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Mr Aqua 17.1 R.I.P.


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I posted this reply on a thread in the Beginners forum entitled "Cycling with dry Reef Saver rock"

started by Tbunnelldo.


It applies to my 10 gal tank build thread as well.



I'm not so sure about the effectiveness of Dr Tims one and only bacteria and Ammonia treatmentarrow-10x10.png. I'm using it to cycle (or at least try to cycle) my 10 gal tank.

I am using all Reef Saver dry rock and wanted a fairly short cycle as advertised by Dr Tim because my coral and livestock are waiting in a Quarantine tank.


I researched and read all of Dr Tims instructions along with other threads on the subject and started on Sunday 5/25.


After 1 day, the Ammonia was 1.0

After 2 days, the Ammonia was 2.0 (where it should be) and Nitrite was 0.50.

* I continued to add ammonia to keep the level at 2.0


On day 4, the Ammonia was a bit over 2.0 and the Nitrite was 2.0

I added only 1 drop of Ammonia.


On day 5, the Ammonia was almost 3.0 and the Nitrite still 2.0


Here is whats going on now that has me scratching my head.


It is now day 10 and after testing daily but not adding any morearrow-10x10.png Ammonia, the Ammonia level is still just above 2.0 along with the Nitrate.


According to Dr Tims website and posted reviews on this and other forums, the cycle should be about done by now but I've seen no reduction at all in Ammonia or Nitrite, and the Nitrate is still undetectable. WHATS GOING ON and has anyone else had this problem with this product?


Just to add a little more info, i'm only running floss in the filter and no protein skimmer and used a whole 4 oz bottle of bacteriaarrow-10x10.png.


I have tried to contact someone at Dr Tims Aquatics but they don't return my E-mails and I have no phone number for them.


On day 10 where I said " The Ammonia level is still just above 2.0 along with the Nitrate"...I meant Nitrite not Nitrate.

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From what I have read i believe it takes longer than 10 days when using 100% dry rock like the reef saver. It should still take a month to cycle, it's just a way of introducing the bacteria since there is no live rock.

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Big surprise


Like I said in my last post, I have not been able to reach anyone at Dr Tims Aquatics to discuss my slow cycle until today.

My phone rang about 30 min ago and it was actually thee one and only Dr Tim Hovanec calling me in response to my E-mail.


We discussed possible reasons for my slow cycle from my use of filter floss (and changing it weekly), to possible heat damage to the bacteria during shipping (I am in AZ after all). He also said that the cycle should be completed by now.


We talked and talked about everything involving the Nitrogen cycle and I couldn't believe that the founder and owner of a big company would spend 25 min on the phone with me talking shop and seemed to be enjoying it.


Bottom line is that he offered to ship me (2 day air) another bottle of his bacteria for free even though I did not purchase it from him in the first place.


Anyway, I was very impressed.

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Neat... it's always nice when a company stands behind its product. After all, if it works what do they have to lose?


That's a nice aquascape back on page #1... it's taken me over 2 years to get to the point I'm happy-ish with mine but yours looks like it's got a lot of future grow-out spaces and mounting locales planned in from the get-go.


Now that your initial sandstorm's cleared you should probably ditch most of the filtration media (physical & chemical) before adding the next bottle but leave the deNitrate in. It's pretty much bonus live rock surface area and needs to be colonized just like the rest. Leave the power heads and filters running though... you want water being forced through the rock.


You've got detectable nitrites, so something of the original bacterial culture is in there and kicking but does seem way off for an innoculant-based cycle (even using dry rock only) to not have detectable nitrate levels after more than a week. Especially if ammonia levels have been kept elevated but not through-the-roof.

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Now that your initial sandstorm's cleared you should probably ditch most of the filtration media (physical & chemical)

About the sandstorm. I have seen tons of FTS's and most all of them i can remember show a very cloudy tank. I have often wondered about that because I have never experienced it.

I've carried over a habit from my freshwater days and filled my reef tanks very slowly using air tubing and the siphon method. It only took me about an hour to fill 9 gal this way and stirs up no sand.


