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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 125g with 2 XP4 filters and I just cannot understand this stuff. I test the water every day as things are just so weird. I believe it is the Seachem Purigen but I’m not sure. I attempted to seed my tank with stability and everything seemed fine except I never got any Nitrites nor Nitrates. My ammonia would pop up to .25ppm a few times but water changes & very little prime and it was gone. I was so confused had my tank cycled or not? I called Seachem and posted on this site. Seachem said add some more fish all is well and after I was still freaked out he said pull the Purigen out until you have a full cycle. So I did. My ammonia really never spiked. Mostly .25ppm and a couple time it was less than the .50ppm green but more than the .25ppm. The Nitrite was at it’s highest at a bit over .25ppm but clearly less than the .50ppm on the chart. (That happened twice) My Nitrate really did very little. It went up to just under the 5.0ppm orange. After a 20% water change and a couple days my Nitrites were back to their baby blue zero and my Nitrates a pretty clear 5.0 ppm. Another water change and more Stability. So a clear cycle! (Albeit a small one.)Finally after nearly 3 months! I put my Purgen back in and the next day everything was at zero. Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates. Just like before! Why is there no Nitrates? Ammonia to Nitrites, and Nitrites to Nitrates, and Nitrates need water change to dump right? Now it has been almost a week with no real readings. Sometimes my ammonia seems a tiny green but not even close to the .25ppm on the chart. My dip strips are measuring the same as my master API kit except it never reads any Ammonia.

So can Someone Smart Please Explain this to me? Please……

I’ve only used Seachem Prime and Stability in the water. I have the tray of foam, ceramic rings, some of the goofy stars the XP4 came with, mostly Seachem Matrix, and Seachem Purigen in the one XP4 and the other has a foam tray, some Matrix, Crushed aragonite for buffer in the other XP4.
 

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What are you using to introduce ammonia into your tank? You had mentioned that "Seachem said add some more fish"... what fish do you have in there and how big are they? I imagine with fish in there you aren't using any additional source of ammonia?
The key thing to get a cycle going is introducing ammonia, either through fish or added directly. I'm not too familiar with additives... if they aren't working for you you may want to save your money and try a fishless cycle. If you're unfamiliar with it check out the library on this site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have two red zebra's, 2" & 3", one mixed 2", and one large 5"-6" Laced Cat Fish. I did a water change today like I do every week but they were all at zero today before I made the change.
 

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duds said:
What are you using to introduce ammonia into your tank? You had mentioned that "Seachem said add some more fish"... what fish do you have in there and how big are they? I imagine with fish in there you aren't using any additional source of ammonia?
The key thing to get a cycle going is introducing ammonia, either through fish or added directly. I'm not too familiar with additives... if they aren't working for you you may want to save your money and try a fishless cycle. If you're unfamiliar with it check out the library on this site.
+1

Cycles have to have ammonia to start. Either with natural bio load like fish, fish food, etc or you can artificially create the load via ammonia and a fishless cycle. If you are using fish - what size and how many? This will be the bio load. In a 125G tank a few small fish will not create much of a load. The cycle you will see would be small. You would need to introduce more fish slowly and go through a few mini cycles before fully stocking a 125G. A fishless cycle would allow you to create a high load without putting any fish at risk. I started one today on a 125G myself. My current ammonia level is 3-4ppm. I am seeding the tank from my 55G bio balls and filter floss and a large sponge filter I set up a few weeks ago. Hopefully the cycle with complete more quickly by adding the bacteria from my existing tank.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, more fish equals more ammonia, etc. I get that.
BUT it does not explain why my Nitrates are gone. I could see them being small but still it’s just a proportion thing. IT still should be there in lower levels correct?
 

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Purigen removes DOCs, so are the nitrates going from 5ppm to 0ppm all that surprising?

In my opinion, you have over-solved for the problem of fish poop... whenever aquarists fall for the marketing hype of multiple magic additives, the resulting experiences are nothing short of impossible to predict. I'll call it chemical soup... how the prime, purigen and other stuff has mixed in your tank would likely take Seachem's top folks to explain. :D

My advice? simplify... :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Number6
What are DOC's?
How do I simplify? I'll try to call Seachem. Their Tech support was really good before. I really am not using any "magic additives". I use RO water so I really dont even need Prime. So the only thing added to the water was Stability and that was to speed up my cycle time. I picked Matrix because it was cheap and had good surface area. Not sure why you say chemical soup. Matrix is simply porous rock.
Anyway, I’m still unclear if my water is okay or not. All I’m trying to do is raise some happy fish.
In the end, I’m just not sure if I got problems or if all is well.
 

