Added Some Supplemental Media to the QuietFlow 75 to Help with Bio Filtration During Cycle...PLEASE Advise

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Brian Bivens

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My contribution? Test everyday once, at the same time. If Ammo > .5 add a dose of Prime. Don’t change the water until 2ppm reached.
This is for 3 reasons, 1. Prime will render ammo and trItes safe for fish for 24 hours or so, while still keeping them bio-attainable for your bene bacteria, 2. Allowing ammo numbers to rise will offset the chloromine or ammo present in your water at the tap, and 3. With all of your hard work, you may be stunting the process by never leaving enough ammonia in the tank for nitrification.
You could go to the LFS and by a few plants or Decore already in an established tank, which would really help. Shoot they would probably give you a few rocks from the substrate in an established tank that you could bag with your media in the AC.
 

Kaskade10729

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Jun 16, 2013
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Thanks for your contribution, Brian.

Test everyday once, at the same time.
Been doing that.

If Ammo > .5 add a dose of Prime. Don’t change the water until 2ppm reached.
Okay; but what if the ammonia never reaches 2?

This is for 3 reasons, 1. Prime will render ammo and trItes safe for fish for 24 hours or so, while still keeping them bio-attainable for your bene bacteria, 2. Allowing ammo numbers to rise will offset the chloromine or ammo present in your water at the tap, and 3. With all of your hard work, you may be stunting the process by never leaving enough ammonia in the tank for nitrification.
Do you mean the water changes I'm doing when you say "hard work"?
 
Apr 2, 2002
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At the risk of regretting making this post, I would urge caution re 2 ppm of ammonia. In your other thread you indicated the tank pH is 8 or a tad higher. I did not hunt down your tank temp., so for the numbers I am about to give you I will assume it is 78F. If it is higher, then the ammonia will be a tad more toxic and if lower a tad less. pH is the primary determinant of the toxicity of any Total Ammonia (NH3 + NH4). I am also going to assume you do not have salt in your water.

So at a temp of 78F and a pH of 8.0, how much of the suggested sllowable 2 ppm of Total Ammonia will be in the highly toxic NH3 form? This will start to harm or kill fish if it hits 0.05 ppm or above. In this case the NH3 from 2 ppm of total ammonia in your tank would be 0.1142 ppm. Not good at all. It will be harming or killing fish.

Now for comparison. Suppose your tank pH is 7.6 at the same temp. The NH3 component of your 2 ppm is now only 0.0471 ppm. This is under the danger line, but this level still requires one monitor the fish for signs of ammonia poisoning. Different fish have difference tolerance levels for NH3, Nitrite and Nitrate. There is no universal number here.

This is why it is an urban aquarium myth that any time one sees .25 or .5o ppm of ammonia a big water change must be done immediately. It is not the Total Ammonia which matters, it is ammonia as NH3 (the toxic gas) that is important, especially in the shorter time periods we have in cycling. In water a lot of the chemistry changes for a lot of things.
 
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Kaskade10729

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At the risk of regretting making this post, I would urge caution re 2 ppm of ammonia. In your other thread you indicated the tank pH is 8 or a tad higher. I did not hunt down your tank temp., so for the numbers I am about to give you I will assume it is 78F. If it is higher, then the ammonia will be a tad more toxic and if lower a tad less. pH is the primary determinant of the toxicity of any Total Ammonia (NH3 + NH4). I am also going to assume you do not have salt in your water.

So at a temp of 78F and a pH of 8.0, how much of the suggested sllowable 2 ppm of Total Ammonia will be in the highly toxic NH3 form? This will start to harm or kill fish if it hits 0.05 ppm or above. In this case the NH3 from 2 ppm of total ammonia in your tank would be 0.1142 ppm. Not good at all. It will be harming or killing fish.

Now for comparison. Suppose your tank pH is 7.6 at the same temp. The NH3 component of your 2 ppm is now only 0.0471 ppm. This is under the danger line, but this level still requires one monitor the fish for signs of ammonia poisoning. Different fish have difference tolerance levels for NH3, Nitrite and Nitrate. There is no universal number here.

