This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Unfortunately for Photobucket users, things have changed in a big way as of June 26th they are rolling out a $399 per year subscription fee for those who want to hotlink images from Photobucket’s servers to display elsewhere.
    This does not mean it only affects this site, It now means that billions of images across the Web now display an error message instead of the image in question. :(
    https://barrreport.com/threads/attention-photobucket-users.14377/
    Dismiss Notice

Maintaining Beneficial Bacteria....

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Naja002, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. Naja002

    Naja002 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    Really need some help with this one.....

    Wasn't sure where to post this question, but this seemed like the most "General" Forum....:confused:

    This question doesn't concern plants--without the addition of a Sump/PlantFilter, but I can really use a pointer here.......

    Basically, I need to know if there is anything I can add to a system--29g or less---that will help maintain the beneficial bacteria as the fish load fluctuates up and down.....???

    I keep fully aquatic snakes and their food is Fish (Minnows and Comets). In order to keep from having to go to the bait store every time I turn around, and deal with the temp. change (45F to 84F)---I buy extra/in bulk, and keep them in a holding tank. The problem is: By the time the holding tank population is low enough for me to go get more fish--the Beneficial Bacteria colony has died off enough to be unable to handle the new fish load when I return with more fish. The result is rapid Ammonia build-up that really isn't controllable with Ammo-Lock and water changes.

    I tried putting them in a 40g fully cycled aquarium that was divided and planted on 1 half. That worked well. But now that tank is housing an Acrochordus javanicus--so its not an option anymore. I already have 7 tanks set up and really don't want to setup another large aquarium just to handle the intial influx of fish.

    I really cannot plant the holding tank, because trying to get the feeder fish back out--would simply be an exercise in futility! :eek: And the Comets are notorious Plant Eaters anyway. So, a Plant Filter/Sump would be the only option there--which is one I am trying to avoid, if possible.

    So, basically what I am looking for is to find out if I can simply add something to the system--like ammonia--to help maintain the Beneficial Bacteria Colony, as the actual Fish population declines.

    I've considered freezing some minnows and tossing one in every couple of days to let it decay and release ammonia to feed the bacteria. I've considered a lot of different things.

    Liquid ammonia that I could add by drops would be great, but I don't know how this would affect the fish currently in the system.

    Any thoughts or answers, besides another large system w/ or w/o a sump/plant filter?

    I've had this problem for over 1 yr now and I've been searching for an answer the whole time---So, I'm really looking for a solution.....:D

    Many Thanx!


    Here is a pic of the A. javanicus for anyone interested. The smear of duckweed is from drip-acclimating a new load of fish. Most of the duckweed is gone now--At least the Comets are Good for Something!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some ideas:

    Float bigger plants your Coments won't eat. Maybe H. difformis/Wisteria or Water lettuce, so you can temporarily remove them easily when netting fish.

    Seed the holding tank with media from the aquatic snake tank when you get live food.

    Keep a breeding population of low bioload feeders, like Guppies, so you can just thin the herd as needed (and have more control over the food quality), while maintaining the biofilter.

    Keeps lots of Biospira around.

    HTH
     
  3. Naja002

    Naja002 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanx for the Thoughts, but here are the problems:

    I'm not aware of any plants that the Comets won't eat--or at least pick to death. Anubias? Maybe, but they are slow growers that really wouldn't have much benefit in this situation. The comets are the only reason for keeping the plants separated. The minnows don't bother them. I have already considering planting in "Trays", but the comets defeat that from the jump--they will pick anything to death. And, I would need fast growing plants like the Hygro I have in the A. javanicus plant filter.

    That's a possibility that I hadn't considered. The biggest problem being temp., ph, difference, etc. That may work, but that bacteria will be needed in the given tank for the addition of food (fish), so it would have to come from a different tank than one of the snake tanks. My plant/fish tanks are kept in the 70F's and I'm not sure How different things like ph are.....but I will toss the idea around some.

    I've already added Platies and Swordtails to my fully planted 55g and I am raising the fry in a fully planted 29g---Frankly, its not worth the hassle and expense! Even full grown playies and Swordtails are not big enough for the A. javanicus, so I still have to buy 3+" comets. I started raising them for my Chinese Watersnakes, but they clearly prefer minnows.....

    I have Seachem's Stability, but none of them contain the actual bacteria that we have in the end. Plus, I don't know how long it takes for any of the "Bottled" bateria to come out of dormancy and become active--24hrs?--72? It sounds like a good Idea, but I'm am trying to keep from working my butt off for several days/weeks with WCs each time I get more fish.

    I've been dealing with this for over 1 yr. I have lost dozens and dozens of fish that I spent good time and money on. The solution maybe simple, but so far it keeps looking expensive.

    Hoping a few drops of ammonia from the grocery store will do the trick........?

