New tank cycling, tank bacteria, and cocktail shrimp. Live rock=no shrimp

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

  1. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    This thread is for cycling science and the goal is to have a single thread be able to meet the needs of saltwater tank cycling in a repeatable manner using visual biology and in a way different from other cycling threads- so that every tank complies.

    Google searches reveal little consistency among cycling threads and articles including when to use ammonia to cycle and when not to, how to know when a cycle is done for each kind of rock we use to start tanks, what to do when early algae arises, and which parameters are important to know when cycling a marine aquarium.


    The number one thing we don't do here is react to a low level ammonia reading from an entry-level kit. Every extended cycle thread on the planet starts that way, and by starting oppositely we will see how to gauge a completion date using alternate means. For the crowd who must test, use salifert ammonia + any other brand you like, post a double reading taken by each five hours apart. Most readings taken this way vary greatly, which is why we won't be using testing to cycle a good portion of tanks here...there are other ways.

    If you are a new tank cycler who has early algae blooms, consider large tank correction threads you can search that we built to 100 pages are collections of keepers who simply left an invader in the tank on purpose, watched it take over, and never acted directly on the algae and now catch up rules the day. Be opposite--> When you see algae, make it gone by acting directly on the algae as a target, not by retro acting on your water params.

    A friendly challenge exists for you to link us here any algae challenged tank example that didnt involve purposefully leaving the algae in the tank to takeover. It's the strangest phenomena in reefing...we watch our tanks slowly succumb. 98% of problem tanks you'll see online can be headed off by altering one single design approach-farm no invader

    Your algae removal work lessens and stops as purple coralline and coral flesh take over. Expect early gardening to be proactive... you'll win against invasions every time. If you ever lose a tank to any invader, non removal will be the cause, not a phosphate reading.


    of course algae is expected in a cycling tank...but don't seed yourself unnecessarily.

    Do dandelions in a yard favor more dandelions? Why did our grandmothers always dig them out at the root?

    take out your rock and kill algae, your bac will survive any practical run at a target. Treat that one spot as future tank loss and you'll never lose a tank to any invader. If you can't remove rocks, drain the tank to access an invader in the air for precision scraping and then spot treating with a cleanup dab of peroxide. Require it to be gone.

    We find it best to make an aquascape accessible and modular if possible, for removal cleaning periodically.

    There's hidden success for the keeper who maintains a reset button in keeping rocks that can simply be lifted out for cheat cleaning as required by age of tank. This access allows for full cleaning which makes the tank ageless-we think reef tanks can have indefinite lifespans. Some of us run very old models





    The last cycling article I read online said to put cocktail shrimp in the tank so that bacteria have feed, so why the title of this thread? Old cycle materials never told us that established bacteria don't need our help, won't die without our additions, and that a much better (precise, non algae fueling) method than gaining ammonia from rotting meat exists for the times bacteria weren't established right from the start.








    The point of this thread is using life forms you can see in the aquarium to guide cycling if you bought live rocks and replace test kits where possible. True live rock has growths, pigments, reds and greens and purple and white areas...maybe even live hangers-on

    When testing is required, use salifert brand ammonia testing to reinforce your API readings...provide two numbers for the params so we can see the spread between kits if any.

    If API cannot be verified by salifert we should leave out the API info for this thread, our cycles will not depend on how close a yellow is to a green hue nor a purple to a blue.






    Choosing when to start a tank based on biological allowance has nothing to do with how long you should take before starting to identify leaks, get electrical components installed and verified and quarantine fish

    This thread is about the microbiology of the cycling aquarium, how bioindicators tell us what kind of cycling to employ, and when vs when not to use raw ammonia in a system.

    The benefit of that knowledge is pure tank control: move one, clean one, mix one, rescape, rescue a tank and prevent a cycle if possible in each case by linking examples of each event ideally.

    After reading you will always know when your cycle is done, with finality, and you will know when to use ammonia and when not to, this is the full intention of the thread.





    20140125_110413-picsay.jpg 20140125_110419-picsay.jpg






    Top pics are group A, the unverified gray no visual life barren rocks. This is where dr Tims and other bottle bacs come into use, and rotting shrimp or (much cleaner and workable) raw ammonium chloride dosing. Your end goal for these rocks is to make your system be able to digest a 1 ppm ammonia down to zero within a 24 hour period, 30-40 days after starting the fishless cycle method you can search out very easily at maximum.

