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M320au

New member + cycling fatigue

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horseysurprise

If you do dump the water and restart the cycle (is that a thing?) see if you can't borrow some saltwater from someone else's established tank. Not the entire balance of your tank but a few gallons should be helpful and speeds up the cycle.

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Tritone
On 8/22/2021 at 6:28 AM, banasophia said:

Seriously… in this forum people for some reason hate on the Caribsea Liferock… you DO NOT need to go get any other rock. The Liferock is totally good and fine. It is COMPLETELY POSSIBLE to cycle Liferock and people do it all the time. 

I have used Liferock for mine and I wouldn’t use anything else.

Dry rock takes a century and live rock brings surprises. I don’t want surprises in my tank, not even good ones, thanks. Just exactly what I purposely put in. X

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Tired
1 hour ago, horseysurprise said:

If you do dump the water and restart the cycle (is that a thing?) see if you can't borrow some saltwater from someone else's established tank. Not the entire balance of your tank but a few gallons should be helpful and speeds up the cycle.

This is actually a myth. Very little nitrifying bacteria lives in the water, it's almost all on the rock and substrate. If you're getting anything from an established tank, get a handful of sand, not the water. 

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horseysurprise
28 minutes ago, Tired said:

This is actually a myth. Very little nitrifying bacteria lives in the water, it's almost all on the rock and substrate. If you're getting anything from an established tank, get a handful of sand, not the water. 

Dude that’s been doing this for 30ish years said it would help and I didn’t need the QuickStart.. but that’s why I added it anyways. He may be right; you may be right; who knows? Gotta cover my bases

 

I did not get a handful of sand but I did get some of his live rock. Which he had in a special bin with its own pumps and whatnot so I dunno if it had anything from the established tank on it. I used lifesand but ehhh should’ve grabbed some of his sand oops. Assuming you’re right and he is wrong  (and makes sense, bacteria are gonna settle into the sand) - I think we’ll be good with the lifesand + water + QuickStart + live rock combo

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Tired

If a majority of nitrifying bacteria lived in the water, large water changes would cause the tank to have to cycle again. There's a reason freshwater aquariums often have filter media to host bacteria, and a reason saltwater aquariums do best with a decent bit of live rock to host bacteria. The useful stuff lives on the various solid surfaces. There's probably a little in the water, but not enough to affect much, particularly if you already have access to a cycled tank. 

 

Live rock will do the trick just fine. That's the best way to get bacteria into your tank. QuickStart is redundant, what with the live rock. Assuming that was actual live rock with bacteria and microorganisms and the like, and not just dry rock stuck in a bin for a week. 

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Murphych

Yeah the waters from established tank is not going to help with the cycle, definitely teh rock. 

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SaltyGallon

Bugger it, shall we throw a few dead prawns in there too? And maybe a few hardy damsels... All bases covered then 😄

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Tritone

I understand that a person starting a new tank can get impatient and would like to see a tank that looks like a tank as quickly as possible. BUT not wanting to wait a second is unhealthy.

A badly cycled tank will need constant patching up for the rest of its existence. A lot of money thrown into it and a constant anticipation of new trouble.

There are ways to bypass a month of looking at an empty tank waiting to cure, but there is no magic wand that will make it cycled, cured and ready to throw any living creature of one’s fancy into it for one’s entertainment in 24 hours. 
Have a plan before you start, read, research and take it a step at a time.

 

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M320au

Well, for what it’s worth, by means of an update I am now 7.5 weeks in. Montipora has died (My LFS tells me I can blame the courier for letting it spend 3 days in transit due to covid lockdowns - makes me feel better), but the clownfish, green hammer, and snails are going gangbusters. However, my nitrites are still high and getting higher. I’m using rodi water and have stopped adding prime. In the past week, nitrites have risen steadily from about 0.25 up to what seems to be 5 on the API kit. Ammonia zero, except one day after I fed my snails too much nori, it rose to 0.25, but after a day of no feeding it promptly returned to zero. Every day, I test nitrite, and add another dose of seachem stability. No change, albeit in the last few days I have experienced a diatom outbreak which most sources say I should have experienced after 3 weeks in. I’ve now added a whole bottle of dr Tim’s, a whole bottle of api quick start, and now most of a bottle of seachem stability - and I have never seen nitrites drop -once- naturally in my 7.5 weeks so far. What I -have- done too much of however, I suspect, is changing water. 
 

