Getting ammonia to zero
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > General Planted Tank Discussion


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-17-2013, 09:52 PM   #1
Platy_lover21
Algae Grower
 
Platy_lover21's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Glens Falls NY
Posts: 126
Default

Getting ammonia to zero


My nitrates and nitrites are both at 0PPM, but my ammonia is stuck at 0.25PPM. How can I get rid of the ammonia?
Platy_lover21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-17-2013, 09:56 PM   #2
crice8
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (31/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 518
Default

Sounds like your nitrogen cycle is not there. Ammonia converts to nitrite then to nitrates. I would suggest some prime to make the ammonia non toxic to your inhabitants. The good bacteria in your tank should take care of it for you. How long has the tank been setup? How many inhabitant? Filtration, etc.
crice8 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-17-2013, 10:01 PM   #3
Platy_lover21
Algae Grower
 
Platy_lover21's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Glens Falls NY
Posts: 126
Default

I have been using prime, and my tank has been set up for 2 years, but has gone through a mini cycle. I have a lone betta in it. It's a 29 gallon aquarium
Platy_lover21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-17-2013, 10:25 PM   #4
Jahn
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Jahn's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 690
Default

a 29 gallon tank with one betta? seems like your tank is understocked, thus you don't have the bioload to support a big colony of good bacteria. thus, your tank is prone to minicrashes as your bacteria is otherwise starved of ammonia and thus starved of nitrites. so what happens when you get a bit of ammonia going in your tank? it just sits there until good bacteria builds back up to eat it - and thus, a mini cycle is born.

also, if you dose prime with water changes, you're probably reading ammonium, which is why your betta is still doing fine - but still, not enough good bacteria to chomp on that ammonium since between water changes it probably dies out again (one betta not being enough to produce the ammonia for a 29 gallon tank). just my guess.
__________________
20 Gallon High Community Tank Journal, Started 4/30/13.
Low-Med Light Plants, Amano Shrimp, Celestial Pearl Danio, Emperor & Neon Tetra, Red Robin Honey Gourami, Longfin Albino Bristlenose Pleco. Sat+ Club
Jahn is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-17-2013, 10:38 PM   #5
Platy_lover21
Algae Grower
 
Platy_lover21's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Glens Falls NY
Posts: 126
Default

I tried having other fish but they all died, so I am using a betta to cycle it.
Platy_lover21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-17-2013, 11:56 PM   #6
sadchevy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: falmouth ,ky
Posts: 293
Default

What kind of test kit? What kinds of fish are dying? Try taking a sample of water to your LFS and let them test. API test kits can be inaccurate.
__________________
125g makeover ,2x75g, 55g, 40g breeder, 29g, 2x10g, 100g stock pond..........MTS ? Nahhhhhh
Fraternity of dirt #135 The 6 Foot Plus Club

sadchevy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2013, 12:26 AM   #7
Platy_lover21
Algae Grower
 
Platy_lover21's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Glens Falls NY
Posts: 126
Default

It is API. I don't trust the strips they use at the LFS. they died due to high ammonia, and high nitrates
Platy_lover21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2013, 03:33 PM   #8
Steve001
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 1,337
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Platy_lover21 View Post
My nitrates and nitrites are both at 0PPM, but my ammonia is stuck at 0.25PPM. How can I get rid of the ammonia?
Add co2. When that is done the ammonia is turned to ammonium which is easily utilized by your plants. I'm suggesting this book to you.
ECOLOGY of the PLANTED AQUARIUM
A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise
for the Home Aquarist
by Diana Walstad
http://www.atlasbooks.com/marktplc/rr00388.htm

A sample

ECOLOGY of the PLANTED AQUARIUM
A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise
for the Home Aquarist
by Diana Walstad
The purpose of the book is to explain:
1. how plants affect the aquarium ecosystem;

2. what factors affect plants; and

3. how the hobbyist can use this information to maintain a successful home aquarium.
Diana Walstad's Aquarium

Fancy blue guppies in a 29 gallon planted tank
Table of Contents Summary

Ch. I. Introduction The introduction briefly describes the purpose and organization of the book and the characteristics of a 'healthy' aquarium. (5 references).

Ch. II. Plants as Water Purifiers
(Click to sample this chapter)
In Chapter II, the toxicity of water contaminants- heavy metals, ammonia, and nitrite- to both fish and plants are discussed. I show how plants counteract those toxins to purify the water and protect fish. (75 references).

