Monday Cycling question

jepuskar

New member
Hello,

I ask this question, not because I'm going to do it, but just because I want to ensure I understand what is going on and the process etc.
(ohh, and also, people disagree on everything so this could turn into a 300 page off topic epic thread)

Let's say I do a fishless cycle and fully cycle the tank. It's ready for a CUC and some fish...but I never add any livestock. There is some live rock, but the majority of it is dead 'dry' rock. The sand is bagged live sand. (Caribsea)

I also don't add anything that produces ammonia, be it pure or some rotten shrimp etc etc.

So what will happen?

(I assume the bacteria will eventually starve to death and give off some ammonia, which may keep the still living bacteria alive a little longer, but not much if any. Eventually I will have to restart the process from scratch to get it ready for livestock?)

Thanks,

J
 

Capttully

New member
How long of a time period does someone have before they need to restart the cycle? My ammonia is at 0 and my nitrites are 5 ppm and my trates are 30 ppm.
 

cap032

New member
How long of a time period does someone have before they need to restart the cycle? My ammonia is at 0 and my nitrites are 5 ppm and my trates are 30 ppm.

I dont know about the length of time but, if you cycle and its going to be a while yet before you are ready to introduce livestock, I would dose the tank with ammonia to 2-3ppm every 4 or 5 days. This will keep the bacteria fed and alive. Thats better than risking a complete do-over, IMO. The bacteria dont have to feed every day, but I would imagine they will start dying off at around a week with no food.
 

brandon429

In Memoriam
you will not have to recycle. ammonia still gets in the tank. where and how is the next several pages :)

You will not downregulate bacteria in a reeftank to the point of the population being too small to function. many sources of ammonia are present in your description.
 

brandon429

In Memoriam
so if you did what you said, and waited six months fallow without a single piece of feed or a drop of ammonia being placed in the tank, voila its still cycled. thats how it works.
 

brandon429

In Memoriam
I'll start the several pages of ways ammonia gets in to our tanks even if we don't place it in:


1. The spontaneous bloom and decay of nonfiltration bacteria simply because you provided a body of water. as their inherent mass decays, ammonia becomes produces as their infrastructure breaks down. then the intended bacteria communities can make do with this initial start. This isn't even considering little protists that get into your tank, dead midge flies, etc. No way in hades is a reef tank ever sterile unless you take action to specifically cause that and even then it probably wont work.
 

brandon429

In Memoriam
2. any live rock you have provided is an extremely long term source of whole protein to cast out and degrade into the tank. ---> more ammonia, in addition to source #1. there are several more...
 

brandon429

In Memoriam
pretty neat huh


our tanks cycle no matter what you do. Feed or no feed, ammonia or not. the time frame is the only variable. you can't stop a good cycling man, we paint these bacteria entirely too weak.

even this will cycle in time: brand new glass tank, brand new mixed sw, all dry porous rock, set in a reef tank for 5 months never fed it will still be able to convert a small bioload at the end of five months. Only the time frame is the quick or slow part
 

wooden_reefer

New member
Hello,

I ask this question, not because I'm going to do it, but just because I want to ensure I understand what is going on and the process etc.
(ohh, and also, people disagree on everything so this could turn into a 300 page off topic epic thread)

Let's say I do a fishless cycle and fully cycle the tank. It's ready for a CUC and some fish...but I never add any livestock. There is some live rock, but the majority of it is dead 'dry' rock. The sand is bagged live sand. (Caribsea)

I also don't add anything that produces ammonia, be it pure or some rotten shrimp etc etc.

So what will happen?

(I assume the bacteria will eventually starve to death and give off some ammonia, which may keep the still living bacteria alive a little longer, but not much if any. Eventually I will have to restart the process from scratch to get it ready for livestock?)

Thanks,

J

Nitrification bacteria do not have a long period of dormancy, but will still linger on for a few weeks and will come back to activity when ammonia and nitrite are again present.

How many weeks? I have tried three weeks and still have been ok. I won't be surprised if the critical time is twice that but I cannot vouch for it.

There is a clue as well. In a typical cycle, after nitrite has peaked, there will be no ammonia, unless one keeps adding ammonia. Typically, decay will happen in the first ten days and will stop, so will the source of ammonia. So between nitrite peaks and drops to zero, the nitrosonomous class of bacteria will be starving for about two weeks.

I have stated this point times before.

Using the fishless method to cycle, at the end of the cycle, the nitrification bacetria population can be extremely high, higher than that your tank will ever be even after ten years as your livestock has increased 16 times in weight.

Thus, the idea of "bacteria catching up with bioload", so that ammonia is not too high, should be considered voodoo, together with cycling with livestock.

Ammonia should NOT be low, it should be ZERO.

How is it voodoo when you also know that bacteria population will gradually decrease if ammonia is not enough to sustain all the bacetria after the cycle?

This is voodoo if you indeed stock as quickly as possible, as I often do. But newbies should NOT stock as quickly as possible because they do not know how to QT as many fish as possible at once. I QT as many fish all at once.

So for the DT, after a robust cycle with the fishless method, a newbie should remove a portion of the cycled LR and place it in a separate container and feed that portion of cycled LR with ammonia so as to maintain high bacteria population, and use a part of that as needed every time fish is added to DT after long period of QT.

Equilbrium is a very bad thing to have BEFORE adding new livestock. The process of adding new livestock will then cause disrequilibrium in excess ammonia.

Disequilbrium with EXCESS bacteria before adding new livestock should be the aim; thus, after adding new livestock there will be gradual death of execss bacteria, never ammonia, and a new equilibrium.

The state of equilibrium is deceptive to some newbies (and even some experienced hobbyist who feel fit to give advice): it is NOT desirable. So one CANNOT judge by the health of existing livestock to judge the correctness of adding new livestock. One can decide only by the process of cycling, and the amount of EXCESS bacteria, if adding new bioload would cause ammonia.
 
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Capttully

New member
My tank is cycling for abour 6 weeks now. About a week ago my ammonia is at zero but i am waiting for my nitrites to come down. I dont think they will be coming down without the help of a water change. I used 3 medium size raw shrimp to cycle dry rock only. No live rock. Good Info thanks!! Once again my params are ammo=0 ntrites= above 5ppm (with API) and about 30 ppm trates.
 

worm5406

Not afriad to admit wrong
Team RC
They should come down YES... on their own... that shows that the bacteria is now working on them in addition to the ammonia.

Did you put any bacteria-in-a-bottle in the tank or go au-naturaul?
 
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