    It's quite easy to speed cycle in two weeks, rescue runs need this speed at times

    results can be earned within two weeks of a fast-paced fishless cycle using accurate ammonia testing and multiple bottle bac additions...but typical time is a month for group A rocks

    We don't spike ammonia in tanks that have life you can see stuck to the rocks and moving around--group A rocks don't have this life. pods, worms, snails crabs come with group B rock below. Group A rock tanks have water and a bunch of wet gray or white rocks, no pods worms or snails, they lack the obvious visual life (and by extension bacterial life) of purple/aged rock. There's no pods and mini stars crawling around the vat of group A rocks at the pet store

    Pick up a group A rock from your pet store and look how barren it is at this current stage. If they sell that to you as live rock then it needs to have been submerged a minimum of 45 days before I'd trust it untested to provide aerobic filtration. The live rock that shows up ready to go, with living inclusions/growths and we treat it like a living organism, is group B rock.



    Group B rocks
    Bottom pics are cured live rock with months/years of coralline and fanworms and calcifications, colors, growths, pigments, textures, smells...the nitrifier-verified, group B rocks. Group B rock has attributes you can spot from across the room

    *the hallmark of group B rocks is that the living growths and pigments take longer than bacteria do to adhere as colonies on the rock surface exposed to the currents. Any rock that has accreted organisms is full up completely on filtration bacteria... these communities deposit on marine substrates in a sequential order always. Bacteria first, and last, given no meds dosed.

    We know the bacteria are there because we can see growths that took months or years to produce long after initial filtration bacteria mixed in with world biota would have taken hold. Applying raw ammonia to group B rock is counterproductive, it's stressing animals we were charged top dollar for, to verify a group of organisms we can already see are there plain as day.

    we keep ammonia away from group B rock because we don't want to cause a loss cascade.

    Group A rock got dosed to 1 ppm, nothing delicate to kill on that kind of rock

    Group B rock we handle like a living organism, it's a collection of them indeed.


    One can forego the entire wait time of biological cycling by using coralline covered rock or coralline spotted rock and caribsea wet pack sand and transporting it home in a reasonable way



    Do people who set up aquariums at massive aquarium conventions show up three weeks before the event to cycle?

    No, they skip the cycle and house twenty thousand dollars of bounce mushrooms just fine.



    If those tanks weren't taken down, they'd continue living just like any other reef but they skipped the initial cycle due to simply relocating already cycled materials, like when we bring home purple live rock from a pet store.

    We aren't advocating rushing, we advocate being exact in your cycle based on the substrate you paid for, the microbiology at hand, and not adding ammonia to living organisms when ammonia articles say it stresses them.



    group B rocks show up at your home fully loaded with bacteria/feed reserves for bacteria, opposite to common thought-those bacteria get food even if you don't add it. First aquarium myth of filtration bacteria shattered.... Aquarists don't sterilize high surface areas within an aquarium by withholding feed, we ascribe too much weakness to bacteria but microbiologists don't.


    Pick up and examine a group B rock up close, you can likely count several clear associated life forms on first peek and more will be littered and moving around the actual holding tank. Pods, worms, algae growths, small crabs indicating the busy nature of group B rocks. Coralline and fanworms are best to verify bacterial presence, because they take months to accrete to a rock and it always occurs long after bacteria took up initial residence.



    **group b rocks smell like the ocean out of water... .25 leaking rocks smell bad just a little and .5 sustained free ammonia from the source is obvious.












    The actions the reefer takes when dealing with type A or B rocks are polar opposite, what we do to cycle live rock is opposite of what we do to cycle dry rock.


    Once the bacteria are established on rocks, only meds or extremes will kill them * not ever moving between aquariums* and this sets the stage for our unique cycling thread here and why starting a tank with live rock and sand is very different than starting with dry substrates. Keep in mind that when you move live rocks between tanks using any reasonable preservation method, say an old tank vs a new one, or your pet store back home to you, your bacteria doesn't die, it actually stands to get a boost (if dieoff occurs this is feed)

    You can kill the live rock bacteria by introducing it to any extreme such as temp, desiccation or true drying, and meds, and it takes something that pronounced to kill them.

