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Look At What A Seachem Rep Said!


Lolafish

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First of all, it took 6 days to get an answer to my question from them on their message boards, so I was pretty miffed as it was. I am using their product STABILITY, which is my second chance for this product becuz it didn't do anything the first time, except raise Nitrites out of control!

So after telling them, that after starting the STABILITY on week 9 of my 45g. rubbermaid, all it did was raise the nitrites from .5ppm to 5ppm! Of course there are no fish in this tank. I cannot believe they advocate using this product with fish. It would be disasterous in each of the two times I've tried it.

I did tell them if I didn't get an answer soon, I was going to go out and buy their competitor's product, BIO SPIRA. Probably not the most tactful thing to say, but everyone else on their message boards was getting answers within 24 hours, so I was not a happy camper.

Here is their answer:

"...Stability will provide you with the right types of bacteria that you will need to complete the nitrogen cycle. I would suggest continuing to add the Stability as you have been for the full seven days. You are correct that you cannot overdose Stability and that any unnecessary bacteria will just die off. I suggest not to add any more ammonia into the tank for now and see if this helps alleviate the nitrite levels. Since you have had fish in there previously and with the addition of all of the ammonia you have been adding, you should have enough waste for the bacteria to feed on for quite some time. You can discontinue water changes at this point since you have no fish in there."

Why would they say quit adding ammonia? Then the BB's that convert ammonia to nitrite will die, due to lack of food....and the whole cycle stalls anyway. Am I right?

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They seem to be saying that there should be extra ammonia is the waste at the bottom of the tank so that you need not feed more ammonia manually at this point. But if that's not true then the cycle would stall out, that's certainly a risk. Even if it was true, I'm not sure why it'd be a necessary move anyway, as it sounds like you're doing a fishless cycle.

Their advice seems to be aimed at a particular scenario, and not a general complaint on the behavior of their product.

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I might stand corrected...here is what a rep from Marineland said:

Hello there,

We are not big supporters of fishless cycling. It is generally harder to do that way. Stop adding ammonia for now, as you obviously have that particular type of bacteria established in the tank. Each time you add ammonia, the bacteria breaks it down into nitrite. The fact that there are 20 ppm of nitrates indicates you have cycled the tank. Monitor the tank, let it sit for one or two days. Do not add ammonia, and watch the level of nitrite. Once it reaches 2.0, add Bio-Spira, wait 24 hours then add 2-3 small fish, and let the tank be for a couple of weeks before adding any more fish.

The other option is to do a large water change, like 75%, wait 24 hours, add Bio Spira, wait a couple of hours then add 2-3 small fish.

Regards,

Marineland

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Now I have to figure out what to do. I stopped using STABILITY yesterday. I think that product is bogus. I did add my ammonia though. But I'll go ahead and give it a rest for a couple of days, and see if the nitrites start to drop. I kinda have the feeling that that is not going to happen unless I do a large water change though.

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Maybe they just don't understand the fishless cycle?

And - I thought Bio-Spira was supposed to give a quick cycle?

Once it reaches 2.0, add Bio-Spira, wait 24 hours then add 2-3 small fish, and let the tank be for a couple of weeks before adding any more fish

All Marineland is doing is replacing you adding ammonia with adding a few small fish. It seems to me that NOT adding ammonia in a fishless cycle would be like removing the fish in a fish cycle.

When I first started doing the fishless cycle, we were at Pet* Co getting food. Hubby asked an employee if there was anything to start a cycle. I told her that I was doing a fishless cycle, and she looked at me like I was from Mars. I explained the ammonia, and she kept saying that I needed to get a fish in there. Finally - in a huff - she said "Well you're not going to see anything happen until you get a fish in there." and she walked away.

Some people are just thick, I guess. :idont

Debbie

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OK...... stop..... let's think about this.

When you add BioSpira you are adding a slurry of live BB to the WATER of the tank. They start processing ammonia and nitrite immediately - as soon as they come into contact with them. Hense the claim that BioSpira gives you an "instant cycle". It DOES. BUT..... two problems with this method jump out and bite you.

1. The BioSpira adds a slurry of BB. This is NOT fastened in the media or gravel or tank sides or deco or anything. It is IN THE WATER. There, the BB can easily process ammonia/nitrite, but they are only in the water. If you do a water change, you dump the BB down the drain. So you MUST NOT change the water for at least 2 weeks to make sure that the BB have enough time to fasten a sufficiant colony ON the media/gravel/glass/deco of the tank. That is very difficult to do - for most goldfish cannot withstand two weeks of "waste" without some help - water change, etc.

