Does a tanks cycle ever end?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by mandarinman, 27 Dec 2013.

  1. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Wouldnt it be better to say the ability to cycle is established? Dont our tanks go through some form of cycle when something dies or even if we overfeed?
     
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  3. pkc

    pkc

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    No, that’s not a cycle, a cycle is to maturity, and if you had another cycle your ammonia levels would ruin PH and most will suffer.
    The traces from a death or over feeding of ammonia-nitrite, nitrate should not show on a test no matter what dies or mistake you make.
    That is if your bio filtering media can handle it, as it should!
    A cycle is establishing biological communities, if you don’t have adequate and proper area for these then you never did a proper cycle to maturity and there are many of these around.
     
  4. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    Thanks I was always under the impression there were small cycles happening all the time !
     
  5. Riaanv

    Riaanv

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    My view is that the system keeps on adjusting to what we do. Whether you call this a mini cycle is probably just symantics...

    I agree a well established system will adjust without amonia/nitrite spikes and the resultant final products nitrate and phosphate will be exported. More food, more bacteria converting, more end products more bacteria/yeast on your biocubes (if you use them).

    If you drop a jar of food in a nano you will probaly have issues with amonia etc.

    The below is an extract from an article basically stating that we feed too little (trend in the article not the qoute). Quoted relevant to the question asked


    http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-07/eb/

    "It has been my experience that the following pattern emerges among aquarists that begin "upping the volume" of food to their aquarium: Increased addition of prepared foods begins, followed with a concomitant and fairly rapid increase in measurable nutrient levels in the tank water. Soon thereafter, the aquarium begins to experience blooms and growth of cyanobacteria and filamentous algae. At this point, the aquarist typically ceases feeding at the increased rate, worried that the nutrient level will remain elevated and cause the demise of the health of the tank inhabitants at the expense of the algae. I stress that this is in all likelihood not the case. When first setting up an aquarium, levels of uptake and decomposition are low. As live rock "cycles," and dead plants and animals decompose, a nutrient spike is seen in all cases. Following this, various algal successions occur, usually in the order of diatoms, cyanobacteria, filamentous algae, and finally crustose coralline algae. Nutrient levels drop over time and the reef becomes a stable low nutrient place. The same process is occurring with increasing food sources to an aquarium. The nutrient levels spike, and various algal successions occur, until a new steady state is reached with a larger number and diversity of life than at the previous level. This process can take time, and food can be slowly increased over longer periods of time, allowing for such development to occur and bring measurable nutrient levels down to previous water column levels. It is my experience that perfectly "obscene" levels of food can be added to well stocked and diverse reef aquariums over time without high nutrient levels in the water column."
     
  6. Fred d

    Fred d

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    A cycle is establishing biological communities, if you don’t have adequate and proper area for these then you never did a proper cycle to maturity and there are many of these around. [/QUOTE]

    WELL SAID !!!
     
  7. pkc

    pkc

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    Cycling is establishing nitrogen cyclers from nil to adequate or beyond adequate, which I always aim for.

    Once the affects of fresh sea water or water from a matured aquarium has enacted upon enate surfaces, you have broken what may be called a type of surface tension, until this happens it does not allow primitive non flagellate micro life to properly exist on these surfaces.
    For a few days the water does not get that close to glass or silicon let alone anything else, the coating allows this to happen.
    This shows as a sort of a mucus coating on near everything that is not alive or not moving, that’s the start of compatible surface areas for biological communities, then cycling starts properly.
    Then you have patches of bacterium’s and sprawling protists that are there and able to expand quickly if the area allows for this when trouble arrises like a death or a bottle of food spilled into the aquarium, now it should be possible to have a massive population boom in minutes to hours if there is room for them and maturity is when a bacterium is able to expand their numbers in the blink of an eye, sort of.
    Basically put, you should have as an example only, one meter of surface area with 100 mill of that area consisting of stable diverse bacteria and protists converting your waste with all of the left over area coated where these denitrifying life forms can expand over and cope nicely with what has happened and still no levels of ammonia or nitrite showing in a test.

