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Old 09-15-2003, 02:27 AM   #1
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Bio-Spira

Ok, I have a 29 gallon with 1 pl*co and 10 tiger barbs. I have a Fluval 204 and an Emperor 280. I added the Bio-Spira and fish according to the directions. The tank has been running for 2 weeks and I have a hint of ammonia no nitrites and NO nitrates. What is the deal? I have even added another 30 ml of the Bio-Spira and still nothing has changed. I have done weekly water changes of 10%. What is going on? Any ideas?
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:18 AM   #2
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice gcdcop

Wow, no nitrates at all..unusual. What tests are you using? I'd drag a sample over to the lfs and have em double check your tests; always a chance a test has gone bad. If all comes out ok, then I wouldn't worry too terribly much. Nitrates are a sign a cycle is finished, but its not necessary to have detectable levels of nitrate. Is the tank planted?

I am a tad concerned about the "hint of ammonia"; how much is a hint?

Also, the Bio-Spira IS working IMHO, else you'd have much higher levels of ammonia and most likely nitrites as well.
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:56 PM   #3
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Looks like you got quite a bit of filtration for that tank.... hmmmm. Some questions to ponder.

What media are you placing in your Fluval and Emperor? Any ammonia absorbing products? Have you placed any ammo-lock or similar product in the tank? Did you keep the Bio Spira "cold" prior to dropping it into the tank? Did your lfs keep the product "cold" prior to selling it to you? Have you treated the tank for any diseases or such? Any other products that were placed in the tank that might have inhibited bacterial growth?

With your fish load you'd probably be getting a much higher ammonia spike by now without the Bio Spira so the product is most likely working. I'm guessing the "hint" of ammonia is less than .2 ppm. You'll probably see that "hint" dissappear in a day or two and will be replaced with a "hint" of nitrites. Then that will also disappear. That is how the product Bio Spira worked for me. Maybe your batch of Bio Spira was a bit weak or something.
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Old 09-15-2003, 01:46 PM   #4
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I have less than .2 ppm of ammonia. The tank is not planted and I have not treated with any medication. Thanks for the advice. I have the liquid test kit from Aquarium Pharm. Does this test kit ever expire?
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Old 09-15-2003, 03:10 PM   #5
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Hi...Is that the test kit with Doc Wellfish on the box? I have this test kit for ammonia too. Mine is about a year and a half old. I couldn't find an expiration date on the box.

My tank cycled fine, and my fish are ok -- no signs of stress or anything. But the last few times I did the test, I read a small amount of ammonia -- probably between 0 and .25. The water in the tube was not yellow, but it wasn't as greenish as the .25 reading either. I went to the lfs to get another kit. They didn't have the Doc Wellfish brand (well, they did, but it was the Nessler kit and I wanted the salicylate test. The boxes looked exactly the same! It's a good thing I didn't confuse them!) So anyway, I got a Jungle test strip ammonia test. I heard that they are not as accurate as the test tube type kits. I just got one to check the results of the (old) Doc Wellfish ammonia kit until I can get a new one. Guess what...the Jungle test strip is showing 0 ammonia. So, even though the Doc Wellfish kit has no expiration date, I think my old one isn't useful anymore, and I'm going to get a new one.

P.S. what is a pl*co? Does that mean pleco or something else? I've seen this in other posts too. OK, there's my dumb question of the day!!
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Old 09-15-2003, 04:01 PM   #6
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Reagents do indeed have a "shelf life".

They'll still work if they're "old", but you might want to get a good "zero" reading from your tap water (or bottled water)...if it tests slightly positive, than you subtract that amount from what you get on your tank water. If it tests really positive, then get a new test kit.

Lastly, No test, nomatter how much they claim on the box, is absolute. That's why its sometimes good to have the lfs check your water, kind of a 2nd opinion of sorts.
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Old 09-15-2003, 04:20 PM   #7
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For An:

There is an internet suspicion that if you write out pleco or plecostomus fully, your plec will die. Obviously I don't believe that LOL I've been writing it out for a year and my guy just keeps on getting bigger.
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Old 09-16-2003, 01:02 AM   #8
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Thanks, Allivymar!
I saw the other post asking the question too...I said I better type b*tta, since my poor little guy is sick right now!
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Old 09-16-2003, 07:04 AM   #9
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Perhaps this is just one of those false positive readings where the test is picking up ammonium instead of ammonia? Ammonium is safe and not reactive in the same way to fish. If you are using a less sensitive test then this can happen.

And you aren't changing filter media I assume, because removing it will of course remove the good bacteria.
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