The cycle in your aquarium, why is there no ammonia or nitrite showing in tests

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The cycle in your aquarium, why is there no ammonia or nitrite showing in tests

Post  liquidg on 5th June 2016, 2:02 am

On many occasions if the live rock you put in and sand as well was not let die off to a degree "left out of water for some time" and you are not over feeding your tank, you may not get a strong cycle at all!
The way to test this is by testing your nitrate, if there is nitrate showing in that test, the tank did have a mini cycle, you just didn't notice it!
You can not have nitrate with out ammonia to nitrite to nitrate from organic means, meaning a natural cycle!

A reef aquarium mini cycle is dangerous.
It can leave you thinking the tank is ready to go, and it isn't!
The moment you add more food and subsequently waste beyond the bio life that the mini cycle enabled, your tank life will suffer.

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Re: The cycle in your aquarium, why is there no ammonia or nitrite showing in tests

Post  Cscott on 19th July 2017, 7:59 am

this is an interesting thread and has alarm bells ringing.

Are we to assume that the BIO life can be increased slowly over time or how would you suggest increasing it to a level where a decent ammonia spike is reached and a full cycle progresses?
thanks

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Re: The cycle in your aquarium, why is there no ammonia or nitrite showing in tests

Post  liquidg on 19th July 2017, 10:37 am

I just threw out a bucket of ammonia rich water this arvo which I will do up a thread on soon.
I have been maturing two bio filters to an extreme level via first up, fresh ocean water is added then a heap of dead tissue as well in a tank with both filters connected to it, but before that when putting the media in the bio filters, of which I use calcium carb based media, I grab a hand full of media from my old bio filters running my tubs and place it in the base of these bio filters.
My water returns at the base of my bio filters then up through the media, so to add matured media it goes in the bottom so it seeds up wards through the new media.
So the tank for these bio filters to mature from, has a pile of stinking muck in it that was prawns, marinara mix and more dissolving via water born bacteria making varied ammonia, the filters are added to it, then with in days the ammonia that was off the charts, drops out to near zero as my matur4ed media seeds the rest beautifully.
This can only happen naturally from 5 days or more.

Then from there I have had fish. cabs and more in there and feeding while I keep a stinking bucket of water with dead tissue ready to go.
So I pore in some stinking through a fine net, clean net in the stinking ammonia bucket water, syphon that same amount back into the bucket from the tank and keep doing that till water in bucket is clear.
The a new bucket is started with dead tissue in it and on it goes.

What many reefers do to get white spot or invertebrate life suffering, is they start their bio filter not realising that each waste or dead tissue makes a varied form of ammonia, still ammonia, but there are no suited bacteria for the new form of ammonia.
So for minutes or hours or days, your tank water is the same as if it is going through a mini cycle when you add a new coral producing its stress mucus, or a new invert producing waste that was not part of the original cycling.

This can go on with the way of waiting for quite a long time, so I make up a bucket of most things that I will have in my tank to achieve a strong and complete cycle to maturity.

Anyway as I typed, I threw out the last bucket next to my tank with the bio filters running on it as there is no sign or any ammonia or nitrite now for my new bio systems showing in tests, no mater how much stinking ammonia rich water in put in there.



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Re: The cycle in your aquarium, why is there no ammonia or nitrite showing in tests

Post  Cscott on 19th July 2017, 11:04 am

That's very informative but not really achievable to your average reefer

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Re: The cycle in your aquarium, why is there no ammonia or nitrite showing in tests

Post  liquidg on 19th July 2017, 11:30 am

Natural sea water no longer then a day or two from the ocean will do it, the cycle will be just a week or two longer.
The sea life meat is from woollies or coles and a bucket, quite easy to achieve.
What it means and many experienced folks are realising, in tank live rock is not a good media for the majority of bio filtering!
The main bio media should be external/sump, not in tank, so that means you can mature your bio filter very quickly with nothing in your aquarium yet, just returning/exiting water.
The tanks water test levels become great, now to add invert life with very little adverse affects to test levels.
I would hope some refers know other reefers or can ask others via the net if they can grab a bit of rock or sand off them to start their tank the quick way if they want.

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