If anyone starts to look unhappy I will change water again or add prime. But for now I feel I have no choice but to quit doing water changes and just let it sort itself out.

 

 

6D2D5819-F8DE-405D-BD2C-5B69FDAE0E2D.jpeg

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Seadragon
40 minutes ago, M320au said:

Well, for what it’s worth, by means of an update I am now 7.5 weeks in. Montipora has died (My LFS tells me I can blame the courier for letting it spend 3 days in transit due to covid lockdowns - makes me feel better), but the clownfish, green hammer, and snails are going gangbusters. However, my nitrites are still high and getting higher. I’m using rodi water and have stopped adding prime. In the past week, nitrites have risen steadily from about 0.25 up to what seems to be 5 on the API kit. Ammonia zero, except one day after I fed my snails too much nori, it rose to 0.25, but after a day of no feeding it promptly returned to zero. Every day, I test nitrite, and add another dose of seachem stability. No change, albeit in the last few days I have experienced a diatom outbreak which most sources say I should have experienced after 3 weeks in. I’ve now added a whole bottle of dr Tim’s, a whole bottle of api quick start, and now most of a bottle of seachem stability - and I have never seen nitrites drop -once- naturally in my 7.5 weeks so far. What I -have- done too much of however, I suspect, is changing water. 
 

If anyone starts to look unhappy I will change water again or add prime. But for now I feel I have no choice but to quit doing water changes and just let it sort itself out.

 

 

6D2D5819-F8DE-405D-BD2C-5B69FDAE0E2D.jpeg


Ashame you don’t have access to Bio-Spira or mature live rock.  The only other option is to go very slow and don’t add corals and too many livestock until your tank is fully cycled, and just follow Dr. Tim’s instructions and be extremely patient.  You’ll eventually get there that other way.

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banasophia
3 minutes ago, Seadragon said:


Ashame you don’t have access to Bio-Spira or mature live rock.  The only other option is to go very slow and don’t add corals and too many livestock until your tank is fully cycled, and just follow Dr. Tim’s instructions and be extremely patient.  You’ll eventually get there that other way.

Yes, Biospira seems most reliable to me. 
 

Just remember this is a fish-in cycle so you don’t add ammonia. 

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Jakesaw
On 8/21/2021 at 11:58 PM, M320au said:

Thank you all for your comments. Unfortunately Bio Spira doesn’t seem to be available in Australia. Aqua forest Bio S, Dr Tim’s of API quick start seem to be the only options I can find.

Dr Tim's one and only is basically the same product as Bio-Spira. He created both products and both are live nitrifying bacteria in a bottle. 

 

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Seadragon
5 minutes ago, Jakesaw said:

Dr Tim's one and only is basically the same product as Bio-Spira. He created both products and both are live nitrifying bacteria in a bottle. 

 


From personal experience of using both multiple times, Dr Tims took 1 month to fully complete the Nitrogen cycle with me testing every day.  While Bio-Spira took 7-10 days with testing.

 

So while on paper it might seem the same, real world experience shows otherwise from my experience and many others.

 

I won’t touch Dr Tim’s ever again even with a 10 foot pole.

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Jakesaw
4 minutes ago, Seadragon said:


From personal experience of using both multiple times, Dr Tims took 1 month to fully complete the Nitrogen cycle with me testing every day.  While Bio-Spira took 7-10 days with testing.

 

So while on paper it might seem the same, real world experience shows otherwise from my experience and many others.