This is why it is an urban aquarium myth that any time one sees .25 or .5o ppm of ammonia a big water change must be done immediately. It is not the Total Ammonia which matters, it is ammonia as NH3 (the toxic gas) that is important, especially in the shorter time periods we have in cycling. In water a lot of the chemistry changes for a lot of things.
So what are you saying...that I should never wait until 2 ppm ammonia to change the water? I am getting the same readings every day, with ammonia falling somewhere around 0.25 on average...when should the water be changed then?

No, there's no salt in the water, and yes the pH is pretty high.
 

fishorama

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This thread started as a filter question & I had some experience with filters similar to yours. I answered as best I could. Professional writer or not, sometimes you sound confrontational & it's seems as if you want to argue or demand clarification on, well, lots of stuff. & please don't expect us to remember all your details, that's why I asked you to give a brief recap in each new thread. Some people have more than 1 tank with different fish & issues in each.

I quit paying attention to your Stability cycling thread that started over a month ago. I have no experience with it & have doubts about how well it might work as I said early on. Why would I continue reading? I had nothing helpful to add or questions to ask, I said all I had to say. & 5 weeks later it doesn't look like your tank is cycled if you still see ammonia in any form. With fish in the tank 0.25 is as high as I would go since you are unable to differentiate between ammonia & the safer ammonium.

I get that you're frustrated, this can be a very frustrating hobby when things don't go smoothly. We are all trying to help you based on our experiences & opinions. As you've seen we don't all agree on all things. That's both the good & the bad of forums, there is no 1 answer. I hope you can resolve your tank's issues & get to the fun part of watching fish...Cheers!
 

FreshyFresh

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That quiet flow is not a great choice for bio filtration at all. Good for mechanical filtration perhaps. I tried one similar to that a few years back and no longer use it.

It will form bio film on hard and soft interior bits over time like any filter would, but not as much as other HOB style, canister or sponge bubbler filters.
 

Kaskade10729

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Jun 16, 2013
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This thread started as a filter question & I had some experience with filters similar to yours. I answered as best I could. Professional writer or not, sometimes you sound confrontational & it's seems as if you want to argue or demand clarification on, well, lots of stuff. & please don't expect us to remember all your details, that's why I asked you to give a brief recap in each new thread. Some people have more than 1 tank with different fish & issues in each.

I quit paying attention to your Stability cycling thread that started over a month ago. I have no experience with it & have doubts about how well it might work as I said early on. Why would I continue reading? I had nothing helpful to add or questions to ask, I said all I had to say. & 5 weeks later it doesn't look like your tank is cycled if you still see ammonia in any form. With fish in the tank 0.25 is as high as I would go since you are unable to differentiate between ammonia & the safer ammonium.

I get that you're frustrated, this can be a very frustrating hobby when things don't go smoothly. We are all trying to help you based on our experiences & opinions. As you've seen we don't all agree on all things. That's both the good & the bad of forums, there is no 1 answer. I hope you can resolve your tank's issues & get to the fun part of watching fish...Cheers!
I was trying to explain why it was that I was responding in that way, and that is precisely why I felt a need to divulge what it is that I do. To say "professional writer or not..." sounds confrontational to me, not what I said in defense of what's been said about by posting style. I am absolutely NOT trying to be confrontational or argumentative -- I'm merely defending myself against what was said about my POSTING HABITS/DELIVERY. That's all. To make a jab at what I do for a living when all I was merely trying to do was EXPLAIN why I respond the way I do in my threads really isn't called for; it was meant to merely describe the reasons I go into detail about my posts. I suppose this is "against ethical law" now and considered "confrontational."

It's really absurd...all I was trying to do, again, was explain to you why my posts are long-winded -- I know you don't like that, and perhaps some others don't either, but that's WHY the posts were written the way they were. There's nothing else I can offer about that.