    Thanx for the Thoughts!
     
  4. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0
    While bacteria is sensitive, I'm not so sure pH and temp are important enough to worry about. Many people seed tanks with bacteria from the LFS and from tanks with/without CO2, for example.

    I think if you remove say 10-20% of your media, or just do a good gravel vac and transfer the mulm to the feeder tank's filter, you can be confident the remaining nitrifying bacteria colony will quickly grow. I also think you should do the same with the planted tanks. Assuming healthy established tanks of course.

    I bet it would, maintaing a bigger bacteria colony on the feeder tank between new fish.

    HTH
     
  5. Naja002

    Naja002 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Joe,

    Thanx for Returning and the added Thoughts!

    I can try the seeding from another tank. Right now, I am just using a 10g w/ regular gravel, cheap HOB and an old internal Fluval 3 Plus filter. I put some floss in the Fluval + 100ml of Purigen and it seems to help. I have 6 good sized comets (2-4") in there. I wouldn't mind setting up a 29g with over-filtration, but I still need to maintain the BBC (Beneficial Baterial Colony) in between arrivals. I've also been using Seachem's Stability--seems like Good stuff.

    I've tried different things, but nothing seems to work completely, so far! I guess I will pick up a bottle of ammonia and see what happens. I can easily add drops with an eyedropper. Any thoughts on how much to start with? 1 drop? 2? ...? If it works, I can hook up a DIY auto-doser to dose the ammonia daily.

    As an Added thought: I have both Kent's Micro-vent and PhytoMax for fine filter feeding inverts---would the addition of either one of those be sufficient to feed the bacteria? They are just going to waste now......

    Hopefully, the BBC and Purigen will help control the Nitrites!

    Any more Thoughts are Welcomed!

    Thanx!
     
  6. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0
    Using an eyedropper and trial & error/intuition/experience will probably work fine. Here is a fishless cycling calculator I wrote a while ago. It assumes the percentage of Ammonia solution is using the mass/volume standard, which is not always true. (I am fairly sure Flourish and know Tropica use mass/mass, for example.) So, you should test with a control first, then guestimate the ammonia production of the removed fish.

    (If using a non-compliant browser, submitting info will redirect to the top of the page, and you can click on "general solutions" to jump to the result. Relevant links for the calculation are below the formula.)

    A bigger holding tank for the Comets would probably help a lot with survival, and it's likely there's simply too much of a bioload in the 10g to maintain stability. I think your problems could be alleviated with a big holding tank, like a 50gal (fish-safe) trashcan. But you surely know this already :)

    Just more thoughts. If the feeders get sick or weak, does it affect aquatic snakes?
     
  7. Naja002

    Naja002 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Joe,

    Thanx for the Link to the calculator. I will have to pick up some ammonia before I can actually use it though---need to know the concentration!

    Actually, Yes, I do know this already. :) I had moved up to a 20g tub and it greatly increased the survival rate by diluting the ammonia produced and buying me more time to get to WCs, etc. A 50 g tub from wally-world would probably work Great, but where to put it is the big trick! :D The 10g that I am using now is just a Re-Setup for lack of a Better Alternative at the moment. I've been going around and around in circles with this for a long time now, and I get burnt out dealing with it. So, I've just been buying smaller fish loads--More Often! :rolleyes:

    The Comets really are not the problem. They are very Hardy fish that can take a lot of abuse. The minnows are the real problem. I guess they are just cold water fish and don't take well to the higher temps--and then everything is compounded on that. I have to change Temps from 45F--84F and that's a several hour process at Best. So, I like to buy as many as I can to save all the hassle---but it hasn't been working out real well. The minnows just seem like really sensitive fish.

    The condition of the fish doesn't seem to affect the snakes. My Chinese Watersnakes will eat dead, Frozen/Thawed, weak, dying--You name it. I could feed them frozen/thawed and resolve most of this problem, but it creates a B-vitamin deficiency, so I would get to deal with another not-so-easily-fixed problem! It just never seems to end!

    A large holding tank would certainly work/help, but my first problem would be--where to put it. Then the BBC is still going to die off as the bio-load decreases, etc, etc, etc. So, for right now I think I am going to try the ammonia drops and combine that with Daily Prime and Stability and Purigen and Over-filtration. I can hook up a DIY Auto-doser for the Prime, but the Stability I will have to add Manually. Stability seems like some really good stuff, so far.....

    I am seriously looking into building a Denitrate system for my A. javanicus setup using Seachem's De*nitrate. If it works---It'll incorporate one into the Holding tank.

    Im in this for the long-haul---just trying to reduce my headaches, work-load, hassle-level, etc. :p

    Many Thanx for all of the Input and Thoughts! Any more Ideas, Thoughts, Comments or Suggestions are Greatly Welcomed!
     
Loading...

Share This Page