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

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On 7/12/2020 at 7:26 PM, ClinicaTerraLTD said:

Koko,

Would you be able to help with some additional API test readings? We STILL have the bacterial bloom...

I'll try.

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36 minutes ago, koko said:

I'll try.

So we ended a second round of the Seachem Stability treatment on the 14th, and as of yesterday (the 15th), the results were:

Ammonia: 0.25 - 0.50 ppm

Nitrite: 0 ppm

Nitrate: 0 - 5.0 (a dark yellow color on the API chart)

 

As I said, we're still in the midst of a bacterial bloom and these numbers don't seem to change much; the tank has been up and running for about a month now, with the fish in it for just a little less.

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Can you test your tap water for me.... All a crossed the board please :) 

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On 7/17/2020 at 10:55 PM, koko said:

Can you test your tap water for me.... All a crossed the board please :) 

Tap water was tested a few days ago -- ALL came through as 0 ppm...

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Are you running the  Aqueon LED PRO QuietFlow 75 with the carbon in the filter?

What kind of filter floss and what nots are in the Aqualclear? 

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22 hours ago, koko said:

Are you running the  Aqueon LED PRO QuietFlow 75 with the carbon in the filter?

What kind of filter floss and what nots are in the Aqualclear? 

Yes, carbon is in the Aqueon; they are two new cartridges I put in there after I discovered the ones that come in the box with the filter (we bought it new) were stuffed up and causing overflow after only a couple of weeks (they didn't rinse out when I tried). I suspect this switch to the new carts did something to the cycle, but didn't think it was THAT significant...

As for the AquaClear, I'm running the stock foam block on bottom, a layer of floss in the middle and then the Biomax on top. Just today, I took out the media basket from that filter and rinsed the pieces in dechlorinated tap water out of suspicion they may have been clogged....my suspicion was correct, in that a TON of uneaten food, waste and more came out of the foam block and floss when I squeezed em....

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On 7/19/2020 at 10:15 PM, ClinicaTerraLTD said:

Yes, carbon is in the Aqueon; they are two new cartridges I put in there after I discovered the ones that come in the box with the filter (we bought it new) were stuffed up and causing overflow after only a couple of weeks (they didn't rinse out when I tried). I suspect this switch to the new carts did something to the cycle, but didn't think it was THAT significant...

As for the AquaClear, I'm running the stock foam block on bottom, a layer of floss in the middle and then the Biomax on top. Just today, I took out the media basket from that filter and rinsed the pieces in dechlorinated tap water out of suspicion they may have been clogged....my suspicion was correct, in that a TON of uneaten food, waste and more came out of the foam block and floss when I squeezed em....

Those kinds of filters are a pain in the butt. You have to use there filter floss and most come with carbon. You dont need carbon unless your trying to get meds out of the water or the water might smell. I dont know if there is a way you can use that filter and just place filter floss in there instead of there stuff.

Well that could have been part of the problem. 

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15 minutes ago, koko said:

Those kinds of filters are a pain in the butt. You have to use there filter floss and most come with carbon. You dont need carbon unless your trying to get meds out of the water or the water might smell. I dont know if there is a way you can use that filter and just place filter floss in there instead of there stuff.

Well that could have been part of the problem. 

I know the cartridges aren't ideal; what I normally do is run them and run them, and then dunk/rinse them off in removed tank water (as I do with my AquaClear 110's media) from time to time to preserve the bacteria colonies. I was told that it doesn't matter if the carbon gets exhausted, and that it's a myth that toxic elements can be leeched back into the tank. 

But at any rate, I have since added bio rings and a small foam block to the Aqueon's intake chamber. Why do you think these filters could have been the problem? 

As an aside -- hope you're not in the midst of that madness going on near Portland...

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In my experience it can take up to three months for a tank to cycle.  That advice about letting the mulm build up in the filter and doing water changes is good.  Personally, i like to use an ammonia binder such as seachem prime to bind up the ammonia from time to time when you get those inevitable ammonia spikes and later nitrite spikes (watch out for those! :Dont-Believe:) during the fish-in cycle process.  It will help prevent the fish from getting injured when their water is all ouchy.

Also, i prefered tetra safe start when i started from scratch but lately im uncertain these tank starter bottles do very much at all.    I suppose  it may help "seed" the filter with some bacteria but really the main food source for the bacteria has to be the excretions from the fish.   Once the tank is cycled its a continuous thing hence the term "cycle".   Its a cascading cycle of bacteria eating food and releasing wastes which results in nitrogen gas wafting from the surface of the water.  If the circulation of the water stops or theres no surface agitation of the water, the gas in unable to be released and the cycle stops.   If the food source for the bacteria stops (a tank with no fish or food) the bacteria die and the cycle stops.   This is why during power outages we have to be careful and keep afew battery backup air pumps or wave makers.  Its just to move the water around a little and allow the gas to be released to stave off a tank crash a.k.a. cycle crash.

There are other ways to cycle a tank by using a bunch of pre cycled media from an already established tank.  For this reason im running a bunch if spare media in my tank.

