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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new 125g has been up for a couple weeks now and my Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrites are all reading zero. I'm using an API Master kit with the drops to test and I'm cycling with SeaChem Stability. (as per bottle's instruction). I only had one small bottle of Stability as that is all the store had and it's an hour drive so it went a couple days without and still all zero readings. Only 4 fish in the tank so maybe not enough bad produced?

Still, I should read something right?
 

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Have they been reading 0 since the start? Did you ever have any bumps? How old is your test kit? 4 fish wouldn't put out much bioload at all, unless they're pushing 6"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yes, using both bottles and no so far I have not seen any bumps. the test kit is brand new. The Ph was a bit strange. the low pH came out pretty blue, 7.6 so I tried the high and it came out at the top, brownish which is 7.4. I'll keep testing. My fish are small. The cichlids are 1-1/2" to 2" and the Lace Catfish is big, 5"ish.
 

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I've used stability before. It works well. The couple times I've used it I did see a nitrite spike but it was short lived.

Make sure you are shaking the bottle very well. It should pour out of the bottle frothy so you know it has been mixed well.

I also dosed it directly into my filter intake. Not sure if it mattered but it felt like it was a good idea.

My hunch is with just a few fish in 125g of water your levels are below what the test kits can read. You'll see levels eventually. Keep using stability as directed and test your water daily and then react accordingly.
 

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Nitrate test for the API master kit you have to shake the second bottle for 30 seconds and shake the test tube itself for a hole minuet.
and 4 does sound like a small amount for a 125
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
okay, it has been two days since my last post and i got my first reading. My ammonia was up a hint. I thought it was more yellow than the first step of green which is .25ppm but the family vote was it was more green than yellow. Nitrate & Nitrite clearly zero. Still using Stability and will keep testing. I want to add 12 to 15 fish so I want the tank right.

How many fish will my 125g tank?
 

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What kind of fish are in the tank? If you can, I'd take them back and fishless cycle with ammonia instead.
sheldon_goldwing said:
How many fish will my 125g tank?
What type of fish do you plan on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm going with 5-6 yellow labs, 5-6 Acei, some cobalt zebra, a coupl red zebra, and a lace catfish.
I think. Stay tuned as they say.
 

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sheldon_goldwing said:
okay, it has been two days since my last post and i got my first reading. My ammonia was up a hint. I thought it was more yellow than the first step of green which is .25ppm but the family vote was it was more green than yellow. Nitrate & Nitrite clearly zero. Still using Stability and will keep testing. I want to add 12 to 15 fish so I want the tank right.

How many fish will my 125g tank?
Your cycle is slowly starting. I'd wait before adding fish. Actually, I'd do what GTZ suggested and take the fish back and fishless cycle. I wouldn't add more fish until cycle is complete. Seems the stability is doing nothing for you, so I'd exercise some extreme caution right now and monitor closely for a while.
 

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You've got ammonia rising in a tank that's been set up for two weeks. That tells me that there's not enough bacteria yet to process even a small amount of ammonia. That's what stability is supposed to do. Provide that bacteria.

Regarding StessZyme, I got this from their site:

Breaks down organic compounds that cause dangerous conditions such as ammonia and nitrite poisoning and low oxygen levels.

I could be wrong, but this tells me that it's heterotrophic bacteria. Not what you need right now.

I'd try Dr. Tim's. I know he stands behind his products and folks have had good success with it. But, it's not time to panic. You've only 4 small fish and levels are low. You could wait and get a few more readings over the next few days and see how things are going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay, I did freak out and called Seachem. Basically told me all was well. The low number of fish coupled with my high volume of water is the basic cause of the slow response. I asked why I'm not seeing any Nitrates & Nitrites are reading zero and he said to pull my Purgen out until the tank fully cycled. They claim that neutralizes Nitrites. I'll do that and continue to post my results. He did say to add some more fish......
 

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sheldon_goldwing said:
Okay, I did freak out and called Seachem. Basically told me all was well. The low number of fish coupled with my high volume of water is the basic cause of the slow response. I asked why I'm not seeing any Nitrates & Nitrites are reading zero and he said to pull my Purgen out until the tank fully cycled. They claim that neutralizes Nitrites. I'll do that and continue to post my results. He did say to add some more fish......
Oh my gosh, I can't believe he told you to add fish. :eek: Is he paying for new ones when they die? I'd suggest either letting it ride or pulling the fish and going fishless. Pushing up the toxins by adding more fish isn't the 'best practice' IMHO.

Go ahead and pull the purigen. That makes sense as purigen removes organics and nitrite is an organic. I wouldn't say it 'neutralizes' it though. Is that the word he used?
 

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Also, it was always my understanding that purigen removed organics before they were broken down into ammonia and then nitrite, but had no direct effect on the ammonia or nitrite itself.

Purigen® controls ammonia, nitrites and nitrates by removing nitrogenous organic waste that would otherwise release these harmful compounds.

If purigen adsorbs ammonia and nitrite, then that changes the picture entirely. It's becomes an ammonia remover like zeolite or similar. In which case, I'd never recommend it. But I really don't think it does that. Regardless, I could see not using it during cycling because if it effectively removed organics before they were broken down into ammonia, this could seriously slow the cycling process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
He said it removes it. I assumed that meant it was converted. If the bacteria has nothing to eat does it die? if so my first hit of stability probably died. Nothing to eat. He said not to worry and just watch the levels. Adding a couple fish would help build the bacteria colony. More to eat I guess. I'm going to pull purgen and watch all the levels closely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DAY 7
Okay one hour short of 24 hours since my last test. (I could not wait) I tested everything twice and here it is: Ammonia zero, Nitrate zero, Nitrite zero. I don't get it but I checked twice. shook good, waited, everything. After the tests I added my last 6 x 5ml Stability and pulled the two Purigen pillow packs from the XP4.

I have no idea what is going on so I'm going to stop the stability as per the instructions. (although the Seachem guy said I could continue if I was worried)

Fish seem happy and look great.

Maybe I just dont understand this stuff. Thought I did.............
 

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You need to make a decision about whether you want to cycle with fish or fishless. I recommend fishless. Cycling with fish often kills fish. You need to find someone who's advice you trust and follow that. Otherwise you're going to be going in three different directions and getting nowhere. Let me know if you need any guidance with fishless cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I live over an hour one way from the closest fish store and those are PetSmart & Petco. I can't fishless cycle. Petco had a cow when I brought back the Livingstonii and swapped it for a Lab. I guess the guy on the phone spoke out of turn. You can return a dead fish without any issue but a live one is really bad!

I'm just going to watch everything closely. Everything is zero now so I should see some increase in the Nitrates sometime soon. The Purigen is out now so we will see how things go. Something is working or I would not have zero on Ammonia. (I think)

really appreciate your help.
 
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