Aha! What's this??

  • #1
Well it turns out the brown stuff in my tank is a type of algae/diatom that's a sign of the beginning stages of cycling! I talked to a fish tech from Drs Foster and Smith and she said that snails produce very little ammonia, so they're not harming the cycle like some thought. She also told me that adding the Stress Zyme can in fact slow the cycle, but only because I was adding more bacteria to the water that it could handle due to lack of food for the bacteria, basically.

My tank is a 5 gallon, and I added the entire contents of the Bio Spira, which is what the directions say to do. The 1 oz Bio Spira treats up to 30 gallons, so her theory is my tank has been taking so long to cycle because I had added so much to it. Makes sense!! She said the Diatoms show up for about 4 days, and it's been I think 2 now, so I'll keep an eye on it. She also suggested me not performing any water changes until the tank is cycled. She also said that snails are sensitive to water conditions and the fact that they're doing fine is also a good sign. (But the ammonia is up to 4ppm!!)

So, I'm going to give the tank a maximum of 3 more weeks. After that, if I'm still not seeing anything going on I'll call them back and maybe consider starting over from scratch or something. Hopefully this is the beginning! I don't mind having to wait, it's just that I wasn't sure if I had messed something up or if something was wrong.

  • #2
Well that's good to hear. I thought for sure the snails may have been the problem because they produce so much waste and waste produces ammonia. I'm glad that things are working out in your favor finally. Natalie

  • #3
HI Eskielvr.....well this is good news! Seems this product ( Bio Spira) is as tempermental as the bettas!! I didn't go over and pick up my ZymBac today ( painting). I thought Neptune was doing soooo well, then when we came home from Easter dinner last night, I looked and his tail had frayed again. ( I like that word better than shredded - shredded sounds so mean!!). I swear Neptune laughed at me when I sighed in frustration at him. There was lots of new growth in the morning...........

Anyway, I am trying to decide if I should medicate again, or just hang tough. I am leaning towards hanging with just the clean water and no meds for at least a few more days and just monitor him. At least I am controlling my "freak outs" when I see this.............I am determined to help Neptune get better!! Perhaps I should tell him I am going to get another beautiful long tailed aqua betta.....you know, work on his insecurities - oh wait - bettas don't have any!! lol :-\

So I will post when I start with the ZymBac. I am happy that you are seeing some results anyway and wish you continued good luck.

Val & Neptune
  • #4
Hmm.. that's interesting about the BioSpira. Did it say anything on it about putting a certain amount in? Of course, it'd be hard to measure 1/6 oz. They'd have to have a squeeze bottle with a certain # of drops per gallon to add or something.

I do think you've begun cycling from your ammonia & nitrites and from the diatoms. You're going to be good to go soon I think. -- finally, huh? I hope you'll be posting pics of the tank soon enough.

voiceless_kat - yea, probably monitor him at least a day or 2 with keeping the water clean but have the meds ready just in case you need them. I hope you won't.
  • #5
Good news Eskielvr! I'll never cycle another tank without Bio-Spira. At least I can get it from a couple local lfs, so I can avoid the overnight shipping cost. I wish it came in something other than the little foil pouches though, so you could add the amount that's needed & put the rest back in the fridge in case you want a second dose or have another tank to cycle in the near future. A little plastic container with a dropper would be nice for them to package it in (but I guess our wasting the extra is more money in their pockets!). >
  • #6
When I had 5 gallon tanks, I used the whole ounce of Bio-spira and did not do a water change for the first 7 days as Dino recommended and yes there was a spike of ammonia but it did not hurt the fish and my rule of thumb is NO testing during that 7 days or you will have yourself nuts. Just go with the flow and let the stuff work. Do not use other additives or medications or other things in the tank or you will seriously jeopardize the whole process. I have not had any problems with my cycle or tanks or fish by doing it this way. I hang up an ammonia alet and it does change colors but I just let it be. The product instructions mention the ammonia spike and it only lasts about 3 days and I am here to say IT DOES NOT HURT THE FISH.

As far as snails go, please do not get me started on that subject as I have just had a disasterous problem with them and lost fish over it.


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