Sorry to hear you are disappointed.
Myself, I'm having a great time wondering around in the forest, digging stuff up.
I'm not in a hurry to come to conclusions and simplify matters into the 7 steps to happiness. Or the ultimate guide in fish keeping.
As a matter of fact, I lack the ambition.
Not disappointed, just curious
Given the research on these microorganisms, what can we update in our approach to cycling? Is there a way we can culture a specific group of nitrifiers, or would they just grow naturally?
A lot of research have shown that archaea is more prevalent in low ammonia concentrations, even in freshwater. For example:  , soil:  and more can be found on google scholar
Given the ammonia concentrations we add to our fish tanks, which type would be dominant? Are we growing different microbial communities if we dose to 5ppm+ vs very low <1ppm? I've always cycled with very very small amounts of food which is even less than 0.5ppm and so far it's worked well for me (I also don't feed very much once fish are added).
One option (This is actually what I do):
- Use concentrated HCL and aeration to remove the KH from the water and reduce the pH to 7.0, but keep the KH at 3-4 degrees.
- Add GH as needed to increase hardness for the hardwater cichlids to help their kidneys function.
- Add salinity in small amount to detoxify nitrite (1 teaspoon per 10 gallons) and not harm plants.
- Use fast growing weeds (I mean plants) and appropriate light and inject C02.
- Add fish
- Aerate the tank well and keep oxygen at 8 ppm
- Don't worry about ammonia and nitrites since at 7.0 pH toxicity requires very high levels of ammonia and the salt protects the fish from nitrites.
At first lots of algae grows, but in time, this dissipates. I am tracking Rudd to understand that there is this next level for the cycle as the tank matures where new stuff happens. Cool!
The typical cycle that we see is because the fish are in an unnatural environment where they are swimming in their own waste water, and the water has been engineered for humans rather than fish and the water may lack the proper amount of KH, GH, oxygen and salinity.
Wow, that's very novel to me. Adding HCL then GH then salt then plants and co2? Sounds crazy lol, but if it works then that's interesting. With this method, fish are added on day 1? Or is there a waiting period?
Would be interested to see other people's approaches as well