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I appreciate updates, simply because we're tracking a skip cycle assembly reef. it's one of the core ways of cycling, you have completely followed through with the example update 100%. this is now the rarest cycling option available we may not get many more especially ones without accompanying api or red sea readings. we got a pure example of a results only skip cycle setup, if that hermit crab ever dies I want you to come at me with a digital pitchfork









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Regarding timescaling


this is another reason we like your updates it causes thought reflection


remember the old rule nothing happens fast in reefing?


that was the firmest rule you've ever heard, bc I've heard it too. it applied to cycling above all other rules, above all. Reef sages state it to this day, I see it by the hour at reef2reef.


that rule is killing fish, killing them as much as buying them and dumping them in an alley




people replace fish disease preps with an arbitrary/ how much green is mixed in that reading wait timeframe. the tenet directly tells them if you wait X amount of days, or for X amount of yellow in your api reading and lightest blue nitrite, you're safe for fish. you didn't rush.


the rule tenet does not ask about speciation, it says broadly if you've waited, you're good to go.


Ever seen that run a disease fix forum? it takes QT and fallow to run those, in mixed species tanks.


I only grow corals I don't bother with fish, that's other's headaches lol. my reef is never a headache. 


your rock could not have benefitted one iota for waiting another 60 days dosing ammonia over and over, awaiting a yellow pass from api. if you stock fish then, you're as safe on fish disease as you are now.





The old rule nothing good happens fast in reefing is dead and retired. the new rule along those lines:


anything that happens without a plan in reefing usually results in a fail though sometimes delayed. if a given cycling plan is a live rock skip cycle using benthic cuing to guide rock purchase and stocking...it's a valid option. the benefit is you reach the fish disease crossroads choice faster and on a very specific day: day one.

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I think "nothing good happens fast" is meant to mean "don't rush, don't fully stock the tank from day one, don't expect to see corals instantly start growing, don't try to quick-fix a problem instead of going for a proven method that requires patience", not "everything must take a long time or you've done it wrong". Anyone taking it to mean that second thing is probably misusing it.


Kinda like how "money can't buy happiness" means "a rich person won't be happier if they become extra rich", not "you can be happy without any money to buy things like food and basic hobbies", but people keep misusing it to mean the second thing. 


Waiting on some arbitrary number or amount of time is a bad way to go, but "take your time and don't rush" is generally good advice, provided it comes with "and back up your actions with science and proven evidence". The problem with the waiting is the idea that the specific number is automatically going to be good for every tank, regardless of setup and individual test results. Not the general concept of patience as a good thing in reefkeeping. As one example- bottled pesticides that promise a quick fix to algae problems are really not the way to go, no matter how tempting they look compared to the slow tweaking that actually fixes the root issue but takes way longer. 

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Fair point



I like to pattern track the terminable date where cycling ends, and reefing begins, that's my favorite thing to study so far and the answer seems to group into 4 major options. Waiting longer before heavy stocking, to prepare for algae/ very wise point. My only scope is legit ammonia control, the true ethical safety start date where animals aren't burned by nh3 and the system handles daily feeding events, minor deaths like a snail etc without crashing.


Whatever folks do with their ready-reefs will range, and the greater public is benefited by stocking slow after the cycle- agreed. 


Couple more day-one examples:


A fully stocked with coral skip cycle reef example, fully stocked day one with corals, by page eight worth $$$ in top shelf corals





 A dry start no live rock -$300 anemone- on day one, dry rock dry sand, over a year ago


This below is the example everyone says is bad can't work/ not possible/


Above i mentioned a Google search of fish- in cycles on day one using bottle bac: they get the same outcome as Ike did below, this establishes a pattern that dump bottle of bacteria=cycled=no thought no coaxing required. 




neither tank died but is still flourishing 2 years later


Neither tank benefited from waiting beyond day one, this helps us determine ammonia control date options. The dry start reef got fish disease a year later, our trending analysis says it'll start by month eight if skipping preps... pretty close tracking there. 





 Fish disease care is the wave of the future, everyone forgets about ammonia worry by 2026 when digital meters replace these guesstimate test tube kits.


