LOL Caliban! In one post you're trying to keep us on track, in the next one you're off on the irresistible tangent
This is all so interesting, it's hard to keep on track!
I agree with your post a few back - we need to come up with the test parameters for the volunteers. My husband advised me that first I need to make a chart of all of the "known" parameters relating to bacteria growth, using all of our sources. i.e. temperature (not just the ideal temps - how slowed is growth outside of them?), rate of doubling of colonies, proportion of colonies in fully cycled samples (I HAVE seen bits of this, somewhere, about the proportions) etc, ideal DO, etc. Then from there we form our hypotheses. He said that I have seen enough data that I should be able to easily run a simulation of what I would expect to see given different dosing scenarios. I will try to work on this today and post them.
As far as hypotheses, I *think*, and I can only say I think as I need to think it through more, that ultimately *my* hypothesis (I believe yours will be different) will be that:
a) The level of dosing does not influence the cycle length, but does influence the end nitrification capacity
b) Water changes can be eliminated through manual additions of phosphorus (fish food) and baking soda at cycle start
c) Cycles without water changes will complete faster than cycles with water changes
d) I feel uncertain on this one. But I'll say it. After initial dose is reached, no additional ammonia is required, and will only prolong the cycle.
e) No levels of ammonia or nitrite in our scale of application will stall the cycle
To address these in turn:
a) I'm not on board anymore that EITHER your .25 dose will end faster OR that my madcap 18ppm dose will end faster. I think it all ends up the same because I've seen so many lab graphs charting the cycle. To that end I think it will take exactly the same-ish amount of time to complete the cycle for these dosings and therefore a larger dose will prove to be more efficient
b) We only water change to stabilize pH and phosphorus, but these readily available additives make that irrelevant, and affect c
c) I think that the cycle is slowed by water changes because you are removing substrate that the nitrite oxidizing bacteria need to eat and multiply. If all is left alone, I propose the ammonia eating bacteria will produce exactly the correct amount of nitrite that the nitrite eating bacteria must consume in order to create a perfectly balanced population.
d) Why do we dose back up? Is it because we fear the ammonia eating bacteria die? Or is it because we want to be sure that the bacteria can successfully eat Xppm all at once (rather than the same individual bacteria eating some every day). If it's the latter, then a higher initial dose will do the job. aka Dose it to 8ppm and never add ammonia again. If it's the former - they don't. We have proven this.
e) I simply believe this to be true after all of our work