirement to separate out the nh3 component which is all we care about in determining start dates for reefs at home, or in a convention etc.

it would be fun to see what it reads after TAN conversion though lemme know if your paper instructions for the kit have a reference for it. Red Sea is good about providing them, Dan pointed this out to me once.

typically it moves a tenths level report into hundredths, which is about as accurate as non digital kits can read. Your nitrate and nitrite simply have no bearing at all, even in dry rock cycling if you're using updated rules. the ones conventions use vs the buyers.

if you were on seneye though that reef reads .00x thousands which is the ultra safe zone. We don't have to test it to know, we can see it in your tank pics. We have several predictive ammonia studies on file using this visual method/known origin of your rocks its pretty darn solid in fact.

no matter how it is sliced, this cycle was ready in minutes when you added the new rocks to the tank. Your lfs practices skip cycling on a daily/per hour basis. they're always turning over new stock in and out of tanks, nothing recycles due to hidden rules we're uncovering in this post.

only forum cyclers have had this info and option withheld, it keeps them on the dole as buyers.
 
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Siberwulf

Siberwulf

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So this conversion on the back? Is that the TAN conversion?
Kit.jpg


If we're not caring too much about Nitrates and Nitrites, then I should be able to add in a clean up crew to start cleaning off some of the brown gunk off rocks?

I need to hold off on fish for a bit since I'll be out of town in a week or two. Should I just do a phantom feed or so while I wait for fish to get into and out of QT?
 

brandon429

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yes that's the one.

no ghost feeding is required. live rock can never uncycle just by sitting in water, it can not starve in a home feed is getting into the tank every second constantly. the tank casts out some its bacteria to the home, as a sharing event, even though that exchange doesn't seem apparent or likely.

I hate to flood your thread with huge read links so in summary on the starvation one we have a thread where a fellow starves live rock unfed but topped off in water, in a garage, for three years.

it instantly passes any degree of oxidation testing we want, cycles cannot be starved by our withholdings.

there's nothing you can do to mess up. the tank handles as many fish/animals now as it will in five years. its that cycled :)

but fish disease would get em/you have a fine plan for that anyway. taking preps like QT and fallow seem to be todays top methods and then combining it with feeding tips from Paul's threads, no dry feed only human-prepped seafood, scallops, clams, fish can apparently make one heck of a strong set of fish. not everyone is willing to do that degree of food prep for a tank it just highlights what a dedicated set of individuals do and they sure do have excellent reefs as a result.

You have skipped your cycle and it will never undo. Never concern over free ammonia again for the life of this tank, or this will happen (sorry one more proof link, an important one, all post cycle reefs control their ammonia just fine)


the information in the two links provided will get you the most updated view on cycling microbiology we can locate for your cycle in my opinion. two links, two decades of pattern findings all summarized it is truly fun to build those off the known patterns all reef tanks follow.

what never needs to be tested for again is ammonia or nitrite.

nitrate can be tested for tuning purposes and color management in the system etc
 
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blasterman

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If LR can never 'uncycle' then we can shoot some off to Mars and terraform the entire planet. Bacteria need fuel. They can reduce their metabolic activity or go into spore mode if they have that capability, but they cannot live forever by simply being kept wet.

Tanks I've kept, and that's a *LOT* of them that have no bioload all under go a cycle of some sort once even a single small fish is added. Doesn't matter where the rock came from. If the tank has an initial high bioload, sits with no fish for awhile as a frag tank, and then gets air breathers adding back it *will* cycle to some extent. I've tried doping this with ammonia and it's a pain.

The broader question is how much this matters, and in the case of fish not much. Once ammonia and then nitrite starts being consumed again the process is very rapid for bacteria to pick back up. You have to be pretty negligent to hurt fish with high ammonia levels. Most ammonia test kits are garbage and once again we are testing stuff for the sake of testing. Once ammonia starts to decline the tank is cycled.
 

brandon429

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you've already seen my proof post though, on both the two year fallow test and the 36 mo one like 5 times.