Others have said that if I fiddle around with the sand sometime after it's filled it will still cause clouding at that time but I have not noticed this.

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Extra 300S - freakin awesome! If only I could spare about $450,000 for one of those. My aquariums keep my wallet pretty well drained in the meantime.

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Dr Tim did what he promised. I received the bottle of bacteria yesterday and will add it today after i do a 50% water change as Dr Tim suggested.

This is because the Nitrites have built up to 5.0 ppm and i need to get them below 4.0 or the high levels may kill the new bacteria. I'll post tomorrow how it went.

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OMG. It happened again!!!! but i refuse to give up.


I'm going to change my heading from "Third tanks a charm" to "Custers Last Stand". If you have been following this build thread you know that it's my third try at a successful Reef tank but something always seems to happen.


This time, It happened yesterday. When i woke up in the morning, I noticed that my ATO had run dry and the water level in my tank had dropped almost an inch. Turns out the tank sprung a leak from a 3" crack that had formed in an area where I had cut off a portion of the plastic rim to fit the ATO sensor.


I took my rock out and put it in a large bucket with the partially cycled water in it, put a power head in, and will continue the cycle that way till the new tank I purchased is ready to go.


I went to my LFS this morning and brought home a "Mr Aqua" 17.1 gal rectangular, rimless tank. I got a good deal but not as good as the 10$ per gallon deal I got on the 10 gal. They say that when one door closes, another one opens and I hope this is true because this new tank is very nice.


Oh well, i'm not going to let another setback stop me, so i'll continue to post under this thread but with a new tank as well as a new heading (as i'm sure you noticed).


Will post pics of the new tank after i paint the back today.

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Sorry to hear about the tank man. The Mr Aqua is probably sweet though..if I were a DIYer I would definitely have gone with one of those.

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Sorry to hear about the tank man. The Mr Aqua is probably sweet though..if I were a DIYer I would definitely have gone with one of those.


NO WAY RANGER, it's the other way around. With the 8mm low iron glass and the superb craftsmanship, I would love to be able to afford an IM Fusion 30L right now.


Mr Aqua tanks have adequate thickness glass and good craftsmanship, but just aren't quite equal to Innovative Marine.

The plans and equipment for your tank look great and i'll be following.

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Hey there...Your choice in aquariums and aircraft is very familiar. I have a Mr Aqua 17.1 low iron rimless and an Extra 300L.


I custom built a AIO with false wall as the aquarium is a mini peninsula style. I also had great luck with Dr. Tim's when I transferred my livestock from my pico to the 17g. The stuff does seem to work. I never had an ammonium or nitrite spike.


I'm sure the third time will be a charm. Reefs are easier than rolling circles






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difficult cycle heeeelp pleeeese. its late and i'm worn out.


As you have probably read, I started the cycle on my 10 gal tank with dry rock, dry sand, and a bottle of good ole Dr Tims start de cycle elixer.

I started it on May 26 and here is a brief (ha ha hee hee) rundown on what has happened.


May 26. Added 4 oz of bacteria and 10 drops of Ammonia.


May 30. Ammonia spiked at 3.0 ppm and Nitrite spiked at 2.0 2 days later.


Maintained approx same levels by adding more Ammonia but at smaller doses till June 7.


June 7. ammonia dropped to 2.0 but Nitrite climbed to 3.0


June 9. Ammonia to 0.50 but no drop in Nitrite. Cycle has been going for 14 days.


I talked with Dr Tim and he said cycle should be near complete but shipped me another bottle of Good ole Dr Tims start de cycle elixer and i added it.


June 13. Ammonia at 0.0 but Nitrite climbed to 5.0 or greater.


Did 50% water change before adding 2nd bottle of Dr Tims because Dr Tim said "Ammonia or Nitrite greater than 5.0 can kill the bacteria that is establishing".


June 17 Ammonia 0.25 Nitrite still over 5.0


Thats the story and my question is that even with dry rock, a Nitrite level over 5.0 with no drop at all in 22 days seems a little fishy or a little invertebraty or just not righty.

The Ammonia has dropped and the Nitrates are negligable also.


