Best way to save bacteria when medicating?
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:25 PM   #1
KaryPerry
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Best way to save bacteria when medicating?


I am treating my 29 gallon for potential parasites with API General Cure. I had 2 Electric Blue Rams come down with them. They were successfully treated in hospital tank, so I feel I should treat the whole tank before returning them. I had two filter pads stuffed in my filter. I took one out and put it in a mason jar with de-chlorinated tap water. Will this work? After 4 days I will need to replace filter media when medicating is done. I assume this will kill all my bacteria, and hate to put my whole tank into a fish in cycle.

I would also like to know for purposes in my hospital tank. The Rams are in a 10 gallon tank that is not cycled after needing to throw out the one mature filter pad I used during medicating. Poor fish. All this is so hard on them. And to make matters worse, they decided to spawn in this tank once they felt better. Sigh. Doing 25% water changes every other day until I can move them back home.

Everything I have read talks about using 5 gallon buckets, running a filter, and dosing ammonia. I don't have an extra filter. All this necessary for 4 days?
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
Zorfox
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Removing the filter pad during treatment will only reinfect the tank when it's put back into service. So basically, no need to figure out how to keep the BB alive. I would certainly treat everything and deal with a mini cycle later if it happens.

I've never used API General Cure so can't comment on the impact it may have on the bacterial population. With many medications you can use half the recommended dose for twice as long.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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Kordon's Ick Attack is a homeopathic treatment it will not kill your inverts or bacteria culture.

Last edited by DogFish; 05-26-2013 at 03:30 AM.. Reason: sp
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
steven p
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Hey, atleast the spawn is already out of your main display...
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:12 PM   #5
KaryPerry
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Thanks everyone. Good point. I was thinking parasites were in substrate only.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best way to save bacteria when medicating?

General cure should not kill your Bio filter.

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Old 05-26-2013, 12:57 AM   #7
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I've used general cure in my display tank and it didn't seem to cause any problems.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Kordon's Ick Attack is a homeopathic treatment it will not kill your invests or bacteria culture.
It's not homeopathic or anywhere close to homeopathic - organic yes.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:00 AM   #9
Diana
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If medication kills the nitrifying bacteria it can be quickly replaced using one of the bottled products that contain Nitrospira species of bacteria. Do not waste your money on anything else.

If you know ahead of time that you will need some replacement bacteria you can do a fishless cycle in any sort of container starting with some sterile (well, at least not infected) media. Here is the fishless cycle. I have done this in a 5 gallon bucket, running a canister filter into it.

Putting cycled media in a jar of water with dechlor is not enough. You need to add oxygen (air bubbler or very small fountain pump) and ammonia to keep the bacteria fed. As noted above, this will harbor most parasites and diseases if it is isolated from the fish for so short a time. Might be OK if it was Ich, that dies without a host very quickly. Most other parasites have a longer resting stage, and if these eggs or spores are in the media then this is a reservoir for the problem.

Cycle: To grow the beneficial bacteria that remove ammonia and nitrite from the aquarium.

Fish-In Cycle: To expose fish to toxins while using them as the source of ammonia to grow nitrogen cycle bacteria. Exposure to ammonia burns the gills and other soft tissue, stresses the fish and lowers their immunity. Exposure to nitrite makes the blood unable to carry oxygen. Research methemglobinemia for details.

Fishless Cycle: The safe way to grow more bacteria, faster, in an aquarium, pond or riparium.

The method I give here was developed by 2 scientists who wanted to quickly grow enough bacteria to fully stock a tank all at one time, with no plants helping, and overstock it as is common with Rift Lake Cichlid tanks.

1) Set up the tank and all the equipment. You can plant if you want. Include the proper dose of dechlorinator with the water.
Optimum water chemistry:
GH and KH above 3 German degrees of hardness. A lot harder is just fine.
pH above 7, and into the mid 8s is just fine.
Temperature in the upper 70s F (mid 20s C) is good. Higher is OK if the water is well aerated.
A trace of other minerals may help. Usually this comes in with the water, but if you have a pinch of KH2PO4, that may be helpful.
High oxygen level. Make sure the filter and power heads are running well. Plenty of water circulation.
No toxins in the tank. If you washed the tank, or any part of the system with any sort of cleanser, soap, detergent, bleach or anything else make sure it is well rinsed. Do not put your hands in the tank when you are wearing any sort of cosmetics, perfume or hand lotion. No fish medicines of any sort.
A trace of salt (sodium chloride) is OK, but not required.
This method of growing bacteria will work in a marine system, too. The species of bacteria are different.

