Badman's Tropical Fish

Miscellaneous => EcoBio-Block test => Topic started by: Badman on December 08, 2008, 04:55:06 PM

Title: turtletoes test
Post by: Badman on December 08, 2008, 04:55:06 PM
Here you will find turtletoes test and results

Title: Re:turtletoes test
Post by: turtletoes on December 20, 2008, 12:45:40 PM
Alright everyone, I've got the EBB and will be setting up the tanks for the test soon!! :)

Title: Re: turtletoes test
Post by: Badman on February 17, 2009, 01:18:43 PM
Any updates?

Title: Re: turtletoes test
Post by: turtletoes on February 17, 2009, 05:05:32 PM
Life got in the way--tanks are all set up, just not filled yet, but they are ready to go. Changed things a bit and will be stocking the tank I think with some alvarezi swords rather than guppies. Should all be set up this weekend!! :) Sorry for the delay-- it will be set up soon. I'll report as I have information as to how this product helps with cycling a new tank and then post with updates on fish health and water parameters on both tanks periodically.

Title: Re:turtletoes test
Post by: turtletoes on March 03, 2009, 04:31:27 PM
Ok, here goes! :)

Tanks(2 tanks with identical equipment and stocking:
10g with dual light bulb full lids running 2 each 13w spiral style CF 6500k GE bulbs.
Aqueon 10g tank filters.(test tank filter was new, control tank filter started with seeded biomedia from established filter)
tanks setting on a double 10g tank stand
50w heater
fluorite substrate
plants--all plants taken from other established tanks and added on day 6 of the test. water wisteria(one each tank, floating), pygmy chain sword, anubias nana, various rotalla and ludwigia, bacopa, and sag. might also add some riccia.
critters--10 each "glowlight rasbora" aka trigonostigma hengeli added on day 1 of test. was going to go with live bearers, but then I found these guys. :) Will add pygmy cories, or shrimp or snails a little later. I see some algae on the glass already, so it might be sooner than later in an attempt to keep on top of a possible algae bloom.

The purpose of this test is to see if and to what degree EBB helps to cycle a new tank. And, to see the effects of this product on water parameters while possibly reducing the "need" for water changes. There are 2 almost identical tanks. One is the "test" tank containing EBB and the other is the same except it has no EBB and started with a seeded filter to make things easier on me, rather than facing daily water changes on the "control" tank during the cycling process. I figure we have all cycled enough tanks to know that starting from scratch will cause much work and I dont think we need this test to tell us what we already know about cycling a new tank without some sort of helper.

How do we decide if the "need" for water changes is reduced when using EBB?? I will look for:

Fluctuations of the aquarium tank water as compared to the source tap water. IMO, the goal of frequent large water changes(50% weekly or more) is not only to directly benefit the fish, but to keep the tank water as close to the source water parameters as possible. I will measure every variable that I can in this process, including ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, dKH, dGH, and EC's. EC's are "Electic Conductivity" of the water.

Increases in the tank water of EC's and nitrates.(read as an increase in the levels of pollution)

Fluctuations in pH, dGH and dKH.(Simply put: the ability of EBB to add the needed carbonate hardness that is expected to be used up by the biological processes of the tank. Lack of additional KH could lead to an absense of dKH in the tank water and a pH crash)

Watch for any possible effects of health or breeding on the fish and inverts in the tank containing EBB, the "test" tank versus the "control" tank.

For the purpose of cycling a tank faster using this product I will look for:

Decreased or absent levels of ammonia or nitrite from what could be expected during the cycling process--thus reducing the need for daily or more frequent water changes during the time expected for the biofilter of the tank to become established.

Here is the initial info from the 1st week of the tanks running:
measurements of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are in ppm.
measurements of KH and GH will be in dKH and dGH--One degree KH is equal to 17.9 mg/I CaCO3.  

sorry the numbers are not lining up correctly. they are in nice straight columns here, but when I post it, they get out of alignment. :( All the results are in the same order for each day. hopefully it is not too confusing....I typed these up in a spreadsheet program to make things easier, but of course its not working! lol.