 

I won’t touch Dr Tim’s ever again even with a 10 foot pole.

Is it possible that you purchased Dr TIm's in the winter.  The downside of live bacteria in a bottle is that if it gets too cold in transport it can kill off the " live " bacteria ( per BRS website product description ).  Starting my tank in January, that was a concern of mine.  I used biospira from local Petco and it worked out well for me.  Never used Dr Tim's " One and Only 

 

 

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banasophia
15 minutes ago, Jakesaw said:

Dr Tim's one and only is basically the same product as Bio-Spira. He created both products and both are live nitrifying bacteria in a bottle. 

 

True, but agree with Seadragon… for some reason people seem to report better outcomes with BioSpira

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Seadragon

Well, be my guest if you want to give Dr Tim’s a test run for fun. 😉 The OP basically did that for us again with Dr Tim’s twice now after emptying 2 full bottles of it and still isn’t done with his cycle after 7.5 weeks?

 

Yeah, I know some things were rushed and my point is, if you’re going the Dr Tim’s route, you really need to be super patient and go extremely slow with the bio load.

 

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xellos88
3 hours ago, M320au said:

Well, for what it’s worth, by means of an update I am now 7.5 weeks in. Montipora has died (My LFS tells me I can blame the courier for letting it spend 3 days in transit due to covid lockdowns - makes me feel better), but the clownfish, green hammer, and snails are going gangbusters. However, my nitrites are still high and getting higher. I’m using rodi water and have stopped adding prime. In the past week, nitrites have risen steadily from about 0.25 up to what seems to be 5 on the API kit. Ammonia zero, except one day after I fed my snails too much nori, it rose to 0.25, but after a day of no feeding it promptly returned to zero. Every day, I test nitrite, and add another dose of seachem stability. No change, albeit in the last few days I have experienced a diatom outbreak which most sources say I should have experienced after 3 weeks in. I’ve now added a whole bottle of dr Tim’s, a whole bottle of api quick start, and now most of a bottle of seachem stability - and I have never seen nitrites drop -once- naturally in my 7.5 weeks so far. What I -have- done too much of however, I suspect, is changing water. 
 

If anyone starts to look unhappy I will change water again or add prime. But for now I feel I have no choice but to quit doing water changes and just let it sort itself out.

Sounds like a good plan.

I'm currently cycling a new tank and I feel like I was in your situation when I first started where the nitrites were out of whack. Now I just test for nitrates and keep it at or below 20 by doing water changes and just wait for green algae to start.

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rough eye

i'm not sure i'd forgo water changes with livestock in the tank, with the tank being so young. 

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filefishfinatic

go to the beach right now

 

4.2.4 Live rock

A 40 t harvest of Live Rock is allowed for under the Coral Sea Fishery Wildlife Trade Operation (WTO) accreditation based on a CITES Non-Detrimental Finding. Living rock is dead coral with algae and other organisms living on them.

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filefishfinatic
7 hours ago, Seadragon said:


From personal experience of using both multiple times, Dr Tims took 1 month to fully complete the Nitrogen cycle with me testing every day.  While Bio-Spira took 7-10 days with testing.

 

So while on paper it might seem the same, real world experience shows otherwise from my experience and many others.

 

I won’t touch Dr Tim’s ever again even with a 10 foot pole.

bio spira took me 12 hours. i added some trash water that my rock was in and it read 0 ammonia when i went to my lfs. 

