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07-16-2013, 10:57 PM #1
Scaling Back on feedings Suggestions?
I have heard that rooting fish will sometimes eat a fine sand incidentally and that it can cause them to back up. A pebble sized substrate is sometimes recommended. I have never had this problem until I started scaling back on feeding. I have had some cycle disruptances and therefore some nitrite spikes. I am having to do heavy water changes and I am also cutting back a bit on feedings to help this situation. Admittedly I do feed quite a bit. I started by feeding less at a time but more times a day thinking they will get used to the smaller amounts without really experiencing hunger first, then I will feed less times a day and in the smaller quantity therefore less food less feces, less nitrite, make sense? Even though they are still significantly feeding this has caused more burrowing by the more glutinous fish. In summation one fish rooted through the substrate, ate sand, and pooped a constipated looking large black substance (black sand). Whooooo. Thoughts anybody?Active Learning Consists of Engaging With Educated People, Being O.K. With Being Incorrect, Engaging in Conversation No Matter What Your Experience Level, Accepting Positive Criticisms, Offering Your Best Information, And Maintaining A Healthy Attitude. If you Are Not Speaking You Are Only Learning At Half Mast. No One Can Give Feedback On Your Thoughts, Only On Your Words And Actions.
07-16-2013, 11:19 PM #2
If you are having nitrites rather than nitrates, you need to build up your BB, not necessarily cut back on feeding. So long as no food hits the substrate, you can feed as much as the fish will eat in a few minutes.
What do you have for a filter, what type of media do you use? What is your filter maintenance procedure? How big is your tank and what stocking?
My first piece of advice, unless you have a tank smaller than 20ish gallons, and unless you already have one, is to get a second filter, and fill it with nothing but bio media and a sponge.
07-17-2013, 12:50 AM #3
I am still working on a larger tank. I am working with a 10 gal right now. I do have nitrates registering, but they are not prominent enough to balance out the nitrites. I am under the impression that the nitrates occur as a result of nitrites and thrive on the nitrites balancing them out. BB correct? I am doing daily water changes until my BB(?) beneficial bacteria reach optimal level for tank balance. My fish are of the types and qty that will need a larger tank soon, but are not large enough to be problematic YET. My only concern is that the fancy goldfish (who takes up the majority of my inch per gallon ratio) is just too glutinous for the tank. I am not getting rid of hhim but rather working on a larger tank size asap. My loaches will eventually require a 55gal or larger also but right now one of them is only 1.5 in and the other is 4.25. The dojo loach will be 10in when full grown and my sand loach will be 5-7 in I think he is new, don't know that much about him yet.
In short my understanding is that feeding too much causes more feces and urine causing more nitrites.
Real issue is dojo loach ingesting the black sand while trying to root for food. Keep in mind I AM still feeding them generously, just in smaller amounts per session than previous. He seems ok. I want to be proactive though. Prevent problems before they begin.
What's your input?Active Learning Consists of Engaging With Educated People, Being O.K. With Being Incorrect, Engaging in Conversation No Matter What Your Experience Level, Accepting Positive Criticisms, Offering Your Best Information, And Maintaining A Healthy Attitude. If you Are Not Speaking You Are Only Learning At Half Mast. No One Can Give Feedback On Your Thoughts, Only On Your Words And Actions.
07-17-2013, 02:43 PM #4
I don't believe your tank is fully cycled. When a tank is fully cycled and the filter is larger enough to handle the bioload of the fish, then there should be no nitrites.
sheamurai may be right in that you need a supplemental or additional filter or more biomedia in your current filter.
As far as feeding goes, I would feed all fish the amount they can consume in a minute or two once per day. That's it.
For the dojo loach, you have a couple of choices. You can remove the sand and go to a gravel substrate, or place a small bowl on the bottom of the tank and feed bottom feeder tablets out of the bowl. Use a tube of some sort to place the tablets inside of the bowl.
