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Featured Cycling new tank (or am I?)

Discussion in 'Reefs' started by Ade_S, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. leopardshark

    leopardshark Registered

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    Good luck ade I'll be following this interesting post
     
  2. Bluez_01

    Bluez_01 Registered

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    Yes it would be a bit silly feeding an empty tank for sure, you will find within the next 5 days you will have completed the cycling, then you can do the biggish water change, but like I said previously try not to remove all the nitrate's aim for around 5-10ppm. Then do a weekly water change or whatever to keep it around that mark, once your pearls kick in (if ever) then you will hit zero anyway, I say (if ever) as mine never did work after 4 months I binned them out and went the vodka route.
     
  3. leopardshark

    leopardshark Registered

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    You have any problems dosing vodka??? I use nopox but I think it caused a cyano outbreak
     
  4. Bluez_01

    Bluez_01 Registered

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    I had issues with pellets mainly, it seems a hit and miss with them, in the end it cost me an arm and a leg to try and get them to work, first I brought the bio pellets, and a standard type reactor and pump... ching ching £80ish, no problem I thought cheap as chips if it get nitrates down in the long run... 8 weeks later, pellets are dissolving, but nitrates staying around 10-15ppm, hmmm, perhaps im not turning over the pellets enough... ching ching £120 on a self recirculating reactor, and some other pellets ching ching £25, so that I have now 2 brands running in it, this has got to work now.... 8 weeks passed, pellets almost gone nitrates still at 10-15ppm...

    Fudge this idea, bin the pellets, fill the reactor with bio balls of all shapes and sizes, 2 different hole foams, and started to dose vodka, within 3 weeks, zero nitrates and they remained at that for 14 months, no matter what I put in the tank for feeding, (was trying to get a reading on the nitrates). Tried 3 different test kits to make sure I wasn`t getting false readings as well.

    As far as side effects from vodka, only the ones mentioned earlier are a "potential" risk, I have some lps sulk for about 3 days or so when I first started dosing, but that was all, once they were use to it, they were back to normal. (This was the most frightening part, and I considered stopping dosing at this point) Like most things in this hobby you have to do it slowly and build it up, as you risk shocking/killing the tank if you dose heavy from the start, but if you wanted to go the vodka route, then you won`t go far wrong if you follow the dosing on the previous post, it deffo beats throwing in chems to remove or reduce nitrates, etc. in the long term. As you have a natural bacteria in the tank helping the cheato along with its job.

    NoPox has some great results from reading around a few forums, but its not the first time I have heard about the cyano outbreak from people using it, the only thing that was kind of mentioned was that perhaps because something had gone to zero faster than others, it fed/created a perfect environment for the cyano.
    Hence the common theme, obviously increasing flow to remove cyano would be the first course of action, but that then creates the issue of upsetting corals/fish, chems to get on top of the cyano if its a bad outbreak, the list goes on and on... so you have created a larger issue than the one you was currently trying to sort.

    Again its down to personal choice how we look after the tanks, if you do large water changes weekly, then you may never ever need to do anything to the tank, if your lucky...
    I tend to edge on caution a lot, so I like to have things in place "just in case" it could well be that in 3 weeks or so, my new tank would never show nitrates or phos, so I wouldn`t need a reactor or vodka at all, but I am not one for taking chances to be honest, I would rather nip it in the bud, before it explodes and then I have an uphill battle on my hands.

    We can spend thousands of pounds on everything from a plastic valve to the latest high tech all singing dancing monitor that does everything for us when something goes south, everyone has there limit really, but we all have one goal, a nice looking tank that we are proud of and can enjoy.
     
  5. Ade_S

    Ade_S Registered

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    Hi guys.

    Just looking for your thoughts on my tank cycle. I'm happy that my ammonia is being processed quickly but not sure on the nitrite.

    To recap, the tank has been cycling for 6 weeks now, initially with just the live rock, then a small piece of shrimp, but I saw no ammonia. I added a huge (overdose) of ammonia a little over 3 weeks ago which was fully processed (zero ammonia and zero NO2 in about 10 days.

    Since then I've been regularly adding ammonia to bring the tank to about 5ppm whenever my NO2 appears to have been processed, to keep feeding the bacteria.

    I'm now at the point where I can add ammonia to 5ppm and am reading zero ammonia in 12-24hours. NO2 seems to peak around 1.6ppm, is down to 0.3ppm 24hours after the ammonia is added and at 0.1ppm after a further 24hours.

