Water Conditions 24 hours after Tetra Safestart - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Whatsup everybody. I have a new 5 gal planted tank with a young betta. I started the tank, waited 48 hours with conditioner, added tetra safestart, and added my betta (I wanted to wait until it was fully cycled, but I found the exact betta I had been looking for and couldnt resist) anyways, it has been about 24 hours since my betta has been in his tank and I just took more water readings. Ammonia is around .5ppm which I am okay with, Nitrites 0ppm, but the nitrates are around 20-40 ppm. from my understand I dont want to do a water change for 14 days, but I worry about those nitrate levels already being almost 40... What do you guys recommend?

I tested my tap water and it is 0 ppm Nitrates

Last edited by Darkblade48; 11-26-2017 at 04:40 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 03:48 AM
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You should probably do a 50% water change to bring your nitrate levels down. You may have had a good batch of safestart but your tank probably isn't anywhere close to cycled yet. I'm not sure where you heard about the 14 day rule but that doesn't seem correct to me. Nitrifying bacteria live on surfaces like filter sponges, decorations, etc so water changes shouldn't slow down your cycling process much. Just make sure you dechlorinate any water you're using and match the temperature of the tank.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 08:17 AM
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I'm not sure where you heard about the 14 day rule but that doesn't seem correct to me.
That is what Tetra recommends, it was either on the bottle or their website.

As for the high nitrates is the Betta showing any signs of distress? You could get a nitrate reducing product but those always tend to take out ammonia as well. 40 is ok as long as the fish is doing ok but be ready to do a water change if it starts having issues. Also if you have the API test for nitrate just know those ones suck bad, you almost need a paint shaker to get it to read right. I have moved on to seachem tests, they are expensive but with how infrequently I test nitrates now it lasts for a long time. Their ammonia tests are even better as they use reusable dots that you stick in water.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 04:57 PM
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Something doesn't add up here if the tap water is zero nitrates! Tetra Safestart arrives in a form of stasis and would take 24-48 hours before bacteria would revive and populate to handle ammonia. Even if the bacteria was 'working', there's no way that a single Beta would generate enough ammonia in such a short period to produce .5ppm ammonia AND 20-40ppm nitrate!

I'd retest for nitrates AND do a water change if the fish begins to show any signs of distress.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 08:14 PM
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Something doesn't add up here if the tap water is zero nitrates! Tetra Safestart arrives in a form of stasis and would take 24-48 hours before bacteria would revive and populate to handle ammonia. Even if the bacteria was 'working', there's no way that a single Beta would generate enough ammonia in such a short period to produce .5ppm ammonia AND 20-40ppm nitrate!

I'd retest for nitrates AND do a water change if the fish begins to show any signs of distress.
You bring up a good point, its very possible that the tests are both wrong if it is the API nitrate test. I can get two wildly different results based on how I shake the solution bottles. The more you use that test when you don't shake it enough the worse it gets.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 09:03 PM
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You bring up a good point, its very possible that the tests are both wrong if it is the API nitrate test. I can get two wildly different results based on how I shake the solution bottles. The more you use that test when you don't shake it enough the worse it gets.
You're supposed to shake the bottle pretty well for the nitrate test. I used some of Dr. Tim's stuff and had no issues boosting my cycle after I water changed the next day.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 10:11 PM
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You're supposed to shake the bottle pretty well for the nitrate test. I used some of Dr. Tim's stuff and had no issues boosting my cycle after I water changed the next day.
Just shaking it well will get you false readings, you have to beat that bottle like you are Rocky going after Apollo Creed.

Were you boosting a existing cycle or creating a new one, boosting it will react a bit different and is a bit easier to do, but as stated above changing your water out that fast with TSS is just wasting it as it might still be dormant regardless of boosting ore new cycle.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 10:34 PM
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Just shaking it well will get you false readings, you have to beat that bottle like you are Rocky going after Apollo Creed.

Were you boosting a existing cycle or creating a new one, boosting it will react a bit different and is a bit easier to do, but as stated above changing your water out that fast with TSS is just wasting it as it might still be dormant regardless of boosting ore new cycle.
I was just boosting a cycle. Switched from an air-driven corner filter to a HOB filter so I moved a bunch of media for the old filter to the new one and added some additional biomedia which needed the boost. My previous cycle was pretty lethargic but the new filter and additional bottle of bacteria seemed to have helped (I did like 10x dose though which turned my water cloudy for a whole day).
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-21-2017, 04:31 AM
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I've always wondered if TSS includes some ammonia just incase.. but idk


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-21-2017, 04:48 AM
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I've always wondered if TSS includes some ammonia just incase.. but idk
I remember reading that it does somewhere and that is part of the reason you don't want to use a conditioner that removes chlroamines as it also takes away their food source that came in the bottle. How the bottled bacteria doesn't consume it in transit is not something I understand.

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