Ch. III. Allelopathy Allelopathy, defined as chemical interactions between organisms, is most likely rampant in home aquariums. I present scientific evidence for allelopathic interactions between aquatic plants, algae, bacteria, invertebrates, and fish. I list specific chemicals isolated from a variety of aquatic plants and then list the organisms these chemicals have been shown to inhibit. Finally, I speculate as to how allelopathy might affect aquarium keeping. (96 references).

Ch. IV. Bacteria Chapter IV classifies different bacterial processes in terms of their positive and negative impacts on the aquarium. Topics include the generation of plant nutrients, CO2, and humic substances by heterotrophic bacteria. In addition, I explain how bacterial processes both create and destroy aquarium toxins. (54 references)

Ch. V. Sources of Plant Nutrients Chapter V compares three potential sources of plant nutrients in aquariums- fish food, a soil substrate, and tapwater. I use a model aquarium to quantify the theoretical contribution from each source. I show that fishfood contains all elements that plants require and that soil abundantly supplies most micronutrients. I compare hardwater versus softwater as a nutrient source. In the final analysis, I discuss which of the three sources best provides each nutrient. (19 references)

Ch. VI. Carbon Carbon is briefly described in terms of alkalinity and water buffering, and then more thoroughly as a plant nutrient. I show that the element carbon often limits the growth of submerged plants both in nature and in aquariums. I describe strategies that aquatic plants use to obtain carbon. Finally, I show how hobbyists can help provide their aquarium plants with more CO2. (34 references)

Ch. VII. Plant Nutrition and Ecology Chapter VII describes the fundamentals of aquatic plant nutrition. Thus, the required elements and their chemical (nutrient) form are listed, along with each elementís function. Substrate versus water uptake of nutrients is discussed. I show that aquatic plants prefer ammonium over nitrates as their nitrogen source and why this makes biological filtration less critical in aquariums with plants. I discuss how the water chemistry of a plant's natural habitat influences its nutrient requirements. (75 references)

Ch. VIII. Substrates Most hobbyists do not have soil substrates in their aquariums, which may be the main reason they have trouble growing plants. For a better understanding of this critical topic, Chapter VIII discusses the general nature of soils before delving into the even greater complexities of submerged soils. Finally, it describes how hobbyists can use soils in the aquarium effectively. (54 references)

Ch. IX. The Aerial Advantage Chapter IX discusses the major problems that submerged aquatic plants face and why emergent plants do so much better. For the hobbyist, I describe how to promote aerial growth to optimize the aquarium ecosystem. (54 references)

Ch. X. Algae Control Chapter X focuses on a major problem that many aquarium hobbyists have- tanks overrun by algae. Common methods that hobbyists use to counteract algal problems are evaluated. I then thoroughly discuss several additional factors that the hobbyist can use to control algae (the competition between plants and algae, lighting spectra, iron limitation, etc). Using this information, I show how hobbyists can successfully rid their tanks of algae without destroying the aquarium ecosystem. (39 references)

Ch. XI. Practical Aquarium Setup and Maintenance In my opinion, planted aquariums are much easier to maintain than those without plants. Plants control alga growth and keep the tank healthy for fish without the drudgery of frequent water changes and gravel cleaning. In Chapter XI, I describe how I set up my planted tanks, which are both inexpensive and easily maintained. I also present my own guidelines as to fish, lighting, substrates, filtration, etc that the hobbyist can use to set up similar tanks. (4 references)
Diana Walstad's Aquarium

Young Tropheus duboisi in a 45 gallon tank

SAMPLE PAGES FROM THE BOOK
No's. 19, 27, 30, 100
Chapter II. Plants as Water Purifiers / 19
Additional Pages

Figure II-3. Cu and Zn Uptake by Leaves and Roots of Elodea nuttallii. Leaf or root sections were exposed to Cu or Zn (3.2 ppm) and then analyzed for metal accumulation in terms of dry wt. (Fig. 1 from Marquenie-van der Werff [48] redrawn and used with permission of Urban & Fischer Verlag Niederiassung Jena.)
Table II-7. Metal Uptake by Spirodela polyrhiza [51]. The metal concentration in the growth media and in the plants associated with 50% growth inhibition (EC50) was calculated after exposing 10 plants to 5-6 different metal concentrations for 4 days.
Metal Metal Concentration Correlated with Growth Inhibition In Media
(mg/1)
In Plant Tissue (mg/kg) Cadmium 0.089 773 Cobalt 0.14 590 Chromium 0.37 156 Copper 0.11 502 Nickle 0.11 1,290 Lead 3.7 6,730 Zinc 0.93 3,510
Giant duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza). S. polyrhiza, like many other aquatic plants, can rapidly remove large quantities of heavy metals from contaminated water (see Table II-7). Plants are about 3 times bigger than ordinary duckweed (Lemna minor). Plant drawing from the IFAS [52].
Chapter II. Plants as Water Purifiers / 27
Additional Pages

