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Help: I may have messed this up…


daniejd

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Started a pico tank 2.6 gallons. Got a rock from my lfs, let’s call it pestilence rock.

 

It was a nearly rock with ever pest imaginable, bristleworms, pest starfish and anemones, feather worms, copepods and amphipods.

 

As the tank was just starting to cycle, I didn’t think too much about it, what lives, lives! In fact I gave them 2 (not 2 pinches) crushed fish flakes. The tank went through a very small hair algae bloom that was over within a couple of days. That’s when the trouble started.

 

The bug numbers have exploded, like a few thousand copepods on the walls of the tank, the amphipods got much larger very quickly (the largest ones being about 1/2 inch and I can clearly make out their front claws). The water has turned soupy with the molting debris, swimming copepods, and plankton? I have done 50% water changes 3 days in a row (using a external canister filter to try and siphon as many as I can) but within 24 hours it seems their numbers have recovered.
 

The only thing in the tank is one margarita snail that rock and one other. What are they eating? It can’t still be those two flakes. The rock had some green, yellow and purple algae but not a lot and the snail has cleaned most of the green off.

 

My ammonia runs between .25 and .50 ppm nitrite and nitrate 0. Light is a basic 7000k light I have it on about 8 hrs a day.

 

My biggest concern is a population crash completely fouling the tank. Should I be concerned or since the tank is still cycling not an issue?

 

Attached a terrible photo of the things in the water, hopefully I attached correctly.

529230AD-9E46-4C3A-BC33-51CC87F72E8F.jpeg

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Murphs_Reef

Other than the ammonia.. and if all that stuff is alive... That sounds ideal to me!!

I purposely feed my tank with 3 or 4 bags of live pods a week....

As soon as you add fish, pods will become food in quick order. 

Bristle worms, fan worms population will self regulate and are great for detritus and particulates and the small stars can either be picked out by hand or left in, generally they are fine. 

If however there is a load of detritus and dead stuff floating around, you want to filter that out using a bit of filter floss. What does your mechanical filtering  consist of currently (ie what's in the canister)? I would use nothing but floss if I'm honest.

Try not to water change during the cycle, it will just make it a longer process... Leave the water "as is" until you get zero ammonia readings ..   have a search on the forum for cycling advice, there's a lot if threads.

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DevilDuck

Your doing this exactly right. You have nice piece of live rock, full of life and bacteria. There are reefers that will pay good money for the rocks your describing. Your tank is cycled at this point, you should be able to slowly add livestock. The pod population will go through boom and bust cycles depending on the food and predators in the tank. Leave it be and start enjoying your tank.

 

Can you post a full tank shot?

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Thank you both! Feel a bit like Homer Simpson. After the first comment, realized the stock filtration was basically just a large pore sponge. I’m assuming the small stuff is going straight through it and being spitted back out into the tank. I’ll add some filter floss as was suggested!

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37 minutes ago, daniejd said:

Thank you both! Feel a bit like Homer Simpson. After the first comment, realized the stock filtration was basically just a large pore sponge. I’m assuming the small stuff is going straight through it and being spitted back out into the tank. I’ll add some filter floss as was suggested!

Chuck that hard sponge, it's gonna catch food and stuff and will just rot in it. Go with some filter floss and a bag of basic carbon for now. That should get your small particles filtered out. You could possibly put some rock rubble or bio media under the filter floss and carbon if you want extra rock, that's your choice.

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brandon429

this post is a good lesson for cycle umpires here on the site.

 

those stated readings above are what 90% of fully cycled reefs run at on api, ammonia isn't expected to be zero/ nobody who owns a seneye nh3 meter ever sees a zero, so when cycle troubleshooting we should not be advising cyclers to wait for it. the posts that get the yellow off api are about 5% in all of reefing. Seabass was right years ago when we were told that api is sensitive and indicating the sustained levels of free ammonia we'd expect in a cycled tank, where respiration keeps the waste flowing and the bacteria inherent to that type of rock keep the transition going. 

 

on Matt's recent dry start nano post in the general forum, he posted the same ammonia levels above that we claim here are cycled but he was told his tank isn't ready yet. That's cycle umpires being all over the place, seneye wouldn't have us thinking and reacting that way. The only reason we agreed here is because the rock was from a known live source and pre cured for reef tank use.

 

These cheap non digital test kits are subjective, always, in all post, so don't just claim a stuck cycle when someone posts .5 or 1 ppm, that range of color and report is expected due to ten different ways prepping and running the cheap kits can pan out. agreed this cycle is done, don't treat the system like it needs feed for bacteria, it needs some corals planted on the rock and keep the early phase algae at bay by cleaning the system not dosing it with things. the pods and bugs aren't going to harm anything.

