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Old 03-19-2014, 11:20 PM   #1
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Experiment: Extreme cycle

Anyone is welcome to comment on this thread, but it's not really intended to garner any specific discussion or be interesting to a large number of people. I am simply logging my cycle publicly in case anyone takes an interest.

I have a brand new tank and filter to cycle and rather than seed my filter I'm opting to run a fishless cycle with some unusual goals. I have a lot of tests and plan to run them at minimum every other day with a plan to graph my results.

I'm going to post my daily notes here along with some observations and discussion.

Tank is a 20g Long with an Eheim 2213 canister. Currently there is no substrate or decorations.

Starting Day 3/18 late at night (technically 3/19 1:00AM)

Tank, filter and media washed in tap water
20-21 gallons water
Dechlor with Prime at 150% dosage (3mL)
pH 7.0 (from tap, no aging)
Temp 85 degrees

Initial test results:
24 TDS
PO3 0 (phosphates)
KH 2
GH between 0-1

After initial tests I added:

Added 1/8 tsp KH2PO4 (level)
ľ tsp baking soda (level)
12ml 10% ammonia (15-16ppm)

Notes:
I wanted to do the phosphate and baking soda additions by weight but I couldn't find my super scale So I settled for very careful leveled measurements so that I can weigh the amounts later when I find my scale.

My water treatment facility must boost the pH with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) because there is some kH from the tap but no gH (so no calcium or magnesium)

I deliberately dosed it straight to a CRAZY level of ammonia. This was entirely deliberate. Will it stall?? Let's find out...

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Old 03-19-2014, 11:24 PM   #2
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3/19 7:20PM

pH 8.5
Temp 85
TDS 87
P03 8
kH 8
gH 0-1
Nh3/4 16ppm

Notes:
Tested ammonia ppm via a dilution solution. I will be able to log exact ammonia/nitrites with this method.
pH I was guessing at 8.5 as it was a color I have never seen - a dark fuschia pink - that didn't really match any colors on the card.
Lights are out over the tank, as I don't want any algae to go with this phosphorus.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threnjen View Post
3/19 7:20PM

pH 8.5
Temp 85
TDS 87
P03 8
kH 8
gH 0-1
Nh3/4 16ppm

Notes:
Tested ammonia ppm via a dilution solution. I will be able to log exact ammonia/nitrites with this method.
pH I was guessing at 8.5 as it was a color I have never seen - a dark fuschia pink - that didn't really match any colors on the card.
Lights are out over the tank, as I don't want any algae to go with this phosphorus.

Will you be dosing more ammonia?
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:54 AM   #4
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No, I think not. Do you think I should? I think I will just keep watch on the levels and decide later.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:13 AM   #5
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No I would leave it. See if it runs through.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:25 AM   #6
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Yeah I was kind of aiming for "this should be enough forever" although my number was somewhat arbitrary. I was just aiming for "big"

Obviously I am *hoping* for a no-stall cycle that I can use in my favor when defending against the ammonia/nitrites stall claims
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:37 AM   #7
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Yeh we need that ammunition. I have never believed they stall. They just take longer if continually dosing ammonia of such a big proportion. It makes it seem like it has stalled.

I like to think if it as throwing 4 zebras to a lion cub it's not going to be the quickest of starts.

Throw half a baby zebra to a lion cub it will eat it and grow bigger and the next zebra can be bigger. Lol going off on one now.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:28 AM   #8
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Took numbers again for 3/20, same as 3/19, which is really as expected. Nothing would be happening just yet. I think rather than waste test reagents I will test again on 3/22.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:27 PM   #9
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Good idea
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:32 PM   #10
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3/21 around 1PM I noticed that the tank is very hazy. This seems rather early, and a good sign!
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:23 AM   #11
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Ooeer, bacterial bloom do you think? Looking forward to the next ammonia reading! More action than I thought
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:30 AM   #12
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Sounds fun! I am following
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:39 AM   #13
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I hope it's a bacterial bloom! It has definitely gotten extremely hazy today, although I wouldn't say it has reached "cloudy" yet. It does seem really early for it though, but I'm not sure what else it could be. Hoping for some reduced ammonia when I take tomorrow's readings.
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:09 AM   #14
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Definitely following this! Good luck with this!!!
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:54 AM   #15
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Tests 3/22

Interesting returns today. Keep in mind this is only day 4.

pH 7.4
Temp 85
TDS 97
P03/4 7
kH 8
gH 0-1
Nh3/4 12ppm

Notes:
pH has dropped very significantly, now represented by the low end of the High pH test and the high end of the normal pH test.

Ammonia has definitely gone down. I'm estimating 12 because the color was between 2 and 4 (and I dilute it to 1/4 tank water, so multiple my chart result *4)

PO3/4 has MAYBE dropped. Unfortunately this test is very difficult to read, but I guess 7 and my hubby did as well. I wouldn't say this is significant since I cannot be totally sure.

Once the pH drops to 7.0 I will be re-dosing baking soda. Based on the significant activity I am seeing, I'll be testing again tomorrow.
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:47 AM   #16
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You never cease to grab my attention Jen ! I'm a bit late on this but I've noticed that fucia purple ph color when I dump a vile in the sink with running water.. My tap doesn't test anywhere close to that color nor my tank? I've never put much useful thought into it. but now maybe you can! You're way better at the thought thing than I am : Processingbeeboopbeep:
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:51 AM   #17
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I guess I just assumed it was somewhere between the reddish orange and the purple on the card. It was overall just totally different from anything I have seen!!

The current pH looks like something I have seen for sure!
Maybe I will just re-dose it with baking soda and check it again. If it turns mega purple again then I know it just means "off the chart"

Beep boop boop!
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:56 AM   #18
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I think I remember you saying you have pretty soft tap water? Maybe it's just the pre-gassed off result?? I have some soft city water over here.. Just checked my municipal water reports and only .011 ppm nitrate! Fishes love it! Ok back on topic! I'm tired..
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookster123 View Post
I think I remember you saying you have pretty soft tap water? Maybe it's just the pre-gassed off result?? I have some soft city water over here.. Just checked my municipal water reports and only .011 ppm nitrate! Fishes love it! Ok back on topic! I'm tired..
Oh nah this was boosted up way over my tap water. Out of tap my water is 7.0 and I added baking soda to make the pH way higher for the cycle.
That's why I am assuming it was off the chart, but I picked 8.4 just because I have no idea what it's supposed to look like in the middle of the card where it suddenly goes from a reddish color to a purple color.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:06 AM   #20
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This already says to me that the cycle would stall. The instructions do not ask you to buffer the water at the start or during the cycle.

Unfortunately this cycle would stall without intervention.
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