I’m about to post a link where a reef tank self cycles with no assistance in sixty days, which shows natural sourcing of feed and cycling bac.


there's no way you can paint us a cycle that starves, Ill be waiting for links till im 90.
 
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Siberwulf

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yes that's the one.

no ghost feeding is required. live rock can never uncycle just by sitting in water, it can not starve in a home feed is getting into the tank every second constantly. the tank casts out some its bacteria to the home, as a sharing event, even though that exchange doesn't seem apparent or likely.

I hate to flood your thread with huge read links so in summary on the starvation one we have a thread where a fellow starves live rock unfed but topped off in water, in a garage, for three years.

it instantly passes any degree of oxidation testing we want, cycles cannot be starved by our withholdings.

there's nothing you can do to mess up. the tank handles as many fish/animals now as it will in five years. its that cycled :)

but fish disease would get em/you have a fine plan for that anyway. taking preps like QT and fallow seem to be todays top methods and then combining it with feeding tips from Paul's threads, no dry feed only human-prepped seafood, scallops, clams, fish can apparently make one heck of a strong set of fish. not everyone is willing to do that degree of food prep for a tank it just highlights what a dedicated set of individuals do and they sure do have excellent reefs as a result.

You have skipped your cycle and it will never undo. Never concern over free ammonia again for the life of this tank, or this will happen (sorry one more proof link, an important one, all post cycle reefs control their ammonia just fine)


the information in the two links provided will get you the most updated view on cycling microbiology we can locate for your cycle in my opinion. two links, two decades of pattern findings all summarized it is truly fun to build those off the known patterns all reef tanks follow.

what never needs to be tested for again is ammonia or nitrite.

nitrate can be tested for tuning purposes and color management in the system etc
Thanks for all those links, I appreciate it!

The point of the ghost feeding was purely to keep the snails/crabs/shrimp alive. I feel good that once this is cycled, it's gonna stay that way.
 

brandon429

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@blasterman


I know I go jerk mode for fifteen years/habits

really its just a press to develop the boundaries for cycling.

I get calls wrong all the time. poor chemistry relays etc I told dr reef he could never prevent an unassisted cycle from taking place in a home, at all, even if he wanted to cap off the test vessel nearly sealing it 99% and we left only a pinhole. I told him that inlet alone would cycle up the reef. figured his prep would be so microbially messy he'd never starve out the nitrifiers. it wasn't

on month 15 of the test, it did not pass, the bac never emerged to handle a bioload, even a tiny one.

he squelched a developing cycle through pretty strict control of inputs and it worked, they needed more resource than could fit in that pinhole daily. I learned a new boundary on that day.


my only contention was the organics-laden permafood presentation of a reef tank, those have munchables for bacteria wedged in every nook and cranny to the end of time. plus we're able to assemble test threads on that, using seneye, that portion is turning out fairly accurate prediction in hindsight.

a second contention was anything that's open-topped in a home, we have multiple tests now on file that shows self-cycling once that home filth really can be accessed. MSteven here shows self cycling, the inability to starve. that system took ON bac mass unassisted, it can't therefore starve afterwards, its always taking in new feed mass.

I have learned to request and provide study links from aquariums and not formal lab studies due to how context changes what bac can do

its the only reason I keep asking for aquarium study links. Anyone with a seneye nowadays gets to write the new reef cycling rules that's for sure. I don't even own one, get a seneye and tell us what you find.

additional times we’ve seen the context of an aquarium totally change outcome results: in a lab, adding peroxide to cycling bac killed them. In an aquarium, nh3 conversion got -more efficient- on the seneye meter, and back to normal, with a few hours.


measures are still evolving but that’s the cusp of where we stand.
 
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brandon429

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Look how TAN factoring changes the pace and readiness of this cycle



using live rock from a pet store always skip cycles.

watch the trending: cycle troubleshooters will always be the first to doubt water bacteria being able to do things in water


with any test value reported, they pounce, you’re not ready and will need to buy more things, or wait two more months etc as is in that post. But they’re cycled. If Dan P hadn’t pointed out the nuances of tan conversion I’d still be missing it to this day.
 