With regard to your question about "why would I continue responding" about the Stability...I was merely trying to say that it doesn't come across as "polite" when someone says "I stopped reading when..." and I'm left to feel like I was the one who did something wrong. Can't you see that?

I can appreciate that you have no experience with Stability and that you have nothing else to offer, but I wish you would have just said that from the beginning. As for your input with regard to the rest, I appreciate your sentiments (about the cycling and all) and will take them into consideration.

For what it's worth, you made it seem like even after five weeks the tank probably isn't cycled because of the traces of ammonia, but I even have the Seachem folks scratching their heads as to why these numbers are coming in the way they are (the rep was concerned about ammonia not even moving, per one of our email conversations).
 

Kaskade10729

AC Members
Jun 16, 2013
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That quiet flow is not a great choice for bio filtration at all. Good for mechanical filtration perhaps. I tried one similar to that a few years back and no longer use it.

It will form bio film on hard and soft interior bits over time like any filter would, but not as much as other HOB style, canister or sponge bubbler filters.
I realize that these aren't known for their bio filtration; I never put too much stock in those "blue bio grids" made of plastic -- that is precisely why I went out and purchased the Bio Max and stuffed it in the chamber of the QuietFlow.

Should I add more?
 
Apr 2, 2002
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Here is what I said:

This is why it is an urban aquarium myth that any time one sees .25 or .50 ppm of ammonia a big water change must be done immediately. It is not the Total Ammonia which matters, it is ammonia as NH3 (the toxic gas) that is important, especially in the shorter time periods we have in cycling. In water a lot of the chemistry changes for a lot of things.

Here is what it means

- So here it is. An API test kit reads Total Ammonia. (As do many hobby ammonia test kits.)

- Total ammonia is the suml of both ammonia NH3 plus ammonium NH4+.

-Ammonia NH3 is highly toxic to almost all life forms. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, for fish NH3 becomes an issue when it hits 0.05 ppm. So this is the key level we need to know when all we have is a Total Ammonia reading.

- The problem is only a test method which specifically reads just NH3 ammonia will tell us how much NH3 is in the water.

- No matter what amount of ammonia NH3 or Ammonium NH4+ is initially dissolved in water, based on the pH and temp of that water, one ends up with both forms no matter which one of them is introduced. The converse of this is one can reduce Total Ammonia effectively to 0 by removing only NH4 or NH3. As one is removed the balance gets restored almost instantly so there is more of what was removed that can again be removed. Eventually this will result in a 0 Total Ammonia reading.

What this means is that if one doesn't use an ammonia calculator to determine how much NH3 is in any Total Ammonia reading one has no clue how much NH3 there is. In one tank 2 ppm of Total Ammonia may be pretty safe over the short term while .25 ppm may be toxic in another tank. Just using an API (or similar) test kit will not tell us how toxic any Total Ammonia reading is.

But don't accept what I say. Here is what the Merck Veterinary Manual has to say on this topic. I did not write it but I did add the Italics to some of the text :)

NH3 is highly toxic and frequently limits fish production in intensive systems. It is also dynamic, and when it enters the aquatic system, an equilibrium is established between NH3 and ammonium (NH4+). Of the two, NH3 is far more toxic to fish, and its formation is favored by high pH (>7) and water temperature. When pH exceeds ~8.5, any NH3 present can be dangerous. In general, a normally functioning aquatic system should contain no measurable NH3 because as soon as it enters the system, it should be removed by aerobic bacteria in the environment. Ammonia test kits do not typically measure NH3 directly but instead measure the combination of NH3 and NH4+, referred to as total ammonia nitrogen (TAN). A TAN <1 mg/L is usually not cause for concern unless the pH is >8.5. However, if the amount of NH3 is increased, an explanation should be sought. The amount of toxic NH3 present can be calculated using the TAN, pH, and water temperature. When NH3 levels exceed 0.05 mg/L, damage to gills becomes apparent; levels of 2 mg/L are lethal for many fish. Fish exposed to ammonia may be lethargic and have poor appetites. Acute toxicity may be suggested by neurologic signs such as spinning, disorientation, and convulsions.

