02-09-2010, 01:05 PM
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sorry for your loss... i am glad however that you have mom and pop type places they tend to be most helpful... (tend does not mean all!! after all they need to make the bacon too)
as for adding anything chemically IMO this should be avoided at all costs!!! based on size of tank and current population i would say P/W/C every other day and let the bacteria build up.. another option would be to see if you could get some gravel or filter media from some one with an established tank and seed yours from that (perhaps the mom and pop place). if this is not an option one thing on the market that may help and is not a chemical is bioMax this is BB that is in powder form and you add it to your filter and or tank daily to boost the bacteria in the tank.. i have used this in the past and it works wonderfully. just be sure to not use things that get rid of the waist chemically as that will starve the bacteria and you will be for ever fighting to keep up with the tank...