Sunday      Feb 22nd 2009               
EBB Product Test  Results                     
   ammonia   nitrite   nitrate   pH   dKH   dGH   EC/PPM
Tap   0   0   0   7.2   4dKH   5dGH   n/a
Aged Tap   0   0   0   7.6   3dKH   5dGH   n/a
Control tank   0   0   0   7.4-7.6   3dKH   5dGH   n/a
Test tank   0   0   0   7.4-7.6   3dKH   5dGH   n/a

Wednesday      Feb 25th, 2009               
EBB Product Test Results                     
   ammonia   nitrite   nitrate   pH   dKH   dGH   EC/PPM
Control tank   0   0   <5ppm   7.4-7.6   3dKH   5dGH   n/a
Test tank   0-.25ppm   0   0   7.4-7.6   3dKH   5dGH   n/a

Saturday      Feb 28th, 2009               
EBB Product Test Results                     
   ammonia   nitrite   nitrate   pH   dKH   dGH   EC/PPM
Control tank   0   0   5ppm   7.4-7.6   3dKH   5dGH   n/a
Test tank   0-.25   trace   trace   7.4-7.6   3dKH   5dGH   n/a

From the looks of these numbers, it appears as though the control tank I set up with established biomedia is not going through a mini-cycle. The biofilter appears as though it is enough to support the bioload of the tank. These test results are before any waterchanges have been performed in either tank. A 50% w/c was performed Monday night(Mar 2nd) on the control tank as part of the regular long term tank maintenance.

The test tank containing EBB is going through a cycle, but it does not seem to be as bad--not as high ammonia or nitrites as I might expect at this point. I guess here is where having the other tank being started from scratch for comparrison would help, but its too late now..........I will keep you all posted on the progress of these tanks. :) So far, I have not changed the water in the EBB tank as the ammonia level is still relatively low--it is reading a weak .25ppm. I have dosed some Prime in the test tank to hopefully neutralize the ammonia and keep the fish safe. If the ammonia or nitrites go above .25ppm, or stay at or near .25ppm for an extended period of time, I will do an immediate water change or more as needed. I will note anything like this on my next update. I feel it is important to allow the product to do its intended job, while not allowing deadly or harmful levels of ammonia or nitrites to cause harm to the fish. So far the fish in both tanks are behaving the same. They are all active, healthy, and eating signs of stress or disease. I will post photos later. :)

Here is an article explaining KH and GH units of measurement:
here is a link to one of RTR's articles here in the library on NTS(new tank syndrome) this might help understand the different things one might look for in a product to "help cycle a tank":
He also has other articles in the library which are very informative.
Here is a link to the reader submitted articles:

Title: Re: turtletoes test
Post by: RTR...Grumpy Ole Fogie on March 03, 2009, 05:36:39 PM
Mallt Clarke's article may be helpful, but it may also be misleading if not read very carefully.  It manages to muddy the water (as it were) by saying "KH makes up a component of GH, so boiling will also reduceGH slightly"  The observation that GH after boiling is accurate.  Reasoning from that that the GH makes a part of KH is absolutely false.  The GH drops because the calcium or magnesium is pulled out of solution along with the carbonate when water is  boiled. GH is, and no part in, KH at all, period.  KH is a measure or carbonate/bicarbonate in water.  GH is a measure of alkali earth metal ions in water - but primarily only two of those are detectable in potable FW, calcium and magnesium,  Someday the world will get that message, but I do not believe it will be in my lifetime.  Meanwhile, myths are persistent, even from authors who do, or should, know better.  it is full valid that high GH commonly occurs in parallel with high KH, but because the two group are both involved in the commonest minerals which contribute hardness and alkalinity to water, not because their ions are liked in tank chemistry - they are not.

Off soapbox, return to regular programming.

Title: Re: turtletoes test
Post by: turtletoes on March 18, 2009, 05:16:53 PM

Sorry its a bit late, been sick and my laptop has a virus! grr. :)

Ok, so since I was sick, I skipped one complete weekly test on both tanks and a w/c on the "control" tank.

Here are the readings for the test tank on various dates between the last posted results and yesterday:

test tank--checked only ammonia and nitrites during this period to keep on top of the cycling of the test tank. At this point, the control tank was cycled, so I did not do any readings.....
Mon, March 2nd
ammonia .25, nitrite trace

Wed, March 4th
ammonia trace, nitrite <.25

Fri, March 6th
ammonia trace, nitrite trace

Sun, Mar 8th
ammonia 0, nitrite trace

Wed, March 11th
ammonia 0, nitrite 0

Fri, March 13th
ammonia 0, nitrite 0

During this time, I got the EC meter(hanameter) working again, so I have added EC readings to the results below. The hanameter tests EC and converts that reading to PPM. I have provided both results so anyone not familiar with EC readings can maybe understand these results a bit better. I dont have the time nor mind to explain EC readings, but there are some good articles out there, google is your friend! :)

Here are full readings before w/c Monday, March 16th, 2009.
Control tank
0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10ppm nitrate, pH 7.8, dKH 3, dGH 6, EC .24, PPM conversion of EC reading=170ppm

Test tank
0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, <5 nitrate, pH 7.6, dKH 3, dGH 5, EC .17, PPM conversion=120ppm

Tap--the other tests are unchanged. EC reading .14, PPM conversion 100ppm.

