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Old 06-02-2011, 02:44 AM   #1021
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I disagree with #4,
I use Microbe-Lift and I assure you it works brilliantly every single time. I use it the night before and by next morning I see results and continue to see results. I would recommend bacterial in a bottle since it's the quickest, that and it also benefits the health of the fish. Fishless cycle is creative but I'd rather do it with fish and some much needed beneficial bacteria, it's win win for fish and fish keeper.

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Old 06-02-2011, 08:52 AM   #1022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plecoking
I disagree with #4,
I use Microbe-Lift and I assure you it works brilliantly every single time. I use it the night before and by next morning I see results and continue to see results. I would recommend bacterial in a bottle since it's the quickest, that and it also benefits the health of the fish. Fishless cycle is creative but I'd rather do it with fish and some much needed beneficial bacteria, it's win win for fish and fish keeper.
I agree with fishless cycle being the "best" option for the fish. If you think about it, the lfs normally have their tanks fully cycled (maybe some exemptions), so if you cycle your tank first, when you add your fish to your tank, your fish will suffered less the change, which is kind of stressful by itself.

But I do agree with you that the products from microlift laboratory are good, also worked for me, I did a fishless cycle using these products, could be coincidence or not, but my cycle speed up once I start to use them.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:19 AM   #1023
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Shouldn't. Cycles can cause crazy things with pH. Have I already gotten you to leave a glass of tap water sitting out and test it after 24 hours? It'll give you a good idea of the actual pH compared to what the cycle is doing to it.
7.8 after 24 hours in a glass cup. I was also 7.8 after letting my lava rocks soak for a week in a plastic bucket.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:04 AM   #1024
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plecoking
I disagree with #4,
I use Microbe-Lift and I assure you it works brilliantly every single time. I use it the night before and by next morning I see results and continue to see results. I would recommend bacterial in a bottle since it's the quickest, that and it also benefits the health of the fish. Fishless cycle is creative but I'd rather do it with fish and some much needed beneficial bacteria, it's win win for fish and fish keeper.
We're all welcome to disagree here on anything we want. I for instance disagree with you. In fact, in the other current thread on bottled bacteria products, other people stated they used Microbe-Lift (along with numerous other products) with no success at all. I've yet to speak to one member on this or any other site who can truly scientifically explain exactly how these products work, Ive heard many plausible theories...but not a true summery on the engineering that goes into them. Based on the countless stories I've heard of crashed bio-filters being traced back to "instant cycling" products...I would personally describe them as risky at best.

There are also lots of other benefits to fishless cycling. First, you are not putting living animals into a potentially unsafe environment and you are 100% assuring there is a fully established bio-filter when they are placed into the aquarium. You also have the benefit of being able to fully stock the tank initially (assuming the fish are compatible with this method i.e. peaceful community fish) as opposed to stocking slowly over the course of weeks.

When I first wrote the guide, I stated to go ahead and add it in if you bought it. After hearing story after story of crashed bio-filters, I have since decided to personally recommend against them. Simply due to the type of person I am, I would always prefer to take some extra time and build a natural, strong, healthy and efficient bio-filter through fishless cycling, as opposed to blindly putting my faith in a bottled product (which has inconsistent success at best) when it comes to living animals. At the absolute least, I would implore that if people did indeed go a bottled bacteria path, they still use a pure ammonia source to establish and test the bio-filter before adding fish to the aquarium.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:12 AM   #1025
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Originally Posted by royta

7.8 after 24 hours in a glass cup. I was also 7.8 after letting my lava rocks soak for a week in a plastic bucket.
It's definitely puzzling to have a high pH value with what would have to be such low alkalinity water. I'd have to assume the municipality is adding some sort of buffer to the water which is causing the high pH, yet usually they will gas off after a 24 hour period. That said, I'm not familiar with all the different ways that cities buffer water and it's most likely a substance I'm unfamiliar with. I'd be curious to know your kH and GH, but you're so close to the finish line...there's no need to spend the extra $. The fact your pH continues to drop shows the nitrifying bacteria is working overtime converting the ammo...so we'll see results very soon.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:42 PM   #1026
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On the Microbe-Lift website they have a video explaining the science behind it. I was actually thinking of suggesting to them to put out more videos explaining it all so people can have more confidence in the products.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:44 AM   #1027
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Old Tank to New Tank?