In aquariums both fish and bacteria continuously release ammonium as they metabolize food and organic matter. Fortunately for hobbyists, most aquatic plants (and algae) vastly prefer ammonium over nitrates as their nitrogen source. This means that plants continuously sift the water for ammonium and its toxic component ammonia. Thus, Iíve never had problems with ammonia in my planted aquariums.
Hobbyists can protect fish from toxins by hard work, e.g., frequent water changes, gravel vacuuming, and enhanced filtration. However, given a chance, plants can purify the water naturally and effortlessly for the aquarium hobbyist. In my opinion, the ability of plants to purify aquarium water and protect fish has been woefully underestimated.
Comment from Fish Breeder. I thought you might like to hear about my experience using plants in my breeding tanks. For 7 years I have been breeding and selling Angelfish wholesale to the aquarium stores in the local area. I sell about 2,400 per month, so I always have at least 100 tanks stocked with 100 to 500 fry of different ages. For many years Iíve used homemade canister filters and do 50% water changes twice a week. If I donít change the water, the fish quickly (within a week) begin to show what I call Ďammonia burní. That is, their long pectoral fins look ragged and chewed off. Sometimes the gill covers are missing or the fish have Ďgill burní.
A couple of years ago, by chance, I started adding Hornwort to some of the tanks. Iíve found that the fish in the Hornwort tanks need less care and water changes than in tanks without Hornwort. That is, the fish seem to have less tendency to get Ďammonia burní.
Because Iím happy with the results of keeping plants in the tanks, Iíve installed additional lighting in my fish room and have started adding trays of planted Val to other tanks.
Hornwort or coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum). C. demersum is a rootless submerged plant that is common in nature, but it is also well-adapted to aquariums. One successful fish breeder reported that the young fish showed less problems with gill and fin deformities when tanks contained Hornwort. Drawing from IFAS [52].
  1. Brand LE, Sunda WG, and Guillard RRL. 1983. Limitations of marine phytoplankton reproductive rates by zinc, manganese, and iron. Limnol. Oceanogr. 28: 1182-1198
  2. Reddy CN and Patrick WH. 1977. Effect of redox potential on the stability of zinc and copper chelates in flooded soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 41: 729-732
  3. Raven PH, Evert RF, and Eichhorn SE. 1992. Biology of Plants (5th Ed.), Worth Publishers (NY), p. 156
  4. Ernst WHO, Verkleji JAC, and Schat H. 1992. Metal tolerance in plants (Review). Acta Bot. Neerl. 41: 229-248
  5. Huang JW, Pellet DM, Papernik LA, and Kochian LV. 1996. Aluminum interactions with voltage-dependent calcium transport in plasma membrane vesicles isolated from roots of aluminum-sensitive and resistant wheat cultivars. Plant Physiol. 110: 561-569.
  6. Titus JE, Feldman RS, and Grise D. 1990. Submersed macrophyte growth at low pH. 1. CO2 enrichment effects with fertile sediment. Oecologia 84: 307-313
  7. Giesy Jr, JP and Briese LA. 1978. Trace metal transport by particulates and organic carbon in two South Carolina streams. Verh. Int. Ver. Limnol. 20: 1401-1417
  8. Charpentier S, Garnier J, and Flaugnatti R. 1987. Toxicity and bioaccumulation of cadmium in experimental cultures of duckweed, Lemna polyrrhiza L. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 38: 1055-1061.
  9. Marquenie-van der Werff M and Ernst WHO. 1979. Kinetics of copper and zinc uptake by leaves and roots of an aquatic plant, Elodea nuttallii. Z. Pflanzenphysiol. Bd. 92: 1-10
  10. Nakada M, Fukaya K, Take[censored][censored][censored][censored]a S, and Wada Y. 1979. The accumulation of heavy metals in the submerged plant (Elodea nuttallii). Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 22: 21-27
  11. Basiouny FM, Garrard LA and Haller WT. 1977. Absorption of iron and growth of Hydrilla verticillata (L.F.) Royle. Aquat. Bot. 3:349-356.
  12. Gaur JP, Noraho N, and Chauhan YS. 1994. Relationship between heavy metal accumulation and toxicity in Spirodela polyrhiza (L.) Schleid. and Azolla pinnata R. Br. Aquat. Bot 49: 183-192.
  13. Aquatic plant line drawings are the copyright property of the University of Florida Center for Aquatic Plants (Gainesville). Used with permission.
  14. Wetzel 1983, p. 233.
  15. Russo RC. 1985. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. In: Rand GM and Petrocelli SM (Eds.), Fundamentals of Aquatic Toxicology. Hemisphere Publishing Corp. (Washington, D.C.), pp. 455-471.
  16. Van der Leeden 1990, p. 467.
  17. Frank, Neil (1992), Ammonia toxicity to freshwater fish. The effects of pH and temperature. The Aquatic Gardener 5(6): 172-174.
  18. Bennett AC. Toxic effects of aqueous ammonia, copper, zinc, lead, boron, and manganese on root growth. In: Carson EW (ed.). The Plant Root and Its Environment. Univ. Press of Virginia (Charlottesville VA), pp. 670-683.
  19. Dendene MA, Rolland T, Tremolieres M, and Carbiener R. 1993. Effect of ammonium ions on the net photosynthesis of three species of Elodea. Aquat. Bot. 46: 301-315.
  20. Santamaria L, Dias C, and Hootsmans MJM. 1994. The influence of ammonia on the growth and photosynthesis of Ruppia drepanensis Tineo from Donana National Park (SW Spain). Hydrobiolgia 275-276: 219-231.
  21. Cary PR and Weerts PGJ. 1983. Growth of Salvinia molesta as affected by water temperature and nutrition. 1. Effects of nitrogen level and nitrogen compounds. Aquat. Bot. 16: 163-172.
Page 100 Additional Pages