    *of any life form in your tank at any time, bacteria as a community are the toughest and most resilient and adaptive to any change, any cycling thread needs this opening frame of reference.

    How Many parameters do we need to measure in cycling: 1

    This thread only requires managing a single common cycling parameter, not three, for both kinds of rock.

    just ammonia, it's the dangerous one of the common three cycling params.

    We don't need to know about nitrite and nitrate given ammonia behavior and known submerged time. One parameter cycling is much easier... These three params behave in a linked and predictable manner, search for any online cycling chart where ammonia termination by day 40 also yields nitrite termination--->notice this trend for aquarium cycling charts across pages. That's a rhythm we can cycle with, using no test kits if that's handy.




    Someone I respect greatly remarks on single point testing (not needing nitrate or nitrite testing in cycling) here:
    http://reef2reef.com/threads/nitrates-disappeared-mid-cycle.251059/


    This link literally says quit testing for nitrite, the great time waster
    http://reef2reef.com/threads/nitrite-spike-in-qt.252455/

    Post#8, persistent false nitrite reading from a non-api kit, a high quality kit:
    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2604106

    any of the tanks from above would have been an "extended cycle" thread if we based the cycle completion upon debatable low level sustained nitrite readings. In this thread, we'll ignore nitrite readings, since nitrite follows ammonia digestion per all online cycling charts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
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  2. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Transporting group B rocks home, or across town, or among tanks in your house, or from your pet store, or to a MACNA convention, all the same:


    Live rock (group B) is typically sold wrapped in wet newspaper or in a styrofoam box with no water for ease of transport after you buy it out of the stock tank above.
    IMG_20160111_182149237.jpg
    They may stack a few pounds in empty fishbags. Lfs will not typically bag your LR underwater unless you provide the buckets or request them individually in fish bags with water. Merely opting for that step alone, keeping the live rock underwater for the trip home, changes your cycle dramatically and is preferable to any emersed transport although I transport mine without water and have no cycle. Since wild things happen on the web, we'll control that variable.

    Whether or not the transfer and the tank water differ in pH, temp, specific gravity does not matter within reason. Calcium, alk, magnesium levels of different tanks will not recycle live rock.





    Packing live rock in newspaper or in empty bags is done in the industry because it is known that emersion is on the spectrum all but the most sponge covered live rock will tolerate for short periods. Its so reliable that it is the go to method for most shippers and lfs, and the rock typically moves tanks while not losing its life. limited air exposure to group b rocks isn't harmful like once thought. People who upgrade tanks, build emergency QT or frag tanks, move tanks to a new home, or set up at a convention appreciate the science of skipping the marine aquarium cycle.

    Small amounts of ammonia may leak from live rock transported like this and placed in your new tank, but not because bacteria were killed off. It takes medication or true dessication to kill them, simple dieoff within live rock may produce small level ammonia and that subsides quickly if the reading for ammonia is accurate and low level.
    The trip home did not sterilize or remove the mass bacteria from the rock, even if brought home with no water, true dessication can take days. Any ammonia present would be from loss of higher order animals + decay time, that's pretty rough handling for live rock. Transporting it submerged works every time




    we don't spike ammonia to test Group B rocks, the benthics means it ready. You do the opposite, you use verified ammonia test kit(s) to see if those group B rocks are leaking ammonia, then you change water a lot or add things to bind ammonia if they are, so that a death cascade of your benthics doesn't continue. Continually in this thread see that we are treating Group B and Group A rocks oppositely regarding ammonia


    There is polar opposite treatments between group A and group B rocks with respect to ammonia being spiked or stopped so you can begin reefing

    There is no time we use shrimp cycling for live rock systems, ideally. They do however tolerate it just fine when we do anyway, and often oxidize all the ammonia produced such that it seems a cycle stalled but in fact its proof of a precycle, the opposite of the bacteria being dead or unestablished.
    http://reef2reef.com/threads/week-2-tank-still-not-cycling.213996/







    When transported live rocks leak ammonia and its verified with an accurate test kit, you begin water changes like CPR that prevent ammonia toxicity from wiping out your motile animals and reducing your animal inclusions back to only bacteria. Don't retro scale your tank...keep shrimp rot and free ammonia out of group B tanks.


