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Cycling advice

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by AtticusFynch, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. AtticusFynch

    AtticusFynch New Member

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    So I'm in the middle of cycling my first tank (pic attached). I'm about 3 weeks in. I'm using Amazonia, which has been my ammonia source, and it's decently planted.

    Ammonia has held steady at about 4 ppm for a couple of weeks now, despite water changes every other day or so. I started seeing nitrates about a week ago, but (oddly) no nitrites. There are no nitrates in my tap water.

    Today, ammonia hit zero for the first time. Nitrites suddenly appeared, about 5 ppm, and nitrates are sky high - 80 ppm.

    So my question is, what now? Do I do a big water change and see if nitrites come back? Or wait for nitrites to hit zero, too? If the latter, do I need to start supplementing with ammonia now that that's at zero? I don't want the ammonia consuming bacteria to die off, but I also suspect the aquasoil is still leaching, they're just consuming it all.

    Any advice?

    IMG_20170914_180737.jpg
     
  2. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    High NO3 will stall the process.
    I'd recommend a WC.
     
  3. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    you using tap water?
     
  4. AtticusFynch

    AtticusFynch New Member

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    Yes, using tap water. My tap water has no nitrates though.

    I'll do a wc - thanks for the advice.
     
  5. AtticusFynch

    AtticusFynch New Member

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    Ok, did a big wc last night. This morning, nitrites are about 3 ppm, nitrates down to 20, still zero ammonia.

    So, should I supplement with ammonia? Or just wait for nitrites to hit zero?
     
  6. Dale Hazey

    Dale Hazey Junior Poster

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    I'm no expert but, I wouldn't add any ammonia. I thought aquasoil leached ammonia for a month or two?

    I'd wait for nitrites to hit zero.

    Tom Barr September 2006 Barr report
    Do not use “fishless cycling” with ammonia in planted aquariums
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Diana Walstad has reported data that shows that aquatic plants use ammonia as a source of nitrogen before using nitrates. That means you can start a tank by first planting it heavily, then getting the plants to start growing, then adding a few of the fish you want every week or two until you have added all you want. I have done this many times, and it always worked fine, although I didn't know why it worked so well. My current tank I did a "fishless cycle", but only added a trace of ammonia, not the big doses usually recommended by those who like "fishless cycling". That worked ok too, but was a lot of added work.
     
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