 

**this site needs to search out and learn from seneye cycling posts from members here and other places who own one. Once you see that 100% of bottle bac cycles have controlled ammonia by day 3, none take longer, you'll have fresh eyes to help folks in this site who are on day 20+ of a Dr Tims dry start cycle but still claiming (via api) that the cycle isn't done. We need to stop taking all these subjective reports as any type of real indication on what bacteria are doing. API and Red sea are shown in comparison threads ranked against seneye on the same cycling tank to take 10+ days longer to show the initial ammonia drop. seneye shows it on day one, in nearly every case I've ever seen, but we can't see that with api and red sea

 

If we take the initial ammonia levels people state in every cycle post on this board, and convert them into nh3 using the chart from the instructions, we can see the levels stated are actually about fifteen times lower than actuality, and this would resolve every cycle concern on the site. 

 

On this entire site, every forum, not one single cycle isn't ready. there aren't any partial cycles currently here on this entire board: source for claim, any seneye cycle you've ever seen. 

 

regarding nitrite, it doesn't even factor in reef tank cycling and no, nitrite presence cannot cease ammonia control that's all a sales ploy written to us by sellers so we confuse normal readings with a need to buy 4 more bottles of bacteria. If anyone searches on google "Nitrite in the reef aquarium, Randy Holmes-Farley"  you can clearly see where we don't need to monitor nitrite during a cycle, or during any phase of display tank reefing. 

 

I've seen it written here that if ammonia drops from 2 ppm to .25 that means cycled. So does dropping from 2 ppm to .5, just because someone grades a color a bit darker than the person to their left doesn't mean the bacteria didn't follow suit and known timing in the tank at hand. Cycling charts do not have ranging dates for completion, they're all 10 day ammonia control timescales for a reason. Only umpires flex the rules, the actual rules don't flex. 

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Murphs_Reef
5 hours ago, brandon429 said:

this post is a good lesson for cycle umpires here on the site.

 

those stated readings above are what 90% of fully cycled reefs run at on api, ammonia isn't expected to be zero/ nobody who owns a seneye nh3 meter ever sees a zero, so when cycle troubleshooting we should not be advising cyclers to wait for it. the posts that get the yellow off api are about 5% in all of reefing. Seabass was right years ago when we were told that api is sensitive and indicating the sustained levels of free ammonia we'd expect in a cycled tank, where respiration keeps the waste flowing and the bacteria inherent to that type of rock keep the transition going. 

 

on Matt's recent dry start nano post in the general forum, he posted the same ammonia levels above that we claim here are cycled but he was told his tank isn't ready yet. That's cycle umpires being all over the place, seneye wouldn't have us thinking and reacting that way. The only reason we agreed here is because the rock was from a known live source and pre cured for reef tank use.

 

These cheap non digital test kits are subjective, always, in all post, so don't just claim a stuck cycle when someone posts .5 or 1 ppm, that range of color and report is expected due to ten different ways prepping and running the cheap kits can pan out. agreed this cycle is done, don't treat the system like it needs feed for bacteria, it needs some corals planted on the rock and keep the early phase algae at bay by cleaning the system not dosing it with things. the pods and bugs aren't going to harm anything.

 

**this site needs to search out and learn from seneye cycling posts from members here and other places who own one. Once you see that 100% of bottle bac cycles have controlled ammonia by day 3, none take longer, you'll have fresh eyes to help folks in this site who are on day 20+ of a Dr Tims dry start cycle but still claiming (via api) that the cycle isn't done. We need to stop taking all these subjective reports as any type of real indication on what bacteria are doing. API and Red sea are shown in comparison threads ranked against seneye on the same cycling tank to take 10+ days longer to show the initial ammonia drop. seneye shows it on day one, in nearly every case I've ever seen, but we can't see that with api and red sea

 

If we take the initial ammonia levels people state in every cycle post on this board, and convert them into nh3 using the chart from the instructions, we can see the levels stated are actually about fifteen times lower than actuality, and this would resolve every cycle concern on the site. 

 

On this entire site, every forum, not one single cycle isn't ready. there aren't any partial cycles currently here on this entire board: source for claim, any seneye cycle you've ever seen. 

 

regarding nitrite, it doesn't even factor in reef tank cycling and no, nitrite presence cannot cease ammonia control that's all a sales ploy written to us by sellers so we confuse normal readings with a need to buy 4 more bottles of bacteria. If anyone searches on google "Nitrite in the reef aquarium, Randy Holmes-Farley"  you can clearly see where we don't need to monitor nitrite during a cycle, or during any phase of display tank reefing. 

 

I've seen it written here that if ammonia drops from 2 ppm to .25 that means cycled. So does dropping from 2 ppm to .5, just because someone grades a color a bit darker than the person to their left doesn't mean the bacteria didn't follow suit and known timing in the tank at hand. Cycling charts do not have ranging dates for completion, they're all 10 day ammonia control timescales for a reason. Only umpires flex the rules, the actual rules don't flex. 

I've never been called any kind of umpire before.. Maybe a cycle umpire has a unicycle? 