    Group A tanks need constant ammonia to meet the time demands we expect (and for a different thread, they will cycle in time anyway even if you add no ammonia, because trace ammonia gets in daily) see this post from Morangus on class A rock cycling its an ideal example:

    http://reef2reef.com/threads/cycle-question.213966/page-2
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  3. Morangus

    Morangus Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up.
     
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  4. Tahoe61

    Tahoe61 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Database Team

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    Very nice Brandon.

    Boy this thread takes me way back.
     
  5. twilliard

    twilliard Delayed -- school R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member

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    Wow Brandon!
    I don't think I have ever seen a write-up from you.
    Great info this should stay up top :)
     
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  6. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    The Test that tells if bacteria within rocks are ready for use, group A rocks, digestion test:

    (verified ammonia readings follow)

    Add liquid ammonium chloride to 1-2 ppm to tank of water and rocks here is a calculator for the amounts to add, to get two ppm just saw this on another thread
    http://www.fishforums.net/aquarium-calculator.htm
    Use high quality ammonia test kit in 24 hours to see if zero.


    Skip nitrite measuring at all times. You may test for nitrate after each 24 hour period, but even that's not required. If ammonia is going to zero, nitrate is being produced and one or more variables may skew that on your no3 tests readings...it is getting produced whether we detect it or not

    If you just started your reef with dry rocks, add bottle bac while boosting ammonia. Expect 4 weeks and less if you've kept the ammonia rather consistent. We don't need nitrite testing because every cycling graph online shows nitrite complying within a month or so, and we have chemistry references showing it nonharmful the whole time anyway.



    Sources for ammonium chloride:
    http://store.drtimsaquatics.com/Ammonium-Chloride-Solution-for-Fishless-Cycling_p_190.html

    Or this is the same from grocery store (shake bottle, no foam at top or don't use, check that it has no surfactants that cause bubbling)
    image.jpeg


    For group A cycling add ammonium chloride verified used for reef cycling until the tank registers a few ppm free ammonia, and test that in 24 hours. if there is still ammonia using a high quality test kit like salifert, then the cycle isn't ready. Hit it with some bottle bac, speed up things. When the test does indicate the tank is ready, your added ammonia will go from low ppm to zero in 24 hours


    *most people are using caribsea live wet sand, so your digestion test intended for rock assessment is likely already skewed. You'll be adding more than the calculated amount, to surpass what your sand digests and still read 1-2ppm for the benefit of your cycling rocks* this just means your tank processes the requisite waste via the sand and not the rock until more time elapses





    1 ppm to zero in 24 hours is enough proof because a light starting bioload isn't even that much when diluted, but you'll see speed cycling tanks digesting up to 4 ppm if pushed. just use low level ammonia these bacteria are well fed in trace amounts, 1-2 is plenty.



    There is no approx timeline that a new reefkeeper waits while their rocks stir in a barren tank, the test tells all aquarists when they can start. A typical tank bioload will be far less than 2ppm constant presentation so that level is sufficient for any practical reef aquarium to know if rocks are ready to go


    ****it is common to buy, or own live rock that has full nitrifiers with no coralline. Looks like group A but also might be cycled, just missing clear benthic growths...The presence of coralline always indicates nitrifiers but the absence of coralline doesn't mean there are no nitrifiers. Thats why we have a digestion test, and we can look for pods and worms as additional clues about submersion times, here is one:
    http://reef2reef.com/threads/new-tank-what-and-when-to-test-water.250288/#post-2950022
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
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  7. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Ways to assess ammonia presence or non presence in group B rocks using no ammonia test kit:

    If you think coralline covered animal crawling or planted group B rocks are leaking ammonia, smell it out of water.
    human olfaction beats API amazingly. you'll be able to smell .25 like a skunk you are about to approach on the road upcoming faintly

    Are there moving animals behaving normally in this suspect tank? Tiny creatures die or act withdrawn, laying sideways, with true .25 ammonia they don't go about normally. Fanworms are the best, they will never open with free ammonia they'll droop, dislodge fully or close tightly. Corals closed, it would be burning their cells.