E. Carbon Sources for Plants
Lakes and rivers almost always have more CO2 than one would expect from just equilibration with air [9]. The extra CO2 is generated by decomposition (see pages 58-60). This CO2 can be considerable, especially since natural waters contain lots of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Much of this DOC is in the process of decay, and therefore, is a potential CO2 source.

Many aquatic plants could not survive in nature without the CO2 provided by decomposition. Water in equilibrium with air contains 0.5 mg/1 CO2. Yet, many aquatic plants require much higher CO2 concentrations. For example, when CO2 levels were less than 36 mg/1, the moss Sphagnum cuspidatum was found either dead or dying [22]. And Callitriche cophocarpa and Ranunculus peltatus were found to be limited by CO2 in their stream environment containing 5 mg/1 CO2 [21]. Because these species cannot use bicarbonates, they depend on the CO2 released from decomposition.
F. CO2 in the Aquarium
CO2 for plants in aquariums is ultimately derived from fishfood and soil organic matter (see Table V-8 on page 88). Both of these sources require either fish metabolism and/or decomposition to turn organic matter into CO2.

If the hobbyist uses natural means (e.g., decomposition) to provide CO2, it is especially important to limit CO2 loss from the aquarium. CO2, because it is a gas, will be lost by all measures that increase air-water mixing, such as vigorous agitation of the water by spray bars, airstones, and Ďwet-dryí filters.


Q. What are your feelings on CO2 injection systems. Do you feel they are worth the hefty price tag? A. Whether a CO2 injection system is worth the money is a personal choice. I donít use it, because Iím satisfied with my plants and aquariums.
Generally, aquarium plants will grow much better with added CO2. This is because CO2 is often the limiting nutrient in most aquariums including my own, if only because so many other nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, are so plentiful.

However, the down side is that with CO2 fertilization, your tank will require much more work. Not all aquarium hobbyists like the frequent pruning and weeding that is associated with CO2 fertilization. And because the nutrient carbon no longer limits plant growth, artificial fertilizers are often required. You will need to continuously monitor pH and KH to make sure that the alkalinity buffer is holding. If you have soft water, you will need to add sodium bicarbonate or calcium carbonate on a regular basis to maintain a KH that is safe for the fish. Even then, hobbyists occasionally report massive overnight fish kills from CO2 overdoses.
Also, there may be long-term effects on the substrate by CO2 fertilization. Thus, some hobbyists describe miraculous plant growth with their new CO2 injection systems, only to report an inexplicable collapse of their tanks a year or two later (see pages 48 and 140).

