Zero Water Change Test (Froggy)

FroggyFox

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May 16, 2003
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#61
Hi Luke, I have actually emailed you about the additives already and you didn't respond, I believe Arcab has also emailed you. Yes I am out of the liquid one and running low on the other.

I followed the instructions and let the system run for actually more than two days...I waited 5 days while I pondered when to add fish. Then I added 7 mollies which I would consider to be slowly because it is a very small amount of fish compared to the amount that this 46 gallon tank will be stocked with. It has now been 17 days since I added fish and I am NOT going to add anymore while the tank is still cycling. That would just be foolhardy and expensive. So by the directions I would have a fully stocked tank now (well over 3 weeks since I started the tank up) and would be losing even more fish.

Pulled another molly out this morning and now officially have three mollies (both males are dead now) and I think I still see two ghost shrimp strangely enough :)
 

FroggyFox

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#63
yeah! lol I guess. That hasn't been my experience with them in the past though...I totally got them because I figured I could use them as a litmus test and they'd all be gone before I lost any mollies. Wierd.

Anyway, I just did my water tests, luckily the cycle is progressing as expected. My ammonia has fallen to 0 (YES!) and the nitrites are sky high (2+ppm)...which of course is why the critters are dying faster now :( No nitrates to speak of yet though...so hopefully some of the mollies will hang on until those nitrites fall.

Oh today I also added a dose of each of the additives and changed out one of the filter paks. I'm hoping that changing that pak out won't hamper the cycle...it is pretty brown so I'm sure there's a fair amount of bacteria on it. I might actually go put it back in there so they're both in there..hmm....
 

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Chris_A

Large Fish
Oct 14, 2008
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
#64
Hmmm, normally I'd add some salt to help with the nitrite toxicity (with that stocking anyway) but I'm not really sure if you should in this case... Without doing a water change you'd always have salt in there. I guess it depends... you could add Prime but is that a true test of the system? I can understand wanting to save the fish though.

If it was me, I wouldn't worry about the filter pad... lol normally ;). With those towers the system should be encouraging the bacteria growth there as opposed to the filter pad.

I'm starting to think the #1 issue for this sytem with new fish keepers (as opposed to aquarists) is it's complexity... On the surface it appears to be relatively simple but the science behind it is more than even most intermediate aquarists are interested in. LOL, and NO I don't think that's over thinking ;). Just taking into account all factors.

Since you just added the bio-magic, would you mind testing ammonia for the next few days to a week as well?

Chris
 

brian1973

Superstar Fish
Jan 20, 2008
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#65
im wondering Froggy since TAL seems to be showing no Nitrates, that does show the system will remove them (no offense TAL, assuming he is testing properly, we know numerous members have made the mistake of not testing the nitrates correctly)..possibly..so will you ever see nitrates??

Luke, the question was posed to you over 2 weeks ago on this forum as how to start the cycle process..even if I wait 2 weeks to add fish as your maintenance section says..what good is that going to do without a catalyst to have begun the cycle process prior to adding fish?

I may be wrong and will go back and visit the HI-Q website but my thought on this was it was a good beginner tool..install system follow instructions..and no worries..doesnt seem to work that way here.
 

FroggyFox

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#66
well yes, the system is supposed to remove nitrates...but my concern is the massive amount of nitrates that come to the tank at once when the cycle finishes. Just as there is a massive buildup of ammonia, then nitrite...there is also a nitrate buildup. At this point all we can do is wait and see eh? :) Who knows maybe it'll surprise us and I wont be seeing them when the nitrites drop to 0.

Yes Chris I will do my best to test ammonia the next few days but I am not real great at doing these things every day :)
 

brian1973

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Jan 20, 2008
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#68
I did go back and read the other reviews on their website and atleast one person ended up much like you and did do an emergency water change and added a blocker of some sort..cant remember the brand. It didnt seem to effect the test so if you need to do it then do it..IMO. No reason to lose anymore fish.
 

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FroggyFox

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#71
Well I have to say that I am rather impressed. Since I last posted, the nitrite levels have dropped to 0ppm and I still am not getting any nitrate readings!

Chris, I'm sorry I have been sick and spaced doing extra testing...however it is the "week" point so I need to do additives tonight and will see if I can be more successful testing the ammonia levels this time.

