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Old 12-29-2013, 06:31 PM   #141
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Why would it crash though? Just because of your acidic tap water? How long has it taken so far?
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:44 PM   #142
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Why would it crash though? Just because of your acidic tap water? How long has it taken so far?
My tap is mildly alkiline (about 7.2-7.3) with basically no buffer (kH). The chemical reaction for NH3/NH4->NO2->NO3 uses up calcium carbonate and in a water with no buffer, it will cause the pH to start dropping rapidly.
Don't know which article was my source for this but I read it in several of the papers how it works and why it drops pH. I didn't say it very elegantly though because I can't recall the details.

This is day 9.
I was taught that this method of cycling (mad ammonia dosing) takes 12-13 days. This is why I want to prove it more definitively because it is supposedly SO FAST.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:50 PM   #143
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A crashing ph can be normal in fishless cycling when your water is on the acidic side with low Kh hardness. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't drop any further. Once your cycle has finished do a large 90% change.

Keeping to a regular water change routine will prevent ph swings once your fish are added. Slowly, plants and even algae will eat away at buffers in the water so if regular water changes to increase them arnt preformed your ph could slowly drop. If they do regress over timeand you arnt preforming water changes regularly, a single large single water change to swing your ph and be detrimental to the fish.

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Old 12-29-2013, 06:57 PM   #144
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I think one thing we have to remember in all of this is that this cycle is going to be different for everyone.

Even if new instructions are provided. We are adding many more instructions that could make this even more confusing that it gets to the point of 'not being worth it' if you understand my thinking. We are trying to get the fastest cycling instructions which is ultimately supposed to be beneficial to the newbie. As tap water ph,kh, ammonia nitrites and nitrates are different, adding instructions that require people to add certain amounts of limestone, peat moss baking soda meaning buying another test kit and trying to keep these constant is going to prove very tough indeed. If people's tap water contains more ammonia than most it will ultimately effect the total free ammonia etc. It seems to me that no one cycle is going to be the same.

I'm not trying to put a downer on this experiment because I am very interested in the results. If I could obtain pure ammonia I would be carrying out my own version of the test.

At least we could help explain why people's cycles may be experiencing difficulty though.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:02 PM   #145
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A crashing ph can be normal in fishless cycling when your water is on the acidic side with low Kh hardness. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't drop any further. Once your cycle has finished do a large 90% change.

Keeping to a regular water change routine will prevent ph swings once your fish are added. Slowly, plants and even algae will eat away at buffers in the water so if regular water changes to increase them arnt preformed your ph could slowly drop. If they do regress over timeand you arnt preforming water changes regularly, a single large single water change to swing your ph and be detrimental to the fish.
Thank you for your reply
I am not cycling for fish though, I am performing an experiment. Your words and advice are wise, however.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:07 PM   #146
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I think one thing we have to remember in all of this is that this cycle is going to be different for everyone.

Even if new instructions are provided. We are adding many more instructions that could make this even more confusing that it gets to the point of 'not being worth it' if you understand my thinking. We are trying to get the fastest cycling instructions which is ultimately supposed to be beneficial to the newbie. As tap water ph,kh, ammonia nitrites and nitrates are different, adding instructions that require people to add certain amounts of limestone, peat moss baking soda meaning buying another test kit and trying to keep these constant is going to prove very tough indeed. If people's tap water contains more ammonia than most it will ultimately effect the total free ammonia etc. It seems to me that no one cycle is going to be the same.

I'm not trying to put a downer on this experiment because I am very interested in the results. If I could obtain pure ammonia I would be carrying out my own version of the test.

At least we could help explain why people's cycles may be experiencing difficulty though.
I am totally on board with you. OK... 75% on board with you. I think it's *maybe* ok to have alterations that still include the basic tests in the master test kit (of which pH is one)

However at the moment, I'm not pushing for or even trying to implement changes to the cycling processes.

What i DO seek to do at present is challenge the questions,
Does high ammonia stall the cycle? (We are both finding no, it does not, if only because the fishless cycle never reaches the levels of FREE AMMONIA NH3 that would cause a stall)
Does high nitrites stall the cycle? (to be determined)

What I DO want to do with the current fishless cycle instructions is hep newbies to stop doing water changes. I see a lot of people frustrated about water changes during the fishless cycling process. Honestly one of the perks of a fishless cycle (to me) is not having to stay madly on top of my parameters and perform a bunch of water changes. I think this actually WOULD simplify things.

If our experiments yield changes that we can agree *may* be practical, I'd still be trying to distill it to its simplest, least confusing element.

For example, you and I are discussing the optimal pH that I should run the experiments with. But obviously trying to teach some newbie to cycle, we're not going to be telling them to add baking soda etc to be at some particular pH. That's just way too confusing. Keeping it simple is best. I believe we are both on the same page with that.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:10 PM   #147
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A couple more questions I have been thinking about.

