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Old 03-04-2011, 03:10 AM   #1 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Sharing: Antibacteria interrupted my cycle

Really big pic under that.

What we have here is an interrupted nitrogen cycle. The ammonia is starting to build up because the nitrosomonas in canister is asleep or dead but the nitrospira on the bio-wheel is working, so the little ammonia converted to nitrite is being processed into nitrate just fine.

pH 7.9 adj 7.4 (salinity)
Am 2.2ppm (prime ballast)
nI 0.00ppm, hard negative
nE about 45ppm (salinity is on different card)
Gh was 9
Kh read 7

Due to twice daily additions of prime the ammonia reading took 8 minutes to cook instead of the card instruction time.

So, in this case what do I do? All my ducks are happy but since I'm running antibiotic in the tank I have the carbon out and have been adding prime to de-toxify the nitrogen components. This means I need to not only do a water change but may want to reduce my tap water's Gh14 Kh2 down to something more reasonable then rebuild the water to Kh7.

The Am reading has to be dealt with immediately but since I'm treating for a medical condition which can intensify shock, I'm wanting to do only 25% water changes.

The water going in will have different alkalinity even though I can match hardness, pH and temp.

So... how many 25% changes do I have to do? Each change will dilute the previous ppm ammonia by 25%.
2.2 1.65 1.24 0.93 0.7 0.53...
Too many changes.

I added tripple sulfa yesterday and did a cursory test of nitrite, 1cc and 1 drop. So now I'm going to have to scrub the dosing of triple-sulfa with a 50% water change followed by an additional 30% two hours later in order to clear it and "hope" the nitrosomona wakes up. I say hope because I cheat.
My backup is going on the tank right after the 50% with twelve ounces fresh activated carbon in it.

This is a sorority with 10 + 2 + 2 + 4 + 1 in it. Tank volume is 15g, filtration capacity is 90g. This means that if I'd been using an appropriate sized filter for the 15g water mass I'd have lost my regular fish about eight hours ago and would now have distress on the betta.

How'd the tank get to this condition? Flexibactor. The tank has been under treatment by bombardment with Tetracycline+erythromiacin for 36 hours, followed by Furan-2/jungle fungus clear for 48 and now triple-sulfa and Lifeguard. for eighteen hours.

Scary readings are scary but remember not to panic. You love your fish but making a mistake while your stressed fish stress you can be lethal and is commonly what turns people off from keeping aquaria.

I cannot, by looking at the tank, tell that anything is "wrong"... the bloodfins fins are bold red and one of the mollies is prancing about. The water conditions in the tank are excellent and it aggravates me that I have to ruin that for the ammonia!

NO POOH POOHING my tank and stock count!
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:44 AM   #2 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Two girls now showing minor distress, one showing major distress.
Two other blues showing lighter tones and a little green.
Mollies, guppies and bloodfin unfazed.

And found petals, sister to rose (died of flexibacter) where she decided to take a nap between filter sponge and sidewall before a cat crawled through between tanks. She had flexi too... not being able to get kanamyacin makes it difficult to treat things like flexi. Kana is expensive and nobody round here will carry it on hand. Maracin-2 won't be here till monday and will likely be worthless due to heat. So other than Cherries who seems to be cured of it, I seem to have lost the other girls from weakness, age or stupidity by exhaustion. The treatments interrupted Fins healing her tail, may have to QT treat her.

Purp, Blue, Rose, Petals... and now Twinkles is showing scale and fins deterioration.

Its interesting after these heavy water changes to see that some of the girls barely noticed a difference and others are struggling with it.

Nod is swimming around looking at twinkles and brownie because they're acting weird to her. Nod is perceptive but not very personable... she doesn't talk to me like most the girls do.

I've noticed that more than about 12 girls is pointless, they cannot remember each other and thus act like strangers or run in two shoals. I'm tenatively concluding that a sorority is not a tank of female betta but a group of female betta that enjoy each other's company and get along as a family. In my tank that puts the number at nine. Not that much different than humans but a fairly common communal size.

Doing the additional change now.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:09 AM   #3 
Join Date: Feb 2011
seems my heater is running a degree cooler again, probably looked at it or something XD

All signs of stress are gone, everybody's swimming around.
My aeration is done by one air stone and the two eight inch long bio-wheels that the C-220 runs spray bars over. Heavy CO2 exchange that way.

Bloodfins are fluttering, looks like its part of the mating dance tho.

