can u cycle a new brackish with mature freshwater media? - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 32 Old 07-22-2011, 02:40 AM
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maybe its time to look at your bacterial colony. what are you using as filtration or surface for bacteria to grow on?

All the technology for fish care has been around for billions of years.
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post #22 of 32 Old 07-28-2011, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone for your suggestions. Ive found the problem just not sure how to solve it. Will have to start another thread. Basically its overfeeding and also feeding wrong food. I was congratulating myself that they were eating freezedried bloodworm but during a waterchange the plastic bracing along the top of the tank came unstuck and underneath was a HUGE mound of mushy uneaten food Freezedried bloodworm doesnt sink so it can only be that. It was stuck right in the water line, polluting the water nicely. So that explains the stupidly high ammonia readings and the mini cycles. But theres another issue causing ammonia. The BBG will definately eat frozen bloodworm BUT only when its on the move. Once it touches the sand they wont go near it. Unfortunately they are slow feeders and quite lazy. They take forever to rouse themselves to even look when the food goes in and by the time they can be bothered to get it it, its on the floor and thats where its stays. Food gets left and they go hungry I was worried they would starve so have been putting way more than they need in the tank, hoping that they would eventually get some of it. The remainder just sits on the sand. Im thinking I will have to use a syringe and literaly flush a worm in at a time, right in front of their faces to get them to eat. Unless someone else has a better suggestion? Id better start another thread and ask.
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post #23 of 32 Old 07-28-2011, 05:01 PM
live fod live food live food, thats all I can think of

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #24 of 32 Old 07-29-2011, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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maybe its time to look at your bacterial colony. what are you using as filtration or surface for bacteria to grow on?
The filter as an Eheim internal power filter that has a 360degree rotating dome on the top which is attached to a spraybar (very nice lol) There is sponge in the bottom basket, eheim prostrat balls in the middle basket and another sponge in the top basket. The substrate is sand and on top of that there are twelve lava rocks ive used to create caves and ive got three small terracotta pots dotted around the sand for extra BB surface area. Theres also three fake plants.

I thought the uneaten food was the problem but im wrong, it seems thats a seperate issue. I have done two 50% waterchanges and not fed them for two whole days. Just tested 36 hrs after the last waterchange and STILL theres 0.25 ammonia.Ive had 0.25 ammonia for a week now even after daily 50% waterchanges. Theres no leftover food anywhere and at the last waterchange I rinsed the sponges in syphoned tank water and swooshed the hoops in tank water also. I also rinsed the lava rocks and plants in tank water too. I found that BBG like their water to be calm and so turned the flow of water coming in via the spraybar right down to a mere ripple, which has definately made them more active but surely that wouldnt interfere with the actual filtering process would it? Im stumped. There is quite a depth of sand in the bottom. Im tempted to remove some in case theres loads of trapped waste in there, but would that remove BB? The BBG havent coloured up at all since I bought them (theyre bands are grey not black and their bodies are whitey grey instead of bright yellow) and Im sure this is something to do with ammonia in the tank. Dont know what else to try short of emptying the whole tank and rinsing all of the sand in fresh dechlorinated water

Last edited by brackish1; 07-29-2011 at 02:47 PM.
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post #25 of 32 Old 07-29-2011, 03:33 PM
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have you tried testing your tap water?

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post #26 of 32 Old 07-29-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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have you tried testing your tap water?
Yes i have. Nothing abnormal there. I have a 55g fw tank which has been running for 6 months with no problems. I know its harder to keep a smaller volume of water clean (even with a powerful filter) but this is silly. 50% waterchanges every day even when I havent fed the tank for 2 days....and still the ammonia persists. Never any nitrites and nitrates dont go much over 30ppm, but our tapwater contains 30ppm nitrates at source. I use Prime which locksdown ammonia for 24hrs and as soon as the 24hr safe period is over the 0.25 ammonia is back
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post #27 of 32 Old 07-29-2011, 06:51 PM
I think that if you can get your hands on any plants that survive brackish would be ideal

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #28 of 32 Old 07-29-2011, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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I think that if you can get your hands on any plants that survive brackish would be ideal
plants would help with the ammonia?
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post #29 of 32 Old 07-31-2011, 09:46 AM
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I have had tanks take 3-4 weeks, before being completely cycled. Sounds like you are on the right track.

