Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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magic_marty 02-02-2007 10:24 PM

Hello all,
I am kinda new to the fish keeping hobby but my wife and i enjoy it very much.We have 2 tanks one 10 gal and a 20 gal, both are in the early stages of cycling with the 20 not showing any signs of ammonia after being setup for 4 days with 16 adult fish and 17 fry.(Mostly platys)I am contributing it to the severe overkill on the filtration i added, don't laugh but i put a magnum 350 pro on the 20g with both bio wheels attached.Really amazing how clear the water is, the reason i got the magnum is we are in the near future going to set up a 55 or 75 g to replace the 2 smaller tanks witch brings me to my question...I have been doing alot of reading on bio-spira and out of tons of reading many different sites and forums i have only found a very few people that have had bad experiences with it.Has anybody used bio-spira to cycle a new setup tank? Any additional info on bio-spira would be helpful as i am seriously concidering giving it try when we move to the larger tank..

Thanks a bunch...

fish_4_all 02-02-2007 10:49 PM

My honest opinion, a waste of money. The tank is going to cycle and although it can be beneficial, you can get the same if not better results from putting old filter material and gravel from an established tank into a new tank to seed the new tank with bacteria.

As for the 20 and not showing signs of ammonia please keep your eyes in it very closely. If you are using test strips please get rid of them and get a liquid test kit. With that bioload there will be an ammonia spike and also a nitrite spike. Platties are hearty fish but you will need to keep an eye on it and make sure that the ammonia doesn't spike way beyond what the fish tolerate. The filtration is good, I like overkill for filters, and you are off to a good start. Just keep an eye on things and make sure that the cycle is either just being slow or maybe that you have a faulty test kit. YOur LFS might test your water to make sure. Now I could be wrong and you may never see a spike but better safe than sorry because if it does happen it will happen very quickly and be very high.

Did you set the tank up with any old media or seed it in any way? Is it actually only 4 days old?

As for your fish, the number could be a problem with space in the future. Platties aren't too bad but the other fish could make it a little messy and the ammonia levels could go way up because of this. What other fish are in there? Also, how much have you been feeding them? It is strange that you show no signs of ammonia yet so I want to try and help you figure out why and hopefully prevent any major ammonia outbreak in the near future.

As for future cycles, might I suggest a fishless cycle. Easily done and when you are ready to put the fish in the tank is ready to support almost and bioload, IF it is done right. I am trying to compile a good article about it so I hope to have the information available soon.

The best thing is you are asking questions and I hope we can help you with whatever might come up with such new tank setups.

magic_marty 02-02-2007 11:32 PM

the test kit we use is the master kit with the liquid and the glass test tubes we got it at petsmart. oh and the 20 g has been setup since x-mas but the reason i said only 4 days is because we had a sick platy completely dissapear witch we never found and in the process of looking for her we removed 90% of the water and sifted threw the gravel looking for her witch i assume probably destroyed what biofiltration we had, plus when i added the magnum there was not enuf room to leave the other hang on filter so i removed it as well, so im guessing this tank should be called a new setup?? there are 3 cherry barbs,2 cory's, 1 pot bellied molly,1 blue columbian tetra,1 male sword tail,and 5 platy's plus the babby fry 17 witch are in a hanging breeder net on the side..Maybe when we was looking for the missing platy we didnt kill off the biofiltration bacteria? but im sure we greatly reduced it..we test every day for ammonia witch is 0 as well as the nitrites, but from what i have read if there is no ammonia there cant be any nitrites? the ph is 7.2 we have no live plants only the fake keep the temp at a stable 79f . The fish all seem very happy and full of energy all tho we are still learning on the feeding amounts.we feed them 2 times a day morn and night a small amount. they all eat like pigs...another thing is we are not on public water we get our water source from rain witch is stored in our cistern under our garage but we still add chlorout and stress coat to any water we use for water changes.
Do to the fact that i add a small amount of chlorine to our cistern once a month to keep it sterile and free of bacteria..We did test some water from our source and all were 0 accept the ph witch was around the 7.2 ...we havent did any water change on the 20 because the test show 0 for ammonia.if the test still show 0 in a week we will still do a 10% or 15% water change.

oh and you asked if we seeded the tank with anything from a established tank.. answer is no didnt use anything from any other tanks

thanks for the reply..

fish_4_all 02-03-2007 01:49 AM

The tank is established, verymuch so. Removing that much water and doing a big gravel vac won't hurt the bacteria at all. I have done it and never had a problem. As for the chlorine, maybe a problem but if you add dechlor then you remove it anyway.

