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Old 10-22-2012, 09:48 PM   #51 
whiskandbowl
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Just added the Safe Start (literally 20 minutes ago) and stuffed some filter floss into the filter.

Tank has been up since August, but didn't get ammonia readings until Sept I think It's been so long. My parents keep teasing me about having a tank with no fish. (They don't understand the concept of cycling)

Maybe my bacteria in the air is bad, that would explain why my sourdough bread never worked out :-p

Powerball is doing okay. He's in a 2gal critter keeper with silk plants, a floating betta log, and Elite heater set at 80*. Water changes every other day. He's pretty spoiled for being in a small space.
I've only tested pH once, don't remember what it is. I'll test it right now. I'm pretty sure we have hard water, since scum develops in the sink here pretty easily.

I'd add Powerball right now but I can't get ahold of Prime until Thursday. I know we have other ammonia neutralizing products at work, do these work as well? I think they are not conditioners, they are solely for ammonia.

Will post an update with the big 3, and pH. I don't think I have the means to test hardness (I have the API master kit)
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:39 AM   #52 
Hallyx
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I hope I'm not confusing you with some of this contradictory advice.

My reading indicates that Safestart and Dr Tim's raise the ammonia beyond what we consider acceptable here. Their instructions lead me to think they are better for fishless cycling. They seem to think an ammonia reading over 0.5ppm is acceptable.

I'm not sure what to say at this point, Whisk. If Poweball is still in the KK, I'd give the Safestart a few days to see what it does to your ammonia. And...
---put some Safestart in your filter
---max aeration
---run your temp up to ~85*
---filter on high
---dark tank

If Powerball is already in residence, keep a close eye on the readings. Change water 50% before it gets to 0.25ppm. Run an airstone or sponge filter for max aeration/oxygenation.

Now that you're totally confused, get back to us and tell us what you did.

I know that Prime and Amquel convert ammonia to ammonium, which is used by your bacteria. There are other products that just neutralize ammonia (whatever that means). That's good for your fish, but does nothing to help you build a bacteria colony.

If you have hard water, chances are your pH is quite high. This is good for growing nitrifying bacteria.

Last edited by Hallyx; 10-23-2012 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:46 AM   #53 
whiskandbowl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
I hope I'm not confusing you with some of this contradictory advice.
Not at all. Keep calm and carry on has been my motto lately

Quote:
My reading indicates that Safestart and Dr Tim's raise the ammonia beyond what we consider acceptable here. Their instructions lead me to think they are better for fishless cycling. They seem to think an ammonia reading over 0.5ppm is acceptable.
Personally I don't like to see fish in ammonia over 0.25, and if I find a reading indicating these levels, I do a water change.

Quote:
I'm not sure what to say at this point, Whisk. If Poweball is still in the KK, I'd give the Safestart a few days to see what it does to your ammonia. And...
---put some Safestart in your filter
---max aeration
---run your temp up to ~85*
---filter on high
---dark tank
That's my gameplan right here

Quote:
Run an airstone or sponge filter for max aeration/oxygenation.
I don't have one. Should I get one? If so, I would love recommendations. We carry Whisper air pumps, that's all I remember right now! It's 8 in the morning and I don't do mornings HAHA

Quote:
I know that Prime and Amquel convert ammonia to ammonium, which is used by your bacteria. There are other products that just neutralize ammonia (whatever that means). That's good for your fish, but does nothing to help you build a bacteria colony.
Good to know

Quote:
If you have hard water, chances are your pH is quite high. This is good for growing nitrifying bacteria.
I tested pH last night. Same reading in the tank, and out of the tap- around 7.2 (those blues are hard to differentiate!)

Just for fun I tested the levels last night about 2 hours after adding the Safe Start.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20ppm

This morning the levels are:
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0.0ppm
Nitrate: Around 30ppm

One last question! (for now) Should I worry about any of the levels getting high and do a water change, or should I let them level out on their own, then do one big change before I put the fish in?
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #54 
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Whew..glad you're a sensible gal.

Hard to believe that much nitrate without going through the ammonia/nitrite conversion but...whatever. If the nitrate gets to ~40ppm do a 50%. Too much nitrate can slow your cycle (and we can't have that, can we?)

You don't need an airstone if your filter splashes. That improves the gas exchange, aerating the water and feeding your bacteria.

For fishless, keep the ammonia and nitrite <5ppm and the nitrate <40ppm. The custom is to let it ride until it zeroes the ammonia and nitrite, then one big pwc and you're ready to stock...always monitoring your parameters, of course.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:21 PM   #55 
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Originally Posted by whiskandbowl View Post

I tested pH last night. Same reading in the tank, and out of the tap- around 7.2 (those blues are hard to differentiate!)
You're right on the overlap between high-range and low-range. Try the high-range pH test and see what you get.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:50 PM   #56 
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Will do....probably tomorrow as I'm exhausted. Between school and work, no time! Sigh

I was surprised about the nitrates too. But I swear, there was no mistaking that shade of orange.
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