Restoring Joy In Aquaria Fish Keeping

The memories of our gold fish dying too early and unexpectedly are still haunting some of us. If fish keeping has become easier, it still brings its load of challenges and turns a potentially pleasing hobby into a nightmare.

From aquarium cycling to aquatic life husbandry, many factors can affect the aquarium’s ecosystem; too many, in fact, not to feel overwhelmed and powerless when something goes wrong and none of the popular solutions, including frequent water change works.

Many aquarists often turn to AquaBella Bio-Enzyme Water Treatment as their last resort after having tried many water treatment and conditioner products, performed large water change for days. Most often than not, the water ecosystem has become a chemical soup and it has become virtually impossible to identify what caused the problem in the first place.

Sal A's return to fish keeping was not a pleasant experience ...

That is exactly what Sal Alfano was going through when he contacted us and tried AquaBella Bio-Enzyme for his 10-gallon freshwater aquarium. In his first email, Sal was genuine about his tank history and he was about to give up.
I have been trying to cycle a 10 gallon tank for 2 months. I had it cycled a week ago and then experienced an ammonia spike to 4ppm. I’ve been protecting the stock by using a dechlorinator. The stock is fine and active. Having tried other bacterial solutions and used water additives I am concerned that the addition now of Aquabella will cause an anomaly or not be effective. I purchased your product from your “Store” last evening and am awaiting delivery. Is it acceptable to use it given past additives and will it still be effective? Frankly, I’m sick of the cycling process and recently found Aquabella on the web. I pray it works as portrayed in the many testimonials I’ve read. It will keep me from leaving the hobby!

A pH of 6 helped save his fish but the task at hand was to restore the 10 gallon’s water ecosystem. Sal, by his own admission had been overdosing his aquarium with a dechlorinator, which bind with ammonia and it had an effect on showing a 4ppm ammonia reading (in fact ammonium). We offered Sal to either start over or work with what we had, knowing the aquarium was possibly saturated with different compounds; AquaBella might not be able to save the day.

Sal, a former top executive with Avis Corp. is the no-nonsense kind of person who wants to understand and along with our support and suggestion, he was performing his own investigation. “That’s what drove me back to this hobby, it’s complex and yet it should not be. So yes, I want to have an all-natural aquarium. I’ll be patient and I don’t mind the experiment”.

Nitrates went from 20 down to 0ppm but ammonia/ammonium was still showing 3ppm. With the amount of nitrifying bacteria in his tank, ammonia/ ammonium should have been oxidized and the tank fully cycled. Were the chemical water treatments the real culprit? To which extent do they prevent bacteria from accessing and processing ammonia in a low pH? We’ll never know but suffice to say, Sal was not convinced.
I contacted the water dechlorinator’s manufacturer and spent many hours on their forum, and the least I can tell you is that their answers have fallen short of what I would expect from a reputable company. I could not have a clear answer as to the effect of the dechlorinator on the aquatic life and more specifically on bacterial activity. They even suggested that I use it every other day …

A couple of months later and a bacterial bloom along with a pH swing, the 10-gallon was back to its “prime” and nitrates, which had risen up to 80 following the bloom started to come down, pH had stabilized.

Crystal clear water restored and still no water change ;)

Sal sent a picture along with these encouraging words:
Keeping the experiment’s record complete, I can now report…:


I’ve said several times, I don’t give up easily. We’re winning and I know AquaBella will run the final mile and knock out the nitrates. I will measure nitrates tomorrow before adding about 1gallon to compensate for evaporation. I agree that AquaBella needs to overcome the calamities suffered by my tank.
Cheers and wine is now in order,
Sal “

Packed with his newly acquired experience, Sal went on to set up a 40-gallon Discus tank and a 20-gallon eight and fourteen months later respectively. Both were cycled with AquaBella Bio-Enzyme.

While cycling his new 20 gallon aquarium with AquaBella Bio-Enzyme:
The 20g. has had 2 medium size Koi Angels in it for 18 hours. They were fed 15 hours ago. I tested the water just now and found no Ammonia and no Nitrites. The water is crystal clear. As I said in my previous emails:

“This Aquabella stuff really works.

There can be no doubt that adding other chemicals can negatively affect AqB’s “Good Bugs” ability to do their job. Have the disbelievers contact me and I’ll gladly set them straight!!

This 18-month excursion into fish keeping has been fun and an interesting learning experience. I owe much to you and your patience. Thank you!

Best wishes,

A month ago, Sal sent another email
I decided today to check nitrates in each of my 3 tanks. I have only added water to top off the aquarium, without any change for the past 6 weeks. Here are the numbers:
40g.- 10ppm (5, 4+in. Discus/9 Zebra Danios/3 Cory Cats)
20g.-   5ppm (1, 4″ Angel/20 assorted live bearers #/-1.5″ea.)
10g.-   5ppm (1, 2″ Betta/2, 1.5″ Albino Cory Cats) 

Happy to have helped and even happier to have a new friend.

From a murky 10g aquarium to a full Discus 45g tank. Well done Sal!

From a murky 10g aquarium to a full Discus 45g tank. Well done Sal!

To be continued …

At AquaBella4Aquariums, we have come to believe that every aquarium has its unique characteristic and challenges, but all aquariums depend on the same set of requirements: lighting, filtration system, fish density and fish food being the most important ones. If these parameters are well respected and the problems are persisting, the question we’ll ask you is: “Are you ready to become a natural hobbyist?”


Marc Thibault