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Old 11-07-2003, 12:56 AM   #1
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Cycling Question -- Week 4

What's up aquarium homies!! Its El Pachuco again needing some input on the current state of my tank. I have a 20 gallon tank (see pics) with 4 Zebra Danios that has existed now for 26 days. Its pH has been consistently 7.8, avg temp at 76 degrees F. I had an ammonia spike on my 14th day where it hit 3ppm after having been consistently at 1ppm through the first two weeks. The next day it was at 1ppm again. In week 3 the ammonia level started dipping below and today it measured at 0ppm for the first time. What puzzles me is that I have not had a Nitrite or Nitrate reading the entire time. I'm thinking that it could be to my Danios not putting much of a Bio-load on my system. I never add anything to the water unless I'm changing it. That when I add Bio-Safe. I added Bio-coat before I put the Danios in way back when. I don't think my tank has cycled otherwise I would get a Nitrate reading since it progressively should get larger after a cycle. I'm thinking about adding 2 more fish in there to increase the bio-load to get a reading of some sort on the bacteria side. What do you guys think? Sorry for the long post. Some of you are number purists out there so here you are!! Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks!! Whoops, I forgot to add that there is a slight cloudiness in my tank. Is that a bloom?
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Old 11-07-2003, 07:37 AM   #2
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Interesting.

There was enough ammonia production to cause a decent ammonia spike, yet no nitrites/nitrates? You might want to bring a sample of water to a lfs and have it double checked. Maybe something is wrong with the other tests?

*does a little research*

Ahhh. Ok. BioSafe is an ammonia converter. It will cause false positive readings on Nessler ammonia tests. I'll just about guarantee thats the problem. What it does is convert toxic ammonia to non-toxic ammonium. Thing is, Nessler tests can't tell the difference. You need a salicyte test for that. Plus, ammonia eating bacteria don't readily chow down on the converted ammonia, which really slows down the cycle...

And yeah, sounds like a bloom. Is the cloudiness whitish or greenish?
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Old 11-07-2003, 11:27 AM   #3
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Its a white cloudiness. I've done only two water changes so far. In week 2 I did a 10% change and then a 20% change in week 3. I think in week 3 that was when the cloud appeared. The change cleared it up but it returned in about two days. That's the only time I've added the bio-safe; at the start of my tank, and during both water changes. That LFS test is a good idea. Maybe I'll do that this weekend. BTW, I have the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master test kit and a Nitrate test kit from the same company. I don't know if its a Nessler test or not. I'd have to do some research myself. Thanks!!
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Old 11-07-2003, 11:37 AM   #4
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Don't forget that even after the cycle is down it will only produce enough bacteria to support a bioload of 4 danios. Each fish added will start teh cycle again. Can you get some bio-spira at a loacl store? It is the only proven bacteria in a bottle that works. If you can find it follow the directs and your tank will be cycled in 24 hours and ready for a full load of fish.
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Old 11-07-2003, 12:35 PM   #5
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I know. I'm only going to introduce two fish at a time and in two week intervals so that my tank can catch up. Unfortunately my LFS doesn't have Bio-Spira otherwise I'd pick some up. I just wish I could see some dang readings of bacteria. I'm going to go to the LFS to get my water tested.
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Old 11-07-2003, 02:35 PM   #6
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Make sure you ask the lfs what kind of test they are using, it's pretty likely they're using the same kinda test you are.

I'd reccommend ceasing use of biosafe. That way you'll get your cycle going properly, and your ammonia readings will be accurate.
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Old 11-07-2003, 08:22 PM   #7
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Ok...I'm using something called aquasafe to take the chlorine out of my water. Is that the same as biosafe? I hope not if biosafe is not good for tanks.
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Old 11-07-2003, 08:32 PM   #8
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Aquasafe removes chlorine and chloramine, and neutralizes heavy metals. All good stuff and what you want a tap water conditioner to do. It doesn't touch ammonia, which is the concern with BioSafe. It does, however, also claim to "provide special ingredients that coat and protect the gills and membranes of fish". That, IMHO, a load of crap and not very useful. Just means more chemicals in your tank, and quite frankly healthy fish don't NEED to coat and protect thier membranes and gills; thats why they have slimecoats. Checkout the first paragraph here; I agree with it: http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/doc...itioners.shtml
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Old 11-07-2003, 08:43 PM   #9
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Alli, what you are saying, and bear with me here, is "do not use water conditioner that removes ammonia during cycling process." It seems perfectly reasonable to me even though I have used my Prime during cycling without thinking - that is what my LFS recommended as "best" water conditioner. Do you believe that aforementioned conditioner with ammonia remover and "supplying protective coat" could be further used after cycling or I had better write off the $5 that I spent as irrecoverable expense and have a regular chlorine-chloramine-heavy metals one?
thanks, Gregor
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Old 11-07-2003, 08:43 PM   #10
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So is there anything out there that just removes chlorine from tap water without all that other stuff?

I suppose I could just use the hose outside from the creek (the water tests on that puppy make everyone drool LOL We could bottle that stuff.) But that water would be very cold in the winter and sometimes dries up in the summer. So it would be a pain.

I just can't leave bowls of water and what not sitting around for two days for chlorine to settle. My cat will drink it, my daughter will spill it, and gnats tend to appear in my house if you leave anything liquid or food out for longer than 3 hours.

Thanks.
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