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Emzyp

why has adding new fish to my tank upset my water results?

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I did a water test on saturday and my results were nitrite 0 ammonia 0 and nitrate 10, so because these were ok i purchased 2 more fish and did a test yesterday and my results had changed to nitrite 0.25 ammonia 0.50 - 1 and nitrate 10 so i did a 25% water change and have just retested again today and there is a slight improvement nitrite just under 0.25 but more purple than blue and ammonia inbetween 0.25 - 0.50, nitrate 5.0.

Should i continue doing water changes daily? Why have my results suddenly gone downhill since adding more fish?

I use an API freshwater master test kit,its a cold water tank and has been set up over a year.

Any help would be appreciated

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How long has your setup been running? Don't forget that unless you have a very strong, old cycle, each time you add a new fish you add to the amount of bioload, and a weaker cycle might not be ready yet to process the additional toxins produced by the fish.

Keep doing water changes and double dose prime. Make sure ammonia stays below 0.5ppm. The regular dose of prime detoxifies 1ppm of ammonia for 48 hours. :)

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I don't believe that there is such a thing as a "strong cycle". This is a goldfish myth just like over filtering. Your tank is either cycled or it isn't. The amount of beneficial bacteria in your tank is in direct relation to the amount of ammonia being produced in the tank. If for example you have 1ppm of ammonia being produced daily then beneficial bacteria will multiply until they are at the concentration where they can process all of that ammonia. There will not be any spare beneficial bacteria hanging around on the off chance that more ammonia comes along. If the ammonia produced by your tank reduces to only .5ppm daily (perhaps as a result of the loss of a fish) then this will have a direct impact on the amount of BB's in the tank. 50% will die off due to lack of ammonia required to exist. Likewise if you suddenly increase the amount of ammonia in your tank (adding a new fish) it can take some time for your BB's to multiply to the level able to process the additional waste. Don't forget that even on an established filter BB's only have a certain life span. As the old BB's die new ones have to multiply to replace them. This is happeneing 24/7.

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My tank has been running for well over a year, thankfully the only levels i have had problems with is the nitrates which i do a water change to bring to 'norm' levels.

What are 'prime' doses you are refering to? when i do a water change i always add the correct measurement of interpet tap safe

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i forgot to add, i dont know if this makes any difference. But i tested the water the fish came in from my lfs just out of curiosity really and the results came back with high levels of nitrite and ammonia. would this have something to do with it? i didnt add the fish bag water to my tank though.I put them in a bucket with some of my water then netted them out

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Bacteria do not die because the food supply runs low. After all, a population of bacteria can run through a food supply pretty fast. So they slow down their rate of metabolism and stop dividing. In a healthy growing population of bacteria, most will be operating at less than 100% efficiency. Add one of the limiting factors, be it nutrients, oxygen, the right temperature, or whatever, and the population is able to boost it's metabolism before it increases its number. I think that could be called a "strong cycle."

You might like to read this article: http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/nitrifying-bacteria-arent-human The guy is peddling a product, but he's talking good microbiology.

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Bacteria do not die because the food supply runs low. After all, a population of bacteria can run through a food supply pretty fast. So they slow down their rate of metabolism and stop dividing. In a healthy growing population of bacteria, most will be operating at less than 100% efficiency. Add one of the limiting factors, be it nutrients, oxygen, the right temperature, or whatever, and the population is able to boost it's metabolism before it increases its number. I think that could be called a "strong cycle."

You might like to read this article: http://www.drtimsaqu...ria-arent-human The guy is peddling a product, but he's talking good microbiology.

I know that various factors affect the efficiency of autotrophic bacteria. PH is a big factor with BB's being almost 100% efficient at PH 8.3 dropping to only working at 50% at PH 7 and below PH 6 they stop functioning and reproducing. Temperature also plays a big part with 78-86 F being the best range. At 64 F BB's are again only working at 50%. Above 120 and below 32 F kills them dead. Taking away their food source would have a much more dramatic effect i think. As for a strong cycle, once a tank is fully cycled it will get no stronger or weaker providing all the factors remain constant. A filter that has just been colonised with BB's and is capable of housing enough bacteria to deal effectivley with the amount of ammonia and nitrite will be just as good as a filter that has been running for years.