Questions about the book? Contact author at dwalstad@bellsouth.net
(note: all copyrighted material)

Steve001 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2013, 04:22 PM   #9
crice8
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (31/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 518
Default

The lone betta is not going to cycle a 29 gallon. the term cycle is not a one time effect as many think it is. It is the ongoing process of your nitrogen cycle in your tank. For more bacteria to grow you must add more fish. When you added fish in the past did you add alot at once? what you should be doing is adding 2-4 fish weekly to let your bacteria build up with the stock level as you go.
crice8 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2013, 05:04 PM   #10
Jahn
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Jahn's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 690
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Platy_lover21 View Post
It is API. I don't trust the strips they use at the LFS. they died due to high ammonia, and high nitrates
i'm guessing in the past you put too many fish in before the tank cycled, thus the fish suffered through the ammonia spike, nitrite spike, and finally gave up during the nitrate spike. but just one betta is an overreaction to that. if there were no fish in the tank at all i'd say look up a fishless cycle where you dose with pure ammonia, but since a betta is in there now maybe dump some nitrifying bacteria in there like Dr Tim's one and only, and add 2-3 more fish. If those live and with frequent water changes you get to something like 0 ammonia 0 nitrite 20 nitrate, then add a few more fish and wait again until the bacteria can catch up.
__________________
20 Gallon High Community Tank Journal, Started 4/30/13.
Low-Med Light Plants, Amano Shrimp, Celestial Pearl Danio, Emperor & Neon Tetra, Red Robin Honey Gourami, Longfin Albino Bristlenose Pleco. Sat+ Club
Jahn is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #11
Platy_lover21
Algae Grower
 
Platy_lover21's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Glens Falls NY
Posts: 126
Default

I only added three platies. :/ When I first set it up two years ago, I had three mollies, and two platies. None of them died during the cycle so I am surprised the three died.
Platy_lover21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2013, 06:49 PM   #12
crice8
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (31/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 518
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Platy_lover21 View Post
I only added three platies. :/ When I first set it up two years ago, I had three mollies, and two platies. None of them died during the cycle so I am surprised the three died.
They could have been a bad shipment, disease, or any number of things. But your biological load will not be able to increase unless you increase your fish count.
crice8 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2013, 06:56 PM   #13
Platy_lover21
Algae Grower
 
Platy_lover21's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Glens Falls NY
Posts: 126
Default

I am going to ask if we can go to Petsmart this weekend and pick up a few platies
Platy_lover21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-19-2013, 01:19 AM   #14
Diana
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 8,365
Default

No, do not use fish to cycle the tank.
Here is the fishless cycle.

Cycle: To grow the beneficial bacteria that remove ammonia and nitrite from the aquarium.

Fish-In Cycle: To expose fish to toxins while using them as the source of ammonia to grow nitrogen cycle bacteria. Exposure to ammonia burns the gills and other soft tissue, stresses the fish and lowers their immunity. Exposure to nitrite makes the blood unable to carry oxygen. Research methemglobinemia for details.

Fishless Cycle: The safe way to grow more bacteria, faster, in an aquarium, pond or riparium.

The method I give here was developed by 2 scientists who wanted to quickly grow enough bacteria to fully stock a tank all at one time, with no plants helping, and overstock it as is common with Rift Lake Cichlid tanks.

1) Set up the tank and all the equipment. You can plant if you want. Include the proper dose of dechlorinator with the water.
Optimum water chemistry:
GH and KH above 3 German degrees of hardness. A lot harder is just fine.
pH above 7, and into the mid 8s is just fine.
Temperature in the upper 70s F (mid 20s C) is good. Higher is OK if the water is well aerated.
A trace of other minerals may help. Usually this comes in with the water, but if you have a pinch of KH2PO4, that may be helpful.
High oxygen level. Make sure the filter and power heads are running well. Plenty of water circulation.
No toxins in the tank. If you washed the tank, or any part of the system with any sort of cleanser, soap, detergent, bleach or anything else make sure it is well rinsed. Do not put your hands in the tank when you are wearing any sort of cosmetics, perfume or hand lotion. No fish medicines of any sort.
A trace of salt (sodium chloride) is OK, but not required.
This method of growing bacteria will work in a marine system, too. The species of bacteria are different.