07-17-2013, 03:30 PM #5Senior Member Red tailed catfish
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07-17-2013, 04:04 PM #6
Nitrites 0ccur after the BB have dealt with Amm0nia and NitrAtes are a further result 0f the NitrItes having been processed by the BB. They are simply the by-products that result in the phases 0f the Nitrification cycle. NitrAtes can't be br0ken d0wn any further by bacterial means, they are end 0f the line, s0 t0 speak. They will be rem0ved by water changes and/0r used by live plants as a f0rm 0f nutrient. Keeping track 0f y0ur parameters 0n a regular basis will help y0u determine the health/state 0f y0ur cycle. The balance c0mes with a complete and stable cycle in c0njuncti0n with pr0per water changes. If at all p0ssible, add s0me sp0nge material inside 0f y0ur filter t0 all0w breeding r00m f0r y0ur BB f0r the time being and as mentioned it w0uld never hurt t0 add another filter. After a c0uple 0f weeks, y0u can shift the sp0nge fr0m the 0riginal filter t0 y0ur supplemental filter t0 help seed the new filter quicker. I have heard arguments fr0m b0th camps c0ncerning feeding 1) feed 1 larger p0rti0n 0nce a day- 2) Feed smaller am0unts multiple times daily. I feed 0nce daily and it w0rks 0ut fine with regular gravel vacuuming and water changes. As far as fish ingesting the sand, I'm sure it happens quite often and it shouldn't p0se much 0f an issue, "Geophagus" (earth eater) species, which sift the sand with their mouths searching f0r f00d will swall0w s0me am0unt 0f sand with0ut harm, m0st fish will eventually swall0w s0me sand but they can tell the difference and will spit 0ut the majority. 0verall, f00d is scarce in the wild and fish are kind 0f hardwired t0 survive 0n small amounts 0f f00d and will forage f0r it.When in d0ubt read it until it makes sense, then read it again!
07-17-2013, 11:19 PM #7
Excellent replies everybody. Thank you. I am seeing what you guys are talking about with the BB nitrate nitrite etc. When I bought the water test set my nitrates & nitrites parameters were at 5ppm nitrate to 5ppm nitrite. a week later they are at 5ppm nitrate to .25 nitrite if I recall correctly when I first tested then my BB are getting more prominent.
Previously I was using two carbon filters at a time, but I was feeling like this was restricting water flow as bacteria began to grow I got a film on the 2nd filter at the same time I got food and plant particles on the front filter.
For now I am going to go with the seeding idea and just overlap filters for a day or two rather than doing an outright filter change or using two consistently.Active Learning Consists of Engaging With Educated People, Being O.K. With Being Incorrect, Engaging in Conversation No Matter What Your Experience Level, Accepting Positive Criticisms, Offering Your Best Information, And Maintaining A Healthy Attitude. If you Are Not Speaking You Are Only Learning At Half Mast. No One Can Give Feedback On Your Thoughts, Only On Your Words And Actions.
07-17-2013, 11:24 PM #8
A day or two is not enough to seed a new filter. It takes weeks. Why are you changing them at all? you just need to rinse them in tank water (in a bucket, not in the tank) once in a while and reuse them.
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07-17-2013, 11:35 PM #9
Originally I heard or read change carbon filter every two weeks. Later I heard or read rinse it in sink water once a week or as necessary. Rinse in tank water and reuse it is new to me. I am now wondering if the confusion lies in what type of filter we are talking about.
At my local aquarium I asked about using a sponge filter in addition to my carbon filter and was told that these dont have a frame and are difficult to maintain upright in the filter. Recommendation was use two carbon and rinse in sink. I often thought about the chlorine in tap water killing BB. I decided not to over analyze things.
07-18-2013, 01:07 AM #10
n0t 0ver analyzing can be very g00d. Never use straight tap water, running multiple filters is a g00d thing, the Manufacturers and st0res want y0ur m0ney s0 they tell y0u t0 change stuff that d0esn't need it.When in d0ubt read it until it makes sense, then read it again!