Hi All,

I am having a bit of trouble and its driving me crazy. I have a 20 gallon tank with 2 Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filters 150, that I started about 2 months ago with 8 small tropical fish. I am using the Marineland Bio-Wheel LED Aquarium Kit. I started out with about 3 fish and a few weeks later 3 more and then 2 more. Since then 1 fish has died. In the beginning I had trouble with the Ammo level being to high and I was finding myself cleaning the tank too much and really didn't know what I was doing. As of today I still have 7 fish and the ammo level is now 0 all the time, the nitrite level is through the roof so just recently as I have been reading this forum I have started not to clean but just do PWC when I get home from work and the Nitrite level goes back down with the ammo always at 0. The Nitrate level is always 0. I guess my question is I need to make sure not to clean the tank but to do PWC daily to get rid of the nitrite but will the nitriate ever go up and the nitrite ever go down to 0?

My goal is to keep the 20 gallon going until I can move the fish from the 20 to the 55 gallon tank.

I brought the 55 gallon Marineland Bio-Wheel LED Aquarium Kit and have 2 Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filters 350, I have been following the guide by ECO on this forum. Right now I have the ammo at 4ppm, I started this on 6/1. I did not use the filter from the 20 gallon tank so I have poured in bacteria from a bottle and added 2 pinches of fish food, added pure ammo to get 4ppm, and have 2 heaters the temp at around 85 degrees, 3 sandstones and light shut off. When will the ammo go down as the ammo is still at 4ppm, anything else I can buy or add to speed up the process or just sit and wait? Am I on the right track?

Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:11 AM   #1028
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishShack
Hi All,

I am having a bit of trouble and its driving me crazy. I have a 20 gallon tank with 2 Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filters 150, that I started about 2 months ago with 8 small tropical fish. I am using the Marineland Bio-Wheel LED Aquarium Kit. I started out with about 3 fish and a few weeks later 3 more and then 2 more. Since then 1 fish has died. In the beginning I had trouble with the Ammo level being to high and I was finding myself cleaning the tank too much and really didn't know what I was doing. As of today I still have 7 fish and the ammo level is now 0 all the time, the nitrite level is through the roof so just recently as I have been reading this forum I have started not to clean but just do PWC when I get home from work and the Nitrite level goes back down with the ammo always at 0. The Nitrate level is always 0. I guess my question is I need to make sure not to clean the tank but to do PWC daily to get rid of the nitrite but will the nitriate ever go up and the nitrite ever go down to 0?

My goal is to keep the 20 gallon going until I can move the fish from the 20 to the 55 gallon tank.

I brought the 55 gallon Marineland Bio-Wheel LED Aquarium Kit and have 2 Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filters 350, I have been following the guide by ECO on this forum. Right now I have the ammo at 4ppm, I started this on 6/1. I did not use the filter from the 20 gallon tank so I have poured in bacteria from a bottle and added 2 pinches of fish food, added pure ammo to get 4ppm, and have 2 heaters the temp at around 85 degrees, 3 sandstones and light shut off. When will the ammo go down as the ammo is still at 4ppm, anything else I can buy or add to speed up the process or just sit and wait? Am I on the right track?

Thanks!
FishShack
Welcome to the site. The first thing I would mention is that during a fish-in cycle nitrItes should be kept under .25 at all times just like ammonia. You need to do daily water changes if necessary to keep it low because it is just as dangerous as ammo to your fish. I'd say you're in your nitrIte spike phase of cycling which means you're nearing the end, but this is also one of the most dangerous times for your fishy friends.

What type of test kit are you using? API Master Kit? I'd be willing to bet the nitrAte test is wrong. We've all messed it up before. When you test, make sure you are shaking the heck out of the #2 solution bottle for a full 30 seconds, and then shake the entire test tube for a solid minute. Almost everyone doesn't shake long enough and gets faulty readings. I almost guarantee you have nitrAtes, you're just not seeing them. Use this guide until you can complete your fish in cycle.
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ow-116287.html

As for your new tank, it seems like you have everything in order. Just double check the guide to make sure it's right (proper type of ammo, a good dechlorinator, etc...). The time it takes for ammo to start dropping is different for everyone. If I remember, it was 7 days before I saw any reduction. Because you used the bottled bacteria, it's not uncommon to see some odd numbers while cycling...so don't be surprised if things don't go exactly according to the guide.

