HELP!!! Bio Cycle

  • #1
Hello Everyone!

I'm new to the forum and thought I would pick your brains because there is nothing left of mine

Let me begin my story...

I recently upgraded from a live 40 GAL tank to a 55. When transferring, I was advised to save as much of the old water as I could for the new tank and run with the SAME filter media that was running on the old tank. I put my fish in a temporary home while doing the transfer and now they are residing in their new, larger abode.

Now for the tricky part...I have a bacteria bloom, naturally. I know this is a new tank and is cycling (only set up about 6 days ago) and everything is trying to settle. I have a liquid drop test kit and ran some tests on the water.

•Amonia - 0
•Nitrates - around 70
•Nitrites - Same

Now, I know bacteria will use up what oxygen there is in the tank, thus creating cO2 (great for the plants) but the plants have not properly rooted into the new substrate (fluorite brown) so I don't believe that they are able to turn around the cO2 as quickly as they should be.

I'm concerned as most mornings when I check on the tank the fish are at the top gasping from the lack of oxygen. I take the power head and use it to stir up the top a bit and then they're ok for the day, but its just having to do this each morning is a bit of a hassle. I know blooms can last for quite a while, which is why I'm worried.

My question is, is there a way to accelerate this bloom? I'm not exactly a fan of adding ammonia to the tank due to its residents being in there, so if there is a way to accelerate its course, I would appreciate hearing of it.

Thank you and believe me, any suggestions are welcome.
  • #2
Welcome to the forum!

First off, the person that gave you the advice is 50% right. Saving the old filter media is an absolute essential to avoid a crashed cycle when transferring. What he got wrong was about saving the old water. Using old water will do nothing but add excess nitrates into your system that is not needed. Old water is also depleted of oxygen, minerals, and other trace nutrients needed. Fresh dechlorinated water is best.

When you say your nitrites are the same, what does that mean? Same as nitrate or ammonia?

I would just let the bloom blow over by itself. It should go away within a week. But if you want to do something that may accelerate the bloom, you can purchase a bottle of TSS and add it to your tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thank you very much for the speedy reply!

My apologies on my numbers, I had them confused, the nitrite level is between 1.6 and 2.8 mg/L

As far as the plants are concerned, should I fertilize them while the tank is in this state?
  • #4
With the nitrites that high, you need to do daily water changes of around 30% with Prime or Amquel+ until you get 0 nitrite. Nitrite is highly toxic to fish so water changes is a must. Since you'll need to be doing water changes every day, I don't see a point with fertilizing. Ill do it after the bloom is over.
  • #5
Good morning and Welcome to Fish Lore!

I hope you enjoy the site.



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  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Ken, Thank you for the welcoming

As far as the water changes go, I've heard to not to water changes during a cycle as the bacteria will just multiply to compensate for the loss. Is this true? If so won't this prolong the bloom?
  • #7
Doing water changes will help lower the Nitrites which is what is needed. The bloom is caused because the bacteria are multiplying at a very fast rate because there is so much for them to eat. If you cut down on their food source the bloom will go away. I would personally do large water changes and treat the tank with a good double dose of Prime to detoxify the nitrites still left in the tank after the water change. If you will do a few daily water changes with water treated with Prime the bacteria bloom will go away a lot quicker.

You don’t want to do water changes if you use TSS at all. TSS will quickly eat up all the nitrites and then colonize the filter to help keep the nitrites in check. If you do decide to use TSS don’t do water changes or test for the first 10 to 14 days at all. You also don’t want to use any products like Prime if you decide to use TSS because it will make the TSS fail to cycle the tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thank you all for your suggestions! Should I use TSS if I am using existing filter media from my prior tank? It is not new media
  • #9
TSS will not hurt your currently cycled media but will give the new tank a boost in the right direction if it needs it. Going from a 40 gallon to a 55 gallon isn’t a real large change so as long as you don’t increase the bio-load that the filter is use to by adding a lot more fish you should be OK with out using TSS but it will not hurt.

Personally I would go a head and add it and let the tank age for a few weeks before doing any water changes or testing. After two weeks or so I would then do a large water change and test the water for a few days after that. If the tank seems to be stable you could start adding a few new fish each week until you are happy with the stocking level. Just don’t get carried away adding more fish or doing it to quickly.
  • #10
What is TSS?
  • #11
SilverAvia asked “ What is TSS?” It stands for Tetra SafeStart - it is a bacteria starter for new tanks.

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