1a) Optional: Add any source of the bacteria that you are growing to seed the tank. Cycled media from a healthy tank is good. Decor or some gravel from a cycled tank is OK. Live plants or plastic are OK. Bottled bacteria is great, but only if it contains Nitrospira species of bacteria. Read the label and do not waste your money on anything else.
At the time this was written the right species could be found in:
Dr. Tims One and Only
Tetra Safe Start
Microbe Lift Nite Out II
...and perhaps others.
You do not have to jump start the cycle. The right species of bacteria are all around, and will find the tank pretty fast.

2) Add ammonia until the test reads 5 ppm. This ammonia is the cheapest you can find. No surfactants, no perfumes. Read the fine print. This is often found at discount stores like Dollar Tree, or hardware stores like Ace. You could also use a dead shrimp form the grocery store, or fish food. Protein breaks down to become ammonia. You do not have good control over the ammonia level, though.

3) Test daily. For the first few days not much will happen, but the bacteria that remove ammonia are getting started. Finally the ammonia starts to drop. Add a little more, once a day, to test 5 ppm.

4) Test for nitrite. A day or so after the ammonia starts to drop the nitrite will show up. When it does allow the ammonia to drop to 3 ppm.

5) Test daily. Add ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. If the nitrite or ammonia go to 5 ppm do a water change to get these lower. The ammonia removing species and the nitrite removing species (Nitrospira) do not do well when the ammonia or nitrite are over 5 ppm.

6) When the ammonia and nitrite both hit zero 24 hours after you have added the ammonia the cycle is done. You can challenge the bacteria by adding a bit more than 3 ppm ammonia, and it should be able to handle that, too, within 24 hours.

7) Now test the nitrate. Probably sky high!
Do as big a water change as needed to lower the nitrate until it is safe for fish. Certainly well under 20, and a lot lower is better. This may call for more than one water change, and up to 100% water change is not a problem. Remember the dechlor!
If you will be stocking right away (within 24 hours) no need to add more ammonia. If stocking will be delayed keep feeding the bacteria by adding ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. You will need to do another water change right before adding the fish.
__________________________

Helpful hints:

A) You can run a fishless cycle in a bucket to grow bacteria on almost any filter media like bio balls, sponges, ceramic bio noodles, lava rock or Matala mats. Simply set up any sort of water circulation such as a fountain pump or air bubbler and add the media to the bucket. Follow the directions for the fishless cycle. When the cycle is done add the media to the filter. I have run a canister filter in a bucket and done the fishless cycle.

B) The nitrogen cycle bacteria will live under a wide range of conditions and bounce back from minor set backs. By following the set up suggestions in part 1) you are setting up optimum conditions for fastest reproduction and growth.
GH and KH can be as low as 1 degree, but watch it! These bacteria use the carbon in carbonates, and if it is all used up (KH = 0) the bacteria may die off.
pH as low as 6.5 is OK, but by 6.0 the bacteria are not going to be doing very well. They are still there, and will recover pretty well when conditions get better.
Temperature almost to freezing is OK, but they must not freeze, and they are not very active at all. They do survive in a pond, but they are slow to warm up and get going in the spring. This is where you might need to grow some in a bucket in a warm place and supplement the pond population. Too warm is not good, either. Topical or room temperature tank temperatures are best. (68 to 85*F or 20 to 28*C)
Moderate oxygen can be tolerated for a while. However, to remove lots of ammonia and nitrite these bacteria must have oxygen. They turn one into the other by adding oxygen. If you must stop running the filter for an hour or so, no problem. If longer, remove the media and keep it where it will get more oxygen.
Once the bacteria are established they can tolerate some fish medicines. This is because they live in a complex film called Bio film on all the surfaces in the filter and the tank. Medicines do not enter the bio film well.
These bacteria do not need to live under water. They do just fine in a humid location. They live in healthy garden soil, as well as wet locations.

C) Planted tanks may not tolerate 3 ppm or 5 ppm ammonia. It is possible to cycle the tank at lower levels of ammonia so the plants do not get ammonia burn. Add ammonia to only 1 ppm, but test twice a day, and add ammonia as needed to keep it at 1 ppm. The plants are also part of the bio filter, and you may be able to add the fish sooner, if the plants are thriving.
Diana is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-19-2013, 01:35 AM   #15
crice8
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (31/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 518
Default

He can't fishless cycle since he already has a fish in the tank....
crice8 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012