    Fish will pant with gill stress, operculae beating rapidly when true sustained ammonia is present

    How many hours/days has the supposed .25 been persisting? With living animals in tow the whole time? We've covered what levels a cycled tank digests within 24 hours, so a true .25 persistent means 5 ppm raw stench ammonia is leaking from your rock, and .25 is the tail end it can't convert. Run the smell test, your 5ppm would make examining the skunk up close smell great. Your tank is not persisting with .25 we can soon see and trust.

    Break a test rock open. Guess what happens if you take a fine quality top shelf Tonga branch group B live rock and break it in half? You get two

    And you can see the cross section, insides, and there will be dead worms or organic material that must be the source for a frustrating .25 reading. If it's clean, the test was wrong the whole time or the way we see green vs yellow tints.

    Resist the urge to use the worlds most entry level test kit to assess the most important param you'll work with in cycling. API works fine for indicating high level readings, just not delicate low level readings. Using visual biology and deduction and pure location of every protein source in a reef tank, you can be permanently free of ammonia testing by any name brand, I'll never personally own an ammonia test kit it's too easy to trace otherwise, free.



    'why have you said nitrate testing isn't important in cycling a reef tank and knowing when the cycle is done... you already claimed that about nitrite and im getting skeptical'

    because of this :)
    http://reef2reef.com/threads/question-on-live-rock.238881/#post-2793633

    if you have lab quality .000x ppm ability quality nitrate testing access, run it all day long and it will reflect each mg of ammonia added and oxidized and you'll feel on track if there are no confounds like plant uptake or NNR or biotic uptake. but take a chance in basing your cycle status on a $12 test kit? you get the wild goose chase many times~

    only ammonia tracing is required in reef aquarium cycling. nitrate is always being produced by the biological machinery that oxidizes ammonia, whether we can test that correctly ranges.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  8. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Rocks that exceed the visual ID requirements for group B, uncured marine rock, and how they cycle oppositely of what we'd assume:

    http://reef2reef.com/threads/nano-reefer-from-tx-help-me-id.215869/#post-2475140

    repasted w perm. from ismaellobato
    [​IMG]

    *this is how his rock came, not what he added to the rock. its loaded such that its prob the nicest starting reef rock Ive seen. rare to get uncured items that are not in a state of decay, we have to behave oppositely here to hopefully keep them alive.

    This thread above is a prime example of a third class of rocks, not common but ever present an option for the new tank cycler. Uncured rocks in this case means came from the living ocean, not cured down to what an aquarium maintains long term, dieoff is likely since we don't feed well enough to support this array of benthics. high points:

    -again, no bacterial support is needed, there is coralline and more.
    what bacteria they bring in is vastly more diverse and ammonia hungry than what we will ever get from a bottle or from a mature reef tank, the bacterial diversity is ideal and highest here, and will begin to streamline in time down to what a tank keeps.

    But this rock above has benthic animals some beyond ID ability, bottom living creatures, adapted to true ocean life. As soon as they are in our tanks they are starving, missing 99% of the complement that floated by them in the ocean for the taking. Add to that chemistry changes being shipped among retailers, and we can see that uncured live rock may likely emit ammonia for a while when added to our tanks, via loss of benthics, and never ever due to lack of bacteria.

    For this group of rocks, you actually begin changing water immediately and remedying ammonia any way possible so there is never a detectable trace in the system, recap:

    Group A rocks either need more time in system to develop benthic animals that always indicate nitrifier presence, or they must be digest tested to know if they're ready.

    Group B rocks show up with full bacteria and do not need us to add more, although a bunch of redundant ammonia additions wont kill it.

    Interim rocks, or uncured rocks with clear life forms moving, swaying, making them beyond group B live quality are likely to self generate ammonia if dieoff occurs, and we need to begin stopping that or arresting it

    we've paid top dollar for this rock (this poster above gets about $100 of free corals too) and ammonia will cause a death cascade, it comes with more bacteria than we could ever attain after years in a reef tank. this rocks cycles opposite of group A rocks.

    *****look at the video in this link of uncured, live ocean rock he got with zoanthids, unnamed inverts waving, 100% coralline coverage, and more bacterial diversity instantly input into his tank than the finest array of bottle dosers


    http://reef2reef.com/threads/fresh-...ould-you-remove-detritus.243176/#post-2853105


    This video above is example of rock you must not cycle. You literally skip cycle this rock by design, by constantly removing the detritus pumped out via water changes and hand guiding/cleaning as needed, permitting no ammonia whatsoever
    How different is that than group A rocks? It's literally opposite

    All due to the life shown in that short clear video.


