Marine Tank Not Cycling

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by SAReefer, 10 Oct 2016.

  1. SAReefer

    SAReefer

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    Hi all, I was wondering if anybody else may have had the same problem and can assist. My previous tank used live rock and live sand and so the cycle was easy, but now I have started a new system using dead rock and sand.

    I have been diligently adding AquaVitro Seed into the tank everyday as directed but I am now 8 days in and ammonia has not gone up once! How long does it take from the time of adding nitrifying bacteria to it beginning to cycle? I am quite concerned now.

    I anybody has any advice it would be appreciated.

    Thanks!


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  3. r0ckf1re

    r0ckf1re

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    Maybe you can throw in a piece of fish.

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  4. SAReefer

    SAReefer Thread Starter

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    Was thinking about that... what you suggest, a piece of frozen shrimp? Those rot really fast, smell rank after a few hours.

    Then keep the rest for a nice shrimp pasta haha?


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  5. r0ckf1re

    r0ckf1re

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    I haven't tried this, but I don't see why this won't work. Let's some experts also advise.

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  6. erratiC

    erratiC

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    Anything that can decompose can be used.

    But, according to the Aquavitro website, you probably won't even see the spike.

     
  7. mandrin

    mandrin

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    u can throw in some pellet.fish food it will.help.
    better than the shrimp. and.that smell bud
     
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  8. SAReefer

    SAReefer Thread Starter

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    Hmmm, I actually hadn't thought about it that way! That could be a good point!


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  9. SAReefer

    SAReefer Thread Starter

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    Yea, did a shrimp in the tank once to trap a mantis shrimp and it smelt rank! Best to avoid. Will try add some flakes.


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  10. SAReefer

    SAReefer Thread Starter

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    So I gave SeaChem a call in the US and they told me that the product works best if there is an added source of ammonia, otherwise the cycle can take 3 months. They suggest a fish for more rapid cycling but when I told them I'm not keen to stress the fish they mentioned 2 ways:

    1) With fish, use their conditioning additive as well which will detoxify the ammonia, or
    2) Just add some flake food and let that take, as long as the ammonia hasn't begun to rise already in which case more Seed is needed.

    So, off to the LFS to buy some food :)


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  11. r0ckf1re

    r0ckf1re

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    Hey, they sound like they trying to sell other products to you.

    I used Special Blend, my tank was ready for inhabitants in about 3 weeks. I also had LR and Live aragonite.
     
  12. SAReefer

    SAReefer Thread Starter

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    Yup, that's why I'm going with the food option :D Definitely not going to buy another additive for R400.

    I was banking on a 4 week cycle, but that is without LR or LS. I'm sure it can kick off by the end of this week, then it's just a matter of waiting... the horrible wait! I was hoping to get my first coral in by Christmas, looking slim now. At least I will have the first fish in by then though


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  13. r0ckf1re

    r0ckf1re

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    Good luck. I know that wait is agonizing.

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  14. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    What rock do you have in your tank?
     
  15. Dexter

    Dexter

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    Ammonia will only spike if there is excessive die off. If your filtration is up to the challange you might end up adding a whole tub of food before seeing a spike.
     
  16. desiree

    desiree

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    Hi I am no expert but also going to say somerhing here. I cycled my tank dry rock dry sand and used the new aquavitro seed added frozen food and tank took 2 month to cycle. Ammonia did not want to go down. Will not use it again to cycle my tank after moving now. Buy Microbe-lift special blend I cycled my previous tank with that and also started dry rock dry sand and it took 4 weeks.
     
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  17. CameL

    CameL

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    You cannot cycle a tank without live rock, or dried rock, or base rock. Some for of rock that will become live over time.

    The point of the nitrogen cycle is to establish enough bacteria populations on whatever rock you are using aswell as biological filtration media such as biocubes, in order to process ammonia into nitrite, and nitrite into nitrate, in such a manner that fish do not become poisoned by the ammonia. The best and proper way to do it in my eyes is naturally, use a piece of fish or shrimp and let it decompose in the tank. the decomposition will act as a food source for bacteria and so it will populate the rock to make it "live"

    If you start with live rock from a fellow reefers tank, and it has not dried, then there should be no cycle. There should be no or little ammonia spike with a decomposing shrimp.

    If you start with dry rock that is "clean" then it will take a while for that bacteria to build up enough to process the waste from fish.

    If you start with "dead rock" then it depends how much life is still dying, the ammonia spike will continue as long as there is die off from the rock.
     
  18. SAReefer

    SAReefer Thread Starter

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    I don't know the name, but it is a lightly purple coloured artificial rock.


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  19. SAReefer

    SAReefer Thread Starter

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    I have a purple artificial base rock so the colony will have a lot to do to establish the bio-filtration system. As far as I know the bacteria need some food in order to grow, in the form of ammonia die-off, in order to be able to grow a colony capable of maintaining a stable system and that it is necessary to see some rise in ammonia.

    I'm not looking for a massive spike, just something above 0 and then see it go down.

    Honestly, the first tank I started I totally messed up over 4 years ago because I skipped the cycle completely (was a total noob but learnt some invaluable lessons that will never be repeated). So this is the first time I've had to properly cycle.

    I don't mind putting in a piece of shrimp (I assume frozen de-shelled shrimp from the supermarket), but it smells 100% rank and I'm not sure how much my wife will enjoy that in our living room haha!

    Let's see how it goes, SeaChem said once I start adding a little flake food (2 flakes a day or so) I should start to see the cycle start within 2 weeks max. I guess this is now turning into a test of AquaVitro Seed now! Day 1 - DunDun :D


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  20. CameL

    CameL

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    Yeah i've used that same rock before, but i had live rock in the tank already so it was just additional real estate.

    A good option for you would be to speak to @Dexter, he has live rock advertised at R50/kg. Add 1 nice piece of liverock to seed the tank/other rocks. This will assist in your cycle.

    As others have also mentioned, special blend or the like add bacteria to your tank, they then just need to find the rocks.
     
  21. devesh.r

    devesh.r

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    Hi
    I added a piece of prawn.to my tank when I started the cycle, and then did phantom feeding for about 2 weeks and added a special blend. After the fifth week all parameters seemed fine, around week 6 added my first fish, Never had any fish die since.
     
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