What happens to heterotrophic bacteria in a fishless cycle that ultimately bypasses the organic matter that they require. They are going to feed on the organics in the initial filling water but what happens when they run out. Go dormant I guess? I know that some strains can consume ammonia but way way slower than nitrifying Bactria.

Also therenjen. Are you aware of phosphate block? Do a quick google search this is interesting and explains why some people recommend adding fish food to the cycle also, this would then of course affect true ammonia dosing.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:21 PM   #148
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I am totally on board with you. OK... 75% on board with you. I think it's *maybe* ok to have alterations that still include the basic tests in the master test kit (of which pH is one)

However at the moment, I'm not pushing for or even trying to implement changes to the cycling processes.

What i DO seek to do at present is challenge the questions,
Does high ammonia stall the cycle? (We are both finding no, it does not, if only because the fishless cycle never reaches the levels of FREE AMMONIA NH3 that would cause a stall)
Does high nitrites stall the cycle? (to be determined)

What I DO want to do with the current fishless cycle instructions is hep newbies to stop doing water changes. I see a lot of people frustrated about water changes during the fishless cycling process. Honestly one of the perks of a fishless cycle (to me) is not having to stay madly on top of my parameters and perform a bunch of water changes. I think this actually WOULD simplify things.

If our experiments yield changes that we can agree *may* be practical, I'd still be trying to distill it to its simplest, least confusing element.

For example, you and I are discussing the optimal pH that I should run the experiments with. But obviously trying to teach some newbie to cycle, we're not going to be telling them to add baking soda etc to be at some particular pH. That's just way too confusing. Keeping it simple is best. I believe we are both on the same page with that.
Absolutely we are challenging the rules but water if the newbie is trying to cycle but has very acidic water. Without doing a water change are they not in danger of ph crash?

No I am well in to this now I'm quite excited about getting somewhere with it. What I am interested is getting a more EFFICIENT fishless cycle. And I an convinced this would be the low dosing method which would not require water changes as readings should always be readable if you get me. I could be wrong though.

Every article I have read states that's ammonia reduction starts around 12 days. Yours is fitting in with this right?

I'm not sure that an initial dose value of ammonia was given.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:24 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Caliban07 View Post
A couple more questions I have been thinking about.

What happens to heterotrophic bacteria in a fishless cycle that ultimately bypasses the organic matter that they require. They are going to feed on the organics in the initial filling water but what happens when they run out. Go dormant I guess? I know that some strains can consume ammonia but way way slower than nitrifying Bactria.
How would you get heterotrophic bacteria in there? By using a cycling additive?
Possibly I just don't understand your question.
Have you seen this article: Auto vs Hetero Bacteria
Not sure if that is what you are looking for, though


Quote:
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Also therenjen. Are you aware of phosphate block? Do a quick google search this is interesting and explains why some people recommend adding fish food to the cycle also, this would then of course affect true ammonia dosing.
I've even read that article but missed that tidbit, although I vaguely feel I have read about this.
So maybe a pinch of fish flake is ALWAYS advisable, and may be the resolution to a cycle stalled at the nitrites stage. That's extremely useful information. But that's another thing to make the newbies confused.

Maybe what we really need out of this is some sort of FAQ or advice to solve the tough questions. So many newbies just get the canned answer "oh change your water" but really we can better diagnose them. "Check your pH, is it crashed? Add some baking soda." "Are you stuck with high nitrites and no nitrates? Add some fish food"
That isn't necessarily making it more complicated if we don't have these with initial instructions.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:30 PM   #150
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Absolutely we are challenging the rules but water if the newbie is trying to cycle but has very acidic water. Without doing a water change are they not in danger of ph crash?
Yeah but I think it's easier as a task to say "add 1/4 tsp baking soda" rather than "do a 50% water change" as far as actual work. Adding baking soda takes mere minutes. So we can still make it all easier on them.

Quote:
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No I am well in to this now I'm quite excited about getting somewhere with it. What I am interested is getting a more EFFICIENT fishless cycle. And I an convinced this would be the low dosing method which would not require water changes as readings should always be readable if you get me. I could be wrong though.
Well I shall work on it
I wish I had ordered the new filter from Amazon instead of Drs Foster and Smith, then I would have it in 2 days instead of all this waiting.

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Every article I have read states that's ammonia reduction starts around 12 days. Yours is fitting in with this right?
I'm not sure that an initial dose value of ammonia was given.
I'd say it's generally fitting in, but it might be going a bit faster.
I was actually taught that with the high ammonia dosing the entire cycle could potentially complete by day 12 (but I cannot yet confirm or deny this)
I had lots of potential errors in my approach this time though, as when I started I was not trying to perform a rigid experiment. I was casually experimenting, but ultimately just needed some cycled media for my hospital tank (and didn't want to seed from my main tank which was being medicated).
When I set up the two cycling buckets for our test, when this one is done, all parameters will be more controlled and the information obtained will be more reliable.
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