    You cannot rely on a skimmer remaining highly functional always unless you renew impellors at least once a year to be on the safe side and clean the power head impellor area every two weeks!
    You can not rely on live rocks surface area remaining as it was, it is supposed to be come covered in corallines and corals because that is what most reefers aim for, let alone the fine algae species that inhabit all aquariums in time like diatoms here and there rendering those spots useless for denitrififying, upon that algae will house denitrifying protists but not bacteria properly.
    So for the long term live rock is not reliable for adequate denitrifying!
    Plus the internals of live rock over time become permeated with undesirables rendering nitrate reduction weaker and weaker.
    If a reefer has what I call a boutique system, live rock and skimmer, then things such as increased water changes, varied GFO and nitra guard assistance to name just a few as time goes on, are reef life savers!
     
    Last edited: 28 Dec 2013
  8. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i think things have changed,

    we are innoculating our systems more than cycling them these days, introducing bacteria via LR bacteria cultures and the like...

    our systems are forever adjusting to changes within them, die off of bacteria on a hot day vs die off of bacteria after they have populated to consume dead matter and now die off because off a decrease in food sorce unable to sustain the newly populated colony..

    yes a "cycle" was what we termed it in the genesis era of our marine fishkeeping but its good to revisit the basic thought behind this and for terminology to evolve with the times..

    so theres some food for thought.... ;)
     
  9. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    @mandarinman, First this thread by you
    Cycling is for newbies!

    and now this thread.

    You been giving this a lot of thought haven't you?

    I think we need to define or differentiate between a tanks Initial cycle. and the continuous nitrogen cycle that takes place in our tanks. The second cycle can under go ups and downs as the bio load in your tank changes but it never ever stops.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    I like to have discussions about what I am thinking about at a specific time to get other peoples perspectives. That does not necessarily mean I am going in one direction or the other but rather that I am not sure and would like other input to help me make an informed assessment with the information available at the time( long worded cop out strategy haha). The reality is my perspectives have changed at this point.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. pkc

    pkc

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    No nothing has changed, if it’s from the ocean, all that is from there do the same thing if it has not completely died off and been dry for some months.
    Even then the dried out well and truly dead bacteria material will make a tanks start work nicely.
    Aqua sonic use to sell the start up bacteria, in that dried form in the eighties.

    A bucket of salt water left for quite a long time will not give a good start, the same as many months as dried rock, but it will start, as mutation is essential for a marine system to actually function and evolve.

    I once tried out a completely sterile start many years ago with boiled salt water, boiled dead tissue ready to inspire ammonia, boiled with bleach soaked then dried out dead coral rubble as my media externally, all used with no possibility of a transferral of bacteria to that chlorinated tank from any other source.
    It cycled nicely to maturity with on going sterilised dead tissue, which I was using to feed the cycle.
    I even washed my hands in sanitises to make sure I didn’t pass anything on.

    Then later on the collected fish I had living in waters with controlled coper sulphate that was at levels that did kill some weaker varieties that I use to get from the chemist and added the substance that I used to keep it in suspension and from binding to everything for some time to eliminate protists, these fish were added and fed flake food that I cooked in the oven to make sure there were no bacteria on it, two weeks it took for them to get white spot then onto velvet.

    Except for purchased bacteria, it’s all gets the same results, live rock, fresh sea water, some sea weed, what ever, just with live rock you get multiple toxins from stressed life and amongst the wanted, there are potentially unwanted hitch hikers.

    This article is important to users of live rock, though it is certainly not new information to us reefers from the past.
    The article doesn’t go into enough in my opinion, as there are reactions with in reactions as it gets passed along or conversions you might call it, especially including the affects on cycling bacteria and protist resulting adaptations.
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/4/aafeature
     
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