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Old 01-08-2008, 11:10 PM   #1
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Dropping the SG to 1.009

I set up my hospital tank about 4-days ago for my blue tang and two small ocellaris clowns. I have no established bio filter in the tank, so the best I can do with my ammonia is .25 I have been doing 10%-20% water changes 2-3 times a day. Yesterday I also started to drop the salt, I took it from 1.023-1.020. My question is, is this going to mess up my cycle process and prevent my good bacteria from developing, if I continue to slowly drop down to 1.009 without a working bio filter in place? Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:50 PM   #2
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I'm not sure, but I'd guess the answer is no - it shouldn't mess with the mini cycle.

When I put my clown goby in my established QT (or so I thought) for hypo, I experienced a little ammonia spike, but after three days of water changes, everything was back to normal. Then, I started dropping my salinity.

I expected problems with my biofilter (Biowheel 100) with the lower salinity, but it never happened. No trace of ammonia/nitrites ever reappeared. Seems like it didn't effect my biofilter - that's why I'm guessing it won't slow down your cycle.

One good thing is that at the lower SG, I think the fish metabolism slows down as it doesn't have to work as hard to regulate the osmotic pressure between the tank water and it's internal fluids. For the same reason, I think they eat less too. It seemed that way with my goby. All those things seem to help you out in controlling the ammonia once you get the SG down.

Good luck!
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:09 AM   #3
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I got a cheapo external filter from Walmart which has something called "BIO-Fiber" for biological filtration. They claim it is, "more effective than foam" for whatever thats worth. Maybe I should have got a bio wheel myself because I don't see how air is getting to this "BIO-Fiber" pad. And from what I understand you need air to establish a good source of bacteria.
I just dropped my SG tonight from 1.020-1.017. I really hope I don't have to continue these 15% PWC every single day for the next 6-weeks. That would become a huge pain.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:34 AM   #4
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Do you have any foam in your main? You could use that or other types of media that already hosts the bio-filter.
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:15 PM   #5
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Frequnt PWC`s like you are doing is a great idea. This will help greatly.
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:18 PM   #6
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Also... once you get you salinity down to 1.009, you'll probably want to do water changes every few days anyway, just to keep the pH stable.
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:27 PM   #7
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The only bio-filter I have in my main is rock and sand. Im scared that if I put a rock in the hospital there will be die off when I get to 1.009 and then it would make my ammonia condition even worse. After this experience I will keep that "bio-fiber" pad in my wet/dry filter of my main, as long as it doesn't ruin my low nitrates. For now though, I guess I will have to keep up with the frequent PWCs. I am thinking about buying some SuperBac nitrifying bactria too. Thanks again.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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YEp, the rock in a QT would probably not go over well, I should have stated filter media, sponges or foams, bioballs or biowheel. Definitely keep up with the PWCs. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:59 PM   #9
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It will take a week or two for the bio filter to build up on the pad. It doesn't need air any more than LR needs air. It does need oxygen, which it gets from the water. Bacteria just need a surface to attach to. The more surface area available the more bacteria you can have (in a given space). We are only talking about aerobic bacteria for now. Nitrates must be removed via PWC's.

Keep up with the daily PWC's for now and continue to do them every other day or every third day during the hypo treatment. It's a good way to keep the pH stable during the hypo treatment and it helps keep the water parameters in check.

I know it's a pain, but it's important for the livestock. I did this on a 30 gallon QT, but I was wayyyyy overloaded for a 30 as far as livestock goes. I keep a biowheel in the sump which I then pull and use for either QT of new livestock, or treatment if that becomes necessary.
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