That worry self resolves once testing lines up, fish disease dealings and prep is what the future holds as a hobby trend / my prediction 


By 2026 nobody quarrels over or stresses over ammonia, the concept of the stalled cycle dies out. The new thing from a bottle, that we are trained to buy for peace of mind will be some sort of disease prep item but it won't be four new bottles of bottle bac to remedy an nh4 reading of .25. That habit dies out when old cycling science, the fear my cycle has stalled, ceases to be the rule. 



I cannot find any examples of anyone who failed to carry fish on day one if they elected to






all my cycling threads tell bottle bac cyclers to add the bac, a pinch of fish food, wait ten days, you're cycled. They skip cycle anyway and I track the outcomes/all fine/but the advice to wait comes from the ammonia line of a cycling chart. 


by day ten, after adding food, you have inherent cycle control even if bottle bac isn't 100% alive. it's not like folks stock with 25 clownfish, they stock with 2, and our time-based approach + initial stocking dilution is why the fish always live even if someone gets weak bac occasionally. the final result is all fish live on the stated start date across all cycles, as many pages as we want to go


nobody stalls, meaning a tank of dead fish. 


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Live time case study


Watch us apply updated cycling science to that thread. Do folks agree? do they disagree with what's said there? tbd, watch it unfold live time.



rule applied to that help post:


it is not possible for a 1 year old reef tank to have any cycle issues. It does not occur, notice in my post I didn't leave him room to be scared, or to doubt, or to get more non digital tests. 



Watch how fast and succinctly that cycle is closed out. Randy makes a great forum umpire, if you say anything chemically incorrect in there you'll get your head chewed off and digested live time. That is a perfect live-time example building underway, updated cycling science factors the time underwater/ 1 year/ off the ammonia control line from a cycling chart/ day ten.


and the deal is closed


old cycling science: that's every other stuck cycle post you can find. They'd have him testing again since one of those tests is a .4 nh4 and they would FOR SURE have him adding bottled bacteria to a one year old reef, to prevent it from dying. total panic/old rules/total resolve are the new rules. 



if his fish die and his tank recycles due to my advice, we'll have a bad outcome on file that's for sure. If his tank stays alive


And if any other cycling thread you can find stayed alive


A critical truth about ammonia toxicity rates in reefing becomes apparent: the #1 risk you were warned about in cycling doesn't occur in reef tank cycles. Those tend to be controlled from day one, any seneye owner can attest.



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All done. The tank pic is the final confirmation. 


Summary so far of cycle challenges we've seen: 1 skip cycle setup with live rock transfer between systems and 2 an interforum job assuring someone claiming to have elevated ammonia did not at all have elevated ammonia because no cycling chart shows ammonia issues after day ten. 


Old cycling science would have validated the ranging test reads as a bacterial problem,  and began purchase of reinforcements...namely Prime to reduce the built up ammonia about to kill the tank + bottle bac to replenish obviously dead bacteria 


Minimum $35 in purchases in order to believe their cycle was set. 



New cycling science, which would never believe a year old reef lost its cycle while still underwater, fixed his cycle 0$


Old cycling science says ammonia control dates range greatly in each cycle and are subject to become undone. New cycling science observes the opposite outcome in threads: everybody's fish are carried just fine, it's right there in pics. A broken cycle can't carry fish. A working cycle can


His cycle was never in doubt, not one second. Old cycling science does not offer that. 

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I'm not sure I've ever seen someone claiming that an established reef can have its bacteria die off. At least, not under circumstances that the rest of the livestock will survive. Doesn't make much logical sense; what would it be dying from? Now, I've certainly seen "if something large dies, that can overwhelm the biofilter", but I've never seen "sometimes the bacteria just stops working". Maybe I've missed it somewhere. 

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Thank you for that input 


That's my stance as well. Pls consider this, it's worth the pain of reading the thread below


I am 100% sincerely interested in your analysis here because there's a monkey wrench: a failing seachem badge. That sent everyone but me packing. For ten pages, nobody agreed this year old tank, packed in rocks and plants, didn't have a broken cycle. 


Why didn't I budge, there's clearly an nh3 reading in warning? 