I did a temp patch job on this 10 gal tank from its crack and planned on completing my cycle in this one prior to moving everything to the new Mr Aqua 17.1 but now i dont know whether it will complete without starting over. Did I kill the bacteria in some way that converts trites to trates? and should my Reefsaver dry rock be OK after the consistant high Nitrites.


I NEED GUIDANCE. BTW, i'm comparing the results from my test kit to known parameters in another tank..

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Did you cycle it with the lights on? That could help keep bacteria alive. I have also read that going from nitrites to nitrates is the longest part of the cycle and I don't think water changes are advised until the very end. I could be wrong though! Anyone else?

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i was going to suggest maybe your test kit was off but if you've compared them to know results that crosses that off although if you know some one local that has a test kit it couldn't hurt to try a different kit or bring your water to a known respectable lfs and have them try testing. if it was me, my 2 cents. i would not add any thing and not do water changes for at least 10 days only top offs and test again in 10 days. good luck.

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dang.. people make this cycling thing so complicated.


Do you have a diatom bloom or GHA yet? (if you have the lights on that is).

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i agree, i don't test for nitrate,nitrite, or ammonia. i have always used fish to start my cycle. in fresh and salt water. unfortunately i have not lost any fish during my cycles. i typically give a tank about a month to 6 weeks before adding more livestock. usually after the first diatom bloom.

dang.. people make this cycling thing so complicated.


Do you have a diatom bloom or GHA yet? (if you have the lights on that is).

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For me, I don't use fish to cycle but I also don't test.


When using dry rock, I add 1 piece of cured live rock to it to serve as my bacteria source instead of bottled stuff. At least I KNOW theres some bacteria on there. Then I just add some fish food and let it ride out. When diatoms and GHA show up in numbers, I add the CUC. Wait another 2 weeks, add one fish. Slowly stock from there.


I am too much of a cheapy to buy test kits I won't need after the cycle (except nitrate). I keep an ammonia badge for the QT tank.

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Ok, the Mr Aqua 17.1 is officially wet!!!


I have to take the wife out for her birthday right now but i'll post new details and a FTS later today.

I'm so excited, I could just #@%^&.

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Good evening Mr & Mrs America from coast to coast and all the ships at sea. I'm here today to announce a milestone in a major quest for excellence i'm undertaking..


My tank is finally cycled!! (applause, applause) :P.


In all seriousness, I really screwed up on the 10g tank and added way, way too much ammonia but after doing it properly on the 17.1 Mr Aqua I believe it finally worked after just 6 days.

Just to make certain the cycle was pretty much done, I added Ammonia yesterday morning which resulted in a reading of 2.0ppm by afternnon and also 1.0ppm Nitrites by evening.


By this afternoon (approx 24 hrs later) The bacteria had cleared all of the Ammonia and Nitrites and left me with Nitrates of 40ppm. I will do a 50% water change tonight and then add a CUC tommorow.


I will post all tank details later when I have some more time but for now, Here is a peek at it.







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Love it!! I've got the same tank as you along with black sand. It really looks sharp when you start getting corals and some color in there, but your scape looks great too. Looking forward to seeing some updates!

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This looks awesome! The Mr. aqua looks a lot better to me, plus you'll have even more room for stocking :D

Any plans for fish or corals yet?

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This looks awesome! The Mr. aqua looks a lot better to me, plus you'll have even more room for stocking :D

Any plans for fish or corals yet?

I have a clown (False Percula) that i've had for a while waiting in another tank and i'll probably add 2 Skunk Cleaner shrimp in a few weeks but that brings me to another question.


I want 1 more fish to go with the Clown but I dont want a second clown. At the moment, my tank is not "Jumper friendly" so does anyone have a good idea what would be a good 2nd fish that's not known to be a died in the wool jumper?


I have a 7g quarantine tank that I kept all my frags in from my original tank so i'll be deciding what to put in the new one soon. I know it will include Zoas, Clove polyps, Palys, a Torch, and some GSP to start . Probably some SPS later after everything has been stable for a couple months.


COME ON RANGER, lets see some more of yours?

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