    Nitrates are sky high, as you'd imagine - around 80ppm and I've got red bacteria and algae everywhere (some algae strands an impressive 6 inches or so in length, waving in the flow).

    I'm trying to gauge whether the cycle is complete or whether to keep on adding ammonia every few days. So far, I've added it 6 times, including the massive first dose. I'll obviously need to do a few large water changes to bring the nitrates down before adding livestock - I've got enough water storage to make up a 25% change.
     
  6. Bluez_01

    Bluez_01 Registered

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    I would say your about there, personally I would start on the water changes now, try get the nitrates down to around 10 or so, this will help the final nitrite bacteria to get to where they should be, stop with ammonia for now and concentrate on getting the nitrate in check, once you get to that stage add some ammonia to see exactly how fast it will process through.

    You should also see a reduction in the algae as the nitrates come down.
     
  7. Ade_S

    Ade_S Registered

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    Thanks. That's what I figured. I put another 10ml ammonia in last night (was worried my bacteria might die off a little without it) but will move onto water changes as you suggest. That will take a while...!
     
  8. Bluez_01

    Bluez_01 Registered

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    The bacteria in the tank now should be good for about 5-7 days without any ammonia being added, if you think it will take longer than say a week to do the water changes, you could add half a dose to keep them happy around day 6, just make sure you have enough salt in, as you will go through quite a bit this week with the water changes, nothing worse then running out of salt at this time. lol
     
  9. Ade_S

    Ade_S Registered

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    Just a thought. Is there any problem with doing too large a water change?
    Just been working out how many changes I'll need to do at 25%each time and is going to take a couple of weeks and go through a huge amount of salt and water.

    In therefore wondering about doing this:
    1.Turn off my return pump to effectively separate my sump from my display tank.
    2. Add a small pump to circulate water just through the sump (con return chamber to skimmer chamber) and keep skimmer, a heater and nitrate tractor rubbing in there.
    3. Replace all water in sump. Leave return pump off.
    4. Put a heater and air stone in display tank and leave power heads on.
    5. Drain about 75% of water from display and immediately replace half of it (that's all I can filter in one go).
    6. Filter and add the other half of the removed water a day or so later.

    Maybe also remove and scrub algae from rocks, then turn off lights and cover tank to see if I can kill off any algae by having it totally dark for a few days.

    Any concerns with that approach? Just not sure whether changing about 80% or more in one go would be a problem.
     
  10. Bluez_01

    Bluez_01 Registered

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    Won`t be a problem Ade, as long as the salinity and temp is the same, (ie, what is flowing in to the display is the same temp/salinity that`s already in there) it doesn`t have to be exact, but you need to make sure its close to prevent shock (1 or 2 degree temp difference is fine, salinity needs to be as close as possible to the original).

    As you may or may not have read in my tank thread, I tried to hatch a bad brine shrimp batch, this has sent my nitrates to 40, I am doing 15% water changes at the moment daily, which is taking longer than I would like to get it back down again, ideally I would like to drop 50-60% water and replace, but it will be a major ache to get that sorted.

    Always think about how nature works in the real world, a lot of corals that are close to the shore will be open to the elements when the tide goes out or low, corals have a self protection, (slime coat) that kicks in when these conditions arrive, once the tide comes back in, salinity and temp is slightly different to what they were use too, not by much, but some, temp difference can be up to 4 degree`s or more, until it warms up in the shallows, so temp is not as crucial as salinity is. :)
     
  11. Ade_S

    Ade_S Registered

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    Thanks. That's the approach I'll take then. There's no livestock to worry about in the tank yet - just the bacteria. Should be able to keep the salinity the same and water temp pretty close.

    Hope you get your nitrates under control - bit trickier for you as you've got to protect your livestock.
     
  12. Ade_S

    Ade_S Registered

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    Just thought I'd say thanks for all the support and share a photo of the new track now that the first residents are in (transferred from the old tank). It looks a bit empty with just the 3 fish, plus inverts but that will be solved over time when the LFS liberates some of my cash. ;-)

    So a few niggles to resolve (such as nitrate reactor blocking and overflowing every week or so) but at least I'm up and running:

    [​IMG]

    I owe you guys a beer if you're ever near Rugby...
     
  13. Bluez_01

    Bluez_01 Registered

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    Good to see you are there now, the reactor is quiet easy to sort out, just cut out some filter foam to put around the intake, and that should prevent the rubbish getting in to it, and hopefully it will settle.
    Big Thumbs Up

    PS. Keep an eye on that cyno on the sand, if it starts to spread, then move the powerhead towards that area a bit, to break it up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
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