Using Safestart on new tank, questions
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Using Safestart on new tank, questions

This is a discussion on Using Safestart on new tank, questions within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hello, so I'm using Tetra Safestart to help cycle a new 38 gallon tank and have a few questions. I know that its not ...

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Using Safestart on new tank, questions
Old 01-15-2011, 06:26 PM   #1
 
Using Safestart on new tank, questions

Hello, so I'm using Tetra Safestart to help cycle a new 38 gallon tank and have a few questions. I know that its not going to eliminate all ammonia from showing up, but its just going to be levels that aren't toxic to the fish. Well I set my tank up a week ago and let everything settle for a few days, and then on Monday I put my fish in the tank as well as the Safestart at the same time. I bought the bottle for up to 75 gallons and just used the entire bottle like it says to on my 38 gallon. I just took some readings from the tank today on Saturday and there is 1.0 ppm ammonia, no nitrites, and about 5.0 ppm nitrates.

Does this seem about right? The ammonia seems a little high. On Thursday night (about 72 hours after I put the Safestart in) I did a little water change, mainly to clean up uneaten algae wafers which were making a mess. So I'm not sure if me doing a water change messed up the bacteria in Safestart at all.

Should I go get some more Safestart? Should I do another water change? If so, should I avoid vacuuming the gravel and not suck up any waste? Also I do have Stress Zyme+, is it ok to use this in tandem with the Safestart? I know its not as good as the BioSpira bacteria in Safestart.

Any help is appreciated, thanks.

Last edited by Millah; 01-15-2011 at 06:28 PM..
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:02 PM   #2
 
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Those readings are way too high. First though, are you using a liquid test kit or a strip?
I would be changing 50% of the water and testing it everyday since you have fish in it.
How many fish did you add?
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
 
Liquid test kit, and there's only 1 adult EBJD. Do you have experience with SafeStart? The reason I was asking about doing the water change is because I've heard others who have used it say that you shouldn't do any water changes for 7 days, to not interfere with the bacteria. A little ammonia is supposed to be present (even says so on the bottle), just not enough to harm the fish. I was just wondering if 1.0 ppm was within the normal amount that usually shows up (its only the second "level" on my test kit readings). I don't want to keep changing my water and then ruin the effect of the SafeStart (costs 23 bucks per bottle )

It is a bit encouraging to see that there are already some nitrates, and no nitrites have showed up.

Last edited by Millah; 01-15-2011 at 07:41 PM..
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:06 AM   #4
 
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I don't have any experience with it, but doubt a 50% water change will do much to the bacteria forming. If it's only a small amount of ammonia, then let it be, but at 1.0 ppm...that's too much and will cause harm to the fish. Personally I like to just do a fish-less cycle on tanks, less hassle, and costs, plus no harm to fish as their are none. And if you use media from a filter from a tank that has been up and running plus some gravel/decor from the tank it'll help jump start the cycle. That's just what I've done.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:36 AM   #5
 
Millah,

It seems that your Nitrates at 5.0ppm are going to kill off everything in the tank if you don't lower it to at least 3.14ppm (fish like pi). If you are unable to do this with stirring the water vigorously with your hands, you will need to treat the tank with a small amount of dish soap. I would recommend approximately 1tsp per gallon of water that needs to be treated. Dawn works great because of its ability to cut grease.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
 
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Millah,

It seems that your Nitrates at 5.0ppm are going to kill off everything in the tank if you don't lower it to at least 3.14ppm (fish like pi). If you are unable to do this with stirring the water vigorously with your hands, you will need to treat the tank with a small amount of dish soap. I would recommend approximately 1tsp per gallon of water that needs to be treated. Dawn works great because of its ability to cut grease.
I cannot agree with this at all. First, nitrates at 5 ppm is not dangerous to any fish we keep; nitrates below 20 ppm are deemed fine, although the lower the better obviously.

Second, I would never put soap in an aquarium. You may well poison the fish.

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Old 01-27-2011, 11:27 AM   #7
 
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Millah:

First on the ammonia. What water conditioner are you using? Some detoxify ammonia, and if yours is one of these, it works by changing ammonia to basically harmless ammonium. A test kit will read both as "ammonia" so not to worry there; and bacteria and plants use ammonium the same.

On the StressZyme, i do not recommend this product. It claims to interfere with the natural biological establishment and in removing organics it will naturally cause additional ammonia. Ammonia is produced when bacteria break down organics.

SafeStart is a biological supplement that adds live bacteria to "seed" the tank. It does not "cycle" a tank, the cycle must still establish itself. But seeding the tank gets this going faster, and should prevent severe stress to the fish from ammonia and nitrite.

What is the pH in the tank? This has a bearing on the issue of ammonia too, thus I ask.

Oh, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Byron.
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