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Old 01-01-2015, 01:31 PM   #11
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Removing the food source will certainly hinder the cycle. This is why you need to raise ammonia levels substantially during a cycle. Changing out the ammonia filled water is counter productive. remove enough ammonia and your bacteria colony may be lacking. This is why some folks see ammonia when they add fish.
I have never done a single water change until after ammonia and nitrite levels have zeroed out and have never seen ph issues nor had any other Ill effects.

This is part of the problem I feel. There is no one size fits all method unfortunately. It's good that you have never suffered ph issues but this does not mean it can't happen. It definitely has happened.

I agree removing water may be counter productive during a fishless cycle, but the end product test of a fishless cycle should be a couple of days consecutive nitrification of >2ppm ammonia through to nitrate so for those that have ammonia issues when adding fish haven't necessarily followed instructions correctly or have added way too many fish all at once.

I would still stock slowly after a successful fishless cycle anyway. I have never done one though.


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Old 01-01-2015, 01:52 PM   #12
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One should stalk slowly after a cycle, no matter what kind you choose to do so you don't overwhelm the bacteria base that you have built up.
When you talk about ph issues, I would want to question why there is an issue with ph. Simply having a powerhead creating surface agitation should be cutting out enough CO2 and bringing in enough oxygen to prevent any actual issues with ph. A water change to solve such an issue just seems counter productive regarding the ammonia in the water during a cycle, which is why I never recommend doing them until you are done...though I also advocate towards using a cocktail shrimp in some pantyhose rather than using pure ammonia as sometimes math/measuring is hard for some and water changes and trying to measure out even more ammonia to dose to where you needs to be just gets too complicated. Applying the KIS effect is always in someone's best interest.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:10 PM   #13
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As stated above. The nitrification process uses alkalinity and creates acidity. The reduction in buffer and increase in hydrogen ions can cause ph to fall drastically in a system the is promoting extreme nitrification. Not necessarily an issue in most tap waters but waters that lack alkalinity in the first place are at risk.


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Old 01-01-2015, 02:16 PM   #14
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So you are replenishing the alk level with the water change. Ph does have ties with alk, but ph level should find a spot and stay there. The unknown would be where that will be and a common mistake in the hobby can be not understanding ph. This is why ph buffers can cause so many issues when tied in with chasing the perfect ph level.


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Old 01-01-2015, 02:49 PM   #15
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So you are replenishing the alk level with the water change. Ph does have ties with alk, but ph level should find a spot and stay there. The unknown would be where that will be and a common mistake in the hobby can be not understanding ph. This is why ph buffers can cause so many issues when tied in with chasing the perfect ph level.


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True enough but you are demanding a very high level of nitrification during a fishless cycle. This is when ph issues can occur and is one of the reasons why heavily stocked tanks that receive no water changes eventually see a decline in ph.

Probably less of an issue in reef setups due to the addition of crushed coral substrates and close attention to alkalinity but from a freshwater stand point fishless cycles can see a rapid decline in ph where there is inadequate levels of alkalinity in the first place.


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Old 01-01-2015, 03:00 PM   #16
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But this is all saltwater, there are limits to how far it can drop. Even then it can function without issues. A sudden drop or increase of any level in a running/established system can be a problem, but during a cycle it won't harm anything.
You are also correct when it comes to substrate. Many of the substrates we use are a natural buffer with our ph. So, the magic number is 8.3, with an alk drop you will never see it at 6, for example. A 'drop' really isn't much of a drop and would only be a worry in an established system for sensitive inverts that won't be involved in a cycle anyway unless a hitchhiker from live rock or something.
Then when it comes to FOWLR systems, most don't even think about testing things like alk compared to those of us with reef systems. In the reef, alk is probably the most important element to monitor.
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:40 PM   #17
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But this is all saltwater, there are limits to how far it can drop. Even then it can function without issues. A sudden drop or increase of any level in a running/established system can be a problem, but during a cycle it won't harm anything.
You are also correct when it comes to substrate. Many of the substrates we use are a natural buffer with our ph. So, the magic number is 8.3, with an alk drop you will never see it at 6, for example. A 'drop' really isn't much of a drop and would only be a worry in an established system for sensitive inverts that won't be involved in a cycle anyway unless a hitchhiker from live rock or something.
Then when it comes to FOWLR systems, most don't even think about testing things like alk compared to those of us with reef systems. In the reef, alk is probably the most important element to monitor.

Yes I apologise. I am posting in a section I hold limited knowledge of but the thread was regarding cycling which is something that is attributed in both fresh and saltwater systems and I was focussing on the water change/no water change debate and why it is important to change water in other systems. I was just trying to point out that the variables in any system are so large that it's difficult to say that what may occur for one person will be the same for the next.

Me and a fellow member were conducting cycling experiments because the latter was adamant that water changes were unnecessary. She dosed 16ppm ammonia in one go as a set and forget but the tank only made it a week or so before the addition of baking soda was required.

You are right. None of it really matters in a fishless cycle.

I have seen posts where a small tank stocked with goldfish has seen a decline in ph to the point where the bacteria cease to function. The ammonia created up until that point was in the non toxic ammonium form because of the low ph so the fish were in no danger. What happened was, the poster did a water change which diluted the ammonia but due to the ph shift the ammonia that was left became toxic and was still high enough to kill the fish. The drastic change in ph wouldn't have done them any good in the first place.

You are right though, this is salt (which I realised later) and this issue is much less likely to be seen but the danger does still exist in systems. Better to be aware?

I will go back to my fresh friends now lol.


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