First tank cycling question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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First tank cycling question

Hi all,

I've been lurking around here for a while and finally joined to make it official. I setup my first tank just under a month ago, and it's a 2 gallon (maybe) hex tank with tropica plant substrate, a 6500K CFL for light, and an in-tank filter. It's planted with eleocharis mini, ludwigia repens, and rotala bonsai.

I've been dosing liquid CO2 (API brand) since maybe a week into the cycling process, and I added root tabs around 10 days ago. The cycling process was running fine until a few days after adding the root tabs; my nitrates decreased and my nitrites haven't moved. Ammonia varies from 0 to 0.25 ppm (I'm using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit).

Does anyone know what's going on here or how I can get the cycle running again? Today is day 24 of the process. Didn't think this would take this long.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 12:27 AM
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Picture?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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There's a lot of bubbles from the filter, but I'll be replacing it with a HOB at some point. There's also a bit of crap floating around too. Eight hours of light every day.
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GrantF is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 12:43 AM
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are you dosing ammonia?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 01:08 AM
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Are the nitrites 0?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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I'm not dosing ammonia because the substrate was leaching. It was 4ppm for the first 2+ weeks before it started decreasing.

And no my nitrites aren't zero. They're up around 2-5ppm and haven't decreased at all.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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Also, if I do a water test and leave the water in the test tubes for 24 hours, the nitrate tube will be red which is up way higher than the 5ppm that I'm getting daily, but the nitrites will show the same as the day before.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 05:19 AM
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I don't think you need to do anything. It can take longer than a month if you don't seed your filter or use one of those bacteria in a bottle products.

Nitrates went down because your plants consumed them. Possibly the root tabs fixed a phosphate deficiency or something or it was just a coincidence. I'd just watch the nitrites. Once ammonia and nitrite are zero you should be good to go.

You might add a little fish food or something if ammonia stays at 0 for awhile with no change to nitrites.

The test kit is designed to be read at exactly five minutes. After that it will continue to get redder but that is a false reading. That's just what the nitrate test kit does. Your nitrates aren't increasing in the test tube overnight.

Hope this helps.

Jack
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2015, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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Thanks Jack. I added some fish food on Saturday so we'll see what happens.
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