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Old 04-18-2014, 02:04 PM   #11 
mart
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Only going to say this once.
ATM Colony.
All four of my tanks were cycled in just a little over a week.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:16 PM   #12 
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Here's what I have learned and what I am going to do.

Does KH affect the initial growth and function of the nitrifying? Well, yes and no.

The carbonates in the water are only one thing of many that have an impact on these bacteria. Other elements like light, nutrients, trace minerals, oxygen, carbon dioxide, salinity and alkalinity all play a part. So to point at any one thing and say "AHA!!! That's It!" just isn't possible for us lowly hobbyists with limited means. I believe it would take a biology lab and micro-biology degree of one sort of another to be able to really see what is going amongst all these elements.

The only thing we can see that is measurable is the PH and its affect on these bacteria. The more acidic the water as measured by PH, the more inhibited the bacteria are until they stop functioning altogether (PH 6.0). But in an established aquarium with plants, fish and other bacterial growth and function throughout the rest of the aquaria and substrate, this gets a little more involved as there is give and take from each element in the system. Don't ask me what they are just yet. Give me some time and I'll find out about it.

So what does that mean? Well, I am taking the bits and pieces I have received and doing the following (I started over by emptying the tank, making the adjustments needed).

1. Raise the KH to minimum of 3 dk. mine is at around 4 dk.
2. I am seeding the aquarium as directed using Microbe-Lift Nite-Out II (Sorry folks. Someone beat you to the suggestion ).
3. Adding ammonia to the system slowly over several days until I reach 3-4 ppm concentration.
4. When Nitrites show up, letting it drop to .5ppm and holding there till the cycle completes.
5. Adding two bunches of Anacharis to the tank. Adding a biological element to the tank that for the cycle rather than letting it remain sterile.
6. Adding aeration.

Now if it goes quicker this time, I won't be able to point to any one thing to say it fixed it, but at least I'll know that doing it this way works.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:31 PM   #13 
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took my tank just over a month to cycle (fish-in) i will say that Nitromax by Tropical Science did speed up my cycle significantly and maintains it very well. Ive been cycled for just over 2 months with no spikes in ammonia or nitrates both @ 0ppm and holding. maybe that will help your issue.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:46 PM   #14 
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NanaBeams - thanks for your suggestion. I've seen Dr. Tim's mentioned around here several times, and that's my next choice if I try to buy another bacteria in a bottle (haven't had luck with the others). I may be able to get some seeded filter media from a very kind person but I'm very interested in this water issue because I want to make sure my water is good for sustaining the BB I introduce into the tank and it doesn't die off.

rdpadgett37 - thanks for sharing what you found out. Hope it works and please do post again and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:55 PM   #15 
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Originally Posted by 1RainbowBetta View Post
NanaBeams - thanks for your suggestion. I've seen Dr. Tim's mentioned around here several times, and that's my next choice if I try to buy another bacteria in a bottle (haven't had luck with the others). I may be able to get some seeded filter media from a very kind person but I'm very interested in this water issue because I want to make sure my water is good for sustaining the BB I introduce into the tank and it doesn't die off.

rdpadgett37 - thanks for sharing what you found out. Hope it works and please do post again and let us know how it turns out.
My pleasure and I will.

If I may ask, what are your water parameters... PH, KH, GH and temp?
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:28 PM   #16 
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PH 6.4 (A couple months ago I tested it and got 7.2 so not sure why it's lower now) I've been using Stability trying to cycle it. Does this lower pH?

GH and KH - When I did the test I only added one drop of solution and got a pale version of the final color. I added a couple more drops just to verify, but it started out with the color it was supposed to change to with only 1 drop. I have the liquid API tests and the lowest reading for 1 drop is 17.9 but maybe you used a test that is more sensitive?

temperature 78 degrees.
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:55 PM   #17 
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Originally Posted by 1RainbowBetta View Post
PH 6.4 (A couple months ago I tested it and got 7.2 so not sure why it's lower now) I've been using Stability trying to cycle it. Does this lower pH?