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arking_mark

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To simplify things:

A tank is considered to be cycled when is able reduce 2ppm ammonia to undetectable in 24hr.

If you started with live rock, then you MAY have started cycled. You can test using the above information.

A couple of caveats:
1. Many Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate test kits are inaccurate and should only be used as an indication that you have SOME amount of Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate...their actual numbers aren't reliable. For ammonia, I have found Seachem and Seneye to be very good.
2. Biodiversity and strains of bacteria are important. Dr. Tims will add good strains to your tank.
 

brandon429

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A tank is considered to be cycled when is able reduce 2ppm ammonia to undetectable in 24hr.


that's a made up rule with no application in today's testing ability for the masses. I know you and Aze don't value work threads that show directly opposite of that claim for years, but they still exist helping folks not to stumble, hesitate, buy redundant things, or be out of control of their reefs.

we are actually able to retain more reefing animals long after the cycle by applying the new rules, there's more impact to the 2ppm made up rule than is apparent. it teaches stumbling, doubt, tripling up on dosers which is a very bad reaction set to learn in the first week, old cycling rules are not inclusive of the big picture whatsoever. they're designed to sell you bottle bac, that's it.

here's something else to challenge the claim, not for the sake of arguing but for the sake of comparing today's data with old rules

try and find any seneye post ever made for cycling where the cycle didn't complete on or before the dates on the label of the bottle bac. We can see if they reached 2 ppm in that measure as well. You wont find one single case. Even when folks dose ammonia and think they've reached 2 ppm the bottle bac they added didn't allow it

but we have to step outside of red sea and api to see it.

before anyone gets uber mad at the slight challenge to the group, try and link one single reef tank seneye cycle that did not complete, and let's see if they ever hit 2 ppm at all, at any phase start to finish.

that's not to argue, its to show how hard it is to find data for your claims.

prediction: even if we go for pages on what constitutes a ready reef not one reader will post this requested link. we'll directly ignore the inability to prove the old rule, but we'll still press for the old rules as the only valid truth.

The masses have no way to meet these testing demands, so its selling bottle bac at astounding rates. the #1 purveyors of the sale are peers relaying sales data as requisite despite links showing totally opposite reef results.


When you say MAY skip cycle with live rock, you cannot link a single time where it failed, not one Mark. That's the doubt, that's the harbinger of old rules, that's the tank owner who could not make a MACNA skip cycle invite on time though halls of his peers had no issue since 89

new cycling rules are the sellers rules given back to the former buyers.
 
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Siberwulf

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To simplify things:

A tank is considered to be cycled when is able reduce 2ppm ammonia to undetectable in 24hr.

If you started with live rock, then you MAY have started cycled. You can test using the above information.

A couple of caveats:
1. Many Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate test kits are inaccurate and should only be used as an indication that you have SOME amount of Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate...their actual numbers aren't reliable. For ammonia, I have found Seachem and Seneye to be very good.
2. Biodiversity and strains of bacteria are important. Dr. Tims will add good strains to your tank.

Yeah, the test kits feel like a educated "inference in colors" game. It's not perfect. That said, I'm able to reduce ammonia to 0 (based on the Red Sea stuff) in 48 hours, which makes me feel like it's an ok time to throw in some CUC and slow feed em, let the Chaeto keep blooming, get Nitrates under control, and then look at the fish part of this fish tank.

Does that sound reasonable?
 

Azedenkae

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Yeah, the test kits feel like a educated "inference in colors" game. It's not perfect. That said, I'm able to reduce ammonia to 0 (based on the Red Sea stuff) in 48 hours, which makes me feel like it's an ok time to throw in some CUC and slow feed em, let the Chaeto keep blooming, get Nitrates under control, and then look at the fish part of this fish tank.

Does that sound reasonable?
Just to clarify, it takes 48 hours for your aquarium to reduce ammonia concentrations from 2ppm to 0?
 
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