2. BioSpira's measurements for additions are built on the needes of TROPICALS. The amount of BB that you add will build a small cycle for a small number of TROPICAL fish. If these 2-3 small tropicals are fed lightly and monitored, it is possible to let the tank go for 2 weeks - for all you will get is a small amount of nitrate at the end of the 2 weeks. Goldfish are MESSY. Even one goldfish can quickly overwhelm a tank within a week or so - even if the cycle is working. The resulting nitrates can get high. So you have to balance feeding the fish enough to keep them happy and producing sufficiant waste for the cycle, but not too much waste such that the tank is overwhelmed ..... Even this done - 2 weeks is a LOOOOONG time - and it only will result in a very small colony of BB. You will still have to baby and nurse along the developing cycle until it is more robust.

The best of all worlds is a fishless cycle using BioSpira. You can add the BioSpira and then just feed the tank for a few weeks - for you do not care about protecting any fish. The way to build a large colony of BB is to feed them more - if there is more "food", more BB can grow - and you can steadily grow larger and larger colonies until you have a cycle built large enough that it can support a messy goldfish. From then on, as you add a new source of waste (another fish), you cycle may "bump" a bit for a day or two as the BB colony grows to catch up with the available food source.

After you have a ROBUST cycle created, you should be able to add and substract fish easily - with no obvious bump to the cycle.

The reason we suggest using 2-4ppm ammonia is that this is generally the amount of ammonia that one medium goldfish will produce in a day. You are attempting to grow a cycle that is capable of processing this amount every 24 hours. IT is also the concentration that is the highest you can have and still not bother the developing BB. Much higher and their growth is inhibited.

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Daryl,

You know that, we know that...but do Seachem and Marineland know that?

All I want to do is get the nitrites to disappear. I guess I was hoping that an accelerator being used in this empty tank doing a fishless cycle, would help process those nitrites faster than doing it the old' fashioned way.

I think I may have made my condition worse by adding STABILITY (even though they said it would help at this point), because the moderate level of nitrites have spiked to the highest color on the test chart using API, and this is already with 6+ weeks of nitrites showing.

I still have to figure out what to do. My thoughts are that feeding the tank 3ppm ammonia per day, ensures a nice colony of BB's later. I wish the nitrites weren't so stubborn, but it looks like patience is the only thing that will go in my favor. I think I'll stop trying to speed it up (no matter how frustrating), and keep with the way I've been doing it.

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The more ammonia youput in, the more nitrites you will get. Until the second type of BB gets their rears in gear and start processing, the first type will continue to process the ammonia into nitrite, where it will remain.

The second type of BB is rather finicky. If you have been having pH abberations or temp problems (etc.) they may be simply not growing sufficiantly. Once you have your kH and pH under control, they should begin to grow - with or without Stability or Cycle or even BioSpira.

That which SeaChem and Marineland both do not tell you anything but the truth. But the answers they are giving are for questions other than what you are asking.

You are asking in regards to GOLDFISH.

They are discussing in regards to TROPICALS.

Apples and oranges. Spin. Call it what you wish. They are not wrong, just not right.

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The more ammonia youput in, the more nitrites you will get. Until the second type of BB gets their rears in gear and start processing, the first type will continue to process the ammonia into nitrite, where it will remain.

The second type of BB is rather finicky. If you have been having pH abberations or temp problems (etc.) they may be simply not growing sufficiantly. Once you have your kH and pH under control, they should begin to grow - with or without Stability or Cycle or even BioSpira.

That which SeaChem and Marineland both do not tell you anything but the truth. But the answers they are giving are for questions other than what you are asking.

You are asking in regards to GOLDFISH.

They are discussing in regards to TROPICALS.

Apples and oranges. Spin. Call it what you wish. They are not wrong, just not right.

I did explain everything to them both..that I have goldies, but maybe they don't realize there's a difference.

I monitor PH and KH daily - always have. I also always keep temp. above 78 - and right now, there's a heater set at 80 in that particular tank. I am spending a fortune on buffers, and I don't let the KH fall below 100, which keeps the PH at 7.8 and above. It's been like this for the whole couple of months. I was having stability problems in the 55, but even then, never longer than a few hours, as I monitor constantly. (see my receipts for API tests, and I could build a second home with the money spent!) :rofl

One thing is for sure...the nitrites are stubborn.

I'll get off my soap box now. :yeah:

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