The Super Cycle?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by viper357, 3 Dec 2012.

  1. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    So, in the olden days :p the norm was to add water, sand and rock and then let our tanks go through the nitrogen cycle for 4 to 6 weeks before adding any livestock.

    Is this method still the norm or has technology and research in the hobby advanced to the stage where we can cycle an aquarium in a much shorter time frame? Are there any tried, tested, safe, trusted and 100% confirmed to work products/methods?

    Can we drag our older hobbyists kicking and screaming into the 21st century with newer methods? Or is it simply a matter that we can not beat the steps that mother nature dictates?

    Quotes such as this can be found around the internet.
    Is it actually possible to bypass the entire Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate cycle? If so then how does the aquariums biological bacteria base get created? Is it a simple matter of adding a bottle of bacteria?

    So....who's brave enough to tell us how they cycled and stocked their tanks in a much shorter period of time. ;) Let's hear about the new methods you have used to setup a new tank with success, and if so, would you encourage newcomers to the hobby to use your method?.:)
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2012
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  3. Omlette

    Omlette

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    i think Pet Stop had a fire and had their tanks up and running in like 2 days after that if i remember, was an article about it.
     
  4. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Mmmmm, still believe in old, tried and tested ways. I suppose it's possible to add billions of bacteria into a tank, but how many actually take home on the surface of rocks, sand, media etc? Surely most are lost. Then there's the problem of food, in the beginning where will he bacteria obtain the initial ammonia, and we all know that those that utilise ammonia are different to those that utilise nitrites, so how can one add all the bacteria for each step of the cycle if not all steps are complete.
    I analogise that it's like gving your 2 month old baby sushi when he/she has only the system to digest mothers milk/formula.
    However, in saying this, I think that the cycle has become more streamlined and efficient in neutralising toxins, and also better at dealing with large swings. Thats's my two cents.....
     
  5. crispin

    crispin

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    lol look at all those worms wriggling in this can!

    Personally i still like to cycle long and slow. Call me traditional, but a long cycle has many benefits apart from the main aspect of setting up your bacterial (yeast??) populations (call it biological filtration if you will) to be able to handle Nitrogen through its various phases.

    I do agree that the hobby has moved forward in leaps and bounds with applicable technologies allowing us to process nutrients faster and better than before. I think that better skimmers, internal flow and reactors all help greatly in reducing a cycle period and that aspects of biological filtration with cubes, bio pellets, bacteria in a bottle dosing etc all help greatly.

    BUT even with the advantages of dosing bacteria, or giving them a medium upon which to grow rapidly and establish huge populations very fast (cubes or pellets) I still like to give tanks time to cycle, balance and stabilize. My thinking is that while its wonderful to have a heave bacterial population processing die off, the process of die off still takes time. New tanks still need time to cycle, all be it i concede that newer techniques help greatly in getting that process started and finished quicker.

    The other aspect often overlooked with a longer cycle is the establishment and growth of micro organisms which I suspect play a far greater role of keeping tanks clean and stable than we give them credit for. Things like pod populations, sand bed critters and beneficial worms (bristle worms, peanut worms etc) all take time to overcome the shocks of a new system and then establish sustainable populations. A tank thats allowed to go through those 4-6 weeks often has populations that help massively in the control of algae and nutrient waste while also benefiting the tank with a sustainable food source.

    in short I think we can shorten cycles with more modern systems of bacterial dosing, bio pellets, cubes etc....but i still let my tanks cycle, and stabilize before pushing them to perform.
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2012
  6. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Possible if they were able to salvage any LR or water, did they lose everything, and most likely they had some issues with LS that came in later. Most LFS don't keep stock for very long as well.
     
  7. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Think super cycle work, you just need to add more bacteria for a longer period.
    I used Red Sea NO3xPO4 and lots of Micro-Belift Special Blend.

    I have cycled my new thank in 2 weeks, no fish yet, just my softies and they are happy as can be.

    My No3 = 2 and No2 almost undetectable.
     
  8. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    As usual @crispin, you say it like I would've like to think it. Great answer!:1:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    @Quintin:whistling:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I have used Special blend and niteout dosed daily. To dramatically reduce the cycle time.
     
  11. Nur

    Nur Starz

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    23 months ago i started my system, was started with 2 oceans water and conditioned with vials of Prodibio range. Tank was stocked in a week, NO losses of Coral or Fish.
     
  12. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Speedy Gonsales! That's fast!
     
  13. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    By how much?
     
  14. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I think besides the bacteria in a bottle it is also important to note the equipment and rock being used.

    For example are you using fully cured live rock. ceramic base rock or dead live rock. the last of which needs to be cured befor you can go further.
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2012
  15. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Im all for the shorter cycle but wouldnt recommend it to someone starting out. Things can go wrong very quickly so you need to know what to look out for and how to fix it.
    It does depend heavily on what liverock you start with. Well cured liverock or starting with dry base rock will not have any die-off.
    Helped a friend setup a tank, went from empty to fully stocked mixed reef in three days. Had zero deaths and everything was perfectly happy.
     
  16. Helga

    Helga

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    Jip, @crispin knows how to put my thoughts into "very good English".... :biggrin:. To add....., I believe a cycle of 6 - 8 weeks gives you the time to learn your system. Not only the mechanical workings, but you have time to learn and notice those small changes in your system before it becomes a big problem.
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2012
  17. crispin

    crispin

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    what makes me doubt these magic potions is when you see some well experienced reefers have to scramble due to a popped tank and even with dosing bacteria, having matured LR etc, it leads to the loss of many fish and corals. I know each case is individual, but what i believe is that taking time (costs nothing frankly) to do things slowly and gently often leads to far better results, even with our modern systems.
     
  18. Quintin

    Quintin

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    You can now-a-days cycle a tank in a matter of hours....
    I used Microbe Life Special Blend and Microbe Lift Nite Out II to cycle the tank.
    Both are available from @bryan if you need some.
    Zero issues and no cyno bacteria at all.
    Keep an eye on the Ammonia and Nitrates and add more if needed.
    Here is the link for you.... works like a bomb.
    MICROBE-LIFT :: Immediate Water Cycling Kit
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  19. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Wow, did you go with LR as well @Quintin?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  20. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Yip, the live rock was all from my frag tank in the garage.
    Plus live sand, also from the garage frag tank.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  21. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    I think I should try that. See how it goes! Man, I am getting nervous just thinking about it! hehehehe
     
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