Make sure you stay on top of the fish you have now, and keep us updated how your fishless cycle is going
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:28 PM   #1029
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Thank you for responding so quickly, yes I am using the API Master Kit. Before 5/31 I was using the test strips and I wasn't sure anymore that they were accurate and then I spotted your blog about getting the kit.

I have purchased all the same brand name of items that you have posted in your guide to try and follow the same steps, so everything you used except the borrowed filter, I am using.

I have read the link that you posted below and I am PWC 50% as much as possible on the 20 gallon everyday this week after work. This weekend I will try to do 2 a day. The nitrite level by the time I get home is like 3 to 5ppm, I know its ridiculous high but its the only time I have to do PWC. When I do the PWC and test its down to .25ppm. With testing the Nitrate as of right now its 0, the color is yellow. I will keep testing. I was thinking of getting a bottle of bacteria from the store for the 20 gallon and dumping it in since I have never had done it?

As for the 55 gallon tank, will another bottle of bacteria help or am I just impatient because I want to get those fish over as soon as possible? Should I add shrimp to the tank?

Bottom line I will continue API Master Kit testing both tanks in the morning and in the evening.

BTW the bottle of so called bacteria that I am using is Tetra Safe Start Aquarium Starter.

Thanks Again! I will keep you updated.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:38 PM   #1030
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I used alot of bacteria in a bottle, I cycled in 21 days. That's the good news, the bad news is I had a cycle crash two weeks later and could not get it back. I lost half my fish. Eco personally brought me some of his filter media, causing problems in his own tank as a result. In my opinion, and in any tank I ever get, I will never ever ever use that stuff again. The call is yours of course and I recommend patience above anything else...and prime! Having good friends are priceless too!
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:57 PM   #1031
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishShack
Thank you for responding so quickly, yes I am using the API Master Kit. Before 5/31 I was using the test strips and I wasn't sure anymore that they were accurate and then I spotted your blog about getting the kit.

I have purchased all the same brand name of items that you have posted in your guide to try and follow the same steps, so everything you used except the borrowed filter, I am using.

I have read the link that you posted below and I am PWC 50% as much as possible on the 20 gallon everyday this week after work. This weekend I will try to do 2 a day. The nitrite level by the time I get home is like 3 to 5ppm, I know its ridiculous high but its the only time I have to do PWC. When I do the PWC and test its down to .25ppm. With testing the Nitrate as of right now its 0, the color is yellow. I will keep testing. I was thinking of getting a bottle of bacteria from the store for the 20 gallon and dumping it in since I have never had done it?

As for the 55 gallon tank, will another bottle of bacteria help or am I just impatient because I want to get those fish over as soon as possible? Should I add shrimp to the tank?

Bottom line I will continue API Master Kit testing both tanks in the morning and in the evening.

BTW the bottle of so called bacteria that I am using is Tetra Safe Start Aquarium Starter.

Thanks Again! I will keep you updated.
FishShack
I've got to say that the more time I spend with this, the more against bottled bacteria I become (Deckape as a prime example). Some will disagree, but I say stay clear if at all possible. If you have a bottle, I'd recommend adding it to the tank with fish, not so much the fishless cycling one.

It just takes patience to do a fishless cycle. You'll start seeing an ammo drop pretty soon as long as everything from the guide is in order. Just keep the faith and the patience!

Like Deckape said, the best thing you can do for a fish in cycle is to have a bucket (or Python) and a bottle of Seachem Prime nearby at all times.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #1032
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Ok, I wont add anything else to the 55 gallon tank, I will be patient.

For the 20 gallon this evening I am going to do another PWC 50% and then I am going to drop in prime (as usual) and then the bottle of bacteria since I have never done it. My kids and I are getting worried about the fish surviving.



Wish I knew about this process first then listen to the $%$&#! at PetSmart.....
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:08 PM   #1033
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Originally Posted by eco23

I've got to say that the more time I spend with this, the more against bottled bacteria I become (Deckape as a prime example). Some will disagree, but I say stay clear if at all possible. If you have a bottle, I'd recommend adding it to the tank with fish, not so much the fishless cycling one.