You can find the full information from the Merck Manual on the nitrogen complex and fish here Nitrogenous Compounds

So here it is in plain English:

If all you have is a Total Ammonia reading and no other information, you have no idea if that Total Ammonia level is harmful, fatal or neither. So no idea if water should be changed or not.

I have been using this ammonia calculator for about 10 years. Here are step by step instructions for how to use it. If you are still not sure, shoot me a PM and I will be glad to help. http://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/Calculators/FreeAmmonia.php

1. Choose NH (NH3 + NH4)*
2. Enter in the total ammonia reading from your test, choose ppm.
3. For a fresh water tank, enter 0 for the salinity.
4. Enter your tank’s current pH.
5. Enter your tank's temperature and choose F or C, whichever applies.
6. Click Calculate.

The number you want to know is the one for NH3.

[* If your kit measures ammonia as nitrogen aka –N, choose NH-N (NH3-N + NH4-N) in step 1. above. Most hobby kits do not read as nitrogen, -N.]


SeaChem may be stumped by your readings, I am not. The odds are that they are not real. No matter what sort of supposed bacterial supplement one adds to a tank, what will be there when the tank is cycled is the pretty much the same in every tank. So for the sake of argument let's apply this to Stability. Even if it is worthless, a tank will still become cycled with the proper bacteria over a number of weeks. This means your tank should have cycled a while ago to accommodate your small fish load. If your tank is indeed cycled, then the only explanation is that your ammonia reading is not real. This problem is not as uncommon as many might think. For example, iron in water can throw off test results for ammonia.

Again don't believe me about false positives. Do a Google search for "ammonia test false positive" and/or "api ammonia test false positive"

I have surfed all sorts of sites such as the Hach site. They make lab grade testing equipment. We pay $6- $8 bucks for an API ammonia test kit that performs 130 tests (between 16.25 and17 cents/test). Here is what an actual really accurate lab grade meter can run:

HQ440D Laboratory Ammonia (NH₃) Ion Meter Package with ISENH3181 Ion Selective Electrode
Product #: 8507600
USD Price: $2,791.00

Here is their cheap kit, only $94.50 plus shipping https://www.hach.com/nitrogen-ammonia-test-kit-model-ni-8/product?id=7640220993&callback=qs and then there is this: Ammonia Reagent 2 Powder Pillows, pk/100 $37.00, or 37 cents every time one tests. The first 100 tests are part of the initial purchase price. After that the $.37 charge applies to every test.

Both a far cry from $8. But it should help one understand why our hobby kits may be helpful but also why we must be careful about how we accept/interpret the results.
 

fishorama

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Whew! I'm usually pretty nice & fairly polite, sometimes helpful, or not. Certainly not always. I stepped away from your Stability thread, do I need to justify that to you or anyone? No, I was done. What, IMO, you did wrong was treating some fish as disposable until you get the good 1s. I said that or something close to it a month ago.

But this filter thread has circled back to Stability & cycling. I have no idea if your tank is cycled or not. I've NEVER seen ammonia in a fully cycled tank, that's MY experience. TTA's experiences &/or research, & maybe that of others, may be different.

I'm not sure how, if you are calling me "absurd", helps in any way. I was merely suggesting you modify your posting tone, you're the 1 worried people are "messing with you" or making you seem "ridiculous" & causing you to be "defensive".. Because we don't all always agree with each other or with Seachem? I could be a prima ballerina, would that be of more value than a professional writer in terms of tank help?

Back to your original filter question, the floss in the intake chamber will probably clog fairly quickly. I "think" it may be easier to remove & rinse or replace it when it clogs, it acts much like a fine prefilter...but I haven't done that, it's just my opinion...Good luck!
 
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