Because of wanting to see if there is an ammonia spike after adding the chemicals, I'll wait to get any additional fish until at least this weekend sometime. Right now, I have a 46 gallon tank with three female mollies and two ghost shrimp...so its looking pretty sparse :) I think I will hit petsmart (where I got these orange mollies in the first place) and see if they have anymore. If they do, I will see if I can get a couple of males and maybe a couple females. Then I'll be watching the levels very carefully to see where my ammonia and nitrite levels are...and a week after I add the new fish if the levels are all still at 0 I'll start filling things in. I got myself a new digital too so I should get some more pics eh?
 

FroggyFox

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#73
Eek very sorry! I've been overly busy. I thought I had posted it, but after I added the product on the 26th there was not a bump in ammonia at all over the next couple days (I think I tested three days?). However I noticed this last time after adding product that the water got cloudy (indicating a bacteria bloom) so I think after I add product this next time I'll be testing ammonia again. I didn't have any nitrates on last tests, but am due again and will post again. I am also due to top the tank off with some fresh water. I REALLY want to do a water change (but probably wont for the sake of the test) because I added some driftwood which has made the water get that orange tint to it that makes it look dirty...ugh. Maybe topping off will help it out.

I am out of the liquid product, trying to get on the same page with HiQ to get some more out to me. They said they would send me some but I haven't seen it yet so I guess I'll have to order some. I only have one or two doses left of the powder additive, and also need to change the filter cartridges as they are past their change timeframe according to the directions.
 

emmanuelchavez

Superstar Fish
Feb 22, 2008
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#74
Have you had any problems with algae?
I know that when I had low nitrates in a couple of my tanks, I got a very bad outbrake of cyano, which I believe is what usually (although not always :)) happens.
 

brian1973

Superstar Fish
Jan 20, 2008
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#77
geez...almost a month with no updates....lol..well good to hear the system is working out, even though I have been studying other natural ways to accomplish this same thing without spending alot of money but thats another story. Did you not soak the wood, I have some huge wood that I am going to need a BIG tub to soak it in, I was wondering does the yellow tint stain the glass or just the water??
 

FroggyFox

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#78
Sorry yes I know...I have slacked, I apologize.

I was kind of surprised that the wood has done any coloring to the water...its the same wood that was in this tank prior to my move in August, but it dried out and has spent the past couple weeks floating in this tank. And no, it doesn't stain the tank or anything, it is just tannins from the wood going into the water. Doesn't hurt anything. Some people actually like the effect...its like a blackwater effect.
 

PCFishGuy

Medium Fish
Dec 25, 2008
53
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Port Charlotte Fla
#79
I must admit i am a bit disappointed, I have followed both threads, TAL seems to have had the least amount of trouble, while they do not post the actual instruction manual there appears to be confusion as to how to cycle, no fish, some fish etc.
All this and the system appears to work very well, HOWEVER it does not appear to be suited to a beginner and remains somewhat confusing for a novice intermediate aquarists. Most disappointing is the lack of response on issues like how much product is required to run a full cycle, how many doses is contained in 1lb etc, and the lack of response to a 'tester' when running low on product. I trust this is all just working out the rough edges? The product looks nice, and appears to work well, but if most cant set it up and use it correctly, then i would not expect to see it on the market very long, and i certianly dont wish to buy an immediatly discontinued product.

Not looking to flame anyone, just struggling to catch up, and start making some informed decisions and get started again
 

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FroggyFox

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#80
Well, I do think that the biggest difference between Tal and my test has been that his tank was already established so there was no cycle to get through. Based on my experience with the system I couldn't recommend using it exactly as directed to start a tank up...however it does seem to be a good filter system. If I did it again I would probably do a fishless cycle on it...but still use the additives and see if there weren't any nitrates at the end. If there were then I would do a big water change and then add my fish and continue.

On the other hand, based on Tal's experience I could recommend the system to someone who had an established tank who wanted the extra time saved from water changes and had the money to spend on the system and products.

I still haven't gotten clarification on the ordering of the products and am still frustrated on that end, but the HiQ rep did send me out some more refills of the additives so I can add some new fish finally. I need to order some cartridges though.