Ammonia is reading 0.2 and dropping, by water changes alone it should be reading 0.7. Yay bio-wheels!

So now I have to consider if the girls will be up to their upgrade to 25gal (20 long) this weekend or if I should leave it a few days? It looks like twinkles has infection internally so she's going to be in the medical tank (already there) until she passes.

My youngest girl, Red, is completely oblivious that anything happened, she's still picking around the roots of the onion.

It's 5am and time to dry the large towels.
If I worked more than the four hours I do each day, I'd not have a sorority, just a girl in a community. Its been a lot of work over the last two and a half years and I honestly can't remember all the names.

I remember the ones I won't use again. Moon, Pink/Pinkpink, Emerald, Cocoa, Pearl, Pug, Cambi, Purp, Clown Tail... names of exceptional girls I don't want to blur across several different personalities.
Each one is precious, not only those but all of them that I bring home.
Pug was my first fem crowntail, Tarnish my last. Never again a crowntail in a community, they're too easily lost to their own appetite.

So I won't say "don't do it" to you about sororities... but in all honesty, don't do it unless you want to remember ones that have left you when you go looking for new ones to keep.

I think I'll use Scarlet again... I need to remember the tough ones for a while.

The flexibactor coincided with the introduction of some plants to the tank. It got hold because Blue wasn't blue, she was mostly white of the infection. Blue loved sleeping in plants.

Petals might have survived if she'd not wedged herself against the intake sponge.
On most days protecting them from themselves is the primary task.

Last edited by Thunderloon; 03-04-2011 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:44 AM   #4 
Join Date: Feb 2011
While weeding out boss-in-law's garden I ran the numbers over in my head. Probably half that ammonia reading WAS the dead nitrosomona from the canister. I wrote another of my "soft rants" about a week ago about the cybernetic fish in the tank; when anything dies its proteins revert into ammonia plus various chemicals. So, that said on the way home I'll be picking up the last batch of M. Bio-Spira in the free world. It was the Erythromycin + Lifeguard that wiped out the somona and what I have left to treat is Pseudomonas, the infection that caused immune suppression in the girls to let flexibactor in. Attack of the hardness monster plus salt and super aeration will do the job there. Not been home since seven AM and its making me a little twitchy XD. I know the girls will survive, a little concerned about the algae eater.

Last edited by Thunderloon; 03-04-2011 at 09:45 AM. Reason: cheap computer ate my return/line feed
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:15 PM   #5 
Join Date: Feb 2011
The time is now 1:57pm

At 11:40am I removed the carbon unit, added one packet Furan-2 one half disk Fungus Cure and fed Jungle anti-bacterial medicated food.

I then dumped in one of the last two Md. Bio-Spira cold packs and a third of a bottle of Start Smart TLC, bit over an ounce.

Also applied one can Java Monster, half hour browsing news and played with kitty for remainder of time.

pH about 7.8 (adjust salinity)
Am 0.3 and falling (over cook)
nI 0.0 hard negative
nE 25ppm and rising (incomplete cook)

Expected value for nE without bio-process after water changes: 16ppm.

So we take from this that, indeed, wet-dry bio processing has advantages, it encourages two different colonies of bacteria to develop.

The surface area of my Bio-Pro 60 is roughly equivalent to two and a half Emperor 280 and 100% of my return flow from the canister is being processed over them. Its clear that the nitrospira prefers the wet-dry while the nitrosomona prefers the black-out wet bath in the canister.

No signs of the Flexibactor but will now continue full 96 hours on Furan-2 with regular infusion of Hagan Cycle.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:04 PM   #6 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Soap opera continues.

Cannot get gram-negative in town, have ordered kanaplex/neoplex/methplex from big al's. But thats thursday.

Borrowed 220gph/5watt sterilizer in tank
Ion pad in canister
Seachem PolyGuard in tank.

Lost Fins and Twinkle.
Twinkle looked very bad, only took about 24 hours for her to go from infected to dead. White triangles around her body, etc.

None of the guppies, mollies nor the algae eater is showing any sign of infection, I have to assume the betta are getting it through their Lab glands.

I bought a SeaChem ammonia in-tank sensor tab. It flutters between safe and not so safe. That's good.

UV sterilizers are tricky things, you can't run them continuously without chewing up the bulbs. It comes out to about six days a week you can run them, this one claims 8000 hours bulb life but I don't believe it.

Poor Goat, tank within view of the sorority, has seen a few of his favorite girls leave way too often. I don't normally lose a girl more than about once per month and that's six now in four days.
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