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Old 08-03-2005, 03:35 PM   #1
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New tank: nutrafin cycle And other questions

I set up a 10 gal tank about 2 weeks ago...am new to this. Let everything run for 48 hrs. and then put in a few fish....2 peppered cory cats and 4 platies. Chose these fish with help of local fish store personnel. One of the cory cats died in less than a week (didn't seem right to begin with) but the other fish seem fine. Currently ammonia level high, have added amquel plus and done 2 partial water changes. Another receommendation was not to feed for a few days. I did not feed yesterday and have not fed so far today. Went to local fish store yesterday and purchased nutrafin cycle which I have added to tank. Does this need to be refrigerated? Pamphlet and bottle only state not to store at over 120 degrees. Fish store person said to refrigerate. Also, any other suggetsions for dealing with the ammonia. Would Bio Spira have been better than Cycle? I am going to purchase the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals ammonia salicylate test kit to get more accurate ammonia readings. I have been using the Jungle Talk kit. There are no nitrates or nitrites at this time based on results from Mardel 5 in 1 test strip.

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That should be Jungle Labs test kit not Jungle Talk.
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:43 PM   #2
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Your tank hasn't completed the nitrification cycle yet. You will need to keep doing pwc's to keep your fish alive until it has fully cycled.

The Nutrafin product is junk. If you want an immediate cycle, go buy the bio-spira.

If not, the easiest thing to do is return the fish and wait for your tank to cycle.
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:47 PM   #3
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Cycle does not work. It is a waste of money. The Bio Spira does work and it wouild be a great idea to add it.

The other way to reduce ammonia is to keep doing partial water changes.

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Old 08-03-2005, 04:00 PM   #4
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I agree 100% Cycle does not work! I tried it in my 55 gal tank that I just cycled and it did not help at all. It still took 7 weeks to cycle the tank.

I also work in a laboratory and I had our microbiology dept. culture the Cycle product. In the gram stain it does show that there is bacteria present in the liquid but not a lot of it. also the culture grew out 3 different strands of bacteria. So it does have bacteria in the bottle but not enough to help out IMO. I dumped the entire 16oz bottle in my 55gal tank. I should have just as well took a twenty dollar bill and put it in the tank. At least I would have had something to look at and it would not have been a total waste.

Dont waste your money. If you can take the product back do so!!

Keep up the PWC, keep and eye on your water parameters and set back and enjoy the ride. It will be worth it once it has finished.
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Old 08-03-2005, 04:03 PM   #5
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Oh forgot the most important part.... WELCOME TO AA!!
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Old 08-03-2005, 06:15 PM   #6
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Welcome to AA!

I agree 100% with everyone else. Cycle is junk. Bio-Spira is the way to go. Have you read the cycling article in the Articles section yet? If no, do so. It will explain the cycle for you.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:06 PM   #7
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Cycle contains bacteria. Whether or not it is alive is one problem, the other being that it isn't necessarily the right kind of bacteria to propgate and complete your cycle. I beleive the bottle says to use with every water change. You shouldn't need to do that if the right bacteria are forming in your tank.

Large water changes to keep ammonia less than 2ppm and nitrites less than 0.25ppm is best.
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Old 08-03-2005, 11:17 PM   #8
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Biospira works, but is sensitive to how it is stored and shipped (temperatures). I used a better near instant cycle method - media from a friends well established tank.
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:06 AM   #9
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Thanks for all of the replies. I did read up on information about cycling and have been testing the tank daily as well as doing water changes. Don't know if the Jungle Talk strip is accurate for ammonia and am hoping to get the AQ salicylate test kit tomorrow at a local fish store. They were out of stock the other day. They do have BioSpira there and I will get some tomorrow. The salesperson there had suggested it but I had read some negatives about it when I did some searches, before I found this forum. Seems like most of you have had positive experiences with it. Is it OK, though, to still use it since I have already put Cycle in the tank? Also, how accurate are the Mardel 5 in 1 strips for reading PH, nitrates and nitrites?

