Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
I'm sorry to say something different. I set up two Fluval Flora (7.9G) 10 days ago, one with inert substrate one with Fluval Plant Stratum, both tanks will be for shrimps.
I use the bio media from a 1 year old Neo tank, I added some pure ammonia to get the NH3/NH4 to about 4ppm. Then I've been testing NH3/NO2/NO3 almost daily.
The inert tank got a nitrite spike on the second day, with probably 1 - 1.5ppm NH3/NH4 left and about 1ppm of nitrite. The FPS tank was slower but also see some nitrite the second day.
Now almost 10 days later, the inert tank is ready, it can deal with 2ppm of ammonia in 24 hrs (i.e. no NH3/NH4/NO2 in 24 hrs), I'll do a 100% WC today to get rid of the nitrate (~80ppm) then add plants in there, blast with light maybe 24hrs a day for 2-3 days and will add shrimps.
The FPS tank is still not ready, may need another week or so. It's understandable as the PH is lower which will require a longer cycle period.
Does it mean you'll have to redo the cycle process? Probably not, 90% you'll be fine as long as you don't get a ammonia spike, the existing bacteria in the established media should be able to handle small amount of ammonia/nitrite. But I like to be safe so I took the extra step.