    Rocks factor into Group A or B or uncured here because that's the three types of rocks we typically get in reefing

    Only group A rocks get raw ammonia, the others get opposite, zero free ammonia
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
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  9. Harold Green

    Harold Green Well-Known Member

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    I was saying pretty much the same thing this morning. Three kinds of rock. There's dry, needing to be cured or already cured, fresh. Over the last ten years I've used fresh entirely with little or no cycling. I gradually add bio-load allowing the system time to catch up between additions. Here's a 54g that's one week old that I just set up using dry base rock and fresh live rock. While the tank matures I add pyto or other coral foods daily to keep the clams, sponges, corals, feather worms all alive and rarely see any ammonia at all. corner tank .jpg
     
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  10. Reef_a_holiks

    Reef_a_holiks Well-Known Member

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    Cycling is over rated! lol unless your starting a tank with everything dead. Dead rock, sand, etc. Then do a full cycle.
     
  11. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Good points above. Good pic example too

    I feel we've basically incorrectly cycled every tank that was using live rock lol much to no harm, but we also need a balance point between total reef anarchy heh and worrisome extended cycling by guess and constant .25

    By early identifying your rock as group A,B or uncured you have a clear direction and endpoint which is repeatable, a true start point until you add your first frags.

    When there's coralline and living indicators you suppress ammonia not spike it, and when there's not coralline or indicators you can spike ammonia and/or digestion test to find out.
    **Free ammonia is counterproductive to diverse life on the rocks we've paid top dollar for and are trying to preserve. Since there is biological order to the establishment of benthic animals on live rock, bacteria came first, we can infer the presence of bacteria through visual cues excluding atypical use of meds for obvious reasons. The reliability of visual cues like coralline, live worms, snails, plants, pods, tiny fanworms, in aquarium cycling literally tells you what direction to take when you see those cues. We take a no ammonia direction.



    When you use any reef test kit that is not a calibrated probe reading digital display, checked against another calibrated tool *before* you make changes to the tank chasing params, you are just taking guess readings that are not what the calibrated probe would read the vast majority of readings. the misreads outweigh the accurate ones by a margin of 8 to 2, someone test it if needed and post back.
    see here, actual lab verification that titration tests are in dispute. A bunch of people with ranging color chart perception are stressing over elevated magnesium and not a thing indicates their readings to be true.

    http://reef2reef.com/threads/magnes...xed-saltwater-is-it-safe-to-use.252382/page-4
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
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  12. Harold Green

    Harold Green Well-Known Member

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    Back in the 70's starting a marine tank was pretty much a simple routine. Crushed coral over an undergravel filter. You poured in a vial of bacteria and added a damsel or pair of black mollies. Today we have a much improved list of ways to start a tank. The problem is there are so many successful ways that most beginners are totally lost. The most basic method is to add an ammonia source to a tank of dead rock and allow it to cycle for six to eight weeks. Trouble is most people want to fill up the tank and add animals not realizing that even if the tank cycles rapidly the water itself may not be suitable for fish yet. Until you have the experience the slower methods are less likely to fail and kill all your livestock.
     
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  13. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I might request a little clarity on the water part above, but agreed on not adding fish and other motile animals too fast, make sure you know your ammonia status first.





    The mention of the water aging does have merit, aged sw has millions of nitrifiers in it, it is indeed helpful in nitrification (but we find it not a breakpoint). It is commonly said in forums that bacteria are only on the surfaces not the water, but its not the case, contamination and association with other nonfiltration bacteria have them floc'd everywhere. If the details matter, the reason we are getting by with full changes of otherwise filtration-helpful water is because we don't spike the initial bioloading of any new tank (fish). that was a good point to bring up and discuss I think .
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
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  14. Harold Green

    Harold Green Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to suggest people wait for two months. I said that a while back and another aquarist insisted he cycled his tank in two weeks or less and fully stocked it at that time and it's doing well. I wasn't able to get the point across to him that for new hobbyists it's much safer to allow time for the tank to mature before stocking and ramping up the bio load slowly. What we do in our tanks may be next to impossible for beginning hobbyists no matter how much information we give.
     
