Stress Zyme, What should i expect next?.
My tank has been up and cycling for exactly 8 days with fish in and 6 of those days i had to do 50% water changes because of ammonia spikes. Ammonia was spiking everyday up until thursday when i added Stress Zyme. My API master test kit came in the mail on friday and i have been testing 3 times a day for ammonia,nitrite,nitrates. I still have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate since the last water change that i added Stress Zyme. My question is what should i expect next?. A full blown out nitrite attack or does Stress Zyme put you that much farther ahead?. Just looking to maybe find out what will happen next.
I have never used StressZyme but I would think that the product would provide many different genera of bacteria that will survive different tank conditions (cold, tropical, salt, pH, water hardness) that the product is marketed for plus provide both bacteria to break down Ammonia and Nitrite; if it does not do this it is a waste of time and money. Stress Zyme does not state what you are adding so you will have to take APIs word. I personally do not use tank additives other than chlorine/chloramine removers. I dont like the fact that the ingredients are secret and there is no way to tell what secondary effects the products will have on your tank. I wonder if StressZyme interferes with the establishment of natural bacteria populations.
I would suggest that you continue checking your nitrogen compounds and do water changes if you have any high levels for the first month.
As stated in API's info on StressZyme, this is not a nitrifying bacterial supplement but a product that allegedly reduces "sludge" or waste. Here's the link to their page:
I have frequently suggested not using this product as I am not certain that you want to interfere with the natural biology in the aquarium in this manner. There is a host of natural bacteria living in the substrate that will handle waste naturally, especially in tanks with live plants which are part of that biological process. Increasing the breakdown of organics will lead to increased ammonia and then nitrite, the very thing you want to be combating.
In new setups you can add nitrifying bacteria, either by seeding the tank with existing bacteria (via wood, rock, substrate or filter media from an established tank), live plants, or a bacterial supplement. There are two that I know of that work to "jump-start" the nitrosomonas and nitrospira bacteria. Tetra's SafeStart, and Seachem's Stability. I have used the latter. Both are 100% natural bacteria that will not "cycle" the tank immediately but will quicken the establishment of the bacteria population to handle ammonia and nitrite. If the fish load is minimal to the tank size, using either product will avoid considerable stress and damage to the fish from "cycling."
+1 StressZyme is nothing that will kick start your BB. It will eventually die and provide a source of ammonia though and thus feeding your bacteria though. What you have to look forward to is daily water changes with Prime for a month or so until your tank is cycled. As mentioned above you can try tetra safe start or seachem stability to kick start your bacteria colonies.
I wasn't looking for a way to have my tank cycled quickly, I was looking for something biological to deal with ammonia spikes rather than using ammo lock or a product that only lasts 36 hours for the comfort of the fish and their sake. It seem's to be that this product will only make the cycle longer by knocking out the ammonia completely and starving the bacteria. Though i don't know this for sure it just seem's logical from my standpoint. I'm continuing to monitor the tank everyday and everything still tests 0. Im going to stop using this product even though it did wonder's for ammonia spikes i just fear that the actual cycle process might have been reset because of starving the bacteria i already had forming. If a reset did happen or something similar i probably will go get a bottle of safestart to get back to where i was. Thanks all for your input!.
The initial question(s) may not have been fully covered, so I'll do a recap.
If you are cycling a new tank with fish, and no live plants, you can expect ammonia to spike and then nitrite. The best remedy for both is daily 50% partial water changes using a conditioner than detoxifies both; to my knowledge only Seachem's Prime and Aquarium Solutions' Ultimate handle both ammonia and nitrite. I would use one of those. If ammonia or nitrite exceed .25, do a 50% water change.
Using a bacterial supplement such as Stability or SafeStart will help; it will get the bacteria going faster. The spikes will still occur, same action as above when they do.
With live plants in the tank, this is lessened, the more plants there are. won't go further into that unless asked.
You don't need to test 3 times a day for ammonia,nitrite,nitrates.
You also don't need to 50% water change or ammonia lock unless the ammonia is really high.
The ammonia will need to .25 or caution to cycle , .50 or stress could use a 20-30% water change.
If you keep bringing the ammonia to zero you won't cycle. Also don't vacuum the gravel, skim over it.
Also don't overfeed, you want the fish to survive not grow, your cycling.
I went with once a day for 1-2 minutes and when the ammonia spikes
you can skip a day of feeding.
If your ammonia is .25 or caution for a few days and drops, then test nitrite.
For me the safe start made it so there wasn't much of a nitrite spike.
When ammonia and nitrite are both zero, then test nitrate.
I used to use stress zyme in new setups if i chose to do a in-fish cycle, i found that it seems to "reduce" the ammonia spike. I put reduce in quotes because its not a scientific conclusion, i just didnt notice as much of a spike as in my previous setups, but that could also have been due to lots of other things.
if you reasearch stresszyme it normally says its a generaly a bad idea. but from my own experience using it is has never caused problems. I still am under the impression of its best to just feed once a day and not a lot of food and change the water if you experiance any problems during cycling
I agree with the above posters that frequent water changes and a detoxifier like prime is the best route. (unless you want plants)
Some fish are extremely sensitive to ammonia- if you get a reading at all, then do a water change. The bacteria will still grow fine.
Prime probably converts ammonia to ammonium, so ammonia may show up anyway in it's ammonia form. (Ammonia is toxic, while ammonium is much more safe.)
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