 

Anyway good choice to go with filter floss over sponge @daniejd

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brandon429

I like to define it as-> anyone who makes a statement about an allowed start date for a reefing cycle. 

 

you will nearly universally find non seneye owners advising to: wait longer  (open ended, no completion time assigned, can take up to 2 mos in some threads I've collected. how do reef tank conventions always start on time, with no stalls one might ask? sellers vs buyers cycle training is why)

 

but what's fascinating are these added details: every brand of cycling bacteria has already been charted (on seneye threads and api ones) for their respective ammonia control dates, and until umpires/start date opiners log in and read those details or get a seneye and study them on their own, we'll be stumbling around making basically wild guesses solely relying on the subjective non nh3 relays as given by cycle posters. umps don't realize this stuff has set timing, known long enough for people to write cycling charts X decade ago

 

inability to actually know what ammonia is doing is the #1 stumbling block umps face nowadays on stalled cycle assistance. the very minute someone buys a seneye, hooks it up, trims it into spec, their cycle understanding changes 100% opposite of what it was pre-seneye. 

 

also handy; don't have to own one. simply seek out across boards and make friends/sub to 100+ seneye owners and watch their data for trending for five straight years. saves $190 and we get the same info practice lol

 

the studies they're doing in the research forum at Reef2reef right now are astounding. lab types who don't fudge nh3 charting/testing nitrite impacts on cycling (none) and about to be testing starvation models for cycling (cycles can't be starved, tbd)

 

the known deposition dates for cycling bac are also logged there as well, its truly fascinating how far apart a majority of cycle umpires are from the actual truth. you have to go outbound and hunt the info down, though. 

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brandon429

the #1 hidden truth in cycling that it will take the hobby another few/several years to reveal is that we never had trouble establishing ammonia control in any of these cycles past a few days at max, and that's if the bottle bac was fully dead when it was added (rare).  even with mostly dead bacteria in a worst-case scenario, the massive jolt of food we provide by training + naturally sourced bacteria still picked up the job and handled it within a week or less (try and find one single seneye post that ever showed more than 3 days of ammonia noncontrol, I've studied hundreds of them to relay these patterns)

 

ammonia control was within the first hour of adding bottled bac meant for cycling if one owns a seneye and runs cycling tests on it and if the bacteria was alive which 99.99% of bottles we buy are just fine. its water bacteria, packaged in water. the fact api might be reporting 1 or 2 ppm at day 20 literally means nothing, its a complete false indication of the truth. 

 

 

it will take us all migrating away from non digital guesstimate measures (currently all cycles on this board are evaluated that way) and into digital ones for the shift to occur. 

 

until then, we'll be buying up bottled bac on the repeat and by the pallet load out of sheer doubt in the #1 fact that studying updated cycling science reveals. we have been trained by sellers and then secondarily by peers to doubt the #1 thing that we shouldn't doubt. the hidden cost though was losing bucketloads of fish to delayed onset disease wipeouts since we focused so intently on ammonia and nitrite during the first few months, and should have just trusted those and studied disease preps as part of the actual cycling prep 

 

we can't mess up a cycle

 

 

we can mess up disease preps, though. in 20 straight years here I've never seen a failed cycle attempt where fish died, bioload could not be carried. not one. that pattern means something, bigtime, because we're not working on a loss continuum in cycle assessments we're working with 20+ straight years of it working out fine for fish whenever we roughshod agreed a due date was worthy. we have those who buck the rules and put in fish on day 1 with the bac, those are fine. we have some who waited 90 days for perfect nitrite control, those are fine too. its the disease expression onset that accounts for all the initial losses in fishkeeping for us. that, and bad acclimation events like floating a shipped fish bag recently opened for 3 straight hours to acclimatize temps lol. also seen a few instant kills of fish where they disclosed on page 8 of .25 ammonia doubt that they'd used mold proof silicone to build the custom sump, which is fish lethal. no cycle doubt has ever panned out in reefing, ever. 

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The filter floss has started cleaning up the debris. Added a gsp from the same local fish store, it seems happy and opened up quickly and has started attaching to the rock I placed it on. New to this but hopefully starting to learn some (I am starting to doubt the 1-2 lbs per gallon of live rock, in a tall tank it seems very underwhelming and out proportion). Some asked for a better tank pic here it is, looks better with the blue light but couldnt get a good pic. Pestilence rock is the big purple giy on the left. Thank you all!

EC539D3C-50EA-4129-A274-8BC7D6F01471.jpeg

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Oh buddy that GSP is going to fully cover that rock and spread to the one touching it possibly. Just be prepared for that! The tank looks great though. You might find a way to get some more height on the rocks, but that's up to you!

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Murphs_Reef

Looks good! Yeah just keep activly pruning the GSP as it will want to invade.. personally I love it, it's not hard to control.... But it's one of them sneaky "how the hell did it end up on the other side of the tank" ,👍🏼

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