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King Detritus

Following up on my test case, I stopped by the LFS and picked up a tiny blue legged hermit crab. Sorry for the crappy pic - I need some new gear! He's a little smaller than a dime. So far, he's doing great and has been in there over a week now. Thanks again for all the help and suggestions!


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Thanks for posting, we thrive on outcome updates here


Let's see the full tank picture


Surface area is a big theme in this thread, it's something not discussed in cycling threads commonly so we wanted to see yours 


Most cycle articles focus on the number of bacteria solely


What is the fish disease prevention plan selected if any, before you add fish?






Soon you'll be adding fish so it's helpful to know those final plans, they're more important than your ammonia control cycling preparations


(because bottle bac engineers already did the preps before selling us the bottles, to tip some bottle bac into a reef lends instant bioload carry, nobody has to worry about cycle completion it's a gimme, disease control takes all the luck, planning and skill)


Surface area, number of days underwater, and disease plan are the top three things we'll assess here in new tank startup cycle posts, we should tie that all together with a full tank picture


Take the pics in white light if possible, no blues 


By now there are likely benthic visual cue markers on the rocks, things we can see in pics, they might look like brown or green growths 



Those help in cycle assessments when they appear, curious if your updates have any new growths on the live rock

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King Detritus

@brandon429 Here's my current tank pics without the blues. I have a lot of brown diatoms growing. Everything looks a little darker off camera, but the top down view of the rock is the easiest to see. It's also on the sand.


Right now, I'm building a modest CUC. I would like to get a clownfish. If I get another fish after that, the plan is to quarantine in another tank before adding to this one.








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That's a great closing cycle pic thank you!


Brings up the discussion of visual benthic cues for cycle verification without using test kits. 



You can't find in any cycling article about reefing the link between visual growths on the submerged surfaces = being fully cycled for ammonia control.


It's not a factor in old cycling science; only api test kits getting to zero/ full yellow zero / guides old cycling science and not any other factor is considered for marking a cycle complete. 


Cycling has evolved over the last twenty years just like all aspects of our hobby, this new pacing is only revealed by studying digital ammonia test kits from cycling reefs. Display reefs that don't use digital ammonia tracking by rule still follow the same timing rules digitally- tracked cycles reveal. This is updated cycling science


Those growths above are normal for all cycles and prominent on white rock cycles due to lack of pigments,  the growths specifically mean if we knew *nothing* about your reef other than that one picture we could tell you the tank was cycled. It's not possible to have those growths, any new submerged growths, and not be cycled for ammonia control FULLY for the degree of surface area submerged as long


It's not that you're half cycled


That rock and sand surface area was cycled *weeks ago* when I first had you post, those pigments are the markers that show up weeks or at least several days after fish carry is in full mode. You have plenty of surface area, the reef can carry its full bioload now but fish disease is your limiting factor. 


As years go by in this thread we are going to see examples of false stuck cycles where even more benthic growth than that above is present, I'll be asking for tank pictures and no test kit readings everytime as we apply updated cycling science to reveal nobody has issues with ammonia control in reefing given ten days wait and any common approach to cycling they want to use


The reason all cycling charts show the ammonia drop sharply turning down on day 10, and staying there, is because that's how long cycling takes to coat submerged surfaces in bacteria such that a full water change cannot strip the cycling bac off the rocks.



Most bottle bac mixes today are so strong they adhere in 2-4 days but can still carry bioload on day one, while the bacteria are still in suspension from the initial addition to the tank. This is the full breakdown of your tanks cycle, it was under control this whole time. 


Excellent disease plan 🙂



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King Detritus

Also made the pleasant discovery of green algae on the front glass today. Looks yellow looking in, but from the back looking out (photo) it's clearly green. Lots of food for my future snail additions!


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