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Old 12/01/2020, 01:07 AM   #1
ReefSultan
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Dissapointing Fishless Cycle Method

Hi All,

I am very disappointed with what I did and result about fishless cycle with ammonium chloride

Tank complete 200 gal home new reef tank and I have 2,5 years old 90 Galon old tank

Tests used Salifert ammonia , nitrite, nitrate, ph checker

I reduced salinity to 1.019 and increase temp to 28 C

First 2 weeks I tried use a chart from Dr. Tim’s but I did not add bacteria I moved 2,5 years old siporax from old tank that should have enough bacteria on it

I did not see any sign of ammonia reduction but I keep adding ammonium chloride 3-4 grams that is raising ammonia to 2ppm btw I didn’t read higher from salifert

Then I decided to add bacteria and increase salinity 1.026 and reduce temp to 25.5 C which is same as my old tank

I add AF BIOS and I add not 1 drop for 100 liters probably 10 drops / 100 liters or more as I have ammonia in the system then I started to see ammonia reducing I add half ammonia dose 1,5-2 grams every 2-3 days to feed bacteria
While it is dropping I started to see nitrite however nitrate was 1-5 ppm

Suddenly in 2 days I read zero ammmonia but 2 ppm nitrite however 100+ nitrate how come suddenly nitrate increase such in 2 days I don’t know. I am also not happy with salifert nitrite as it is max is 4ppm and never read that

Now 30th day. Ammonia 0 I don’t dose ammonium chloride for 2 -3 days , nitrite 2 ppm, nitrate 100+

Yesterday I did %20 WC and after 2 hours I read higher darker test of nitrate

I check calculators and I need to do 10 x %20 WC to reduce nitrate to below 10. In home environment max I can do is %20 in one go as tank is big

If I dosed 40-50 gram of ammonium chloride %99 food grade how much nitrate I would expect.

Why skimmer is not collecting nitrate ? Because there is no nitrate consuming bacteria?

May I add AF PRO BIOS which is nitrate consuming bacteria while I have still nitrite?

Is it good I will continue wc daily 20% ?

Should I add ammonia?

Need suggestions guys


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Old 12/01/2020, 01:08 AM   #2
ReefSultan
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Forgot to add

I can move in more siporax from old system that should have nitrate consuming bacteria on it.. please consider this also as option

Thank you


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Old 12/01/2020, 06:45 AM   #3
dubmaneh
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I believe that the nitrate consuming bacteria also need phosphate (although in much smaller quantities). If they only have nitrate with truly 0 phosphate, they will be limited by the lack of phosphate.

I’d try adding some nori to the tank or dosing a small amount of phosphate.

Also, have you double checked your test kit for accuracy?


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Old 12/01/2020, 09:39 AM   #4
ReefSultan
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Thanks for reply

Po4 is 0.13ppm so there is enough

Today I started nitrate reducing bacteria 3x suggested dose AF Pro BioS and also I moved siporax from natures tank 2,5 old and also dosed Nopox as suggested dose

Hope spirox move will not mess my matured tank even I will move corals in 2-3 weeks

Tonight I will add some fish to new tank even nitrates read 100

I do not turn on lights yet will see if NO3 will go down and then I would run it

I need to speed up NO3 reduction and move stock when new tank is read as I sold matured tank new owner is pushing )))


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Old 12/01/2020, 09:59 AM   #5
Oldreeferman
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Ive gone the ammonia rout in the past making dry rock live rock and it went well however, there are a few things to consider when doing it.
First you do want to add bacteria straight away the day you start, ammonia needs something to consume it asap. Pcs. of existing live rock work well or bacteria in a bottle, i added both.
Secondly, you want to be careful not to over add ammonia or it will kill the bacteria so one does not want to dose ammonia without 1st checking lvls daily to see if its being converted or not yet before adding more.

" Never want to exceed 5 ppm of ammonia or nitrate during the cycling".