1a) Optional: Add any source of the bacteria that you are growing to seed the tank. Cycled media from a healthy tank is good. Decor or some gravel from a cycled tank is OK. Live plants or plastic are OK. Bottled bacteria is great, but only if it contains Nitrospira species of bacteria. Read the label and do not waste your money on anything else.
At the time this was written the right species could be found in:
Dr. Tims One and Only
Tetra Safe Start
Microbe Lift Nite Out II
...and perhaps others.
You do not have to jump start the cycle. The right species of bacteria are all around, and will find the tank pretty fast.

2) Add ammonia until the test reads 5 ppm. This ammonia is the cheapest you can find. No surfactants, no perfumes. Read the fine print. This is often found at discount stores like Dollar Tree, or hardware stores like Ace. You could also use a dead shrimp form the grocery store, or fish food. Protein breaks down to become ammonia. You do not have good control over the ammonia level, though.

3) Test daily. For the first few days not much will happen, but the bacteria that remove ammonia are getting started. Finally the ammonia starts to drop. Add a little more, once a day, to test 5 ppm.

4) Test for nitrite. A day or so after the ammonia starts to drop the nitrite will show up. When it does allow the ammonia to drop to 3 ppm.

5) Test daily. Add ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. If the nitrite or ammonia go to 5 ppm do a water change to get these lower. The ammonia removing species and the nitrite removing species (Nitrospira) do not do well when the ammonia or nitrite are over 5 ppm.

6) When the ammonia and nitrite both hit zero 24 hours after you have added the ammonia the cycle is done. You can challenge the bacteria by adding a bit more than 3 ppm ammonia, and it should be able to handle that, too, within 24 hours.

7) Now test the nitrate. Probably sky high!
Do as big a water change as needed to lower the nitrate until it is safe for fish. Certainly well under 20, and a lot lower is better. This may call for more than one water change, and up to 100% water change is not a problem. Remember the dechlor!
If you will be stocking right away (within 24 hours) no need to add more ammonia. If stocking will be delayed keep feeding the bacteria by adding ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. You will need to do another water change right before adding the fish.
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Helpful hints:

A) You can run a fishless cycle in a bucket to grow bacteria on almost any filter media like bio balls, sponges, ceramic bio noodles, lava rock or Matala mats. Simply set up any sort of water circulation such as a fountain pump or air bubbler and add the media to the bucket. Follow the directions for the fishless cycle. When the cycle is done add the media to the filter. I have run a canister filter in a bucket and done the fishless cycle.

B) The nitrogen cycle bacteria will live under a wide range of conditions and bounce back from minor set backs. By following the set up suggestions in part 1) you are setting up optimum conditions for fastest reproduction and growth.
GH and KH can be as low as 1 degree, but watch it! These bacteria use the carbon in carbonates, and if it is all used up (KH = 0) the bacteria may die off.
pH as low as 6.5 is OK, but by 6.0 the bacteria are not going to be doing very well. They are still there, and will recover pretty well when conditions get better.
Temperature almost to freezing is OK, but they must not freeze, and they are not very active at all. They do survive in a pond, but they are slow to warm up and get going in the spring. This is where you might need to grow some in a bucket in a warm place and supplement the pond population. Too warm is not good, either. Topical or room temperature tank temperatures are best. (68 to 85*F or 20 to 28*C)
Moderate oxygen can be tolerated for a while. However, to remove lots of ammonia and nitrite these bacteria must have oxygen. They turn one into the other by adding oxygen. If you must stop running the filter for an hour or so, no problem. If longer, remove the media and keep it where it will get more oxygen.
Once the bacteria are established they can tolerate some fish medicines. This is because they live in a complex film called Bio film on all the surfaces in the filter and the tank. Medicines do not enter the bio film well.
These bacteria do not need to live under water. They do just fine in a humid location. They live in healthy garden soil, as well as wet locations.

C) Planted tanks may not tolerate 3 ppm or 5 ppm ammonia. It is possible to cycle the tank at lower levels of ammonia so the plants do not get ammonia burn. Add ammonia to only 1 ppm, but test twice a day, and add ammonia as needed to keep it at 1 ppm. The plants are also part of the bio filter, and you may be able to add the fish sooner, if the plants are thriving.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:35 AM   #10
DogFish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James M View Post
It's not homeopathic or anywhere close to homeopathic - organic yes.
I was wrong using the word homeopathic.

Kordon says:

100% organic herbal formula
Treats Ich, fungus, protozoans & dinoflagellates
Does not affect beneficial bacteria
Totally free of chemicals and all heavy metals, including zinc and copper
Safe for use in all aquariums including reef and live rock, and ponds


I'm kinda thinking it isn't Organic in the legal sense of the word either. For advertising Organic means US Government inspected.

I think natural would have been the best word to use.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:32 PM   #11
James M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
I was wrong using the word homeopathic.

I'm kinda thinking it isn't Organic in the legal sense of the word either. For advertising Organic means US Government inspected.

I think natural would have been the best word to use.
Yeah you're probably right about that. =-)
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