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DevilDuck
8 hours ago, M320au said:

Well, for what it’s worth, by means of an update I am now 7.5 weeks in. Montipora has died (My LFS tells me I can blame the courier for letting it spend 3 days in transit due to covid lockdowns - makes me feel better), but the clownfish, green hammer, and snails are going gangbusters. However, my nitrites are still high and getting higher. I’m using rodi water and have stopped adding prime. In the past week, nitrites have risen steadily from about 0.25 up to what seems to be 5 on the API kit. Ammonia zero, except one day after I fed my snails too much nori, it rose to 0.25, but after a day of no feeding it promptly returned to zero. Every day, I test nitrite, and add another dose of seachem stability. No change, albeit in the last few days I have experienced a diatom outbreak which most sources say I should have experienced after 3 weeks in. I’ve now added a whole bottle of dr Tim’s, a whole bottle of api quick start, and now most of a bottle of seachem stability - and I have never seen nitrites drop -once- naturally in my 7.5 weeks so far. What I -have- done too much of however, I suspect, is changing water. 
 

If anyone starts to look unhappy I will change water again or add prime. But for now I feel I have no choice but to quit doing water changes and just let it sort itself out.

 

 

I would let things run it's course. Nitrite is not very toxic in saltwater. You can stop testing for it so often.  As long as ammonia is still reading near 0 ppm, your livestock will be fine.

 

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filefishfinatic

you should make a native biotope. i think occelaris are native to AU. you can just go collecting and get most of your livestock for free. collecting things like amphipods and mud is benefical for your tank too. 

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M320au
On 9/10/2021 at 8:34 PM, xellos88 said:

Sounds like a good plan.

I'm currently cycling a new tank and I feel like I was in your situation when I first started where the nitrites were out of whack. Now I just test for nitrates and keep it at or below 20 by doing water changes and just wait for green algae to start.

Well, I’m pleased to report that my diatoms died off after only 3 days, and green algae has appearing for about 3-4 days. Not long and stringy, just big patches of green sand, and some green on exposed faces of my life rock wherever the purple was chipped off. I’m managing to hold ammonia at zero. Nitrites are still at least 2, possibly 5, possibly even higher. I find the api test kit very hard to read, but it goes purple within about 10 seconds of mixing the contents so whatever it is, it’s still high-ish.

 

Last Saturday I went to add a torch coral, and a Banggai cardinalfish, however the lfs convinced me to take two cardinals instead of one on grounds of it being a schooling fish with anxiety issues. Of course, it’s now been 5 days and neither of them are eating either frozen mysIs with garlic or the pellet food fed to them by LFS, raising my anxiety. Clown and all corals seem extremely happy - couldn’t be happier. I see the Banggai’s swimming around at night, but otherwise they’re extremely timid as everyone seems to report. I rang LFS for assistance, he tells me If the torch coral is happy the water quality is fine, and if they’re not eating by tomorrow, to drop by and he’ll give me some live bloodworms.

 

It’s nagging on me that they may not be enjoying the nitrite level even through everyone says this behaviour is also normal. I did a preventative 3x dose of seachem prime 2 days ago just in case. No change to behaviour, and no change to the api test result either. (Should dosing seachem also change the test result? It immediately clears the problem when I add it to the test tube - but not in the doses I am using in my water column. Hence I’m either not adding enough or my levels are too high for seachem to help). Anyway nobody is dead yet, everything is looking happy, - I think tomorrow’s plan is: get bloodworms, see if cardinals eat, if not, do precautionary 50% WC to reduce nitrites just in case. And hope to goodness that after 8 or more weeks - whatever it’s been - this emerging green algae is a sign that my tank is finally almost cycled and nitrite might drop any minute.


I’ve left the almost certainly dead montipora in there in the remote hope it comes back some day. I read I shouldn’t leave dead corals in the tank due to water quality issues. But I figure this one is all stone and no tissue so probably isn’t harming anything. Should I take it out? Oh and I also added a reef glass nano skimmer around a week ago which seems to be pulling out a tiny amount of very dark skimmate. 

 

m

16C6F8A2-9C82-40ED-907D-9C123646ED0A.jpeg

Edited by M320au
Added pic

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rough eye

i don't know how long it's been since you added the clownfish or if anyone mentioned that you should wait a month between adding fishes to allow the biological filter to adjust and establish.

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banasophia

What’s the ammonia level? 

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