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Partial Loss of Biological Filter/Minor increase in Nitrites
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Philster
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Golden Triangle, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2003.09.01(Mon)12:51    Post subject: Partial Loss of Biological Filter/Minor increase in Nitrites Reply with quote

We've just been through a "flashing" episode and all appears well now however during the 3 day treatment we lost 3 fish Sad . All others are looking/acting great Smile . We removed part of our Penguin Bio-wheel filter (the slide in fiber/charcoal cartridge) as we didn't want to weaken the meds [b]Noxic & Clout. [/b]We never removed the actual bio-wheel though.

I've installed a replacement cartridge into the Penguin but noticed that our Nitrates have dropped from an average of 7 down to 2.5 but more concerning to me is the Nitrites have climbed up a bit from an average of 0 to .15 now. I am thinking the loss of a good portion of our biological filter can be attributed to this? We also salted the tank fairly heavily during the 3 day treatment. I should note we also have done successive water changes with gravel vacuuming immediately after this outbreak. 50 percent the first day after treatment and then 25 percent the next two days. I have now begun to add 15ml of Stress Zyme in the hope of getting my biological filter back up to where it was.

Are we on the right track here Question

Philster.
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Huntress
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Houston TX

PostPosted: 2003.09.01(Mon)13:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it had anything to do with removing the bacterial culture, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

When you removed the filter part, extra food and stuff that usually gets sucked up and stopped by the filter pad just cycled on back into the tank which caused the raise in nitrItes. If it had been a loss of biologicals then you would have seen a rise in ammonia first and then possibly nitrites due to a mini cycle. Most of your bact colonies are located in the biowheel and even more so in the gravel bed and walls of the tank. If they were to be located on the filter pad then you would have instability everytime you changed the filter pad.

HTH
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Philster
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Golden Triangle, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2003.09.01(Mon)14:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huntress wrote:
I don't think it had anything to do with removing the bacterial culture, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

When you removed the filter part, extra food and stuff that usually gets sucked up and stopped by the filter pad just cycled on back into the tank which caused the raise in nitrItes. If it had been a loss of biologicals then you would have seen a rise in ammonia first and then possibly nitrites due to a mini cycle. Most of your bact colonies are located in the biowheel and even more so in the gravel bed and walls of the tank. If they were to be located on the filter pad then you would have instability everytime you changed the filter pad.

HTH


That does indeed make sense Huntress. I also have been in the habit (good or bad not sure on this) of scrubbing the walls of the tank gently with a pad even though we have no algae. I wonder then if the 3 treatments of Noxic and 1 of Clout harmed some of the good bacteria on gravel etc. I'll monitor the tank closely. On a somber note...our 4" pleco (was only 1.5" when we got him, just expired today Sad . I wonder if the treatments had an effect on him although he seemed tightly wedged between a rock ornament and the back of the tank.

Philster.
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Huntress
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Houston TX

PostPosted: 2003.09.01(Mon)16:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scrubbing the walls won't really affect anything either. I always scrub my walls when I do my weekly waterchanges.

Sorry to hear about the pleco. They are more sensitive to added chemicals and medications added to the water.
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2003.09.01(Mon)17:59    Post subject: Heavy salting, too fast? Reply with quote

I've read that increasing the salt has to be done rather slowly, so as to not shock the biofilter.

I'm recalling 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons is the most one should add in a day (from a goldfish site that says to add 3 teaspoons per 5 gallons (=0.1% salt)over 3 days) It also says to go from 0.1% to 0.5% over a couple of days. I don't know how that relates to the doses you used.

That site has a link noted "salt for biofilter bacteria: see Table 3 on page 5 of: "
http://agpublications.tamu.edu/pubs/efish/452fs.pdf

So, that could be a part of what happened. Was the salt level you used safe for plecos? I don't have one so I'm not sure if they are like cories in their sensitivities.
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Philster
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Golden Triangle, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2003.09.01(Mon)18:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of you have given me very interesting answers. I no doubt shocked more than the biological filter. Sheesh I really don't like to use meds but they have cured the flashing and even the cloudy eye in one of our platties. It's going to take some time for things to get back to status quo....

Philster.
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wetmanNY
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Joined: 24 Aug 2003
Location: NY NY

PostPosted: 2003.09.02(Tue)9:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medications often upset the balance. In the nitrifying community, the bacteria that metabolize nitrite to nitrate are especially sensitive. A drop in the nitrates, which they produce, combined with a rise in the nitrite they should be eating, points to them as the temporary victims.

Salt + Nox-Ich + Clout. Combining medications is often dis-commended because they may either have a synergistic toxic effect or they may neutralize one another's effects. I figure you were acting against single-cell protozoan parasites and possible gill flukes at the same time.

For gill flukes, you might look into praziquantel. Read up on it at Dr Erik Johnson's www.koivet.com It's much much less toxic than the organophosphate insecticide that's the ingredient in Clout. It's so expensive, it's worth getting together with a group of friends-- you'll each have a lifetime's supply!

Keep up with the water changes to dilute the remains of this stuff! The nitrifying bacterial communities are in the very topmost, most oxygenated layer of the gravel: this isn't a good moment to homogenize the substrate with vigorous vacuuming. Nitrifying bacteria that are plowed under will quickly smother. Just siphon over the undisturbed substrate, I'd say.
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Philster
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Golden Triangle, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2003.09.03(Wed)9:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Wetman...I agree with everything you say. We definitely will look to other meds if we have any further outbreaks. For now things seem to be settling back down. My Nitrates are slowly going up. They are at 5 now and usually hover around 7. My Nitrites which were averaging zero and got as high as .15 are now down a bit more to what I would say is .10 and dropping.

We've been supplementing with some Stress Zyme to give the bacteria a little boost. Water is also smelling a lot better and not so stale anymore. Ammonia's have remained at zero. We also will be careful to do only light vacuuming and not deep vacuuming. Do you believe in deep vacuuming? or should we only be concentrating on the top 1/2" or so. Our gravel is about 3" deep.

Phil.
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