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why are you using R/O water? what fish are you keeping that need R/O?

DOC is short for dissolved organic compounds. Stability would be one of the magic additives, purigen would be the other. I can see where purigen would have some uses, but I'm sorry... it isn't in a standard fresh water tank in my honest opinion. I am sure that Seachem reps would love to give 100 reasons why I am wrong, but I can always trump them with but a one... I can manage to raise and propagate freshwater and salt water lifeforms without a single "extra", so I'm not buying nor recommending what I (and others) clearly don't need.

In my honest opinion, I've never seen healthy happy fish (in the long run) when their owner over complicates everything. What I inevitably see is a tank crash where lives are lost. When I see happy and healthy fish last for a decade or more it is when their owners are able to keep up with nice large healthy water changes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have to buy RO water for my Cichlids because my well water is loaded with bad things including active iron and in a warm tank ugly things like that grow fast! (The first thing I learned many years ago.) I did not realize Purigen was an additive. I asked what a good water polisher was and they recommended it. Yes, that makes sense; removing DOC would help lower the Nitrates.
 

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Purigen isn't an additive, per se, it's an absorbent media.
Last filter cleaning, I added some to my XP2, I was planning on testing nitrates prior to my next water change to see if it has had any impact or not.
 

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I won't quibble on the semantics of whether or not purigen is an additive... all I'm going to say is that this hobby is a simple one... or should be, whether you have a reef tank with salt water fish and corals or a bunch of mbuna and plastic plants. You follow a simple recipe, you have a fun hobby. My two cents. Over complication wrecks this hobby fast!

sheldon_goldwing said:
I have to buy RO water for my Cichlids because my well water is loaded with bad things including active iron and in a warm tank ugly things like that grow fast!
I question that... I used to live on a farm up in Ontario and that well water had active iron, sulfur and a ton of other nasties from heavy metals to VOCs... volatile organic compounds... whether the well was fit for human consumption or not was up for some debate so a new well was drilled... all I needed to buy for my old well water was a water conditioner that dealt with heavy metals. Ok, so I couldn't keep Discus on that old well water but I used to keep hard water tolerant cichlids without issue. I bred many a wild caught rift lake cichlid, S.A. cichlid, etc.

I can't help but wonder how some cichlids would do using the waste water from your R/O unit without adding a single other thing... maybe I'd swap out a sediment filter for a solid carbon block just to be safe but I doubt I'd be using R/O water.

Anyway... sorry for your fish losses and sorry for the trouble you've had with this tank's water chemistry... hopefully I've given you some food for thought and things get better soon! :thumb: :D
 

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GTZ said:
Purigen isn't an additive, per se, it's an absorbent media.
+1 on this.

I also don't understand the theory we must have nitrates in our tanks or it's not cycled.

Edit: I was typing the same time No6 was typing his reply. I totally agree with him on using RO water. My well water has a tds count of over 700 AFTER the 4 treatment tanks I have to have on my well system. I can't keep discus either, and have to import water from my daughters house (city water) to keep rcs. The reason I've come back to cichlid's is my water is perfect for them. The Lakes have a very high mineral content.
 

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If your keeping african cichlids, RO water seems like it would be a bad choice...heavy metals from what i understand can 1) be easily detoxified with a water conditioner and 2) correct me if im wrong but they arent able to adversely affect a fishes health if the water is alkaline. As for the whole purigen and talking with seachem people for advice...they are a business and of course they are going to recommend chemicals and such, I agree keep stuff simple find out what works for you, im sure there is plenty of people on here who would call me out on keeping a dozen tropheus duboisi and a dozen ilangi in a 70 gallon tank, but hey *** had it that way for years and never used any chemical additives aside from prime and baking soda...and have breeding and brilliantly colored healthy happy fish hope this helps.
 

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Sheldon, I used Seachem to initially cycle one of my tanks, and it failed for me. What ended up happening was I dropped everything, tested water everyday (3 fish in 55g). I never saw ammonia rise to any significant levels. This was after using the Seachem Stability and Prime for 10 days. Whenever I witnessed nitrite rise to 1.0ppm or greater, I did a 30% water change. On one day, the nitrites got over 2.0ppm and I did 50% water change. Three days later, everything was zero. My tank was cycled (mostly, I feel my bacterial colonies weren't the largest with only 3 fish cycling).

Over the last month I have added my hara's, and have a total of 12 fish in there now. No problems, no fish lost. My labs are breeding and my hara's are in great shape and growing.

As people have said above, keep it simple. I'd stop using everything, test your water daily, and water change frequently.
 
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