As you can see, the test tank(the one containing EBB) is showing higher Nitrates, EC's, dGH, and pH. It was my understanding that EBB is supposed to help lower nitrates. The tanks are as close to identical as I could get with stocking and plants, as well as lighting, filtration, etc.(still need to post pics). The plant growth is slower than I had hoped in both tanks, but looks to be equal growth between the 2(no substantial amounts of dying plant material in either tank and the lights for both tanks are run by the same timer). I do not understand why the nitrate ppm are double in the EBB tank at this point, considering the skipped water change in the test tank. I have yet to add any nutrients or other additives for the plants, I think I should avoid doing so, so I dont add anything to the tanks which could affect the test results.

Do you all think it is ok to add Excel to the tanks?? Would it hinder the accuracy of the test results??

The fish appear healthy(no outward signs of illness) in both tanks. But, the behaviour is slightly different between the 2 tanks---I do not want to jump to the conclusion that the EBB is affecting the fish negatively at this point; as the behaviour differences could be due to the placement of the 2 tanks. They are on one stand, test tank on top, control tank on bottom. So, I think the fish in the upper tank could feel a little more exposed than the ones on the bottom. The behaviour differences are that the rasboras in the top tank school more often, and more tightly than the fish in the control tank. The fish in the control tank seem more laid back, dont school as often or as tightly than the fish in the test tank. I see the tighter, more frequent schooling as a bit of a stress response by the fish in the test tank(they are not freaking out. I dont know if most people would really even notice the difference. I think the fish in both tanks are still acting within the normal ways we would expect to see). But again, it could be that they feel more exposed from being at waist level(where they are exposed to more activity?) than the fish in the tank on the bottom and possibly not due to the EBB.  

EBB did seem to make the tank cycle faster. I ended up not needing to do any water changes during the cycling process. Without a "helper"(EBB) in the tank, I would have done a w/c as soon as I saw .25ppm ammonia or nitrite-- In this instance, the fish appeared ok, the readings did not go above .25ppm, and did not stay there for very long. I held off on the w/c to give the EBB a chance to cycle the tank without outside help. I do wonder though, if exposing these fish to any amount of ammonia or nitrites during the cycling of the tank, if that could be why the test tank fish are acting a bit skittish compared to their friends in the tank below?? Any input??

At this point, I think it would have been prudent to set up 3 tanks for this test. One with EBB, one maintained the same as the EBB tank, and one maintained with 50% weekly w/c.....because I am suprised to see the differences in the test results between the 2 tanks so early in this test. It would be nice to have a 3rd tank that was not getting water changes the same as the EBB tank for comparison.

Last comment. There is slightly more algae(brown diatoms) in the control tank than in the test tank. I have yet to add any inverts to help with algae control or extra food. Both tanks are fed 1-2 times per day, as much as they can eat in a minute or 2, with fasting at least once per week--I have not seen any uneaten food in either tank. Their diet has mainly consisted of: golden pearls, decapped brine shrimp eggs, froz daphnia, cyclopeeze, and various Ed's foods, including green flakes to help balance their diet. All fish are eating well. I still plan to add either some shrimp or snails to the tanks. I wanted to make sure the biological filters of both tanks were stable before adding anything else.

Oh, last, last comment! lol. I have not touched the filters since setting them up. There is very little mulm on the filter pads of either tank at this point. I will most likely rinse the mechanical filter pads("bio" filtration is in a different place in these filters) next week during the scheduled w/c for the control tank.

I'd like to get some feedback on how you all think this test is going and if you all think i need to be doing anything differently.

thanks! :)

Title: Re: turtletoes test
Post by: jms86 on July 16, 2013, 02:57:08 PM
HI! i am new in the hobby and please understand that i didn't understand what the test results mean..  :confused: could you just tell me if it works or not? thank you so much!

Title: Re: turtletoes test
Post by: Pat Mary on July 16, 2013, 05:14:44 PM
I guess it is you and me both that don't know.  I think that test sort of petered out.   Seeing that you are new to the hobby, are you looking for ways to cycle a tank?  If so, here is a great article for you to read.  It tells about the various ways to cycle a tank.  If you have any other questions, just ask.  :)

Title: Re: turtletoes test
Post by: jms86 on July 16, 2013, 06:33:02 PM
Thank you for the speedy response! You mentioned an article I can read to know about different ways of cycling a tank? Where can I find that article? Thank you so much!

Title: Re: turtletoes test
Post by: Pat Mary on July 16, 2013, 06:46:23 PM
This thread has decided that I am new so won't let me post a link.  :question:   So.....I sent you a pm with the link.  Sorry about that.