Who says the test was not expired, who says any of the post was real... notice how all his pics were the same old pics that look like scanned in with a digital print film scanner upload from 2005? I could not get a normal cell phone pic upload the entire time that's suspicious. Most help posters readily provide feedback as the above example did. 


Honestly though, here's one:



In no way was that cycle broken. Two exact tanks presenting same way, both carry fish just fine... that is until disease takes some. A non digital test kit, the alert badge everyone touts as infallible, caused ten pages of disagreement. It's why non digital test kits are banned here/ we need one zone free of them to test true outcomes live time. Thanks for the input lemme know your take on that rough read where no two parties agree a year old cycle stays locked in. 

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After the test reading locked in the audience on the broken cycle they assigned a cleaning of the canister filters as the cause. 


The destruction that non digital test kits have caused to the advancement of cycling science cannot be understated. If someone inputs Prime or Amquel as a reaction dose right at the start they don't always tell us, you have to ask about it 


That alters ammonia readings on many tests, it doesnt make the cycle broken

 Those alert badges are good for a year then need replaced, how old was his tank? 


Nobody ever challenges a test kit reading using old cycling science, old cycling science accepts any stated reading as correct even without peeling the onion for test details, adulterants, expiry etc.

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The point of posting that huge argument post is that we're inspecting here a different way to approach cycling, that's what happens if non digital test kits rule the decision. 



Here, fish loss at month nine when skipping all disease preps and inputting multiple species of pet store fish won't be pegged on cycling problems, it sure was there


That thread embodies old cycling science in every way

Fish disease was never ever discussed as an account for two fish dying, and wildly ranging ammonia readings between api and an alert badge caused everyone to disagree on cycle status


That's every cycling thread from 2001-2020


The man bought all kinds of reactive dosers and supplements, that's an old cycling science handbook thread. It is the epitome of doubt, fear, mistrust in ammonia control, rejection of all cycling charts, and total rejection of all seneye tanks ever posted to the web which is tens of thousands now, per Facebook seneye and others


And through all that cycling work, a very large and very delicate starfish that would die in one tiny salinity shift supposedly lived through 8ppm claimed, then a stalled broken cycle for one month straight. All those other fish lived just fine... remember this wasn't just testing after the scary filter cleaning it was from readings taken one month after.


That's a false ammonia stall post



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9 hours ago, brandon429 said:

After the test reading locked in the audience on the broken cycle they assigned a cleaning of the canister filters as the cause. 


The destruction that non digital test kits have caused to the advancement of cycling science cannot be understated. If someone inputs Prime or Amquel as a reaction dose right at the start they don't always tell us, you have to ask about it 


That alters ammonia readings on many tests, it doesnt make the cycle broken

 Those alert badges are good for a year then need replaced, how old was his tank? 


Nobody ever challenges a test kit reading using old cycling science, old cycling science accepts any stated reading as correct even without peeling the onion for test details, adulterants, expiry etc.

Within this statement Brandon I think you hit on the greater factor affecting this attempted study; lack of true quantifiable evidence that can be irrefutable. This being what it is, an internet forum, it's difficult to fully prove the validity of what's posted by others (real timescales, additional dosing/treatment/stock replacement etc, images of their tanks not others) and it's not to call out anyone as being a fraud, just to state there is a stumbling block to convincing others with empirical evidence.


I'll post an update of my little reef later today, as I believe in your value of a tracked skip cycle =/ life and the established status quo is corrupted from perhaps the original methods by the trade. Only way to change it is get the information out there and let others form a consensus on the techniques; see the results and use their minds to judge on those results.


I've had my first new diatom bloom on the dead rock at day 11, I've just added additional CUC members of 3* trochus, 1*nassarius and 1*peppermint shrimp. He's there to deal with the hitchhiker anemone if it turns out to be aiptasia, I'm unsure on the ID of it. If not, and it's another type, he's an interesting member of the tank.