So for now, you just gotta hurry up and wait for your tank to cycle.  

Goodluck! :)

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On 7/25/2020 at 9:21 AM, Goldfishbeginner said:

In my experience it can take up to three months for a tank to cycle.  That advice about letting the mulm build up in the filter and doing water changes is good.  Personally, i like to use an ammonia binder such as seachem prime to bind up the ammonia from time to time when you get those inevitable ammonia spikes and later nitrite spikes (watch out for those! :Dont-Believe:) during the fish-in cycle process.  It will help prevent the fish from getting injured when their water is all ouchy.

Also, i prefered tetra safe start when i started from scratch but lately im uncertain these tank starter bottles do very much at all.    I suppose  it may help "seed" the filter with some bacteria but really the main food source for the bacteria has to be the excretions from the fish.   Once the tank is cycled its a continuous thing hence the term "cycle".   Its a cascading cycle of bacteria eating food and releasing wastes which results in nitrogen gas wafting from the surface of the water.  If the circulation of the water stops or theres no surface agitation of the water, the gas in unable to be released and the cycle stops.   If the food source for the bacteria stops (a tank with no fish or food) the bacteria die and the cycle stops.   This is why during power outages we have to be careful and keep afew battery backup air pumps or wave makers.  Its just to move the water around a little and allow the gas to be released to stave off a tank crash a.k.a. cycle crash.

There are other ways to cycle a tank by using a bunch of pre cycled media from an already established tank.  For this reason im running a bunch if spare media in my tank.

So for now, you just gotta hurry up and wait for your tank to cycle.  

Goodluck! :)

Hi Goldfishbeginner,

 

Sorry for the delay in responding to this; indeed, with regard to the bacteria kickstarting products, I think the next time I start up a tank I am going to try your mentioned Tetra SafeStart, as I have read that it's the only one on the market that actually USES the nitrifying bacteria needed to seed a tank -- regardless of the fact that I happen to otherwise love Seachem products.

 

Here's the thing, though, and hopefully you or someone else can lend some insight: I did a 50-percent water change yesterday, which was the two-week mark Seachem advised me to wait to see what would happen with regard to my test numbers (the Seachem rep, who won't respond to me anymore for some reason, told me not to touch anything in the tank or add anything to the water during this two weeks...so all I did was top off the aquarium with fresh water treated with Prime once). The tank is ridiculously crystal-clear and shows no signs of bacterial bloom anymore, suggesting to me something has gone right -- however, my test numbers are STILL coming back the same, with traces of ammonia AND nitrates:

 

Ammonia is still around 0.25, not 0 (the test tube color continuously comes back a light GREEN, not the YELLOW that should indicate 0 ppms)

Nitrite is STILL reading 0 -- no matter how many times I run this test (the color in the tube comes back the aqua blue, indicating 0 ppms)

NitrAte is STILL reading somewhere between 0 and 5.0 (the color in the tube comes back as a somewhat dark YELLOW, not ORANGE, which indicates it's somewhere between 0 and 5.0 ppms)

 

Can you or anyone else explain this? Seachem advised me, in the last email conversation I had with the rep, that at this point I should "call it good" and accept that everything is normal...and that for some reason he couldn't explain, ever, my tank is going to have constant slight traces of ammonia. But I don't understand how my tank can be fully cycled if ammonia is still reading 0.25 and nitrAtes are reading slightly higher than 0...is this because it can take, as you mentioned, up to three months to cycle and that I'm NOT fully cycled? If so, why is my water so clear?

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I think what is going on is either the filters aren't keeping up with the cycle or you might be reading the test tube chart a little different each time? 

Is there decorations in the tank or plants? 

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3 hours ago, koko said:

I think what is going on is either the filters aren't keeping up with the cycle or you might be reading the test tube chart a little different each time? 

Is there decorations in the tank or plants? 

Can you explain the statement about the filters not keeping up with the cycle? And no, I'm definitely reading the chart EXACTLY each time. If there are discrepancies, they're so small as to not be able to make them out with the naked eye (such as a light green color being EVER so slightly more yellow, etc.).

There are decorations in the tank but no live plants.

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I think what youre doing will be fine.   I use those api freshwater master kit and during cycling that  ammonia test often test gives that notorious .25% reading.   Other ammonia tests ive tried dont seem as sensitive and always read zero.   Anyway i think its fine.  You can just enjoy your aquarium let it cycle for your two or three more months.   Just watch out for a big ammonia spike amd then manage it with prime.  It'll work out.   I think koko may be suggesting more bio media.  Thats usually never a bad idea.   I recently made a big kaldness k1 filter out of a Hawaiian punch bottle.   Its not exactly the nicest aquarium decore but it works.   Also we drank that whole thing of hawaiian punch so that probably wasnt so great for us.  Ha!

 You gotta find cory from aquarium co-ops youtube video to see how to make those if youre interested.   But theres tons of ways to add bio filtration to a tank.

