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Old 06-24-2009, 09:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mrg02d View Post
Hello,
I was dosing with ammonia because I had been reading that ammonia is needed to keep the nitrifying bacteria alive while I wait for the cycle to complete.
The bacteria will survive the few weeks that it takes to finish the cycle without additional ammonia. Granted, for folks that use the cocktail shrimp method and leave the shrimp in there, it's supply additional ammonia. But the amount you're adding by bumping up the ammonia to 2ppm is probably far more than a rotting shrimp gives off.

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...but I do believe in taking short cuts if they have some truth to them.
By constantly adding the ammonia, in actuality, you're probably prolonging things - not taking short cuts.

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If the Stability doesnt work, oh well. It wont damage anything.
You're probably right there. Only thing it'll damage is your wallet.

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(Nothing is going into the tank until the tank can take 4ppm of ammonia down to zero in 24 hours and settle with zero nitrites as well).
I don't understand this arbitrary requirement you've put on the tank. Why 4ppm? Why 24 hrs? As I mentioned before, you may end up building up a bacterial population that is far too big to process whatever bioload you end up with in your tank. When you finally put fish in, and establish a constant bioload, the excess bacteria will die off. This in turn will most likely cause a cycle. I believe it's Fenner that wrote that the bioload in a tank just from the bacteria is often bigger than the bioload from the fish. A massive dieoff of bacteria can cause a crash.

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If not, I beleive that it is unfair to call someone impatient rather than innovative.
I'm sorry... it may be unfair for me to call you impatient. But in my defense, I've been following along on your other thread. You'd only been cycling a week before deciding to add more ammonia because things were "stuck". And the whole sand washing thing and not being willing to wait a couple days for sand to settle... well... guess I just painted you with the "impatient" brush.

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So it IS perfectly fine for nitrites to test the same for days then? I guess the high nitirates are proof that something is going on with the nitrites.
I believe your nitrites are staying level because you're constantly resupplying the tank with ammonia. The nitrites are definitely being processed because the levels are staying the same, and the nitrates are increasing. But with the constant addition of ammonia, you just can't get enough bacteria in there to process everything to zero.

I just looked back on my logs from when I last cycled a tank. Using a cocktail shrimp, it took 2 weeks for the ammonia to peak and start dropping. It wasn't until 4 weeks in that nitrites began to show. The nitrites then dropped steadily for another week, then hung steady for 4 days. At that point, they were at 3.0ppm. And then overnight, they went to 0.5, then to 0 the next day. Your mileage may vary.



Matt[/quote]
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:47 AM   #12
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Hello,
I think the problem here is confusion. All my numbers for ammonia and ammonia reduction time frame came from various forums and websites. Honestly I dont have a clue what kind of bio load I will be putting on my tank with a couple fish and some invertabrates.

I guess I am used to testing out systems of sorts wit electronics in mind.
Ammonia is the input, and nitrates are the output. Each time the ammonia is down to zero, I put more in and watch the system react to the input. (I like to test stuff).

The sand still causes quite a storm when disturbed, hopefully a major disturbance and then a 80% water change (done when nitrites go to zero) will solve that. Everything in the tank is covered in a white powdery coating. Filthy stuff!

Your explanation of the nitrites makes a lot of sense to me, and I will do as you say. I just found it odd that the color didnt change at all regardless of the amount of ammonia in the tank. ( I expected it to rise or fall rather than stay still).

Glad to have some things cleared up!

Matt
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:12 AM   #13
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That is the reason I like to go with the cocktail shrimp. It's not rocket science and you can't overdose. Simple is best. innovation is good but, as in electronics it cost money.
Either way,
Happy Reefing...
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:07 PM   #14
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Hello all,
Thanks for the comments!

I was reading that the bacteria also need phosphorus to do their thing (converting nitrites to nitrates). I am using DI water, so there arent any phosphates for the bacteria.

Would this make any sense? I guess I am acting impatient, as it seems strange that ammonia can go from high to zero so rapidly, but nitrites do nothing.Nitrates are all over the place it seems. (The stabilty product claims to get rid of nitrates as well) It took maybe a day for my ammonia bacteria to start doing stuff (once I added the pure ammonia) and now its been over a week and the nitrites just appear to be off the charts. I just did a 50% water change and the nitrites are STILL off the charts! It seems that the Stability only affects the ammonia and nitrate levels. (Nitrates have been dropping).

I added a tiny bit of some old beta food I had as an attempt to get some phosphorus in the tank. I also turned off the lights around the tank.

I stopped adding ammonia altogether. Should I keep adding a spec of fish food each day now (for phosphorus)?

Matt
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:20 PM   #15
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I used the Dr Tim quick start and it seemed to help my cycle.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:02 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mrg02d View Post
Hello all,
Thanks for the comments!

I was reading that the bacteria also need phosphorus to do their thing (converting nitrites to nitrates). I am using DI water, so there arent any phosphates for the bacteria.
You have phosphorus in your salt mix. If you didn't, none of us would have any bacteria in our tanks.

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I guess I am acting impatient...


Quote:
...and now its been over a week and the nitrites just appear to be off the charts. I just did a 50% water change and the nitrites are STILL off the charts! It seems that the Stability only affects the ammonia and nitrate levels. (Nitrates have been dropping).
The nitrites are off the chart because you kept adding ammonia. Nitrites are the product of the ammonia reducing bacteria doing their job. The ammonia converting bacteria and the nitrite converting bacteria are two different bacteria strains. It appears you have plenty of the ammonia converting, but not enough of the nitrite converting. Once you get enough of both, you'll see no ammonia and no nitrites. Nitrates - unless you have a mature dsb (deep sand bed) - will not go away by themselves. And yours is definitely not "mature."

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I added a tiny bit of some old beta food I had as an attempt to get some phosphorus in the tank. I also turned off the lights around the tank.

I stopped adding ammonia altogether. Should I keep adding a spec of fish food each day now (for phosphorus)?
So much for sitting on your hands, huh?!
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:18 AM   #17
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hello
My salt bucket says its phosphate free...

I guess I just expected the other bacteria to have acted as quickly as the ammonia to nitrite ones. Now I see they are just slower.

So, should I get different salt since mine is phosphate free?
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:05 AM   #18
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You dont want phosphates in your tank. They will cause problems like nuisance algeas in your tank. Any good salt mix is phosphate free.
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Old 06-27-2009, 03:21 PM   #19
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Just one pinch of fish food will give you all the PO4 that you will need. High PO4 is bad for your tank as stated above.
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Old 06-27-2009, 03:41 PM   #20
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Hello,
Thanks for the replies! I need to go get some fish food. ( I will need some anyways for when this thing turns into what it is planned to become!)

Whats a good all purpose food for marine animals? I see so many different kinds at the pet stores. Anything in particular? Or is this about the same as the "which salt to buy" type topic?

Im guessing getting the cheapest isnt a good idea, nor is getting the most expensive.

Good thing I caught this. I was reading that the ammonia to nitrite bacteria dont need phosphorus as much as the nitrite to nitrate seem to need it.

I find it strange that I could have so much nitrates AND so much nitrites. (Even after 60% water change, still off the scale with a dark purple color)

It does seem that something was working rapidly in the tank and then stopped. Nitrates must come from nitrites, right? I had some 80ppm or so (looks almost like the 160ppm). I maybe gave the tank a total of 40ppm of ammonia over the week...Doesnt that then become 40ppm of nitrite and then 40ppm of nitrate? My water is pure. My salt claims no nitrates. I dont see how my live rock or sand could have any nitrates in them....

Oh well, back to sitting on my hands. (But with a pinch of fish flake here and there)
Matt:p
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