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    Thread: Do I have to buy nitrification bacteria or I can use soil for biofilter

    1. #21
      SimonW is online now Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiRun View Post
      I just can't fathom so many fish as low dose ammonia supply. But whatever you're doing have some binder like Safe that could bind ammonia and nitrite while the filter/tank is cycling with fish in. Have a tight net over the tanks to prevent jumpers. Have plenty of aeration. Keep KH at 5 drops or greater.
      Haha. When you said it I realize that it is indeed many fish! Maybe I will just put 20 goldfish in the 400g tank and 10 goldfish in the 200g tank, after the initial addition of 3 ppm ammonium chloride as icu2 suggested, starts to fade. I guess that so many goldfish would a more proper low ammonia supply!

    2. #22
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      Hello friends:

      Update: (1.5 m3 water, compression filter PondTeam BioClear 25000, pump: 6 m3 per hour)

      I seeded the tank/biofilter 29/9 with a combination of soil extract and some 10 ml of at least two-year-old commercial nitrification bacterial gel, and I also added NH4Cl to a calculated concentration of 3 ppm. But since the NH4-reading was only 0.6 ppm I added another calculated 2 ppm of NH4Cl, and the measured NH4 was then 1.6 ppm. Then I just let it go.

      Three days ago I got zero reading of nitrite, but today I finally got nitrite reading at 0.6 ppm, the NH4-reading is also 0.6 ppm, dropped from 1.6 ppm 3 days ago. It has taken 11 days up to now.

      Since one of you told me that low concentration of NH3/NH4+ is good for oxidation of NO2 to NO3, I added more NH4Cl (calculated to 1 ppm extra).

      My question is: How much time may I expect from now on for the oxidation of NO2 to NO3 to work efficiently? I am worried about the colder weather that will come at any time, and hope that I can bring inside my fish as soon as possible.

      Thank you so much!
      Last edited by SimonW; 10-11-2019 at 08:21 AM.

    3. #23
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      Heater?


    4. #24
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      KI Nitrifier from Keeton Industries or TurboStart from Fritz Labs. Both are shipped over night in cold boxes. Any bottled bacteria at room temp on the shelf in a store is a waste of money.

    5. #25
      SimonW is online now Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by abuchi123 View Post
      Heater?

      Very interesting! I guess that the letters refer to pH-values?

      My tankīs water temperature is 14-17 Celsius (varying depending on the outdoor temperature), seems to be optimal for nitrification in the situation A.

    6. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by MCAsan View Post
      KI Nitrifier from Keeton Industries or TurboStart from Fritz Labs. Both are shipped over night in cold boxes. Any bottled bacteria at room temp on the shelf in a store is a waste of money.
      The bacterial gel I used this time has been kept in a fridge for 2 years. Since I also used soil extract so I have no idea if the gel is still good.

    7. #27
      ricshaw is offline Supporting Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by SimonW View Post
      The bacterial gel I used this time has been kept in a fridge for 2 years. Since I also used soil extract so I have no idea if the gel is still good.
      I am pretty certain that your bacterial gel does not contain ANY LIVE aerobic bacteria.

    8. #28
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      Another update on problem in an other tank:

      Three days after the seeding of the 1.5 m3 tank I have mentioned in this thread I seeded an other 0.7 m3 tank with NH4Cl to a calculated concentration of NH4 at 3 ppm (compression filter BioClear 5000, pump 2 m3 per hour).

      Today I measured its NH4 and NO2, and I found that NH4 is completely zero, and NO2 is far higher than the kitīs max value of 2 ppm.

      So I wonder:

      1) Since the bacteria oxidizing NH4 to NO2 may have been starving for several days, are they now all dead?

      2) How much longer time the bacteria oxidizing NO2 need to work efficiently? Seems that they need much longer time than the bacteria oxidizing NH4 to establish. Can it be 2 months?

      3) It seems that oxidizing of NH4 is much slower in the 1,5 m3 tank than that in the 0.7 m3 tank. The only difference is that 1.5 m3 tank is equipped with a 540 litre per hour air pump while the 0.7 m3 tank a 270 liter per hour pump. Are the air pump(s) too weak?

      Thanks again for your thoughts!

      Simon
      Last edited by SimonW; 10-12-2019 at 03:21 AM.

    9. #29
      icu2's Avatar
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      Just in my experience there always seems to be enough NH3/NH4 to keep bacteria alive as long as it remains wet.

      2 months is a little long but I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility. Here's a chart of a typical "cycle":

      Name:  nitrification cycle.jpg
Views: 140
Size:  58.0 KB

      I'm sure air helps but not sure it's going to make that big of difference. I think you shouldn't over
      think it. My experience has been that sometimes different bodies of water just mature differently.
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      Who knows what the tide could bring." --Tom Hanks in Cast Away

    10. #30
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      One thing I've always wanted to try would be to add sodium nitrite at the same time as ammonium chloride.

    11. #31
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      I didn't have to decide whether or not to use soil. I had my pond up and running before the landscaping around it was done. One day, I was moving a wheelbarrow full of dirt by the pond when I lost control of it, dumping the entire contents into the pond. The bio filter established itself fine; now whether or not it was helped by the dirt, who knows.

