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Return To The Vale!odrome
It's fun and games time! Those of you who may know me of old will have been steeling yourselves for this moment, feeling it creep closer with threatening inevitability.

My old 'Hoy' tank was replaced last Autumn(ish) with a Juwel Rio 240. It's standard issue except for the filter pump, which I downgraded to a less powerful version.

It has got a thin layer of substrate plus two deeper planting islands, the latter filled with planting medium and capped with the same gravel as the substrate. There are a few bits of wood in there and a handful of shrimps.The filter outlet points down, so the water surface is relatively still.Temperature has been (and is) just North of 26C. I'll post a pic when I next fire up my PC.

I began to cycle it towards the end of December but after a few doses of ammonia solution, stopped. For the sake of brevity I won't go into all the whys and wherefores unless pressed.

It remained running in respect of its heater and pump. The lights have been off. A few weeks ago, actually on 18th June, I restarted the cycling process, using doses of 3.8ml of 9.5% ammonia solution to reach an in-tank concentration of 1.5mg/l. Redosing was done only if/when the in-tank concentration fell to zero (I've been tracking nitrite, too, but let's keep this as simple as possible by considering just ammonia).

Relevant vital statistics at the time of the cycle restart were: 

GH 6 (via test strip)
KH 7.0 (Salifert liquid test)
Conductivity 328uS/cm (hand-held ExTech meter)
pH 7.76 (in-tank monitor)
O2 saturation 48% (hand-held dissolved oxygen meter).

[I think I must have filled it with a mix of tapwater and reverse osmosis water, looking at the above  - I can't actually remember!]

In tracking the oxidation of ammonia I've been noting the time (in hours) it takes for the ammonia concentration to hit zero, using a JBL liquid comparative kit. I call this "TA0", where 'TA' stands for Total Ammonia.

So your first play in this (what should be a) series of little games is to offer your best guess as to where we are now : what is the current TA0, do you reckon?

You may be able to make your guess based on experience ; or you may just be interested and can only make a wild one. Whichever, I certainly won't consider any guess ridiculous. There may or may not be an overall 'prize' at the end! And, if all goes well, there is an overarching purpose to all this!

I will need ten Forum Members to make guesses in order to continue (I know most people just aren't interested in this sort of thing, so I'd like to know that I have at least some sort of audience!)

Faites vos jeux, Mesdames et Messieurs!
Thanks given by:
Here's what it looks like at the moment :

[Image: 3wq3qCm.jpg]
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I’ll hazard a guess Big Grin
A few weeks into the cycle, highish kh. I reckon its around the 36hour mark Smile
 😇 Heaven doesn’t want me...
And Hell is afraid I’ll take over! 😈
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I'll play! I have absolutely no real idea but I'm gonna guess you might be further on than you were expecting. 12 hrs?
[-] The following 1 user Likes Sarah's post:
  • Vale!
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I'll guess at bang on 24 hours Smile
500L Sooperhooge Goldfish tank Smile
200L The Barbarium….Tiger barbs and a very grumpy BN plec
200L Marine Reef.....stocking in progress!
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Not a clue, but how about 15hrs 35 mins! This guestimation is based on total ignorance.
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Hi Andy, can I have a guess?

My guess is 6 hours. Smile
[-] The following 1 user Likes Stephen's post:
  • Vale!
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4.5 hours.
If at first you don't succeed....
...get someone else to do it! Big Grin

Enjoy your fish, shrimps and snails!

All my posts are from a desktop.
Mobiles are way too complicated for me, although I do have one now. Wink
[-] The following 1 user Likes plankton's post:
  • Vale!
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6 hrs... based on nothing but i like 6 hrs
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10 hours Big Grin
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Only two more contestants required on the starting grid for the lights to go out! 

That's a reference to this coming weekend when, I think, the British Grand Prix happens : I call it 'helicopter weekend'. The sky over MK becomes alive with the pointlessly rich (sorry if that offends any fans - I know the technology may eventually transfer to our vehicles) whupwhupwhupping around in their whirlybirds. Anyone remember that programme, btw?!

