Starting over question

pokerfish

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#1
Lost my 13 year reef in March 2018 to flood that we are finally back on our feet from. Stored my 54 corner in shed ( empty)
And put my rock in Rubbermaid tub ( no water).
Just hauled it all out, rinsed the rock and set it back up. New water and salt.
It’s been running a week and I’m excited but haven’t cycled a tank since Bush’s first term.
Does stuff like prodbio really work or do I go old school and grab a rock from Steve at lovely pet and wait. Has the cycling world advanced a lot, or are they just selling snake oil?
Thanks for your opinions in advance.


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Chris A.

Formally toomanyfish
BRS Member
Officer
#2
Welcome back. The saying “ what doesn’t kill you , will make you stronger “ kinda applies to this question. Some people will say it doesn’t work and you should cycle everything the old fashioned way and wait it out for a month or until your nitrites read 0. Some people will get the bottled bacteria and swear it shortens the cycle and now BRS/WWC I starting to pitch a 4 month cycle.
I’m the one that believes if you mix some of these it’ll happen faster. It’s really up to you. There’s no wrong answer ( I know that didn’t help ) :)
 

pokerfish

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#3
Haha.
Kinda what I expected. Appreciate the response. I’m a budget old school kinda guy and have the patience to wait. I’ve just always looked at carbon dosing and stuff like that from afar and wondered if it’s for me.
I keep it really simple with just rock in my sump and a skimmer and water changes.
Wondering if my rock is completely dead and/or if it it is re curing or if it’s providing some die off to start a cycle on its own. ( sitting for over a year in a tub dry)
I’m gonna add something from an established tank and wait a while. Maybe add ammonia or piece of tuna and wait for the magic to happen.
Do the things I know unless someone sells me a better idea.
I will post a picture of my setup. I’m pumped to get back into my little oasis.


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CAPSLOCK

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Your rock adds nothing to the cycle now. Grab an established rock from somewhere to jumpstart the situation.

Bottled bacteria may or may not matter - but that pre-cycled rock will.
 

Jason_charlestown

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#5
At the end of the day all you want is bacteria, doesn't matter if it comes from a rock or a bottle. With a rock you get hitchhikers in addition to nitrifying bacteria, which can be good or bad, your choice. Either way you go, just measure your ammonia, later nitrite, and finally nitrate. As long as you have measurable ammonia or nitrite (even in the presence of a decaying shrimp), wait. Once ammonia and nitrite are not detectable and you have some nitrate, add your first fish. Never leave your tank without a source of ammonia though. You want either decaying matter from your old rock, or a dead shrimp, or fish, otherwise your bacteria will starve. If you detect ammonia and/or nitrite after you've added fish just add Seachem Prime. Cheap, effective, and safe for your fish and corals.

Something that I've discovered in the last few months is that a Seneye reef monitor is worth the expense. I originally bought it to tune my lights, but have discovered that having PH and ammonia monitored for me 24/7 without worrying about calibration is great. Wish I had bought one from the very beginning, it would have saved me a ton of time on testing.
 
#6
I’ll just throw a tiny tiny piece of experience out there. I broke down my tank in NC. Rinsed the rock (good healthy rock) with well water and started sun drying the rock on the walkway (5 acres.. no neighbors to annoy lol) and when fall and winter came I dropped it in tubs.

When I moved to mass.. my movers were like- what is IN these tubs? Rocks??!!?! My son said.. yeah (in a “doesn’t everyone have tubs of rocks voice.)

I’ve been in Mass 4 years. I’d guess the rocks were out of the tank and drying a good year prior to the move.

I dropped some in my new tank and it was enough to jump start a cycle. (Ammonia/nitrite/nitrite measured.) I’m moving sooo slow. It was supposed to be a 10 gallon tank but turned out to be 29, so I added a bit more dry rock (from my stash) and I’ve been feeding shrimp pellets. It’s been about 3.5 months and I just added the light and a few frags of coral (busted off the frag plugs) last week. All this to say.. before adding the corals (or ANYTHING) other than bag of live sand, salt water carried in new container and dry rock- I know there are some sort of worms in there. The rock is also starting to color up (soooooooooooo slow!) I think it may actually be returning coralline!

So don’t think just because it’s been “dry” a year there’s nothing there lol
 

Jason_charlestown

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#7
I’ll just throw a tiny tiny piece of experience out there. I broke down my tank in NC. Rinsed the rock (good healthy rock) with well water and started sun drying the rock on the walkway (5 acres.. no neighbors to annoy lol) and when fall and winter came I dropped it in tubs.

When I moved to mass.. my movers were like- what is IN these tubs? Rocks??!!?! My son said.. yeah (in a “doesn’t everyone have tubs of rocks voice.)

I’ve been in Mass 4 years. I’d guess the rocks were out of the tank and drying a good year prior to the move.

I dropped some in my new tank and it was enough to jump start a cycle. (Ammonia/nitrite/nitrite measured.) I’m moving sooo slow. It was supposed to be a 10 gallon tank but turned out to be 29, so I added a bit more dry rock (from my stash) and I’ve been feeding shrimp pellets. It’s been about 3.5 months and I just added the light and a few frags of coral (busted off the frag plugs) last week. All this to say.. before adding the corals (or ANYTHING) other than bag of live sand, salt water carried in new container and dry rock- I know there are some sort of worms in there. The rock is also starting to color up (soooooooooooo slow!) I think it may actually be returning coralline!

So don’t think just because it’s been “dry” a year there’s nothing there lol
Hey I moved to MA from NC as well!
 

pokerfish

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#8
At the end of the day all you want is bacteria, doesn't matter if it comes from a rock or a bottle. With a rock you get hitchhikers in addition to nitrifying bacteria, which can be good or bad, your choice. Either way you go, just measure your ammonia, later nitrite, and finally nitrate. As long as you have measurable ammonia or nitrite (even in the presence of a decaying shrimp), wait. Once ammonia and nitrite are not detectable and you have some nitrate, add your first fish. Never leave your tank without a source of ammonia though. You want either decaying matter from your old rock, or a dead shrimp, or fish, otherwise your bacteria will starve. If you detect ammonia and/or nitrite after you've added fish just add Seachem Prime. Cheap, effective, and safe for your fish and corals.

Something that I've discovered in the last few months is that a Seneye reef monitor is worth the expense. I originally bought it to tune my lights, but have discovered that having PH and ammonia monitored for me 24/7 without worrying about calibration is great. Wish I had bought one from the very beginning, it would have saved me a ton of time on testing.




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pokerfish

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#9
All sound advice. Thanks. I’m gonna test tomorrow before I add an ammonia source just for curiosity. If the rock had any effect I should read something. Otherwise, or probably anyway, I will get something from an established tank and feed that bacteria til the cycle completes. Thanks for the refresher course. Seems like the old way still tried and true, and lots of other ways work as well as long as the principals are the same. I like the idea of a constant monitor. I will look into that...


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pokerfish

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#12
No problem on the slow. I’ve learned that over the years and my wife will attest that, when it comes to projects anyway, I am a master of slow.
Products like prodbio advertise adding fish in a few hours. Seems attractive but I think I understand it’s limitations. The old “ nothing good happens in an aquarium happens quickly” seems to still apply based on your responses.
I can and can’t wait to start my new reef population. I will use the time to decide what I’m gonna do.


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