Downside of a fishless cycle is the constant testing obviously. I used cheaper test strips for this since no animals were involved and it was 10 times cheaper, used my salferts when i was showing no nitrites later on.
A 200 gal tank WC would be an expensive labor intensive headache only due to a cycle issue. If it was me knowing what i know now id add bacteria in quantities as stated on the bottle and run the skimmer on the wet side, should look like weak tea, and id also strongly consider dosing NOPOX to rid/lower the nitrates fast, would work better and add multiple different bacteria growths as well helping the cycling.
Would be a lot easier then doing so many WCs and you get results fast i mean fast in just a few days to a week. then you could wean the NOPOX back down to off once its stable and add a few hardy fish to keep the normal cycle going on its own, just wean the DT off it slowly so you do not have a major bacteria die off from starvation since the bacteria now are relying on the NOPOX for the food source.
Its what id try at this point since you are still showing nitrites and pretty high nitrates to get back to normal params without doing a total complete WC start over over to rid excessive nitrates. Once lowered do a 20% WC and add a few hardy fish and lower NOPOX very slowly over a month then stop all together dosing it.
NOPOX is normally used later .....after a tank has matured.... usually to lower nitrates & phosphates, but in this instance its so specific & cheap & easy to dose its worth a shot, i use a dosing syringe from an old Salfert test kit when dosing my tank, you could do same. You could contact RED SEA and ask if this is an option of use before trying but honestly what have you got to loose at this point other then facing serious WCs anyway, just don't over dose go easy at first & test, test, test always before adding more.
Its probably going to take a while since the water is out of balance due to no bacteria at the start but id bet with patience & time it will become cycled & stable if you go this rout & test carefully.


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Old 12/01/2020, 01:23 PM   #6
ReefSultan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldreeferman View Post
Ive gone the ammonia rout in the past making dry rock live rock and it went well however, there are a few things to consider when doing it.
First you do want to add bacteria straight away the day you start, ammonia needs something to consume it asap. Pcs. of existing live rock work well or bacteria in a bottle, i added both.
Secondly, you want to be careful not to over add ammonia or it will kill the bacteria so one does not want to dose ammonia without 1st checking lvls daily to see if its being converted or not yet before adding more.

" Never want to exceed 5 ppm of ammonia or nitrate during the cycling".

Downside of a fishless cycle is the constant testing obviously. I used cheaper test strips for this since no animals were involved and it was 10 times cheaper, used my salferts when i was showing no nitrites later on.
A 200 gal tank WC would be an expensive labor intensive headache only due to a cycle issue. If it was me knowing what i know now id add bacteria in quantities as stated on the bottle and run the skimmer on the wet side, should look like weak tea, and id also strongly consider dosing NOPOX to rid/lower the nitrates fast, would work better and add multiple different bacteria growths as well helping the cycling.
Would be a lot easier then doing so many WCs and you get results fast i mean fast in just a few days to a week. then you could wean the NOPOX back down to off once its stable and add a few hardy fish to keep the normal cycle going on its own, just wean the DT off it slowly so you do not have a major bacteria die off from starvation since the bacteria now are relying on the NOPOX for the food source.
Its what id try at this point since you are still showing nitrites and pretty high nitrates to get back to normal params without doing a total complete WC start over over to rid excessive nitrates. Once lowered do a 20% WC and add a few hardy fish and lower NOPOX very slowly over a month then stop all together dosing it.
NOPOX is normally used later .....after a tank has matured.... usually to lower nitrates & phosphates, but in this instance its so specific & cheap & easy to dose its worth a shot, i use a dosing syringe from an old Salfert test kit when dosing my tank, you could do same. You could contact RED SEA and ask if this is an option of use before trying but honestly what have you got to loose at this point other then facing serious WCs anyway, just don't over dose go easy at first & test, test, test always before adding more.
Its probably going to take a while since the water is out of balance due to no bacteria at the start but id bet with patience & time it will become cycled & stable if you go this rout & test carefully.

Thank you that helps almost similar my approach now. I can’t WC to reduce it, it is clear

Cheers


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Old 12/02/2020, 11:03 AM   #7
ReefSultan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldreeferman View Post
Ive gone the ammonia rout in the past making dry rock live rock and it went well however, there are a few things to consider when doing it.
First you do want to add bacteria straight away the day you start, ammonia needs something to consume it asap. Pcs. of existing live rock work well or bacteria in a bottle, i added both.
Secondly, you want to be careful not to over add ammonia or it will kill the bacteria so one does not want to dose ammonia without 1st checking lvls daily to see if its being converted or not yet before adding more.

" Never want to exceed 5 ppm of ammonia or nitrate during the cycling".

Downside of a fishless cycle is the constant testing obviously. I used cheaper test strips for this since no animals were involved and it was 10 times cheaper, used my salferts when i was showing no nitrites later on.
A 200 gal tank WC would be an expensive labor intensive headache only due to a cycle issue. If it was me knowing what i know now id add bacteria in quantities as stated on the bottle and run the skimmer on the wet side, should look like weak tea, and id also strongly consider dosing NOPOX to rid/lower the nitrates fast, would work better and add multiple different bacteria growths as well helping the cycling.
Would be a lot easier then doing so many WCs and you get results fast i mean fast in just a few days to a week. then you could wean the NOPOX back down to off once its stable and add a few hardy fish to keep the normal cycle going on its own, just wean the DT off it slowly so you do not have a major bacteria die off from starvation since the bacteria now are relying on the NOPOX for the food source.
Its what id try at this point since you are still showing nitrites and pretty high nitrates to get back to normal params without doing a total complete WC start over over to rid excessive nitrates. Once lowered do a 20% WC and add a few hardy fish and lower NOPOX very slowly over a month then stop all together dosing it.
NOPOX is normally used later .....after a tank has matured.... usually to lower nitrates & phosphates, but in this instance its so specific & cheap & easy to dose its worth a shot, i use a dosing syringe from an old Salfert test kit when dosing my tank, you could do same. You could contact RED SEA and ask if this is an option of use before trying but honestly what have you got to loose at this point other then facing serious WCs anyway, just don't over dose go easy at first & test, test, test always before adding more.
Its probably going to take a while since the water is out of balance due to no bacteria at the start but id bet with patience & time it will become cycled & stable if you go this rout & test carefully.