It sounds like in the beginning your salt level was very high, and is now corrected. These drastic changes could have stunted the cycle. Try to keep this salt level fairly consistent, and with time it will cycle.


I would NOT do a complete tear down. Then you would have to start all over again. At this point, there has to be some bacteria established. Any room in the filter, for some filter media from the fresh water tank? Since you have been carefully to clean the sponge in dechlorinated water, I would not take this out.

For food under the sand, you can stir the sand. Any food should float up, and can be removed with your water siphon during water changes. I have also used a Turkey baster to suck food from the bottom after feeding time. I had to do this with my puffers, that did not eat much at one time, so it was easy to overfeed. Live Black worms are a good food for small eaters. They will not pollute the tank. They Will live in low end brackish water, till eaten or removed during water changes.

Can you redirect the flow of water coming from the filter, so the current does not disturb the fish? A light water flow, should be fine for establishing bacteria, but a larger flow could help remove uneaten food.

The fish are under stress from the ammonia. I would continue with these water changes to keep ammonia as low as possible. Once you make it through this cycle, the fish should color up for you.
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post #30 of 32 Old 07-31-2011, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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I have had tanks take 3-4 weeks, before being completely cycled. Sounds like you are on the right track.

It sounds like in the beginning your salt level was very high, and is now corrected. These drastic changes could have stunted the cycle. Try to keep this salt level fairly consistent, and with time it will cycle.


I would NOT do a complete tear down. Then you would have to start all over again. At this point, there has to be some bacteria established. Any room in the filter, for some filter media from the fresh water tank? Since you have been carefully to clean the sponge in dechlorinated water, I would not take this out.

For food under the sand, you can stir the sand. Any food should float up, and can be removed with your water siphon during water changes. I have also used a Turkey baster to suck food from the bottom after feeding time. I had to do this with my puffers, that did not eat much at one time, so it was easy to overfeed. Live Black worms are a good food for small eaters. They will not pollute the tank. They Will live in low end brackish water, till eaten or removed during water changes.

Can you redirect the flow of water coming from the filter, so the current does not disturb the fish? A light water flow, should be fine for establishing bacteria, but a larger flow could help remove uneaten food.

The fish are under stress from the ammonia. I would continue with these water changes to keep ammonia as low as possible. Once you make it through this cycle, the fish should color up for you.
Yr a little star! :) Thankyou very much!
The filter baskets are stuffed to the max (all from the mature freshwater) but Theres a little floor space for more lava rocks or terra pots. Which would be more porous do you think?
I hadnt been stirring the sand as i read somewhere it releases ammonia but now that Ive thought about it and seen a few utube vids (plus you are also saying so) it makes sense. BBG dont like it at all but oh well- its that or be poisoned lol. Bought a turkey baster today also.
As they are such slow feeders how long should I leave any frozen food in the tank? I have known them to leave bloodworms nearly 12 hrs before theyve finnaly taken some -but is that too long to leave them in the water?
Live blackworms are pretty rare in UK but theres an ebay seller who sells the culture kits?
The spray bar is connected to a dome and can be rotated 360 degrees so I can position it anywhere in the tank I like. Its right at the surface at the moment and as its a small tank it agitates the whole surface area. Could I push it down into deeper into the water so that the flow will move the food around more, or would I lose oxygen by doing this? They hate the airstone, its too fierce and they arent strong enough to ride the current.
Its just this annoying 0.25 ammonia that seems to be taking forever to clear Bless them,theyve been thru a lot of ammonia and nitrites in their short time with me, I do hope they havent been damaged. They look like little ghosts at the moment
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