Eventually, even the api liquid test will read with zero traces of ammonia.  It will be just a very yellow colored tube.  I actually like using those api test strips lately becuase theyre done in 30 seconds and put me at ease because they tend to show my water having better params. :idont

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1 hour ago, Goldfishbeginner said:

I think what youre doing will be fine.   I use those api freshwater master kit and during cycling that  ammonia test often test gives that notorious .25% reading.   Other ammonia tests ive tried dont seem as sensitive and always read zero.   Anyway i think its fine.  You can just enjoy your aquarium let it cycle for your two or three more months.   Just watch out for a big ammonia spike amd then manage it with prime.  It'll work out.   I think koko may be suggesting more bio media.  Thats usually never a bad idea.   I recently made a big kaldness k1 filter out of a Hawaiian punch bottle.   Its not exactly the nicest aquarium decore but it works.   Also we drank that whole thing of hawaiian punch so that probably wasnt so great for us.  Ha!

 You gotta find cory from aquarium co-ops youtube video to see how to make those if youre interested.   But theres tons of ways to add bio filtration to a tank.

Eventually, even the api liquid test will read with zero traces of ammonia.  It will be just a very yellow colored tube.  I actually like using those api test strips lately becuase theyre done in 30 seconds and put me at ease because they tend to show my water having better params. :idont

Thanks very much for putting my mind at ease about this; indeed, my water is CRYSTAL clear and the fish are doing incredibly well, swimming, eating, playing and seemingly growing DAILY. Something must be right....I'll keep my eye on the ammonia spikes.

Can you explain what's going on with the nitrites remaining at zero from the beginning, though...and why I'm not seeing a spike in nitrates?

As for the bio media and Shannon's suggestion, I see that; I have actually done that (added more bio media) to my Aqueon HOB, in which I went out and got the Hagen/Fluval Bio Max pellets for the AquaClear 30 and placed that small bag in the intake chamber of the filter, along with a sponge...the AquaClear 110 on my tank has two bags of the Bio Max on top, but would you recommend even more?

By the way -- what part of NY are you in? I was raised and spent most of my life in Long Island. :thumb:

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Excuse me for delayed response.  I should check back more frequently.     Well it sure sounds like you have a lot of bio media.  

The best way i can explain is that it goes  ammonia ---> nitrosomonas bacteria--> nitrite----> nitrobacter bacteria---> and finally nitrate.   So if youre not seeing nitrite that may mean the first bacteria set of nitrosomonas isnt really going yet.  Hopefully you wont see a big nitrite spike though becuase thats really toxic.  Thats what the emergency dose of prime is for.   So just watch out for that.

A crystal clear water tank is beautiful but not the best for fish.  Its basically, that uncycled tank look.   It does look great when first set up. 

I live in upstste NY in catskill.   A few people that i work with are from long island.  I love it in catskill and general upstate area.  Actually grew up in dutchess country which is across the river from where i live now.   Its a nice rural type thing going on around here.  Pretty relaxing.   

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54 minutes ago, Goldfishbeginner said:

Excuse me for delayed response.  I should check back more frequently.     Well it sure sounds like you have a lot of bio media.  

The best way i can explain is that it goes  ammonia ---> nitrosomonas bacteria--> nitrite----> nitrobacter bacteria---> and finally nitrate.   So if youre not seeing nitrite that may mean the first bacteria set of nitrosomonas isnt really going yet.  Hopefully you wont see a big nitrite spike though becuase thats really toxic.  Thats what the emergency dose of prime is for.   So just watch out for that.

A crystal clear water tank is beautiful but not the best for fish.  Its basically, that uncycled tank look.   It does look great when first set up. 

I live in upstste NY in catskill.   A few people that i work with are from long island.  I love it in catskill and general upstate area.  Actually grew up in dutchess country which is across the river from where i live now.   Its a nice rural type thing going on around here.  Pretty relaxing.   

Really? Crystal-clear water isn't that good for fish?

That's the first time I'm hearing that; I thought it had more to do with the levels that come up in tests...

Yeah, I was pretty far from upstate but had been to the Catskills a few times for different things -- remember the Concord resort? I used to go there quite often. 

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Oh sure the levels are important.  And its possible to keep a really clear water tank.  Ive heard it described as "air tank" becuase the fish look like theyre flying in air.  Im basing this newfound knowledge on this guys youtubes video.  I found it quite excellent.

 

Here is the video i saw explaining that.  I should have put this in the last post.

 

Lately, im trying to get some agea going and i just decided to order full spectrum led lights.   I think i had zooplankton or something becuase my water is kinda milky colored.   So im removing my fish doimg 100% water change including water in canister filters.   Amd going to try to go with the new lights.

 

My old current USA lights didnt seem to be doing it.  Its a bummer becuase i had invested some money into those lights.  Those lights just had white and blue leds.   My new lights will have whites, blues, reds, and a couple green leds.

Oh yea, catskill is known for a lot of resorts and stuff.  Im unfamiliar with that resort becuase ive never visited but i live near it.   Theres neat stuff to do for sure.

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