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120 reef 40g trigger emerald sump kessil ap700 light 6ish fish
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... I've cycled a hand full of tanks before. Most using ammonia method using dr tims ammonia.

Now I'm helping my mom start her tank... hers crashed due to a hitch hiker cucumber we didn't know she had... only one snail survived...

We cleaned the tank using tap, rodi, and hydrogen peroxide... then restarted it using all new rock and sand (Marco rock, Caribsea live sand, a mangrove propagule, a few accent pieces and one decent rock from a 2 or so year old established tank)

Dosed a bit of ammonia and it rose then started going down no nitrite or trate using two different api tests.

Then there was a massive bloom... couldn't see the back of the glass... slime on glass... we figured blooms are normal let it go it'll work itself out.. still no trite or trate... ammonia going down

Bloom starts to develop long strong strands that are strong enough to lift out of water and water gets worse until its like looking through a foggy window... start dosing stability...

A few weeks go by... ammonia climbing no nitrite or trate start trying mechanical filtration and lots of carbon...

Few more days and now its gone... about 12 hours to go away entirely... get ammonia down using a small water change and ammonia absorbing media (I can't remember the brand of the one and poly filter is the other)

Give it more time... ammonia goes down, dose it several times... water is foaming a lot... like there is soap in it but we've had clean hands and no soaps for any of it...

Now the bloom is back and ammonia sky rocketed in two days

Sorry if this lay out is confusing this all took about two months and we're getting frustrated...

Still 0 nitrates and trite
 

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I've always been nervous about dosing things like pure ammonia. Even if it's supposed to be pure, it's not really made for consumption so the rules about making it are not the same as making something for eating, like baking soda. If it were me I would probably do a 100% water change, rinse the rock and sand in salt water, brush any algae you can off, basically try and get every trace of whatever soap that might be out.

Then I would fill the tank with new salt water, and cycle using the raw shrimp method. That has been proven effective and there are much fewer possibilities for some unknown thing to cause issues.

I would probably also back off on the Stability. If you want getting a little sand from an established tank like at the LFS, or a small piece of Live Rock that's still alive will give you all the bacteria you need. Some of those bacteria potions work, some don't, but I'd rather buy pods in a container than bacteria.

Whiskey
 

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120 reef 40g trigger emerald sump kessil ap700 light 6ish fish
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dr.Tim's ammonium chloride for fish less cycles. I've used them to cycle the other tanks i did with pure ammonia. This is a fresh bottle i opened for this cycle. at the moment ive quit the stability over the last few days since it didnt seem to have any impact what so ever.


and i did use a couple pound piece of rock from my established 120 (only out of water for less then 5 minutes).


added a reef glass air powered skimmer to the tank and it seems to have removed all the foam. but had to remove it to put it back in the tank it belongs in.
 

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Test kits not out of date, are they?


Might be simplest to start from the beginning again.
New water, rock, etc...
I have always used the raw shrimp method myself, pretty fool proof.
Adding rock or sand from your tank should add some diversity to the bacteria mix.


Nothing like Febreeze being used in the area of the tank, nothing antibiotic?
Almost sounds like something is killing off your bacteria.
 

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120 reef 40g trigger emerald sump kessil ap700 light 6ish fish
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nope. They smoke in the room but thats the only airborne contaminants I can think of
 

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Nope. They smoke in the room but thats the only airborne contaminants I can think of
That shouldn't cause an issue, I smoked 2 packs a day for years in the same room as my SPS 180. It may not have helped any, but it didn't seem to do the tank any significant harm.

Are you using quality kits? And have they expired? Is there any way to check them?

I agree that the ammonia cycle should work, plenty of people do it, but when something's not working sometime I like to try something different.

Whiskey
 

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120 reef 40g trigger emerald sump kessil ap700 light 6ish fish
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now the saltwater prep bucket has it growing it in to... no light or ammonia in it... I'll try to get a picture of what its like at its worst.
 

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120 reef 40g trigger emerald sump kessil ap700 light 6ish fish
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh and I've used two different api test kits with nearly the same or the same results
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm not sure your question... de didn't add anything to the bucket but water and salt, and heater and flow flow like you normally would... so unless something splashed into it from the tank I'm not quite sure why there's stuff growing in it to
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Of course not. Dedicated buckets for fish tank use. Heck I use white for rodi, orange home depot for clean water, and blue lowes for dirty just to limit cross contamination

Running a small piece of polyfilter and a carbon reactor with brs rox .8 hoping to pull out whatever contamination if any is causing this... until I get a chance to restart the tank and cycle
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok so I rinsed the sand four or five times

Rocks got scrubbed in tank water- salt water then rinsed in rodi then fresh saltwater

Equipment got the same process...

Tank was scrubbed down as well...

I didn't get any foaming or soap like bubbles while doing any of this... its filled and going to wait a day or two for any die off or ammonia spike... then begin dosing from a different bottle of ammonia or some shrimp... if I can get my hands on it... my entire family is quarantined atm with most of us testing positive (we are all ok) and ill add a few small pieces of rock from the established 120

Anyone see any problems with this plan please and tanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Honestly haven't thought to. The 120 has the same rodi water and its great... a bit high nitrates but thats from over feeding
 

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Are you using a new container of salt for this tank. Since it showed up in your mixing bucket if it didn’t come from the tank that would make me think there is something wrong before it got to the tank.
That leaves water, salt mix, and whatever you have in the mix bucket to mix and heat. I would mix a little salt water and test for nitrates, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I have to say I greatly appreciate the help
And you reminded me that I topped the tank off with tropic marin salt vs the liveaquaria salt i normally use....
We got a free bucket from BRS's give aways a couple months ago... I pushed it to a corner and forgot so I mixed up the bucket with it and used it to finish filling it since I didn't want to carry another bucket up two flights of stairs.... I'm an idiot for not adding that to the list of possible culprits....
I figured that's a few dozen water changes for her small tank rather then trying to mix it in with my established tank which started on liveaquaria reef salt....
 
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