GH and KH - When I did the test I only added one drop of solution and got a pale version of the final color. I added a couple more drops just to verify, but it started out with the color it was supposed to change to with only 1 drop. I have the liquid API tests and the lowest reading for 1 drop is 17.9 but maybe you used a test that is more sensitive?

temperature 78 degrees.
Ok... First thing is it takes alot of mismanagement to kill off bb. As long as you don't boil them, freeze them or let their media dry out, you'll be fine. As I understand it, when the conditions are less than favorable, nitrifying bacteria growth rate and efficiency of processing goes down. Excess bacteria go dormant until conditions are favorable again.

For your water, the temp is good. Anywhere between 77-86 degrees is ideal.

Your PH is low for the nitrifying bacteria. Their growth rate and efficiency is very low at that level. At 6 (for a reference), they go completely dormant. I would suggest raising it to at least 7.2 or higher. The efficiency doesn't get ideal until 8.3. They'll do much better at 7.2 than at 6.4. The nitrifying bacteria will function at 6.4, but very very slowly.

We are really talking about raising your KH which is very low like mine. Baking Soda is the cheapest way to do it. I don't have a dosage chart I can link you too , but instructions are readily available as to how much to add. I use something different but it accomplishes the same thing and my KH is now at around 50ppm (about 2.8-3 dK) which gives me a PH of 7.2.

Your GH is really low, too, just like mine. It is a shot in the dark, but it makes sense that if these bacteria use trace minerals, then a higher GH would be beneficial. Most of what comprises GH tests is calcium and magnesium, but there are a number of trace elements that don't get measured in the test as the amounts are so tiny. The easiest way to raise it is with crushed coral, either on the bottom of the tank or in your filter. Filter coral will leech the minerals into the water faster but both will work. You can get it at your local gardening center. I raised mine to 70ppm (about 3-4dH).

I've read in more than one place that aeration during cycling is good for the growing bacteria. A small pump and airstone will do the trick.

Hope that helps. Best I can do right now
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:37 AM   #18 
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It's my understanding that most "drinking" water these days is produced by reverse osmosis (It's now cheaper than distilling) with added minerals for flavor. And who knows what those are?

If you're fishless cycling with ammonia for a Betta tank, any dosing over 1.0ppm is just a waste of ammonia and an overgrowth of bacteria which will die back soon after stocking.

Stability doesn't contain the cycling bacteria you want to cultivate. Your (Tetra?) Safestart may have bee frozen in shipping. I expect a lot of that after this winter. Dr Tim's is shipped factory direct in an insulated envelope, which helps.

I compliment you, rpadgett, for learning all you can about water parameters and what determines the various aspects. But try not to over-think it. Sometimes patience is all that should be practiced.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:02 AM   #19 
rpadgett37
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If you're fishless cycling with ammonia for a Betta tank, any dosing over 1.0ppm is just a waste of ammonia and an overgrowth of bacteria which will die back soon after stocking.
I have been suspecting recently the instructions I have lived by for an ammonia cycle may be flawed. First time anyone has said this. I was under the impression the bacteria just went dormant, but if the excess dies off, then the instructions I have used are going out the window. Appreciate the info here.

Quote:
I compliment you, rpadgett, for learning all you can about water parameters and what determines the various aspects. But try not to over-think it. Sometimes patience is all that should be practiced.
Fair enough, Hard to not over-think at times due to conflicting information, but I definitely agree, patience is a virtue here. I've been told that is true everywhere. I've been thinking really hard about that one... hehe
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:52 AM   #20 
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Re-Reading. Yes, your knowledge base is pretty solid. You finally mentioned temperature and aeration as considerations. I think all you missed is current flow, which spreads the bacteria and exposes more water to the bacteria for treatment.

The realtionship between bacteria and plants is simple. The more plants the less bacteria -- plants eat first. The fewer plants the more bacteria is necessary to pick up the slack.
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