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Old 02-08-2006, 03:24 AM   #1
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Biospira???

Is this a good item or no? I heard that if you put this in your tank that it will cycle in about a week or so. The package claims (take your fish and this home and combine and be done with it) Basicly thats what it says. What are your opinons on this? Here is a site for it...


http://www.marineland.com/products/m...l_biospira.asp
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Old 02-08-2006, 04:47 AM   #2
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The one thing I've so far been concluding is that there's a lot of room for error with BioSpira. That's mainly because it deals with the dominate live bacteria found in nature. Cycle, NitroMax and others deal with suspended or dorment bacteria that are similar to though more inferior species of nitrifying bacteria. It is more versatile and little room for any error. These are meant to be a substitute until the natural bio has a chance to establish.

I have heard about many complaints dealing with BioSpira and unexpected ammonia spikes. It is suppose to be an automatic start, instead of the slow version of waiting the establishment out. Problem is, you run the risk of overdosing and creating that ammonia spike that isn't suppose to happen and they start to lose a tank full of fish.

The natural establishing behavior of the BioSpira species is the core to this complication. In nature, when an environment starts to create ammonia in a 'virgin' system, these bacterias over populate themselves as sort of a stratigic way to meet the the demands of waste load. This itself leads to a portion of the bacteria dying, adding to the ammonia. Once a balance is met between ammonia and bacteria, the levels of ammonia start to go down and finally balance to zero. The same takes place with the bacteria that eat nitrite and then nitrate. However, nitrate eating bacteria are far different from those that eat ammonia and nitrite. A specially constructed sand bed or denitrate medias and water changes remove nitrate.

BioSpira has to be properly dosed or you risk a serious problem. With the substitutes, that worry is eliminated. You can double dose...even triple dose and it's not going to cause to problems. It's harmless. Very little room for errors, if any.

My overall opinion is...

Better off to wait it out and let nature takes it's course than to hurry it up. Time and patience is key to a successful aquarium.
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:11 AM   #3
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Great. Thanks for that info. I think I will do just that. I hear the normal cycle takes about 6 weeks is that so?
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:27 AM   #4
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The length of time a cycle establishes depends on the environment. Sometimes it can only take a couple of weeks such as a tank with live rock. Sometimes it can take 6 to 8 weeks for systems without live rock. Test the water frequently. This will be your guide.

Ammonia levels generally start to show in a non seeded 'virgin' tank (no live rock or live sand) during the beginning of the second week with an appropriate population of hardy fish as starters or using fish food to create the ammonia that kick starts the establishment. This is a good time to start monitoring toxicity levels of both ammonia and nitrite. Ammonia will top off then start to come down. As the ammonia levels go down, nitrite levels begin to rise. Nitrite is the by product of the ammonia breakdown. Once nitrites level to zero and ammonia is leveled to zero and nitrates are below 25ppm (for marine/fish only)...below 15ppm for reef expected to house coral..will it then be safe to start adding more livestock.

Get yourself a good marine book if you don't already have one. Tullock, Axlrod, and Sprung are three of some of the more respected authors in the trade.
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:32 AM   #5
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Oh...BTW...A tank with live rock and live sand may start showing ammonia levels in as little as a few days to up to a week.
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:42 AM   #6
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Ok here is what I have in mind. I have the porky wich I am going to get rid of because I dont want him to die or anything. He is in the classifieds. If not here I will sell him to a LFS. Anyway I will have 32 pounds of LR in my tank along with 40 pounds of Live sand. No mind you I already have had 2 damsels, 5 hermits, and a snail in it for about a week or so. The puffer has been in there for going on 2 days he seems stressed so I am going to get him out asap. Anyway Will it be ok to leave the 2 damsels and the hermits and the snail in there while it cycles? I should get the 25 pounds of LR tomorrow there is 7 1/2 pounds in the tank now. Once I add them and get rid of the puffer it will sit and cycle so I can do it right. Is this a ok way to do it? Should I clean the uneaten food out that the puffer didnt eat before i start the cycle? I realize it already has started but before I add the LR and REALLY start things off? Thanks again.
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Old 02-08-2006, 07:40 AM   #7
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Definitely remove all uneaten food and should be done shortly after the food goes in the tank. The puffer does need to come out. Not a good fish for cycling. Though hardy once established in their environments, they do poorly with rising levels of toxins. BTW...any crustacean is not safe from any puffer. What's the porky???

I'd suggest doing 10% water changes twice a week for two weeks to down any waste the puffer and excess food has built up. Granted many animals can adapt to slow rising levels of toxins, but even they can fall to fast rising toxins. The more waste, the more uneaten food, the quicker the ammonia will rise. Don't be surprised if you lose the snail and hermits. Crustaceans should go into an established tank. They do not do well with ammonia. You could try to protect the ones you have by adding a supplimental bio additive like NitroMax Marine. The damsels are fairly hardy and commonly used to cycle marine tanks.

I'd wait until the water is fully tested (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and SG) before adding more live rock. If there is a good amount of ammonia and/or nitrite, it could kill some of the bio on the live rock and add to the ammonia. If it's at least 40 gallons, adding some type of rock is fine. Many people use lava rock and lace rock to add to the live rock. It will eventually become just as impregnated with the same microorganisms the live rock has. It will become live rock. Makes it a bit less expensive too

Feeding should be extremely sparing during the cycle's establishment. With live rock...about 3 minutes worth of food split into two or more feeds twice a week. This will help keep ammonia from rising too fast yet still allow the fish to eat. If they refuse to eat, it'll most likely be because of nitrite levels. Just stick it out. They'll do fine. There are many species of fish that can go a very long time without food. Water condition is most important when it comes to keeping fish alive. Once the cycle is established, the same feeding pattern, twice a week, but about five minutes worth of food split into two or more feeds. Fish will eat and graze on natural growth in the system. Two days a week adding food is enough unless the rock is lacking natural growth such as macro algae and copepods. If you have more active/hyper fish like tangs and wrasses, add a day.

Once the puffer is gone and other arrangements made, then yes...kick back and let it do it's thing. You can do 10% water changes once a week or 15% once every two weeks after those few extra water changes are done and keep it routine.

How big is the tank? Describe it...type filter, total wattage of lighting, what do you plan on having??? etc.
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:30 PM   #8
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There is no cutting corners in this hobby, as you are finding out with your puffer tank. Using bio-spira IS cutting corners. IT's main problem is that it does not prepare the tank for long-term habbitation. Your tank is much better served by spending money on LR instead of this stuff. You will save yourself a lot of frustration down the road if you just let your tank experience a hard cycle of 4-6 weeks. Waiting is the hardest part of this hobby, but it is also the most important. Seriously, you do not want to find yourself in the position you currently in a few months down the road. Slow down and do things right from the begining. Good luck.
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:37 PM   #9
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I will go a step farther than Lando. "Biogarbage" I have personal experience with it. I bought 2 packs of it to try in QT tanks. I was hoping it would slow down water changes. Worthless! Spend the money on LR and cycle your tank correctly. You will be glad you did in the long run.
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:03 PM   #10
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Thanks a lot guys.

The tank is a 50 gallon with a biowheel 350 on it. a 300watt all glass aquarium heater, 1 maxi-Jet 1200, Coralife T5 series aqualight. 56watts total, it has the sunlight and lunar lamps. I am not sure on the fish yet. I have currently 7 1/2 pounds of LR. I recived the other 25 pounds today and it stinks really bad does this mean its dead? If so what should I do?
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