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ClinicaTerraLTD

Starting Back Up Again...Questions About Using Seachem Stability

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After losing our last fantail, Marcus, we cleaned out our 60-gallon Marineland Heartland tank and started over recently (the tank had been sitting empty for quite some time), going with a new pirate shipwreck theme, new gravel, new plants, a new Aqueon LED PRO QuietFlow 75 (to replace a QuietFlow 55 that seemed to develop and issue with its clipped-on motor), our original AquaClear 110 and all new filter media for both HOBs. We also got a couple of new bubble bars from Petco, new airline tubing and a new Top Fin air pump. 

The tank has been up and running -- with filters -- for a couple of days now, and I have begun the Seachem Stability process (put in the six capfuls the first day, based on our tank size, and now dosing for the next seven days). My plan was to introduce fish once the seven day treatment was complete, but when I reached out to Seachem to ask them about this, I was told that just adding Stability to the tank without any source of ammonia such as fish food or fish and their waste was doing nothing for my cycle; as such, I am considering adding some starter goldies before the seven days are up to kick-start the cycle appropriately (or per Seachem's advice).

Is this correct? Is it okay to introduce some starter fish before the seven days of dosing with Stability? If so, do I just stop after the seventh day and take readings via my API test kit? Also, when do I begin doing water changes after this (I'm gonna use Prime, as always) -- how long do I hold off doing the changes once fish are introduced?

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It will help the tank to cycle, yes.

So yes you can add fish in then ad this to cycle the tank.

I would be testing the water every day. To make sure the water is good.

 

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1 hour ago, koko said:

It will help the tank to cycle, yes.

So yes you can add fish in then ad this to cycle the tank.

I would be testing the water every day. To make sure the water is good.

 

Thank you for your response, Shannon. Much appreciated.

Right now, it's been about three days of the tank being up and running, using the Stability. On this coming Tuesday, it will be a week of treatment. I was thinking of adding the starter goldies this weekend at some point, which would put it before the week is up, but is this okay? Just introduce the fish to the tank the way it is, with the Stability in there already?

Is more Stability needed AFTER the seven days are up? And then when do I begin water changes with the Prime?

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2 hours ago, ClinicaTerraLTD said:

Thank you for your response, Shannon. Much appreciated.

Right now, it's been about three days of the tank being up and running, using the Stability. On this coming Tuesday, it will be a week of treatment. I was thinking of adding the starter goldies this weekend at some point, which would put it before the week is up, but is this okay? Just introduce the fish to the tank the way it is, with the Stability in there already?

👍

Is more Stability needed AFTER the seven days are up?

Don't know depends on the tank. I don't think I have tried to cycle a tank that way. 

And then when do I begin water changes with the Prime?

I would change the water when ammonia is max .5 with fish in it. You need to test the water.

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13 hours ago, koko said:

I would change the water when ammonia is max .5 with fish in it. You need to test the water.

Thanks again Shannon.

Okay -- I took some readings yesterday using my API test kit (these kits don't "expire" do they?) and here's what I got:

On the THIRD DAY of Stability (yesterday) the readings were:

pH: 7.6

HIGH RANGE pH: Somewhere between 8.0 and 8.2

AMMONIA: 0ppm

NITRITE: 0ppm

NITRATE: Somewhere between 0 and 5.0ppm, closer to 0

What does this indicate? Do things look okay?

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Yeah, I don’t consider Stability worth the expense, but as long as you treat it like a fish-in cycle and watch your parameters (I change my water sooner than Koko recommended and it makes the cycle longer, but same idea) you should be okay.

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1 hour ago, Arctic Mama said:

Yeah, I don’t consider Stability worth the expense, but as long as you treat it like a fish-in cycle and watch your parameters (I change my water sooner than Koko recommended and it makes the cycle longer, but same idea) you should be okay.

Thanks Taryl!

Well, we're on our fourth day of Stability, and we were going to get a couple of fish today to introduce to the tank, but my wife wasn't feeling well so we didn't go; at any rate, the last set of test results from a couple of days ago are a few posts above...should I be testing the water every day?

So, can you concur with Shannon that I can add fish at any point now, continue the Stability for the seven days (Tuesday will be the seventh day) and then...start water changes a couple of days after that or so, depending on what my readings look like?

What did you think of the readings?

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Yeah. Add fish when you’re comfortable and check the water daily, same time, and change when you begin to show ammonia OR if your fish are just acting ‘off’, like floating at the surface, bottom sitting, darting, gasping, etc :)

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35 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Yeah. Add fish when you’re comfortable and check the water daily, same time, and change when you begin to show ammonia OR if your fish are just acting ‘off’, like floating at the surface, bottom sitting, darting, gasping, etc :)

But you think it's okay to add a couple of starter goldies at this point, being that the Stability has been running for almost a week?

