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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll be starting a small (10g) shellie tank in about two weeks, and I was wondering about the best way to maintain the biofilter in what was an established tank but now is empty. A little daily fish food? A weekly water change? Also, I live in an area with fairly soft water, what kinds of Ph buffers and/or mineral additives will I be needing prior to the expected addition of the L. Brevis? Any advice and information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

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I would feed the tank a little ammonia as if I was doing a fishless cycle, but not everyone agrees that this is necessary for two weeks.

What is the pH of your tank water and your tap water? You may not need to add anything.
 

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A little bottled ammonia to test would be a good idea, as DJ said. Just be sure that it doesn't contain perfumes, dyes, or surfactants. It'd take food a while to break down into ammonia, so not a real quick or reliable test.

And what is the KH of the tap as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses. Ph tests at 6.8, Kh tests at 75ppm. I should have mentioned that the tank does contain three assassin snails, so I'm not sure if adding straight ammonia would be a great idea. From what I've read about Brevis, wouldn't I need to adjust both Ph and Kh significantly upwards?
 

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If it is only two weeks, and since you have snails, don't worry about the biofilter. The snails will continue to find things to eat, thus produce nitrogenous waste to feed the bacteria. The bacteria in your filter can easily go a month without new food, anyway.

Yes- I recommend raising your pH, KH and probably hardness (GH). It's easy enough to do with baking soda (which will raise KH, and buffer your pH at 8.2). Depending on the hardness of your water, you may wish to also add Epsom salt. Start by adding 1 TBS of baking soda to the 10 g tank, and then test pH and KH a few hours later. Chances are you'll need to add another tablespoon, but the good news is that the balance doesn't require rocket science to be safe for your fish. No matter how much you add, baking soda will buffer at pH 8.2.

If you have a hardness kit to measure GH, you can do the same test for Epsom salt, although start with a teaspoon. If you don't have the GH kit, just add a teaspoon of Epsom anyway. :thumb:

For doing water changes in the future, you'll need to add the soda and salt with your dechlorinator- for my tanks, I dissolve them in a cup of warm water and then pour it in as I'm refilling the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips! I (and my future shellies) am/are very grateful, and we look forward to a successful tank...
 
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