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Cycling: new vs old

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Cycling: new vs old

Postby saltydog » Mon 02 Jul, 2018 3:42 pm

If i had a green algae or cyano problem and my tank was less then 3 months old. The answer to what's causing my algae issues? would be 100% of the time: "Your tank is cycling"

If the same green algae and cyano problems happened in a tank that was > 1 year old. The answer is NEVER: "Your tank is cycling". Rather: Rusting magnets, bad top-off water, not using GFO / GAC, metal toxicity....

Do cycles not happen after 3 months?

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Re: Cycling: new vs old

Postby colg » Tue 03 Jul, 2018 9:17 am

Your point is valid. It seems to me that the term 'cycle' has been limited in use to the initial nitrogen cycle when setting up a new tank. In reality, the nitrogen cycle is constantly changing due to different environmental conditions in our tanks. for example; reduced flow from growth of coral - build up on flow pumps, increased bio load of growing fish, shifting light spectrums, etc.
A lot of these causes of a changing nitrogen cycle do not necessarily result in algae issues due to the ability of a more mature system to adapt quickly or from regular maintenance activities which interupt a potential 'visual' cycle.
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Re: Cycling: new vs old

Postby saltydog » Thu 05 Jul, 2018 4:25 pm

colg wrote:In reality, the nitrogen cycle is constantly changing due to different environmental conditions in our tanks. .

Thinking more along the line of bacterial/algae cycles, more so then nitrogen.

The initial 1 - 5 month period when you get all the algae coming and going. Corals growing slowly with STN issues. Loss of colour in corals. Yet nitrogen and phosphate remain in the low/acceptable range. Iv'e always found that strange! you have acceptable N & P during that period yet difficult SPS grow like cr@p.
The all of a sudden things improve, without any intervention.

That above paragraph pretty much sums how tanks behave over longer (3 or more) months. Tank journals are full of it. "My tank is booming......followed a few months later by, No photo's ATM, things aren't the best. Got some algae...etc....followed by, my tanks booming."
colg wrote:cycle do not necessarily result in algae issues due to the ability of a more mature system to adapt quickly

If you think about a cycle in the way of nitrogen and the way it's explained in the hobby, then YES that would be true.
If you turned the power off to a mature system for 24 hours, would it cause a "cycle" similar to the initial start up cycle?

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Re: Cycling: new vs old

Postby Onsan » Fri 06 Jul, 2018 9:13 pm

What if I told you you're measuring Phosphorous wrong...

The phosphate test used is reactive phosphate (orthophosphate) only, it covers only a portion of the total P, it does not test for polyphosphates nor organic phos, for that you need acid digestion.
PAO's store phosphate as polyphosphate, algal polyP and ATP are also missed in the reactive PO4 test.
All are bioavailable, all are released with the death of a cell, biomass crash (cycle?) = huge release of P but not detectable by reactive test.

Got low PO4 but still have algae issues...you have lots of P, you're just not testing it properly.
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Re: Cycling: new vs old

Postby TbyZ » Sun 08 Jul, 2018 2:51 pm

saltydog wrote:If i had a green algae or cyano problem and my tank was less then 3 months old. The answer to what's causing my algae issues? would be 100% of the time: "Your tank is cycling"

If the same green algae and cyano problems happened in a tank that was > 1 year old. The answer is NEVER: "Your tank is cycling". Rather: Rusting magnets, bad top-off water, not using GFO / GAC, metal toxicity....

Do cycles not happen after 3 months?

Chris

This is an article that you will find interesting & informative - http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-01/eb/
Myth 15: Concepts about Nitrification, Stocking Orders, and the New Tank
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Re: Cycling: new vs old

Postby saltydog » Sun 08 Jul, 2018 10:14 pm

The article is pretty much what @clog already said. Which is: Once the filter is mature, the occurrence of algae/stn cycles become disconnected from what causes them.
Back then post mature algae/stn/growth cycles were from a lack of sand bed fauna or exhausted GAC. Now it's rust and ICP test results.

Mature is just an ambiguous description that doesn't explain whole lot.
The saying "stability is the key to success", was an off-shoot from the mature - natural filtration era.

So why is stability important? Does instability effect the filter or just the corals directly? What would cause it? What would I see?

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