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Yes, as long as you watch the parameters you can add at any time. The filter will bounce a bit and mature with the waste load; whether you start now or in three weeks.  It’s just a process that has to be done and the stability doesn’t make much difference except maybe speed the process by a week or two.  It’s still a 4-8 week process, though, at normal indoor aquarium bioloads and temperatures :)

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3 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Yes, as long as you watch the parameters you can add at any time. The filter will bounce a bit and mature with the waste load; whether you start now or in three weeks.  It’s just a process that has to be done and the stability doesn’t make much difference except maybe speed the process by a week or two.  It’s still a 4-8 week process, though, at normal indoor aquarium bioloads and temperatures :)

Thanks for this.

So then what is the difference between what I'm doing and simply throwing fish in without any kind of bio-enhancing product (dechlorinated of course) with a tank filled with tap water right from the beginning?

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Okay, introduced a couple of starter goldies  today -- a young, small common orange fancy and a calico fantail. Both seem to be doing okay, and I added Prime before they went in just for safe measure with regard to our tap water supply they were going into. I will continue the Stability for the seven days (Tuesday will be the seventh) and then take readings to share with you here...

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Keep checking the water....ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

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Okay, just took some readings...amazingly, they didn't change any, really, since I took them three days ago....

We're on the SIXTH day of Stability, and the following is what my API test just read:

pH: Still around 7.6 (is this really that vital of a reading right now?)

High Range pH: Still around 8.0-8.2 (is this really that vital of a reading right now?)

Ammonia: Still somewhere around 0 and 0.25ppm; closer to 0

Nitrite: Still 0ppm

Nitrate: Still somewhere between 0 and 5.0ppm (the color in the test tube comes out like a yellowish-orange, so it's difficult to discern; it's not quite 0 and not quite 5.0)

How do these look? Tomorrow is the last day of Stability, but do I need to begin doing small water changes right now? The fish do not appear to be in distress; they're eating and swimming just fine to my eye.

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Never mind regarding my comment about water changes; I recall what Taryl said about that and what Shannon said about taking the readings every day...

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And can anyone comment on my last round of readings I took? Everything pretty much looks the same as my first batch...does this mean nothing is really happening right now?

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If you reread the cycle page for Kokos we go over the safe way to do a fish in cycle.  Ignore any cloudy water. It will improve with time and the cycle continuing to develop.  Daily checks of your ammonia and nitrite are required right now, and when you begin to show nitrite you can add in the nitrate test.  But you need to proceed like you didn’t add the stability, because the process is still the same.  
 

The daily testing is required to catch spikes once the goldfish are added.  You do not need to monitor until that point though.

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8 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

If you reread the cycle page for Kokos we go over the safe way to do a fish in cycle.  Ignore any cloudy water. It will improve with time and the cycle continuing to develop.  Daily checks of your ammonia and nitrite are required right now, and when you begin to show nitrite you can add in the nitrate test.  But you need to proceed like you didn’t add the stability, because the process is still the same.  
 

The daily testing is required to catch spikes once the goldfish are added.  You do not need to monitor until that point though.

I know the cloudy water will improve with time as the cycle develops -- what I'm asking is, when should this happen? It looks a bit cloudy in there now, but this could be because of my strong bubble bars in the back of the tank.

The goldfish have been added -- they've been in for a couple of days now and are doing well, presumably; are you saying I need to take daily tests now that they're in?

This was the last day of Stability. 

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7 hours ago, ClinicaTerraLTD said:

I know the cloudy water will improve with time as the cycle develops -- what I'm asking is, when should this happen? It looks a bit cloudy in there now, but this could be because of my strong bubble bars in the back of the tank.

The goldfish have been added -- they've been in for a couple of days now and are doing well, presumably; are you saying I need to take daily tests now that they're in?

This was the last day of Stability. 

Yes.

The daily testing is required to catch spikes once the goldfish are added.  You do not need to monitor until that point though.

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On 6/23/2020 at 10:52 PM, koko said:

Yes.

The daily testing is required to catch spikes once the goldfish are added.  You do not need to monitor until that point though.

Do you mean I don't need to monitor until FISH were in?

If so, okay -- they've been in for a couple of days now and I have been monitoring daily...

On my last day of Stability, the readings were the same:

Ammonia: 0-0.25

Nitrite: 0ppm

Nitrate: 0-5.0 

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Just got this response from Seachem; seems they believe the tank is already cycled....:yikes

I apologize for the delayed response; I've had some emergencies to deal with here. It looks as though your tank's cycled with zero ammonia and nitrite, with increasing nitrates. Yes, it's ok to stop using Stability a week after adding your most recent fish. If you add more fish then you'll want to use Stability again for a week.

This seems to be a bit contradictory from what the packaging on the product states, as the bottle says nothing about stopping Stability a week after the most recent fish is put in...it merely states use the product for seven days, period.

 

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Hmmm... that would surprise me, because the filters need to colonize and that takes time (just adding cycled water or bacterial product to the water column doesn’t do it).

But keep testing, if you’re not seeing ammonia after a week of normal feeding I think you can safely say your tank is cycled, since the waste would have started breaking down and you’d definitely register ammonia by then.  I’d be truly surprised if that was the case, so please let us know!

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