Originally Posted by spoonman
Not true. When the tank is up and running you will always have an ammonia source. Why would you do anything different when you are cycling? You are simulating fish in the tank without actually having fish in it. You need to keep dosing ammonia until your bb colonies can convert 4ppm ammonia to nitrAte in 24 hours. Then you should to a large water change to get the nitrAtes down. Then you add fish, which then becomes the ammonia source and keeps the bb colony growing.
I cycled my 29 gallon with silversides. You can check out that thread in my signature and see what I did.
Spoon, i see what your saying here but your a bit off on the workings. Ammonia is a constant source in a salt tank there is always ammonia present in some small amount.
You are not simulating fish. You dont have to ever put any fish in a reef tank and it will still convert ammonia to nitrates. So you ask where this ammonia source comes from? Well it comes from the organic matter in the sand/ live rocks and from the beneficial bacteria colony itself.
Ammonia is food for these beneficial bacteria. By increasing the food you increase there reproduction. If the colony would ever run out of ammonia then there would be some die-off. This dieoff becomes the new ammonia source and the cycle continues.
Building up the BB colonies to large numbers is not beneficial. Once you stop that ammonia source or introduce an ammonia source that produces less, such as a fish, the the BB population will recede and partially die off . The BB colonies can only support there numbers based on the amount of food and time they are given.
I hope this explains my point. There is always an ammonia source in a reed tank. Live rock itself is a constant ammonia source. You can and many have cycle a tank with just live rock, no shrimp, no ammonia dosing.
The only reason you would ever need to cycle until you can dose 4ppm and it be gone in 24hrs is if you plan on introducing a huge bioload on day 1.
Dont forget each time you add a fish your BB colonies increase.