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A filter that has just been colonised with BB's and is capable of housing enough bacteria to deal effectivley with the amount of ammonia and nitrite will be just as good as a filter that has been running for years.

Not in my new tank. :no: I put two layers of new ceramic rings in my Fluval 405, and I put a bag of "cycled" rings on each level. I also filled the underwater filter biomedia chamber with all "cycled" ceramics rings. My 55 gallon was cycled. The new tank still is not.

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A filter that has just been colonised with BB's and is capable of housing enough bacteria to deal effectivley with the amount of ammonia and nitrite will be just as good as a filter that has been running for years.

Not in my new tank. :no: I put two layers of new ceramic rings in my Fluval 405, and I put a bag of "cycled" rings on each level. I also filled the underwater filter biomedia chamber with all "cycled" ceramics rings. My 55 gallon was cycled. The new tank still is not.

I think that you misunderstand me. I am talking about 2 fully cycled filters. The one that has only just been cycled will be just as good as the one that has been running for much longer.

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A filter that has just been colonised with BB's and is capable of housing enough bacteria to deal effectivley with the amount of ammonia and nitrite will be just as good as a filter that has been running for years.

Alistair, I used to think that this is the case, as well, but thanks to some of the links that you posted, I went on a hunt to try to understand more about this. It appears that what we've assumed for a such a long time is not correct, and that the dynamics of ammonia oxidizers in the cycled tank are a bit more complicated than that.

A tank that has just been cycled is full of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB, Nitrosomonas). These are actually very well equipped to handle the large amounts of ammonia that we usually see in a cycling tank. Once the tank is fully cycled and the amounts of ammonia dwindle to periodic spikes after meals, or just low levels of ammonia, the AOB numbers decline to give way to ammonia oxidizing archeae.

So, if a tank has been cycled for quite some time, it is the archaea who dominate, and they don't do well with high amounts of ammonia at all. So, now if you have an ammonia spike during this time, you have to wait for the AOBs to expand again.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/22643420

(Shakaho, or anyone else reading this, can you get a copy of this journal article? I really would like to see the actual data, especially the parts dealing with salt.)

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Do not overlook a very important area of biology (including microbiology) -- ecology. I think that's an area that gets neglected in most biology courses that don't have ecology in their name. The reason is probably because ecology tends to be at the end of the textbook, and as a student and a professor, I don't remember ever getting to the end of the book.

One of the most important principles in ecology is that the more complex the ecosystem, the more stable it will be. In nature and in established aquaria, nitrifying bacteria and archaea do not live in a laboratory culture system, but in a biofilm that is a complex microbial community. Often it includes a variety of species and subspecies of nitrifying bacteria and archaea, as well as heterotrophs which contribute to their welfare by making the environment more hospitable to them. It takes time to establish such an ecosystem. The newer cycle products, like Seachem Stability http://www.seachem.c.../Stability.html , include a "ready made" microbial community with a variety of species present.

I wish people who get information about nitrifying bacteria from this article: http://www.bioconlab...ibactfacts.html would read the most important paragraph:

"There are several species of Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria and many strains among those species. Most of this information can be applied to species of Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter in general., however, each strain may have specific tolerances to environmental factors and nutriment preferences not shared by other, very closely related, strains. The information presented here applies specifically to those strains being cultivated by Fritz Industries, Inc."

They acknowledge that their data probably has nothing to do with the nitrifiers in your aquarium/pond even if they happen to include Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter species. Now Alistairw has previously referred us to an article that said that in aquaria as well as natural aquatic systems and soil, the major ammonia oxidizers were not Nitrosomonas, and not even bacteria but were archaea. http://www.kokosgold..._1#entry1195336 "Dr. Tim" has published research http://www.drtimsaqu...ientific-papers that determined that Nitrospira, , not Nitrobacter, was the dominant nitrite oxidizer in aquaria.

Edit: Alex, the link to the article is in Alistairw's post that I linked to just above.

Edited by shakaho

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I don't have access to the full text through my institution :( Looks interesting though!