I'm moving on to setting up the second game of the thread. Incidentally, some of the subsequent games I've done before, often in buckets or nano tanks ; I'm interested to see what happens when I scale things up a bit to a 'real' setting.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Vale!'s post:
  • fr499y
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I’ll have a play for a giggle and guess at 12.5hrs!!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
60L Nano Cube - ‘Puffua New Guinea’ (3x Dwarf Puffer Fish).
12L Nano - ‘Escargot Emporium’ - Snail Breeding Tank.
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Im submitting 14 hrs 🤞🏻
Bikini Bottom - 168l
Bronze, Peppered  & Albino Cory, Black Widows, Cherry Barbs, Green Tiger Barb (rescues), Amanos.
The Kremlin - 58l 
Bronze Corys.
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That's fantastic!  I really didn't think I'd actually reach the ten! OK then …

The answer to Game 1 : TA0 was less than or equal to 3 hours.  [Edit : from more frequent testing on today's dose (11th  July) I can say that it would have been less than or equal to 90 minutes as measured by the JBL kit]

I think it may be useful to players at some point to be able to refer to more detail. I tried to post a scan of my notes, but they turned out to be more or less illegible. So I'll type out an edited version below. It's pretty much all here apart from the nitrite bits:

240L. Began a cycle December, then tank left for several months. Heater, pump and monitors on. Temp around Pump outlet pointing down. Hood closed. Lights off. Was some moss - died off from lack of light. Few Sakura, few snails. Small amount wood. Islands filled with planting medium, capped. Infusoria on wood. 


pH 7.70  EC 315

Added 3.8mls 9.5% ammonia solution to make in-tank c1.5mg/l.
Test after 15 minutes [Redacted, sorry!]


pH 7.76   EC 328    GHc6 (strip)  KH 7.0   O2 48%

Added 3.8ml A @ 0900

Test after 24hrs : TA = 0.1


Added 3.8ml A @ 0930

Test after 24hrs : TA = 0.2
Test after 48hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 0900

Test after 24hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 1000

Test after 24hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 1000

Test after 24hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 1000

Test after 6hrs : TA = 0.075    Test after 22hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 0830

Test after 24hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 1030

Test after 9hrs : TA = 0

Added 3.8ml A @ 2030

Test after 12hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 0900

(Now away until Sunday 30th eve)


[nitrite test only]


Added 3.8ml A @ 0945

Test after 9hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 1200

Test after 21hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 1000

Test after 23hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 0930

Test after 19hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 0445

Test after 6hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 1100

Test after 8hrs : TA = 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 0700

Test after 2hrs : TA <0.05      Test after 3hrs : TA= 0


Added 3.8ml A @ 0930

[nitrite tests only] 


Added 3.8ml A @ 0809      O2 1.2mg/l (26.3C)

[In case you're wondering  ... I was working out oxygen saturation, so needed to record temperature. I then run upstairs and get the barometric pressure from the internet ; then do the calculation]

Tests after 1hr    : TA = 0.075      O2 0.9mg/l (26.7C) 
Tests after 3hrs   : TA = 0            O2 0.8mg/l (26.7C)
Tests after 5.5hrs : O2 0.7mg/l (26.8C)  [remember I was doing nitrite as well!]
Tests after 13hrs  : O2 0.7mg/l  (27.1C)
Tests after 23hrs  : O2 1.0mg/l (27.0C)  13% [saturation]

The jury has deliberated and has applied the following criteria to scoring* :
                   Everyone gets a point for joining in ; Mito gets an extra half-a-point for joining, awarded by the international juror. So does Annie (I'm just back from Pyongyang)
                   GL05 gets half-a-point for being brave enough to start things off.
                   Everyone except GL05 gets half-a-point for not being the furthest from the answer.
                   Plankton gets a point for being closest (three points would have been awarded for being bang-on).

The table then looks like :

                   Plankton           2.5
                   Mito                 2.0
                   Annie               2.0
                   Everyone else    1.5

Get some rest and physio, everyone. Game 2 coming up shortly (probably tomorrow).

* Challenges to points awarded should be made by telephone to the appointed arbiter on 020-8992-4965
[-] The following 4 users Like Vale!'s post:
  • Annie, Gingerlove05, Mito, plankton
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Aww didn’t I get half a point for an international competitor Sad lol
Bikini Bottom - 168l
Bronze, Peppered  & Albino Cory, Black Widows, Cherry Barbs, Green Tiger Barb (rescues), Amanos.
The Kremlin - 58l 
Bronze Corys.
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