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Old 07-09-2003, 01:54 AM   #1
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New Tank Syndrome Advice

Hi there!

I just "upgraded" my 1.5 gallon to a 10 gallon home for my 2 goldfish (they are both about 2 inches). The tank came with a tetra whisper power filter (for 5-15 gallon tanks). Everything is running well, the fish are very happy in their new home, but I'm suffering from what I've heard called "new tank syndrome"...My Nitrite levels are too high. I seeded the tank with gravel from the old tank, I've been doing about a 15-20 percent water change daily, since the nitrite levels spiked (they are btw 0.2 and 0.5 ppms on the colorimetric/acetic acid test). Ammonium levels are negligible, and the pH has tested btw 7.2 and 7.4. I understand it'll take time for the bacteria colonies to form...but I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do? The fish don't seem stressed...but how would I know if the nitrite was harming them? I've heard of adding salt to the tank to reduce the risk of nitrite in their bloodstream...is this something I should do? How much?

Thank you so much (my fish thank you too!)
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:11 AM   #2
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Look for Marineland's Bio Spira. It's a little expensive, but it works. There are several threads regarding this product and a review on the website. Other than that, keep changing the water...
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Old 07-09-2003, 02:26 PM   #3
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Thanks so much!


(I'm off to the store yet again...:P)

edit...after a few phone calls...i can't find anyone selling the stuff! (I called all the places Marineland listed as retailers in my area, as well as a few other places). My regular haunt/advice gurus told me that as part of the agreement to retail the bacteria, they had to also purchase a $200 (minimum) specialized refrigerator from Marineland, and I guess they couldn't justify so much up front cost. I definitely understand both sides of the picture there. I should just drop by the environmental engineering lab, see if they can cook up some nitrifiers for me :P
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Old 07-10-2003, 01:40 PM   #4
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You can try the New Cycle. Its no where near as reliable as Bio-Spira but occasionally works. The thought us amateurs have is because Bio-Spira is refrigerated and has an expiration date, the bacteria are used before they keel over; New Cycle is kept on the shelf and its difficult to determine how long its been sitting there, so the bacteria may have expired.
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Old 07-10-2003, 01:57 PM   #5
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Thank you!

I'm actually pretty curious about these products...being the nosy scientist i am, i'm curious as to what kind of media they are shipping the bacteria in so that they may actually have a "shelf life".

The good news is, I think I've begun to turn the corner with the tank...the nitrite levels showed their first drop yesterday....a small one, but it shouldn't be long.
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Old 07-10-2003, 02:50 PM   #6
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There's even another product out there, but I don't know if its here in the states yet, called Bactinetts, from Tri-Mar in the UK. That one apparently keeps its bacteria in a polymer bubbles: www.bactinetts.com . No idea how any of em keep their bacteria cultures alive, although I'll guess that info is proprietory LOL
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Old 07-10-2003, 06:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
There's even another product out there, but I don't know if its here in the states yet, called Bactinetts, from Tri-Mar in the UK.
I haven't seen it here in the US yet. Perhaps mail order? I bet it would put shipping through the roof though...
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Old 07-10-2003, 06:53 PM   #8
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Heh, they might, but I haven't the vaguest. The homepage is in German LOL
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Old 07-12-2003, 09:06 PM   #9
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lol, can you imagine having the stuff couriered over in a cooler or something? oy!

the nitrite levels are back up again (I was optimistic too early!)...and they are way up so I guess I'll try the potentially-dead bacteria....do any of you reccommend adding salt to reduce the nitrite stress? I read elsewheare a spoonfull (nice vague measure!) per 4 gallons of water....I am really hesitant without some solid advice though.

thank you, thank you, thank you for all your help!
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Old 07-12-2003, 09:32 PM   #10
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I would just stick with the water changes. Goldfish are horribly messy creatures and can overwhelm a tank pretty fast. I am not sure how goldfish react to salt. I doubt it will hurt them but I also doubt it will do much to your nitrite levels. Doing daily water changes like you are doing will most likely be the most helpful until all the bacteria can grow in.

Can you get some filter media from another established tank and shove it into the filter. I use the same filter on one of my 5 gallons and that is what I did and it worked great.
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Old 07-12-2003, 10:18 PM   #11
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What I read was that the salt (specifically the cloride ion) prevents the nitrite from getting into the hemoglobin of the fish, somehow it prevents its absorption into the bloodstream. I'm sure there's some chemistry behind it. The nitrite levels wouldn't be affected, but it might reduce the stress/toxicity on the fish. My fish don't seem particularly stressed....just hungry lol.

Sadly, my last tank was one of those novelty contraptions, that only had a filter plate and bubbler...
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Old 07-13-2003, 03:32 AM   #12
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Yep; you're correct sweets; specifically "The chloride portion of salt competes with nitrite for absorption through the gills."

Theres a pretty extensive article about it here (where I got that quote): http://msucares.com/pubs/infosheets/is1390.htm . Theres a couple of formulas for figuring out how much salt, but do keep in mind the article is geared towards ponds.
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Old 07-13-2003, 10:14 PM   #13
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I came across "1 tblspoon per 5 gallons of water" in my travels... does this sound about right?
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Old 07-16-2003, 01:49 AM   #14
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I'd read 1 tbs per 4 gallons...pretty close, and a lot easier than calculating the ppm's relative to the NO2 and existing chloride...

I ended up adding just a pinch of salt (about 2 teaspoons with the daily water change...it made me so nervous!).

It looks as though things are settling down, however...today the NO2 levels were down to the .1-.2 ppm level (I almost didn't believe it...I ran the test 2x!).

Fortunately, my fish seem to be real troopers, I have no idea if that's indicative of ornamental goldfish, but they are about ready to be getting fed twice a day again
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