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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys!

I'm a lurker here, but thought I'd post a quick tip.

In starting new tanks, I usually always use some form of bacteria booster, like cycle, or BA's bacteria or sera or w/e my LFS has on hand, or filter material from an old tank...

I've been playing with the idea of using septobac for a long time, but haven't started a new tank till a few weeks ago.


What's needed:



1 suction cup mounted feeder ring.
1 Coffee filter
1 pouch of septobac


I bought the feeder ring from my LFS.
Septobac, 12 pouches in a box.... $6? at wallmart!
Coffee filter I had on hand...

I soaked the filter in tank water, then lined it around the feeder ring so that 1/4-1/2" remained folder outside and around the bottom of the ring. (The majority of the filter forms a sac hanging from the feeder ring)

I sat the feeder ring with coffee filter on a corner of my tank (open top) so that the plastic ring had solid support.

I then took a full pouch of septobac and slowly added it to the filter ring. Prodding it as I poured so that the septobac sunk like mud into the water inside the filter.

Then I left it for roughly a week. The filter got about 1/2 of bateria slime dangling off it in the water.... I figured that's about enough, I didn't want the septobac stuff to dump into my tank.


Some info on my tank:

It's a 6 gal tank 15Lx18Wx12H. I set it up with ecocomplete, a root/substrate heater, and a zoomed 501 filter ( no sponge or charcoal, completely filled with biomax) with a marineland double bright LED light setup. I also have pressurized CO2 diffusing through a hagen bubble ladder.

I started it in march, using Tom Barr's recommended way of growing a UG carpet. The tank had about an inch of substrate with the water only filled to the top of the lowest point of substrate. Planted the UG and sealed the top.

It did work... but not very quickly like the pictures I've seen. I eventually got frustrated and filled the tank, set the co2. A week or two go by and then algae started coming in like mad.

So I needed a cleaning crew. Bought a beta for hardiness and cycling....(or for the wife later... Now has a new home in one of her vases) and started the septobac. Tested water @ 2 LFS's a day later. Very little nitrite, and nitrate, no ammonia. Beta looked happy from the start.

A few days later, added some Crystal reds. They look happy within a couple of hours. Nice colouring. Beta started immediately picking on the shrimp.
One is left alone, the other hides, forrages, gets picked on, hides...
Lost one in the night.

Checked water, slight tint to nitrite and nitrate.

A few days later, water tested clear, slight tint to nitrates.

Added 100 red cherries, 5 albino plecos. Replaced the one dead crystal.
Gave beta to wife.

It's now been a few weeks. The tank is almost completely free of algae and everyone is happy! Water checks out good too, not a single water change - only top-ups.

I think using this method, I was cycled within a day or two.
We'd just moved here, and had to sell off/give away all our old tanks. I had no starting bacteria. I think this method was a huge success! In the future, I might try plain ammonia instead of the beta... but then again, with the speed this worked, you may even be able to use the septobac straight, and add fish!

I've never had a new tank be soooo easy and fast! Not even with adding a portion of used filter material!

Now if anyone has any tips for my UG, that'd be great. It's growing around 3/16" a day, but isn't a deep or vibrant green, it's pale.
 

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I strongly recommend not using SeptoBac to cycle a tank. This product's enzymes began to break down an aquarium safe epoxy I used to build my Hamburger Matten filter / moving bed filter (hybrid design I came up with and use it in all my tanks). Luckily the pieces were insignificant but I could tell that the epoxy was breaking down in other places as well. Not to mention it began to deteriorate the artificial plants I had in the tank! I might as well have used hydrochloric acid to cycle the tank.

I added only half a one ounce pouch during this 48 hour period.

In addition, after a period of 48 hours++, it did absolutely nothing to the ammonia level in the tank...4ppm, 0ppm nitrite, 0ppm nitrate. Anyone who says different is merely spreading hogwash.

Immediate 300% WC. Who knows what this product was doing to the aquarium sealant hoding my tank together! Lesson learned.

Unfortunately nothing truly helps to cycle a tank other than introducing bio media from an established tank and using Ammonium Chloride as a pure source of ammonia.

After 8 days of cycling my new African Cichlid tank (tried naturally...no established bio media) and the SeptoBac disaster, I added a 3 month old piece of filter floss from an established tank (1 year plus) and after the first day, here are the results:

Start:
4ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
0ppm Nitrate

Day 1:
1ppm Ammonia
0.25ppm Nitrite
0 – 5ppm Nitrate

All I have to say is, OMG! I am currently on day 5 and I really can’t see this going to 14 days. My cycle should be complete by day 10.

Now spiking the tank to 5ppm on a daily basis and it gets completely consumed in 12 to 14 hours...the nitrite levels are still too high (3ppm) but that will change soon...hopefully. Nitrate levels are obviously off the charts.

Mistake 1: Do not buffer the initial water going into a new tank while cycling...it will inhibit the growth of nitrifying bacteria. Lesson learned. New to African cichlids so I'll put this notch on my belt.

Mistake 2: Never use SeptoBac to cycle a tank. Lesson learned.

Final recommendation, buy, beg, borrow, steal some bio media from your local fish store (as you can see...used filter floss works great) and stuff it in your filter. As you can see, nothing beats it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ah that hasn't been my experience at all.

I've over 120 shrimp and 4 albino bristlenoses in there.... no ill effects.

My tank is a small tank, custom built. All Glass, with Dow Corning 732 silicone.
My gravel is eco-complete, and I'm running pressurized CO2.

There's a large piece of drift wood, and a big quarts rock.

Lots of live pants... nothing fake.

No ill affects on anything as far as I can tell. My silicone has gone from clear to white, but it did that last year on the original build, from just the co2.


The only change I have made since using that setup, is designing a big fluidized bed filter to take off my zoomed 501 and hagen CO2 Ladder.
It's running purigen as I usually am so over stocked that a 50% WC daily can't make the nirate load safe for shrimp. Added purigen to the 501, and it was bi-weekly if not monthly.


I've been told my water here is around 9dkh, if that maybe helps? But I run my CO2 so it bring my ph to 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In addition, after a period of 48 hours++, it did absolutely nothing to the ammonia level in the tank...4ppm, 0ppm nitrite, 0ppm nitrate. Anyone who says different is merely spreading hogwash.
I have seen septobac take a 2.4 ammonia level to 0 (or undetectable on my test kits) and less than just a trace of nitrates, less than the first reading on my test kit.... in a single night. 1:30am to 8am, works fast.
 

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This method was proven a bad idea YEARS ago. Unless you keep adding Septobac you WILL eventually have a cycle.

Nothing like using the wrong bacteria to eat up all the food that the beneficial bacteria needs to become established.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This method was proven a bad idea YEARS ago. Unless you keep adding Septobac you WILL eventually have a cycle.

Nothing like using the wrong bacteria to eat up all the food that the beneficial bacteria needs to become established.
Really? I'd love to see those tests!
I'm not here pushing people to use septobac, I just found it worked and wanted to share.

What's the reason for it? Different bacteria? Or is there something like an ammonia remover built into septobac?

If you've any links to share I'd love to read them!
Thanks,
Jedi
 
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