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Beneficial Bacteria Question
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Flurry
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Joined: 18 Jul 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.05.02(Mon)13:20    Post subject: Beneficial Bacteria Question Reply with quote

A friend of mine just set up a 20 gallon. She's one of those people who've kept fish before without cycling the tank before hand. My dad stuck never-been-used cleaning sponge in my filter one day, thinking it would clean up my case of "green water." I wasn't in the mood to argue about why a sponge won't suck it up, so it's been there for a month. It's full of green stuff (bacteria?!), and I offered to give it to my friend for her new tank. Could I just put it in a baggy of water and give it to her at school tomorrow? I'll try my best to refer her back to this forum. She's already registered. She's already told me that she's been researching possible fish for her tank, which is a good sign, but like I said, I'll see if I can refer her back here.

Thanks.
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.05.02(Mon)13:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

better than a abggy of water, put the wet sponge into a plastic bag, blow it up and tie it off. lack of oxygen is your worst enemy, nt drying out in a a sealed bag. HTH
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Flurry
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Joined: 18 Jul 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.05.03(Tue)13:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did just that, then told her to add about a half a capful of ammonia daily, and to do a 50% water change right before she adds fish. She doesn't have an ammonia test kit... a capful and a bit was enough to get my ammonia up to 5ppm when I started cycling, so am I correct in saying that if she adds a little bit to keep the bacteria alive, she'll be fine when it comes to adding fish?
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copperwolf
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Joined: 24 Apr 2005
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: 2005.05.03(Tue)15:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flurry wrote:
I did just that, then told her to add about a half a capful of ammonia daily, and to do a 50% water change right before she adds fish. She doesn't have an ammonia test kit... a capful and a bit was enough to get my ammonia up to 5ppm when I started cycling, so am I correct in saying that if she adds a little bit to keep the bacteria alive, she'll be fine when it comes to adding fish?


I'm setting up a new tank myself, and instead of measuring out liquid ammonia, I dropped a dead shrimp in the tank, which is supposed to provide ammonia as it decomposes. It sounds a lot easier.

http://tropicalresources.net/phpBB2/cycling_primer.php
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haname
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

PostPosted: 2005.05.04(Wed)0:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flurry wrote:
I did just that, then told her to add about a half a capful of ammonia daily, and to do a 50% water change right before she adds fish. She doesn't have an ammonia test kit... a capful and a bit was enough to get my ammonia up to 5ppm when I started cycling, so am I correct in saying that if she adds a little bit to keep the bacteria alive, she'll be fine when it comes to adding fish?


If she is going to fishless cycle using chemical ammonia, she should test for ammonia and nitrite and go through the whole thing before adding any fish. Your sponge would help speed it up. Adding chemical ammonia then just changing out 50% of the water and putting fish in may be very harmful to the fish. Without testing, it would be impossible for her to know if all the ammonia is gone. I'm sure there is bacteria in the sponge, but adding chemical ammonia with live bacteria can actually inhibit rather than help the growth of the bacteria at first, if too much ammonia is added. If there is measurable ammonia 8 hours after adding it, then it's too much as the bacteria are not processing it all.

There is another option, and that would be for her to not use chemical ammonia, but change out all water and add more biofilm, plus the first couple of fish. She can get biofilm from you if you pull out your filter intake tube and collect the brown slime that has accumulated on the inside walls of the plastic tube. Use a clean toothbrush or something to collect the biofilm, and pack it with a wet paper towel in a plastic bag with air. Then she can take it and put it in her tank, then add the first couple of fish right away. She should still monitor ammonia. I recommend the Seachem Ammonia Alert sensor because you can just stick it in the tank and it will alert you if it detects any. But this is just a precaution -- between your sponge and the fresh collection from the tube, there would be plenty of bacteria to immediately support the first couple of fish for her 20 gallon. Then she can add a few fish each week until stocked.

That's just my suggestion, the fishless is okay too. I would just encourage you to make sure she tests for ammonia and nitrite if using chemical ammonia, and making sure it's all gone before adding fish.
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