Illness, Health & Nutrition • API Sludge Destroyer

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API Sludge Destroyer

Postby Banshee86 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:32 pm

Hello all, this is my first time in a forum and I hope I'm doing this right as I just joined today! I have a 75 gallon tank with about 13 juvy africans in it. It has been established for about 2 months now, and yesterday I went to give it a thorough cleaning because of cloudiness.

I have a hob aqeuon 55/75 and a fluval 405 running on it. I didnt mess with the fluval at all during the cleaning because it seemed to be pushing alot of water out the output and wasnt bogged down at all, although I did put some water polishing pads up top to help make the water clear about a week and a half ago. Anyways, after I did a vac/water change, I now have some ammonia and nitrite showing up on my master test kit. I just vacuumed the sand, there was ALOT of poop under most decorations. And I took the filter cartridges out of the hob and rinsed them in a bucket of tank water. Why am I getting ammonia and nitrite readings now after all the poop I cleaned up? Shouldnt the fluval 405 have enough bio media in it to handle the load? Makes no sense to me.

I need to know a good setup for my baskets in the Fluval other than carbon because I have an oscar, and I have heard that carbon can contribute to HITH on Oscars. Right now I have fluval prefilter on bottom, then biomax above that, then carbon above that, then water polishing pads on top. The pads dont last long, recommended 7-10 days before throwing away. I need to know what else I can use in the media baskets. Can i just stuff the top with filter floss instead of polishing pads? Can I cut my own media sponge to fit in the baskets.

Also i purchased some API Sludge destroyer for cichlids, and I dont know how to go about using it or if I even should use it. It says to use 10 ml per 10 gal weekly. How much do I use for my 75 gal tank and how often? How do I put it in my tank....during water changes or straight into the tank?

I have to siphon poop about every week, and there is SO much of it that its rediculous. After the cleaning yesterday my tank is back to crystal clear, and my fish are all happy, havent lost a single one since I started this hobby 3 months ago. I did ALOT of research before I jumped into keeping fish. I cant imagine how much poop there will be when these guys actually mature, i just dont understand. I only feed them once a day, and I skip feeding every Wednesday. It is hard to do because they get a little aggressive if they are hungry and I dont like it when the africans pick at my Oscars fins so I try to keep them all satisfied! Any info would be greatly appreciated as I dont want to lose any of my guys! Thanks!
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:02 pm
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Re: API Sludge Destroyer

Postby triscuit » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:41 pm

Welcome!

It's not unusual to see small NO2 and NH3 spikes after a major disturbance... but if your tank has only been set up for three months, there's something a little fishy about how much gunk you are getting.

What are you feeding, and how much? Once a day is great- but if the fish aren't eating it all within one minute, your filter is going to pay the price. Since you have juveniles, it's probably better to feed them lightly more than once a day. They'll have a better chance at getting all the food in their mouths before it hits the substrate or filter. If you are feeding a very high quality food, they'll poop less too.

Chuck out the carbon from your Fluval. It's not as helpful as increasing your biofilter. My 405s had the upright sponges, then starting from the bottom- some ceramic biomax type stuff, then a finer pore foam, then the top tray was filter floss. Worked great, dirt cheap. My HOBS are stuffed similarly throw out the pads that you can buy for those filters and stuff it yourself. Much great biocapacity that way.

In the mean time, to deal with the NO2 and NH3 spikes, do another partial water change without disturbing the bottom. Don't forget to add dechlorinator. Add some table salt (1TBS per 10 gallons, dissolved in warm water prior to adding), which is supposed to help with gill function when the water quality is poor.
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Re: API Sludge Destroyer

Postby Banshee86 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:51 pm

Thanks for the reply triscuit! I am currently feeding them hikari gold sinking pellets, and 2 days a week I give them my own special formula which consists of blended peas,carrots,ginger,larger hikari gold pellet,and shrimp all blended up to a paste and then add some gelatin to make a gel. Wednesday is a fasting day, so no food at all! I only use the pea food to help with digestion pretty much although I dont think Hikari gold will cause bloat, but just to be safe and they really love it!

All food is instantly consumed, never gets a chance to get halfway down the tank! Especially with my greedy oscar and 6 inch Venustus. I also have a large common pleco, about 8 inches and a smaller one as well, about 4 inches, do they poop alot? Also, I have an elongatus mpanga that is about 2.5 inches and he gets seriously pissed if any fish, even the oscar gets near his little hut! Those things are downright cruel, i call him the pit bull of the tank. He doesnt care how big the others are either!

I just bought a massive bad of filter floss and it seems like I will have floaing debris from that stuff! It looks like pillow stuffing lol, but when you play with it a little bit it can break apart into some pretty tiny pieces, do you stuff the floss in some kind of bag or just mash it right into the basket? Basically it looks like it will work but i dont want to have a bunch of microscopic pieces of polyester floating around everywhere! I recently tried to put a small loofa sponge in the top baskets instead of the water polishing pads, and it really made the fluval bog down badly! Its odd because loofa sponges are not dense at all, seems like water could pass through very easily, and I have heard of people using plastic pot scrubbers with is pretty much the same thing!

I will be doing a partial wc tomorrow morn, and always use dechlor! maybe even a little prime instead this time to detox ammonia and nitrite! I guess all in all crystal clear water doesnt equal ideal conditions lol. Although no fish have had any problems or show signs of stress....well besides my O's poor fin from that little elongatus! It blows my mind how my oscar will let that little punk nip at him like that! Oh well hes about to go back to my lfs so he can bully their fish! Would love to hear more recommendations on cannister baskets and what to use! Thanks again!
Banshee86
 
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:02 pm
Location: USA

Re: API Sludge Destroyer

Postby Banshee86 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:52 pm

Oh and by the way lol, what are the ingredients in this "api sludge destroyer"? I can't find any info on the web for this product so its either new or is #%$&!
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:02 pm
Location: USA

Re: API Sludge Destroyer

Postby triscuit » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:48 pm

Sorry- I missed your original questions about API Sludge Destroyer- it's a microbial solution- billions of bacteria. If you are feeding an appropriate amount and cleaning the tank sufficiently, you should have very little sludge, and shouldn't need that product.

What is your nitrate level?

For now- cut back on feeding. Yes, plecos poop alot- if they get a lot to eat.
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Re: API Sludge Destroyer

Postby Banshee86 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:39 pm

Yeah I dont think I have a "sludge" problem so will be taking that back. As far as nitrates, they are steady 30ppm, only because my tap water here is 30ppm, so its very difficult to get below that. It's a bit frustrating. I even have a nitrate reducing pad in my hob filter that I cut to fit, doesnt do much! Thinking about plants, I have a 29 gallon planted right now and it seems to deal with nitrates a bit better, but a lot less load, only one baby ebjd! I know there is no algae in my tank so I feel bad and usually drop in a algae tab or 2 for my plecs every other day, they do so much work for little food lol, so I gotta keep em happy!
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:02 pm
Location: USA


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