The fish appear to be healthy at this time. They are active and the platies actually seem to be "friendly" and "curious". They always gather at the front of the tank when it is approached. I am assuming they are waiting to be fed.
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:25 AM   #10
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Are you getting the AP Freshwater Master Test Kit? That is going to be your best bet because it has tests for everything that you will need to cycle the tank. It can also be bought online at www.bigalsonline.com for $13 plus $6 shipping. It's not a bad price considering it is sold aroud here for $40+.

I agree with the salesperson. Bio-Spira is a great product as long as it is stored correctly (in the fridge).

I'd do a large water change 60%, then add the Bio-Spira. I don't think it would harm the tank to have both in there, but too many chemicals at the same time isn't a good thing. That's just being on the safe side of things.

I've used the strips before and didn't find them all that accurate. The liquid reagent tests are better. They take a little longer to do, but they are very easy and very accurate.

That's good that your fish are happy. It means you are giving them a great home.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:44 PM   #11
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I did a water change and added the BioSpira. I hope that this will do the trick. Two of the platies were sitting on the bottom a lot but they seem to be moving around more this evening. I didn't purchase the master kit, just the salicylate ammonia but I will take your suggestion and check into the freshwater master kit at bigalsonline.com.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:59 PM   #12
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Sounds like you are doing well. Keep a check on the ammonia.
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Old 08-06-2005, 02:17 PM   #13
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The test strips really aren't very accurate, so IMO you can't rely on them. It's great that you got an ammonia kit, but I would suggest at least having a nitrite and nitrate kit as well, so you know where you are in the cycle. Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2005, 09:37 PM   #14
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I was disappointed to find one of my platies gone today. He was doing really well last night. Yesterday the ammonia was down and this AM it was up again. I purchased a freshwater kit today and then redid the ammonia as well as nitrates, nitrites and PH...ammonia was 1.0, with 0 nitrites and nitrates. However, I took a water sample to the local fish store and their tests also showed 1.0 ammonia, but .25 nitrite and the slight beginnings of some nitrates. I used the liquid kit for nitrates and nitrites and they used the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals kit with pellets. The fish store person recommended adding amquel sine I told him one of my other platies does not look well. The cory cat and a Mickey Mouse platie seem to be OK. He also told me not to do anymore water changes right now so that the cycle can be completed and the BioSpira can do its "thing". Should I heed his advice and not do another water change? I did a large partial change yesterday before adding the BioSpira. It was also recommended to stop feeding again. Previous to today there were no indications of nitrites. Once BioSpira is put in the tank, how long does it usually take for the ammonia to decrease? HOw does one know if the BioSpira is viable?

Thanks.
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Old 08-06-2005, 09:40 PM   #15
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I suggest going to your local fish store and getting a handful of gravel from a already cycled tank. the bacteria on the gravel will be enough to get your tank cycled in a couple of days. This is what i have done in the past. Now i just use gravel from my own aquariums that i have running to accomplish this.
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Old 08-07-2005, 11:20 AM   #16
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Only do this if you really trust your LFS, it is possible to bring home diseases that way.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:25 PM   #17
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I trust the fish store but one never knows. I am already having enough problems trying to get the tank started and would like to avoid introducing any possible diseases. Lost my cory and the platies don't look good. The ammonia is still at 1 ppm and when I run the nitrite test, the result is zero nitrite even though the test run at the fish store showed a small amount of nitrites I was hoping to see the ammonia level decreasing. I decided to do a water change to at least dilute the ammonia. I tried not to disturb any possible bacteria in gravel or on decorations. I added some BioSpira directly to filter. I'm also wondering if it's possible that something else might have affected the tank??? Or is this just ammonia toxicity. Could the BioSpira not be viable?

Thanks for any suggetions.
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Old 08-08-2005, 04:59 PM   #18
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Update:

The ammonia level in my tank has dropped to .5. I still see no evidence of nitrites with my testing. Two of the platies are very active again. The third is still spending most of its time on the bottom but is swimming more. I did not feed yesterday and have not fed today. Want to keep ammonia levels down.

Thanks again for advice.
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Old 08-08-2005, 10:15 PM   #19
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Once you introduced the BioSperia there is a good chance you will not get a NO2 reading.. ever.. no biggy it just means the BioSperia did its job..
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Old 08-08-2005, 10:20 PM   #20
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Have you tested for Nitrates? If not, do it. You could have completed you cycle already since you used the Bio-Spira.
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