    12. #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by kimini View Post
      I didn't have to decide whether or not to use soil. I had my pond up and running before the landscaping around it was done. One day, I was moving a wheelbarrow full of dirt by the pond when I lost control of it, dumping the entire contents into the pond. The bio filter established itself fine; now whether or not it was helped by the dirt, who knows.
      Oh man, I bet you had a few choice words.

    13. #33
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      Quote Originally Posted by kimini View Post
      I didn't have to decide whether or not to use soil. I had my pond up and running before the landscaping around it was done. One day, I was moving a wheelbarrow full of dirt by the pond when I lost control of it, dumping the entire contents into the pond. The bio filter established itself fine; now whether or not it was helped by the dirt, who knows.
      I think that’s how the mud pond was invented

    14. #34
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      Latest update:

      The bigger tank with a volume of 1.5 m3 was finally ready the day before yesterday: Ammonia below 0.5 ppm (more likely zero) and nitrite below 0.1 ppm (faintest pink). It had taken 25 days. Thanks all of you for your good and friendly inputs which have helped me through this!

      Since I have been keeping puting 0.25-0.5 ppm ammonia into it twice a day during the last 15 days, and since 1 ppm ammonia ultimately becomes 3.6 ppm nitrate, I guess I have 25-50 ppm nitrate in it. I need to change water very soon. The nitrate testing kit has been ordered.

      Anyway I have now put two 50 cm ones of my precious survivors from last winter disaster in it and they both look happy. Later I will put 6 more smaller koi (also survivors of last winter) around 35 cm in it. Hopefully it will not be too crowded.

      The smaller tank with a volume of 0.7 m3 that I seeded 3 days later than the bigger tank is not yet ready: ammonia is readily oxidized (zero readings though I put NH4Cl to a calculated ammonia concentration of 0.25-0.5 ppm twice a day) but nitrite is still higher than 2 ppm.
      Last edited by SimonW; 10-25-2019 at 01:32 PM.

    15. #35
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      Just have to continue with questions:

      It is getting cold fast, and I still have about 20 small koi (10-15 cm) that I have not been able to move indoors, as the smaller tank is not ready yet. One option is that I put them in the bigger 1.5 m3 tank. Then I calculated and found that the total body mass of the fish will be equivalent to five 50 cm koi. Is it ok to have so many fish in that tank for up to 2 weeks?

      Water temperature is 17 centigrade.

    16. #36
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      Hello friends:

      I have now two problems that I need your wise advice:

      1. The biofilter to the 0.7 m3 tank will just not pass the nitrite stage. Three weeks have gone since I noticed high nitrite concentration in the tank, and the nitrite level is still very high today. I have changed water 3 times but to no use. During the whole period I added NH3Cl equivalent to 1 ppm ammonia every day. What can I do to make the nitrobacter to establish?

      2. The biofilter to the 1.5 m3 tank worked fine in the beginning, but now it is not working properly as I have got both ammonia (0.2 ppm) and nitrite (0.4 ppm), probably because I used Na2CO3 instead of NaHCO3 to keep up the KH. Na2CO3 gives a much higher pH, at least temporarily (in the longer term Na2CO3 will turn into NaHCO3 as CO3-ion will react with carbonic acid H2CO3 and form HCO3-ion). I read that nitrobacter is sensitive to high pH, so have I killed of them in the biofilter?

      Thanks for your advice again! These days I have been keeping changing water, almost 30% daily. The tap water is ice-cold so that is the fastest change I can do.

    17. #37
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      I think the problem will take care of itself if you warm the water as has been previously suggested. You're not going to get a lot of nitrification in ice cold water. I would insulate around the tanks and buy a couple of stock tank heaters.

    18. #38
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      Hello, Microlift Bacteria Gel is a new technology that instantly kick starts a new bio filter. You can buy them on ebay or amazon. If you don't have any fish in the tank, you can use a cup of pure ammonia per 300 gallon of water to test the Microlift gel. Ammonia should clear out in a couple of days and start the nitrification process. If you keep adding ammonia after it clears, you will need to check the KH of the water and replenish it with baking soda. You will find that nitrifying bacteria consumes or needs sodium bicarbonate to stay active. When your KH goes to zero the nitrifying process stops, this is one of the reasons why fish get sick.
      Last edited by Roger; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:46 PM.

    19. #39
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      Update:

      I am totally lost. The biofilters will just not pass the nitrite-stage. Constant high nitrite concentration in the tanks (above 0.6 ppm). But the ammonia is always low: 0.05 ppm or lower, some times between 0.05-0.1 ppm (very weak greenish), which indicates that ammonia oxidation is working fine.

      What I have been doing: To the 0.7 m3 tank (fishless) I add NH4Cl equvalent to 1 ppm NH3 daily and change about 80% water almost every week, and to the 1.5 m3 tank (with fish) I add about 30 g food, change 10-15% water, and add NaCl to about 0.15% (to protect the fish from nitrite harm) daily. To both tanks I add NaHCO3 to 10-15 dKH.

      By the way I would like to know at which step the carbonate is needed, the first step of ammonia oxidation or the second step of nitrite oxidation or both?

      Thank you for your thoughts!
      Last edited by SimonW; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:10 PM.

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