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The full text is on line: http://www.plosone.o...ne.0023281.s003 , but it doesn't have much practical information. They just have a lot of DNA and RNA data to establish the dominance of AOA in aquariums.

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In an large outdoor eco system like a lake or large pond i can see this being a big factor. However, in a small artificial eco system like an indoor tank i can't see the difference between and newly cycled filter and a long running one. If the newly cycled filter is for example keeping a 60 gallon tank with 4 fancy goldfish at 0, 0, <20 each week then 2 years later that same filter is keeping the same tank 0, 0, <20 is it really so much better due to the fact that it is well established ?

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Shakaho, I've read that paper, and agree that one should always look at the ecology of the entire setup, which is never simple. I really would like the paper from the Japanese group. There are others saying the same thing, and that is AOAs and AOBs have drastically different sensitivities to ammonia/ammonium, and hence the amount of available ammonia in any environment will have a major role in regulating their numbers and/or activities. The other factor is salt. When you combine these papers, the model one can come up with is one where dominance is shifted from AOB to AOA as the cycle "matures."

At least from what I've read so far, what bacterial supplements do are:

1) provide AOBs to deal with the early phases of cycling where levels of ammonia are high.

2) provide Nitrobacter, which process nitrites.

I think the archae take their own good time in building up numbers, and exactly how long this takes depends on the individual set up.

Anyway, to go back to the main point of the thread, as Fang said, anytime you go into a system that has already established equilibrium and disturb, such as by adding new fish, then it is somewhat expected that there will be a time when things are in disarray, as they attempt to reach equilibrium again.

(shakaho, you are right about the students and professors often leaving out the ecology part, which is sad, because without understand that, you appreciate the parts but have no idea how everything might fit together.)

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If the newly cycled filter is for example keeping a 60 gallon tank with 4 fancy goldfish at 0, 0, <20 each week then 2 years later that same filter is keeping the same tank 0, 0, <20 is it really so much better due to the fact that it is well established ?

I don't think that it's better, but the main players may be different. At the beginning, AOBs predominate, and these are very well equipped to handle big surges of ammonia, because they are not repressed by it.

Two years later, AOAs predominate, and these are NOT equipped to handle big surges of ammonia. They are equipped to handle steady state amounts as have been shaped by the aquarium ecosystem for the two years previous. Now, if you add two new fish, the whole balance is disturbed, and they may not do so well.

At least, this is the hypothesis.

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I have it. Thank you! :)

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I did a water test on saturday and my results were nitrite 0 ammonia 0 and nitrate 10, so because these were ok i purchased 2 more fish and did a test yesterday and my results had changed to nitrite 0.25 ammonia 0.50 - 1 and nitrate 10 so i did a 25% water change and have just retested again today and there is a slight improvement nitrite just under 0.25 but more purple than blue and ammonia inbetween 0.25 - 0.50, nitrate 5.0.

Should i continue doing water changes daily? Why have my results suddenly gone downhill since adding more fish?

I use an API freshwater master test kit,its a cold water tank and has been set up over a year.

Any help would be appreciated

i would just do daily waterchanges until everything has settled, adding the new fish may have disturbed the cycle, but it should only be temporary :). now, remember to match the PH and the water temperature as closely as possible with each water change :)

congratulations on your new fish hun and good luck with restoring the cycle :)

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guys, can we just look at immediately assisting the OP with their problem and keep the debatable discussions on a separate thread? ie, if it's going to blow out in a discussion like, you are more than welcome to start a new thread in the "goldfish discussions" section or relevant forum. in the end, if you think the OP needs to know most of the talk, you can post a link from the discussion to the thread.

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I stand by my original post. Perhaps using "Die off" was the wrong choice of words. I was trying provide a simple answer to the question in a way that it would be easy to understand. Not everyone (myself included) has a degree in biology.

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I stand by my original post. Perhaps using "Die off" was the wrong choice of words. I was trying provide a simple answer to the question in a way that it would be easy to understand. Not everyone (myself included) has a degree in biology.

Awe Man I thought I came with one from Birth :rofl

Not everyone (myself included) has a degree in biology.

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