It just takes patience to do a fishless cycle. You'll start seeing an ammo drop pretty soon as long as everything from the guide is in order. Just keep the faith and the patience!

Like Deckape said, the best thing you can do for a fish in cycle is to have a bucket (or Python) and a bottle of Seachem Prime nearby at all times.
And have good friends
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:12 PM   #1034
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Ok, I wont add anything else to the 55 gallon tank, I will be patient.

For the 20 gallon this evening I am going to do another PWC 50% and then I am going to drop in prime (as usual) and then the bottle of bacteria since I have never done it. My kids and I are getting worried about the fish surviving.



Wish I knew about this process first then listen to the $%$&#! at PetSmart.....
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:15 PM   #1035
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishShack
Ok, I wont add anything else to the 55 gallon tank, I will be patient.

For the 20 gallon this evening I am going to do another PWC 50% and then I am going to drop in prime (as usual) and then the bottle of bacteria since I have never done it. My kids and I are getting worried about the fish surviving.



Wish I knew about this process first then listen to the $%$&#! at PetSmart.....
You're doing a good job. I've read some reputable articles that bottled bacteria can be beneficial during mini-cycles. Although technically the tank with fish is not a mini-cycle...I think the same principle would apply since you'll be removing the fish once the larger one finishes cycling. Just keep a close eye on the water parameters once it appears to be stable.

Feel free to stick around and keep us posted. We're more than happy to help you out all we can
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:16 PM   #1036
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And have good friends
Very true At the very least, your fish didn't die in vain. Their sacrifice resulted in a friendship.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:27 PM   #1037
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Ok got home today and tested the 20 gallon tank the nitrite was 0ppm - color light blue, the ammo was 0ppm - yellow and the nitrate I tested twice because it keeps coming out yellow noting as 0ppm, I know that the nitrate is there it must be in between 0 and 5ppm. I was going to do the PWC 50% and then add the bottle of bacteria but since the readings are awesome maybe not mess with it but check the readings in the morning? Unbelievable.....!!

The 55 gallon is still at 4ppm...not messing with it.

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Old 06-03-2011, 06:17 PM   #1038
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20 gallon tank - BTW I checked for kicks and giggles and my PH is probably between 5.0ppm and 6.0ppm, its a light yellow. Should I leave it or what should I do\get? Am I aiming for 7.0?
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:39 PM   #1039
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Ok got home today and tested the 20 gallon tank the nitrite was 0ppm - color light blue, the ammo was 0ppm - yellow and the nitrate I tested twice because it keeps coming out yellow noting as 0ppm, I know that the nitrate is there it must be in between 0 and 5ppm. I was going to do the PWC 50% and then add the bottle of bacteria but since the readings are awesome maybe not mess with it but check the readings in the morning? Unbelievable.....!!

The 55 gallon is still at 4ppm...not messing with it.

FishShack
Are you 10000% sure you're doing the API nitrAte test right? Make sure you're following the instructions in the booklet, not just what it says on the bottles. If ammo and no2 have dropped and stayed at 0, that sound like a cycled tank to me. Triple check your testing method for me? Shake #2 for 30 seconds, whole tube for 1 minute, let it sit 5 minutes and record the result.
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:42 PM   #1040
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Quote:
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20 gallon tank - BTW I checked for kicks and giggles and my PH is probably between 5.0ppm and 6.0ppm, its a light yellow. Should I leave it or what should I do\get? Am I aiming for 7.0?
The beneficial bacteria has a heck of a time growing at levels that acidic. If possible, pick up a bag of crushed coral and a mesh bag at the fish store. Add a good handful into the bag and jam it into your filter or somewhere in the tank. It will raise and buffer the pH and make the tank a WHOLE lot easier and faster to cycle. It will also help prevent a pH crash at the end of your fishless cycle...which is extremely likely with water that low in alkalinity. Once your cycle is complete you can remove it...but you may want to start considering fish that enjoy pH that low like south American cichlids. I recommend against altering pH 99% of the time...but for cycling purposes, this is that 1%.
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