When to add nitrifying bacteria?!?

Discussion in 'Cube Aquariums' started by Triggerhappy77, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Triggerhappy77

    Triggerhappy77 Well-Known Member

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    Hey everybody I know I've got annoying questions galore but does anybody have a number for when to add my bacteria bottle? I assume and from what I've read that there must be ammonia present for the bacteria not to starve. I just don't wanna throw 15 bucks down the drain. Been testing for 9 days now and another concern is my salinity has dropped from 1.021 to current #. My readings are:
    Temp 79°
    PH 8.0
    Ammonia 0.3
    Nitrate 0.0
    Nitrite 0.0
    Salinity 1.019
    Please any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. CodyRVA

    CodyRVA Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    If you have ammonia or if you've been feeding your tank, then you can add the bacteria. It's important to keep feeding very small amounts of food to keep the cycle going or to maintain it once it's complete. Definitely correct your salinity, did you mix the water wrong? Usually your salinity creeps high from evaporation.
     
  3. Triggerhappy77

    Triggerhappy77 Well-Known Member

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    No I bought it from lfs. That's what I thought too. Any idea why it would go down? Any ideas for how to correct it?
     
  4. CodyRVA

    CodyRVA Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    What are you using to measure it? First confirm that it is indeed low. The only way it would drop that much would be if you added too much fresh water to your system.
     
  5. goodefx

    goodefx Member

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    Only buy water from the lfs if need to. I recommend that you start making your own saltwater and buy an RO system, it will pay for itself within a year...imo
     
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  6. Triggerhappy77

    Triggerhappy77 Well-Known Member

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    A refractometer, but perhaps I should calibrate it again. The lfs owner calibrated it for me originally a couple weeks ago when I bought it. Have not added any water since the original fill up. It has a lid and evaporation is very minimal thus far. And I'd love to do a RODI system but I'm in an apartment and money wise i cant do it anytime soon.
     
  7. CodyRVA

    CodyRVA Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    If it's been weeks since your initial fill up, your salinity should be high not low, assuming you haven't added any fresh water. You can always take a sample to your LFS and have them verify the sample and the refractometer. +1 on an RODI system when possible, cheaper models in the $150 range are more than sufficient.
     
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  8. Triggerhappy77

    Triggerhappy77 Well-Known Member

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    I will take a sample in to the lfs and see what comes up. Thanks for the help and ill post the answer when i get it.
     
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  9. cmcoker

    cmcoker Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm in an apartment as well, check out the thread about "apartment dwellers" several people show or talk about their rodi station. Totally feasible to run under a kitchen or bathroom sink, mines in the laundry room. You don't have to use a saddle valve, there are semi permanent connections that are easily removable but can be left in place until you move it.
    I can link some parts if your interested.

    Money wise, well as mentioned they don't have to cost an arm and a leg, and the convenience of water on demand, no lugging bottles will make it well worth it when you have the cash
     
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  10. Triggerhappy77

    Triggerhappy77 Well-Known Member

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    Lfs confirmed the reading I got. He has no idea how the salinity could drop. So new plan is buy nutri seawater for my water change. And buy from another lfs until I can get my own RODI system. (I'm a bit frustrated that the owner has no answers for me)
     
  11. Triggerhappy77

    Triggerhappy77 Well-Known Member

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    Tested again today and here's what's comin up. So the ammonia has dropped but is still measurable and it never spiked like I thought it would. Also have a few small patches of what appears to be hair algae on the sand bed and on the rock. Can I get some clean-up crew goin yet or wait til the nitrite and ammonia zero out?
    PH: 8.0
    Temp: 79.5
    Salinity: 1.021
    No2: 0.3
    No3: 2.5
    NH3: 0.1
     
  12. CodyRVA

    CodyRVA Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    What kits are you using? If you're using API, my ammonia API kit always shows a small amount of ammonia. You need to get your salinity up; you can bring it up fast since you have no live stock. A clean up crew, inverts, will not tolerate salinity that low. Some fish may, but is typically only done when battling an ailment like ich. How high did your nitrate get before going back down? If your system is cycled, you should be able to add a pure ammonia source and quickly see your system process it, within days, give or take. A cycled system will have the bacteria necessary to quickly process the waste while an unestablished system will not, so you won't have to wait long to find out. If your nitrite rose and fell, then if your nitrate did the same, you should be good to go.
     
  13. Triggerhappy77

    Triggerhappy77 Well-Known Member

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    Nutrafin test kits. And these are all my numbers since start up. I know it's messy. And maybe it's not ready yet but I just don't want the algae to take over the tank.

    1490474358148-1216241687.jpg
     
  14. CodyRVA

    CodyRVA Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I'd test the ammonia, track your nitrite and nitrate, if all goes as planned start water changes and add your clean up crew
     
  15. Triggerhappy77

    Triggerhappy77 Well-Known Member

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    So I just added a red legged hermit 2 astrea snails and 4 narseas snails. All look happy and active

    14909167659441257767369.jpg
     
  16. telsonman

    telsonman Well-Known Member

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    You're thinking too much right now. I personally added bio-spira the day I filled the tank up, and then another bottle a week later. It works like a charm, but you do have to have an ammonia source. It basically added the first stage and some of the 2nd. Without an ammonia source though, it won't be able to convert the ammonia into nitrite, and then there won't be any nitrate. Many don't do it, but I'm still a fan of adding a cycle fish. Did you use live rock or dry rock? My experience is that live rock has spikes that are much worse than when using dry rock, because of the die off.
    You seeing algae is a good thing, it means your cycle is going.

    As far as your salinity goes, instead of topping off with fresh to compensate for evap, top off with saltwater.
     
  17. Triggerhappy77

    Triggerhappy77 Well-Known Member

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    Here it is at the 2 month mark. Any suggestions on getting rid of my algae?

    14942934780031887065711.jpg
     
  18. CodyRVA

    CodyRVA Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Monitor your nutrients by controlling your feeding, performing routine maintenance which may include water changes (consider doing larger or more frequent changes if you are doing them already), always use RODI, beef up your nutrient export.
     
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