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Well said observation. Our hobby is literally mid evolution in terms of reef cycling, disease controls and there are no guiding articles from any neutral / non-sales motivated scientists to validate or invalidate updated cycling science claims vs old ones


but some articles are coming 🙂


Taricha there at rtr is for sure a scientist and he’s prepping a study on what it truly takes to break a cycle in a display reef.


there are only tiny flecks of truth among the scrolls of cycling posts that we can take away from each read and a new way of cycling is coming from the fact nobody is reaching ammonia toxicity during their cycle.


Are animals alive or dead, if we are reading about a continuum of ammonia presence in cycles then among that mix some toxicity losses must be found / significant standout in posts 



 we find none/no pattern of lost animals in cycling. Cycling is the *safest* time for fish since we just dumped in bottle bac or translocated live rock handling their ammonia at max ability. It’s the following months well after cycling that has all the disease loss trending we can search up.


that’s where the staunch disagreements  come from, everyone is passionate that the cycle training they’ve received and observed in their own tanks is correct / I get that and respect it. There was once a time in the hobby where the minimum tank size was fifteen gallons and anything less was a novelty joke tank that would not survive due to instability rules. And now, PNW sells a quarter gallon reef tank in 2022 🙂



evolution happens in cycling, the Moore’s law for computing speed is happening to reduce cycle wait times


I’m surprised this 1998 method everyone uses/ stall fear cycling has not morphed three times over since then but we are barely scratching its surface for change the last couple years. it’s a 30-40 year reef cycling paradigm not easily loosed from the public grip


The simplest driver of change is the collective macro outcome / are the animals living vs dead at the time of inquiry / for all these cycling posts. It’s really neat that among the opinions, attributions, subjective test reading reports, there’s still objective scientific observable data in all cycling posts and it comes from the tank picture they reveal + how many days the rocks were prepped underwater and whether or not a big stack of rocks is right in the center mass.

per your reef applied that way, looking at rock benthic details we know the rock has been underwater months/cycled and indeed you stacked rocks in center mass, and all the animals are alive here on out as a group; individual losses still occur in any system. A non cycled reef carries nothing past 48 hours, the system crashes and no test kit is required to see angry closed corals, smelly gray water and all fish belly up.


Failure to control ammonia is liver failure in humans and animals. Liver failure has marked consequences that arise fast, in hours not months and the organism shows symptoms always  / there are no symptomless liver failure examples there are only profound consequences where that condition goes 



all stuck cycle posts are missing the actual consequence portion. Fascinating. 


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Organics slough off the rock, circulate around and become part of a food web that sustains corals along with light


The live rock really has tiny micro animals that also come off and circulate, and bits of plant algae etc.


It self feeds simple corals like briareum pretty much, but lps corals want fed and sps like that live rock plus some feed diversity


Really consider using reef nutrition roti pods, or use artic red pods just a few drops occasionally of this hq refrigerated feed will keep it humming 


It's not like heavy pellet feeds that just fall down and rot 


These will be tiny suspended planktors and it doesn't have to be bursts of feed just tiny sustains. Then you'll be doing hardly any water changes and it just runs perfectly for months on end, even if you add more corals. Fish, or too bright lights will bring on the glass cleaning work eventually but it's easy going a while now. 

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[unsolicited advice removed, sorry]


[brief summary for context: I said that I thought a less confrontational tone might go over well and help people to want to listen, as I've seen people reacting badly to this poster in more than one place. I also talked a bit about how I've had to learn to do that exact same thing. I prefaced it by saying that I'm bad with tone, and that I was just going to say this in a straightforward way instead of trying to figure out how to be polite, because I thought it might be appreciated in a thread based on logic. I was maybe a bit over-familiar, but I absolutely did not have any manipulative intent.]

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You already typed that same shametique on reef2reef, I rebutted you and you tried and make it new here, hidden behind a transparent behavioral excuse. That’s too calculating 




I don't want you to use that as an excuse for something you know isn't going to go over well for the rest of your life. This is the last time for it. take accountability for what you write and say from here on out, don't lose this lesson.


do not preface what you are about to do with the hot button framing, speak your peace without excuse from here on out. In school, in business, in all relationships don't ever give yourself that out ever ever again


Select ignore I will too: that's fair, it prevents you from wrecking my work at will



Do you see the respect given to Seabass’ Ammonia article by me after my request?


here it is, readers should read it



I think Seabass is an exceptional writer. 


