Ammonia Control in a Hospital Tank

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Brew12, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Crashjack

    Crashjack Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Has anybody messed with manually dosing one of these during medicated QT to help replenish the bacteria in the filter and seen good results? In other words, starting with a populated filter, but then adding some bacteria in a bottle every few days, once per week, or whatever to help shore-up possible bacteria losses?
     

  2. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I've never had to do this as I've never had my filter break down enough to show detectable ammonia.
     
  3. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I added an edit in my original post to show another method to help with ammonia control. You will notice that I added macro algae into my QT when I first set it up. This helps both with ammonia and with nitrate/phosphates. Just remember to take it out prior to dosing copper.
    IMG_0695.JPG
     
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  4. CindyKz

    CindyKz Well-Known Member

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    This is very interesting, in that I've had much better luck with Bio-Spira than with Stability.

    Do you have any suggestions (other than already mentioned, prompt removal of uneaten food) for controlling ammonia in a hospital tank in which you are using antibiotics that will kill any biofilter? I have a jawfish that I'm treating with nitrofuran and metronidazole - both companies claim no impact on the biofilter, but in combination I have my doubts and prefer to take extra precautions. I've been doing water changes in accordance with the medication instructions and adding an ammonia binder. It has worked so far...any other thoughts?
     
  5. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Partner Member 2018

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    The thing about bacteria is they are amazingly resilient, and can adapt & repropagate themselves quickly. So while the initial dosage of antibiotics may put a dent in their population, a healthy biofilter will bounce back in short order and may even become resistant to whatever antibiotics you are dosing. Unfortunately, we are discovering the same applies when using antibiotics to treat bacterial infections sometimes. :(
     
  6. jeff williams

    jeff williams Well-Known Member

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    Brew another great thread thanks. I've asked you this question before but for those people that wasn't in on the conversation we had ! Nitrite in my qt is the one I have worried about because my ammonia has never been a problem for some reason nitrite dosent break down in my qt. you mentioned nitrite absorption is blocked ( I believe you said )by sodium. If this being the case would you not worry about wc's to control nitrite?
     
  7. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thank you!

    Nitrite is blocked by the chlorides in saltwater. So no, I wouldn't even test for nitrites in a QT/HT. Not to mention that there are many things in a marine tank that can cause false positive readings. The only parameters I monitor in a QT/HT are ammonia (via Seachem badge), temperature, salinity, and copper.
     
  8. jasonrusso

    jasonrusso Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't get a biofilter to really establish well while dosing CP. I tried Dr. Tim, Stability, Bio-spira, and Fuel. I added the Bio-spira and Fuel towards the tail end. After I added carbon (to remove CP) the filter quickly established.

    I also use one of these foam filters. It won't absorb medication, has a ton of surface area, and aerates the water.

    Bio Fish Aquarium Medium Cylinder Soft Sponge Water Filter, Black by XINYOU https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009UY519M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_opynzb80XNP1Q
     
  9. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thank you for adding that. I've never used CP so I have no experience with it. I have found that antibiotics can inhibit establishing a bio filter but once the filter is established they have a much smaller impact. It's always best to set up a QT a few days in advance prior to using any medications if at all possible. Unfortunately, we often don't get to plan setting one up in advance.
     
  10. jasonrusso

    jasonrusso Well-Known Member

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    It was an emergency so I didn't have time to establish anything. I've read that it won't hurt an established filter, but I had no luck trying to establish one after the fact.
     
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  11. Empress

    Empress Well-Known Member

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    I have a QT set up and will be adding Bio-Spira Wednesday when it comes in the mail. The tank salinity is at about 1.017 right now. Will salinity that low hurt the Bio-Spira? And I'm keeping the temperature at 77. Also we're at 2.0 coppersafe; day 3.
     
  12. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Nope, you should be just fine. Salinity doesn't have a significant impact on the nitrifying bacteria.
     
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  13. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Partner Member 2018

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    I would take your QT bio media and "seed" it with Bio-Spira in a bucket away from the copper.
     
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  14. Empress

    Empress Well-Known Member

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    Good idea! I'm using 2 of those thick sponges that came with the hob filter box. 24 hours should be enough time to get the bacteria working? I'll also put an air stone in the bucket too. I learn so much from everybody here. Very thankful for all you do.
     
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  15. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Partner Member 2018

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    Personally, I'd give it a few days for the bacteria to get settled in and begin propagating before exposing them to copper.
     
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  16. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Since you have fish and copper in the system already I would add Biospira to both sponges, add one in 6 to 12 hours and add the other in 3 or 4 days. Put a lil fish food or ammonia in with the one while you wait those days to get the bacteria reproducing.
     
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  17. Crashjack

    Crashjack Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Question, if trying to seed a new sponge filter in a couple of days using Biospira (before adding fish), would it be better to add some ammonia like Dr. Tim's ammonia or only add the Biospira and let the QT run for a couple of days before adding the fish?
     
  18. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Partner Member 2018

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    You can test the sponge's biological capacity by dosing ammonium hydroxide (i.e. Household ammonia) into the QT and seeing how long it takes to convert it to nitrites --> nitrates. A healthy biofilter should be able to process 3-5 ppm ammonia all the way to nitrate with 0 ppm ammonia and 0 ppm nitrite after 24 hrs.

    Use this calculator to determine how much ammonia to dose: https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/Calculators/AmmoniaCycling.php
     
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  19. Crashjack

    Crashjack Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Good stuff. My dilemma is I'm trying to receive and start quarantining new fish on Friday. My quarantine equipment (heater, power head, and PVC elbows) are drying and won't be done with a full 5 days of drying until Wednesday, which is also the day I would have to place my fish order to get fish delivered on Friday. If I add ammonia and it isn't consumed, I'll have fish arrive with a QT full of ammonia. If I don't add ammonia, I'll have to trust the Biospira to do its thing with live fish. Neither of these scenarios should result in catastrophe as I have a bottle of Amquel and keep plenty of pre-mixed saltwater for water changes. However, I much prefer smooth sailing over stormy seas so want to do whatever gives me the best chance for smooth sailing.
     
  20. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I would make my decision based on what fish will be going into what size hospital tank. If it will be lightly stocked I wouldn't test it. If it is a large number of fish or large fish for the tank size then I would test it.
     
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