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  15. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    How live sand carries your cycling risk when cleaning, transferring tanks:

    we have been taught for 20 yrs to not clean sandbeds, so most don't (as usual, Im opposite. mine is clean all the time, fully, and has zero waste=fully hands on)
    usual stored-up sandbeds continually take on waste in the form of half-rotted detritus and proteins and various degrading bits and practice a hands-off reefing mode out of fear of disturbance, many a tank has been impacted by the partial disturbance of a deep sand bed, one that was also allowed to store waste cumulatively.
    Detritus pockets are potential ammonia pockets and if those get disturbed and not removed then an ammonia event can occur during maintenance or tank moves. detritus is always the source for the ammonia if all higher animals are accounted for and we are using good source water.

    Contrast that risk of sandbed work to live rock taken care of, not plugged up with detritus.. established live rock can move from one tank to another in your home, no cycle.


    Before tank work, plan and visualize how to isolate your delicates from pockets of waste and how to rid the tank fully of these waste storage areas as well as prevent the buildup differently in the future, be deliberate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  16. Harold Green

    Harold Green Well-Known Member

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    Here's a question I don't have an answer for. Will marine fish flourish in a sterile tank? Just fresh seawater with zero ammonia, zero nitrite, zero nitrate. Do the fish require more? Things like plankton, a variety of foods, an interesting and stable environment to live in. Somewhere between the sterile tank and an old aged tank there is a point where fish do more than just survive. We need to make every effort to provide that environment rather than try to keep fish alive in a desert. I think many new hobbyists have the impression that if you complete a nitrogen cycle that's all that's required to keep marine fish and too many experienced hobbyists reinforce this view. Let's hear from the ones who have kept a group of fish for more than five years without a loss and whether they feel it takes more than a sterile tank to accomplish this.
     
  17. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Our scope here is ammonia control and earliest possible start dates that will keep animals alive, helpful in emergency moves or upgrades as well, bacteria specific testing. I highly agree that the majority of rushed reef tanks will fail from other factors, no need for speed but meeting a legit demand for it is ok as well. agreed, don't rush unless you have to, salinity spikes alone can kill a new reef low on practice.
     
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  18. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I want to link a few upcoming threads that have the rock type identification details we use to predict cycling phase, what items prove live rock has full bacteria in tow not requiring further human intervention:

    http://reef2reef.com/threads/live-rock-critter-ids-and-cycling-a-new-tank.217435/


    Regarding this tank above and looking at the detailed pictures, would the keeper spike ammonia here? What if they didn't spike ammonia, will the bacteria begin to die?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
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  19. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Summary


    1. Group A rocks
    unverified gray rock with no benthic indicators, a digestion test indicates ability to act as a nitrifying filter. Can spike ammonia, nothing on the rocks the spike would kill. bottle bac and cleaning ammonia appropriate. Treat until can digest 2-4 ppm ammonia in 24 hrs using undisputed quality marine tank ammonia test kit, salifert for example.


    2. Group B rocks
    known verified aged rock, coralline + or other life means don't spike ammonia, keep it zero and feed the life forms

    3. blended tank. partial live, partial dead rock awaiting cycle added same time. Wait for the group A part to catch up naturally, can't spike ammonia in the blended tank due to the group B portion. Plan this type of tanks start date around the group B portion.

    4. uncured rock
    so packed with life your tank isn't likely to handle in terms of feed or other variables, likely to produce ammonia not from lack of bacteria but by overwhelming the bacteria in this dieoff adjustment. All ammonia production is assumed and prevented using any method that stops ammonia loss cascade of the rare animals on the uncured rock
     
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  20. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    *nitrites aren't mentioned here...next page has nitrite details. We don't use nitrite details here because it is not required in tank cycling either group of rocks.

    Not needed to know, even in group A rock cycling~

    Not having to care about nitrite just removed 1/3 of your cycling woes.

    How many graphs for tank cycling on google images show nitrite persisting past 40 days

    And that's all for group A rock ****in no way do any of the charts apply to group B rocks***

    To me that's why we should group rocks for discussion. Those graphs are understood by many to be what occurs when you put any live rock in the tank, even group b rocks transported underwater and the entire basis of this thread is the distinction between the two groups, and the cycling actions taken.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
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