What about turning lights on let algae grow and reduce nitrate maybe?

today I diluted water sample and No3 is 400+ ppm double test. I measure rodi water it was almost zero so test is correct and mature tank has 5ppm

Anyway no2 is 1ppm today it was 2 ppm yesterday


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Old 12/02/2020, 12:59 PM   #8
Oldreeferman
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I would not recommend doing that, main reason is you will end up with the nightmare of endless hair algae everywhere that would be really hard to rid of later on beyond regular new tank ugly cycles.
There are other ways to remove nitrates other then NOPOX but they all are more work, more cost, and are complicated to setup verses just simple daily dosing of a fairly cheap RED SEA product.
Most ideas i see & read about are made to control nitrates "after" a tank is mature like growing algaes on a screen etc. then removing weekly or so where nitrates are maybe reading 20-30 PPM etc and the owner wants it down to .5 or so for say acros or stopping unwanted algae growth in the DT.
At 400 PPM what ever you do will have to be quick & drastic or a total WC re-start unless someone has a better idea i'm not aware of.


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Old 12/07/2020, 11:19 AM   #9
JWClark
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Don't think it was mentioned here but your nitrate reading is useless right now.

If you detect ANY nitrite then measuring nitrate is a waste of time. The first step in the nitrate test converts nitrate to nitrite. So if you already have nitrite then you will get a false nitrate reading.

When I have done fishless cycles w/ dry rock it often takes several weeks for nitirite to disappear completely. Until then, do not measure nitrates. Once nitrites are 0 I'd be willing to bet your nitrates will be around 5-20.


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Old 12/07/2020, 03:01 PM   #10
ReefSultan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWClark View Post
Don't think it was mentioned here but your nitrate reading is useless right now.

If you detect ANY nitrite then measuring nitrate is a waste of time. The first step in the nitrate test converts nitrate to nitrite. So if you already have nitrite then you will get a false nitrate reading.

When I have done fishless cycles w/ dry rock it often takes several weeks for nitirite to disappear completely. Until then, do not measure nitrates. Once nitrites are 0 I'd be willing to bet your nitrates will be around 5-20.

Hi Thank you for reply

I saw some threats in forum about nitrite impacting nitrate tests as they converting nitrates to nitrite by zinc and measure concentration

I read one guy who had same situation like me 100+ NO3 and wait nitrites disappear then tested it was 60ppm NO3

So I think I have serious issue on old siporax and lead me to have high nitrates

I started doing Nopox and in 3-4 days I am reduced to 80-100ppm from 400ppm

Nitrite is 1 ppm today it is reducing

I will add fish today


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Old 12/07/2020, 03:04 PM   #11
ReefSultan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldreeferman View Post
I would not recommend doing that, main reason is you will end up with the nightmare of endless hair algae everywhere that would be really hard to rid of later on beyond regular new tank ugly cycles.
There are other ways to remove nitrates other then NOPOX but they all are more work, more cost, and are complicated to setup verses just simple daily dosing of a fairly cheap RED SEA product.
Most ideas i see & read about are made to control nitrates "after" a tank is mature like growing algaes on a screen etc. then removing weekly or so where nitrates are maybe reading 20-30 PPM etc and the owner wants it down to .5 or so for say acros or stopping unwanted algae growth in the DT.
At 400 PPM what ever you do will have to be quick & drastic or a total WC re-start unless someone has a better idea i'm not aware of.

Nopox and additoion of AF BIOS Pro (nitrate bacteria) worked perfect

I am down to 80-100 ppm I believe tomorrow I will be around 50ppm

I see bacterial slime on my rocks which is normal due to Nopox which I will reduce dosing after I reach 5-10ppm very soon

I didn’t do any water changes, big load gone from shoulders thanks for keeping me motivated lol


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Old 12/07/2020, 05:15 PM   #12
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Sounds good!
Figured that would do the trick quickly, great product.


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