 I read it, I like it, I kept my word not to wreck SB's hard work,


it's because I'm not a troll I want to do free work jobs over the internet that are worth money, but come as free, and if anyone's tank dies we can stop.


every remote job done is taken back home in increments to my old nano and applied, making it live longer by intercepting the common challenges we see day to day in web posts. I gain from doing ten thousand web post jobs, but not in cash. I gain years on the reefbowl



That motivation does not prompt me to go wreck other's articles with emodraining rain type. I simply try and get my own jobs by creating inviting work threads or challenges. I want more people to do that; develop your own links of proof and argue with me by posting them. 


For the record, Seabass never emodrained me one time in twenty years, I'm just ready to investigate a 100% different way of cycling reef tanks we can't agree upon. That is still a respectable split in my opinion, to try and Delilah me without permission is the offensive part by Tired. 




people part ways before they wreck each others work threads, it’s decency. It doesn’t come with a pre-out clause practiced over the last decade, then hammer smashed glass.



not buying it, that's practiced manip years established. 







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I can’t thank you enough for your civility and on-point discussion, that kind of sincerity is what gets our work threads going most of the time as a strong example set of various cycles.



If the emotional paint splatter posts aren’t removed off this thread soon I’ll probably quit working it, harshers can gate keep here another five years if need be. If they don’t want the science, just wreck any post that doesn’t comply with how they view writing, emotion or cycling.


don’t think I’m unaware of behavioral conditions described I'm just old enough the excuses drained out a couple decades ago. 



calculating, repeating, expanding on cross forums that kind of emotional critique is a form of shaming attempt hidden inside a pre apology, I don’t have to buy one ounce of that as sincere.

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[explanation of unsolicited advice removed]


[brief summary: basically I said that the extent of my intent was to give information I thought might be helpful. No calculation, no manipulation attempt, no nothing. Also apologized.]

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I don't want to clarify with you further. I want to stop all interactions going forward, I read your follow up above. I'm clear


Are people allowed to detach from back and forth with you upon request or no, I understand why if not. 


Third reason I'm calling insincere:


You took umbrage with my writing, here's the same writing for fifty pages and we're all friends. 




Your perceptions are solely your own. Everything you're leaving in my post to wreck it above / keep writing more non example work/ comes from you projecting your clash with two views on reef cycling onto me- by golly my thread will pay for causing that conflict to you, I'm responsible for your frustration. 


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I'm inviting you to bring a cycle here or a description of one, we will trace out how it will time then you test it and report back the results


See how simple that is? We could build pages of work examples. See how Coffee and I got along because a job was being done? Pure friends whole time. Thankful for the work opportunity. 


I didn't kill Coffee's reef. That means you all give me +1 default trust point on the next coming job. You wouldn't start off with a critique of my syntax you'd start with a link showing your build pics


from the viewing areas outside of actual jobs I'm asking to comprise the thread, I don't want to be heckled any further. Simply don't post if you dislike my arrangement or my science


But if you have aquarium jobs you want done using absolute control of your cycle,  this is the place


You can see how welcoming we are to all tank jobs. For the love of pete can I get everyone's collective permission to run my cycling thread without attack from here or there? Can this be the last time 


Wait until someone has a loss event before pouncing. 


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I don't really appreciate the accusing me of a couple different kinds of malicious intent, but, like I said I would, I've edited those posts away. Sorry about that. I'll stay away from any of your threads in future. Unless you're asking about roughhead blennies or curious wormfish. I reserve the right to answer questions about a fish I've never seen anyone else say they have, since I don't know that you'd get answers otherwise in that incredibly unlikely scenario. 

(edit: would appreciate you also editing those responses, if you don't mind, as they make me look really bad without my posts for context. Particularly the bit where you tell me that a thing I've found people tend to appreciate is something I shouldn't be doing. Anyone curious: PM me if you want an explanation.)


I hope you get the info you're looking for. I wonder if you'd have any luck on Reddit? I know there are some really nice reefs on some of the subreddits there. 


Have a good night. 


