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Should I Add Anything Else To My Water?


nickie73

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Should I be adding anything else to my water when I set my tank up? Right now, I only add Prime. Will this be something I will have to consider AFTER the tank is set up and the water tested during and/or after cycling?

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Do you mean when setting up a new tank? When I'm getting a new tank going I use prime and biozyme. I'm not sure if the biozyme (it's bacterial culture) really helps, but I have it so I use it :rolleyes: . Other than that, prime is all I use.

Chrissy

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You can use Prime as an aid in cycling. It binds harmful ammonia and nitrItes for 24hrs, although they will still register on most test kits. Still test your water daily and if anything is registering add a half dose of Prime daily. If the ammonia/nitrIte register 1ppm then do a 50% water change.

During the cycling stage I use a product called "Cycle" which is a bacterial suppliment.

After the tank is cycled it is only necessary to use a water conditioner such as Prime when adding new water, you can still use "Cycle" every week in a lower maintenance dose and I would recommend doing that for at least the first 6-9 months.

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Hi Nickie!

I don't want to hi-jack your thread here, but I do have a question about what Fishmerized posted. If the ammonia still registers on the drop test with Prime added to the water, then how do you know if your ammonia levels are actually still high? I had an ammonia level showing of .05 and added a capful of Prime, which would've been enough to treat a 50 gallon. My tank is 30, but I've been told you can't really overdose with Prime on that level. I waited 15 minutes, and it still showed .05, and then I read your post about it would still register. This may seem like a silly question, but I'm sort of confused about that. :stupid:

Thanks for letting me butt :booty in Nickie!

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No problem! Also, where can you get Cycle?

It's sold just about everywhere all the other water conditioners are sold. I personally hate the stuff. I think it made my water quality bad when I used it, so I threw it all out and I'm never using it again. Your mileage may vary however.

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yeah, bio-spira is a good product, i've been told that cycle and all those others dont work, I sometimes add it when cycling a tank incase the ammonia get too high even though I know it wont do anything lol, I guess I do it just incase it does make a tiny difference

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I've never had any trouble with "Cycle". I cycled my first 30g tank from scratch in 3 weeks using "Cycle". Now I only use it after cleaning or replacing the filter media.

Everyone has different experiences using different products, there are a few of them to choose from now. I guess it's just trial and error to see what suits you best. Some people think all these products are useless and a waste of money so it's really up to personal choice.

Vickie, it's actually good that you still get a test reading after using Prime, that way you're not flying in the dark, so to speak. I think you want to know how much Prime you have to use to bind up that .05 reading. Good question because Seachem won't tell me when I've asked on their forum, they sort of skirt around the question just saying to add the recommended dosage. I can only tell you my own experience by trial and error, that was to use a half daily dose for any reading under 1ppm. If higher than that do a 50% change if possible.

I cycled a 200g tub without doing any water changes (because it was so huge) and it took ages even using "Cycle" as it was lightly stocked. I used Prime everyday, when readings got above 1pmm I used the full recommended dose. My highest readings were around ammonia 2.5ppm and nitrIte 1ppm from memory. All I can say is that my fish did not show any symptoms of ammonia/nitrIte sensitivity and they are still around today, two years later. I think the "Cycle" helped keep the ammonia/nitrIte levels so low too. This was very expensive as I used a lot of "Cycle" and Prime.

Anyway, that's my experience, if it helps.

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PRime will bind the ammonia/nitrite in to non-toxic forms that the BB can utilize. It is invaluable to use when cycling a tank with fish in it - it will protect your fish from serious injury. To read the amount of "free" or "total" ammonia - you need different test kits.

As far as BioSPira - it is, indeed, the ONLY product I have ever found that actually adds the BB to a cycling tank. Other products, such as Cycle to not actually ADD bacteria, but supposedly help make the water/environment into a more forgiving place for the BB to grow.

BioSpira is VERY pricy and, contrary to an "experiment" of a few years ago, does need to be refrigerated to remain in full strength. Expect to pay between $24-30 dollars for a tiny dose - for one tank. What you get is a slurry of live BB that you can add to your tank.

This, in itself is very problematic. Because of the way the BB are suspended in a liquid slurry, I find BioSpira to have a very very narrow use range. The BB are not attached to any surface when you dump them in. They, instead, are free floating in your tank's water. If, then, you change out the water anytime in the next couple of weeks, you are effectively dumping that expensive slurry right down the drain. IT takes time for the BB to attach to the media and sides of the tank - particularly in a cycling tank that has an overabundance of ammonia/nitrite floating freely in the water column. The BB has no reason to attach - for the time being it has all it needs readily available in the water. As the ammonia/nitrite levels lower, the BB will attach to all surfaces, concentrating on the places with available ammonia/nitrite/oxygen such as the filter media.

Since, during a cycle with fish, you cannot forgo changing water, you cannot really use the BioSpira.

I DO like to use BioSpira when I need to get a cycle ASAP - but can do it fishless. I feed the tank the standard 3-4 ppm clear ammonia from the bottle, and then add the BioSpira. Careful monitoring of the parameters and additions of more ammonia as the first is processed is necessary, until you can have the cycle process ammonia through to nitrate within 24 hours, each and every addition. I usually give it another 5-7 days of full cycle before changing out 90-100% of the water and adding fish.

Adding BioSpira is like adding all the media from a well cycled tank into your new tank - but it is completely sterile - guaranteed. :)

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Is biospria a liquid? The biozyme I got is dried but you only add about an 1/8 of a teaspoon per 10 gallons. It definatly cleared up cloudy water when I used it, but as for cycling, I really don't know.

Chrissy

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