If you don't have ammonia you should not have nitrites in an established tank, but you can have nitrites during a cycle and not have ammonia. I know it is a little confusing but the cycle begins with ammonia. Bacteria colonize to eat the ammonia and make nitrites. Then a different bacteria colonizes to eat the nitrites and make nitrates. So during a cycle it is possible to see nitrites and not see ammonia at some point.

This isn't the case here, your tank is well established and should be running just fine. Good job! I would suggest not adding chlorine anymore because you really don't need it and any overdose could kill off your bacteria, it really isn't needed and we use dechlorinator to get rid of it anyway.

You have done it right and your fish show it! Now I want to see pictures of the tank, please. ;) I love live bearers and my LFS has a lousy color selection.

magic_marty 02-03-2007 04:11 AM


i will try to get some pics soon.I just did a nitrate test a few mins ago and it also came back very low almost couldnt detect the color diff from the zero on the card.maybe its like a 0.25 or something.

The 10 g is a different story however.We use it to keep pregnant females witch look close to droping.there is 4 platys,1 swordtail,1 columbian blue tetra, and 1 male platy that my wifes mom gave her from her tank of death as i call it..(long and sad story i wont get into) :( ...ok it has been setup for about 2 weeks i believe and we were doing water changes every couple of days or so.But when we got the test kit a few days ago that change things
because its showing 1.5 ammonia sometimes but mostly closer to 1 on the card, so we are doing a little over a 3 gallon a day water change and hoping it will soon cycle and stabilize.the filter is a aquatech 10 it was one of those 10g kits from wally world,should we be doing more of a water change? and perhaps vac the gravel more often to help remove more of the waste? the nitrites are are low as of now but i assume the will rise shortly if the tank soon cycles thru.

also i have noticed something weird about the fish in both tanks i don't know what they are doing but they seem to be running in to things as if they are trying to skip off of items in the tanks like the heater,the pickup tube ect...are they playing around or is there something causeing them to do this like external parasites? if so will treating for the parasites destroy what biofiltration is in the tanks? and what would be good to treat them with if it is parasites? there is no visible parasites that we can see.maybe something under there scales? its really weird cause they dont do it constantly its just once in a while but when they do they repeat it several times before they stop.

Thanks again...

FDStation152 02-03-2007 12:26 PM

The fish are "flashing" as its called and it is usually a pretty good indicator of external parasites especially if it is happening repeatedly and often.

musho3210 02-03-2007 12:28 PM

although there is no harm in trying to use bio-spira, it doesnt always work.

fish_4_all 02-03-2007 01:22 PM

It could be a parasite if they are flashing a lot like FDstations said. Mine do it once in a while, once or twice a week that I notice, usually when being chased by another fish.

I don't remember what it is, Maracyn I and II or something like that that some use to treat for parasites. I really don't know what effect they have on the bacteria if any. I have used Coppersafe before I added a lot of plants and it worked well but I don't think it is one that is commonly recommended. It was all my LFS had and I had a massive Ich outbreak.

magic_marty 02-03-2007 07:18 PM

i been doing some research on the web and came across some possible remedies,and a site that might be usefull to all.It lists alot of parasites and diseases in a collum with the treatments to the right of it.we have noticed 3 fish in the 20g that have tiny white spots on them possible ick.?but these spots never seem to multiply as in affect any other area of the body or the other fish.So the best thing i can find is the ich-attack listed on dr.fosters and smith as it lists that it is safe for senative fish and it will not discolor any of the silicone or decor in the tank, also it can be used as a preventive med to prevent a are the links to these and any additional info anybody might have would be appreciated... lists desases and treatments

is to the ick-attack

Thanks all...

FDStation152 02-03-2007 11:38 PM

While they might not be multiplying just yet if it is ich the first time you fish get stressed they will break out. Sounds like you are just getting the beginning of an outbreak. I generally use medicine containing malachite green and formalin. Certain fish however can be rather sensitive to this medication however so careful attention has to be paid to the dosing. Raising the tank temperature to around 84-86 will also help. Aquarium salt can also help if your fish arent sensitive to it. There is a lot of information on here about ich. Read through it and go from there. Its one thing if the fish are only flashing from time to time but you say it is repeated often and some are showing white spots. Ich is the most likely scenario for those symptoms.

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