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4 hours ago, brandon429 said:



I can’t thank you enough for your civility and on-point discussion, that kind of sincerity is what gets our work threads going most of the time as a strong example set of various cycles.



If the emotional paint splatter posts aren’t removed off this thread soon I’ll probably quit working it, harshers can gate keep here another five years if need be. If they don’t want the science, just wreck any post that doesn’t comply with how they view writing, emotion or cycling.


don’t think I’m unaware of behavioral conditions described I'm just old enough the excuses drained out a couple decades ago. 



calculating, repeating, expanding on cross forums that kind of emotional critique is a form of shaming attempt hidden inside a pre apology, I don’t have to buy one ounce of that as sincere.

Honestly Brandon I wouldn't hold you, or any other internet information for the matter, accountable if a downturn happened; I'm the one who would be accountable as I elected to follow the advice or guidance. It's the internet, honesty and sincerity are the only currency we should value dealing with information provided behind a colorful wall of anonymity.


Whatever has happened over the past attempts to show a paradigm shift in how a new or returning reefer goes about setting up a tank, shouldn't be impacting what was a clearly requested attempt to source people wanting to volunteer and share their process.


I'm planning to share my developments, I did a good amount of research and also tried to challenge my preconceptions from keeping marine life about a decade and a half ago. I'm happy with the process so far. Life is going on in my tank.


I'm pleased to see my 3 snails (one turned out to be a Astraea, only two Trochus) have gone to town on the diatom bloom on the dead rock; shrimp has been out exploring and the nassarius has gone burying and coming up early am for a move, possible food, then descending. Hermit crab and GSP are still showing robust behavior. 


Of interest is how the GSP responds to the evolving light availability through the timer staging and also (near a window as only spare surface) the presence of sunlight- he's on an angle, so in uneven distribution of light to polyps, but he 'warms up' as the day progresses- good job you little photosynthetic zooxanthelle!


I hope others brave adding to this thread, share their experiences, and some of the text walls don't alienate. 


Thanks for the time given so far 🙂


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Wow reef2reef is mega busy today in the chem forum/ intercepted three false stall threads there one was a live rock skip cycle like yours 




that thread was turned from guessing into matter-of-fact status.

if his stuff dies/on the hook for it~



 the other two are bottle bac cycles being doubted as complete on their chem forum too, months into the setup (does not occur)


*I thought of a fun exercise for this thread here as it sits a while waiting for new work examples:


anyone reading, anyone, link here the messiest most broke cycles you can find as an internet thread from any era whatsoever. as a link



our thread would benefit from seeing link examples of what anyone deems a broken, unable cycle. not just about to crash/and API is warning us/ but actually dead and crashed/ cycle failed. 



I looked again: any example I can find looks to be not much input detail or its a thread where the test kit says a crash is coming but the actual crash never came.  we will accept even 2006 examples at this point, if a failed cycle for real thread exists let's see how many we can pattern up over 22 yrs collecting web threads online. 




it is darn hard, darn hard to find online examples of stalled cycles. If we all together find a collective ten convincing examples of a true fail, heck I'd consider that a real trend and something we'd better consider

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To help keep the thread flowing here's an update image of my tank here. 


Day 17. 


Added 2 x GSP frags, 1 additional Astraea snail, 2 x scarlet reef hermits. This was on Day 16.


Halloween Hermit has shed successfully, peppermint shrimp has been bugging the new coral frags today- which was a shame as the lower positioned one has pushed out most of its polyps.


Continue to check SG reading daily, surprised to find evaporation is not really an issue but the salinity can drop by a single point (1.025 to 1.024) and needs a top up.


Bloom has continued to reduce, CUC members doing their job, water quality seems to be maintained.


Let's see where this gets to. 



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there's a reefer who thought you could not be cycled at six mos, corrected.  notice: he stated old cycling science told him the only way to be safe was zero ammonia


that's the rule I was given too, this isn't made up. breaking free of that rule comes with growing pains for the hobby, doubts in the foundation we built our cycle understanding on


reef tanks don't run at zero ammonia when stocked, or coming off a recent cycling blast load of ammonia as we're all told to do by the bottle bac sellers. 

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