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Old 11-14-2012, 01:05 AM   #16
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Do you think I ought to cancel the cycle at this point and wait till I can stock the tank with a full compliment of plants?
No need to stop the cycle - you can add plants later.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:26 AM   #17
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Canceling the cycle, probably no. I would, however, be wary of anything over a 5 hour photoperiod. If you have no plants using the nutrients, all you will grow is algae. Don't need light to cycle, though. I would get your driftwood set up the way you like and just leave the lights off until you get your plants in.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:31 AM   #18
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The real scientific studies on nitrogen reducing bacteria like the ones in our tanks is done by folks studying waste water treatment plants. These are BIG money crucial endeavours. If you google it you will find that these all of these studies find that all of these bacteria reproduce much much faster in the low eighties. Move your temp above eighty and those populations will reach full levels real fast. Otionally, you could try Seachem's Stability. It uses a sepcial waterborne bacteria which you add every day for a week. This bacteria takes care of the excess ammonia and nitrite so you can add all of your fish on day one. The lower ammonia and nitrite levels allow your filter bacs to establish faster. I have only done this once, but it worked for me that one time. I watched the levels like a hawk because I thought it must be a hoax, but I barely saw any form of nitrogen until the tank was fully cycled (8 days) and producing tons of nitrate. Also, stem plants like rotals sp. and Hornwort grow the fastest in low light.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:59 AM   #19
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Canceling the cycle, probably no. I would, however, be wary of anything over a 5 hour photoperiod. If you have no plants using the nutrients, all you will grow is algae. Don't need light to cycle, though. I would get your driftwood set up the way you like and just leave the lights off until you get your plants in.
Yeah that sounds good. I had the light on a reduced photo period anyway as I was acclimating the plant, but yes from now on 5 hours only Tyvm!
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:09 AM   #20
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No need to stop the cycle - you can add plants later.

Okay tyvm!
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:48 AM   #21
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The real scientific studies on nitrogen reducing bacteria like the ones in our tanks is done by folks studying waste water treatment plants. These are BIG money crucial endeavours. If you google it you will find that these all of these studies find that all of these bacteria reproduce much much faster in the low eighties. Move your temp above eighty and those populations will reach full levels real fast. Otionally, you could try Seachem's Stability. It uses a sepcial waterborne bacteria which you add every day for a week. This bacteria takes care of the excess ammonia and nitrite so you can add all of your fish on day one. The lower ammonia and nitrite levels allow your filter bacs to establish faster. I have only done this once, but it worked for me that one time. I watched the levels like a hawk because I thought it must be a hoax, but I barely saw any form of nitrogen until the tank was fully cycled (8 days) and producing tons of nitrate. Also, stem plants like rotals sp. and Hornwort grow the fastest in low light.
Ah thanks for the wonderful information! I am not even sure I have low light. I must admit I am lost when it comes to this new lighting. I am from the old school watts per gallon rule but I hear things are different now (sorry not sure what the new rule of thumb is or if there is even such a thing now). I have the Aqueon Evolve 8 and the light comes with 30 white LED's and 5 blue ones
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:05 PM   #22
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The studies that properly identified the nitrifying bacteria in aquariums are fine resources, and you are doing OK so far. Sure, more studies have been done on waste water plants, but those conditions are not exactly the same as aquariums. Many similarities, but some differences, too.

Dr. Tim's One and Only, Tetra Safe Start, Microbe Lift's Nite Out II and probably some others are good sources of the right species of bacteria. Look for Nitrospira species of bacteria, as you did. Absolutely there are other species that have been properly identified, and are included in the bottles, but Nitrospira is the key to having found a bottle with the right species. Some bottle with the 'wrong' species still have the same genus of bacteria, just the wrong species.

I would not increase the temperature beyond what the plants will handle. Mid to upper 70s is just fine.

Ignore the cloudy water, there are many species of bacteria getting going in the tank, and cloudy water is often caused by the growth of heterotrophic bacteria. Not nitrogen cycle bacteria, but beneficial in other ways. They will settle down.

If you had no plants, then it is OK to turn off the light. But keep the plants happy with the right level of light. It is not a problem at all to slowly stock the tank with plants. Just keep on feeding the bacteria. Some plants do not like a lot of ammonia, though. If you see any burn on the plants you might try dosing ammonia to only 1 ppm in the AM then 1 ppm in the PM. This will keep the maximum ammonia low enough (1ppm) for pretty much all plants, yet still keep on feeding the bacteria.

You are right that watts per gallon is not really the key anymore, especially with LED lights. Do you have access to any sort of light meter? I understand there are ways to convert some photography meter readings to PAR.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:38 PM   #23
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Diana,

Thanks for your helpful and detailed replies! They are VERY welcome!

So I managed to pull this from the forum here. This was from another member who contacted the company and was given this info:

"The led on the evolve 8 unit is great for plants. PAR 25.25 with a lux of 2445 ( thatís stronger than the biocube)"

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Old 11-14-2012, 10:48 PM   #24
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So, based on the sticky in the lighting forum you are at the upper end of low light. CO2 is optional, but would probably be helpful.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
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So, based on the sticky in the lighting forum you are at the upper end of low light. CO2 is optional, but would probably be helpful.
Ah okay, what about flourish excell would that work instead of the co2? I am not sure I want to invest in an expensive c02 test kit again and get into the troubles I had before with monitoring co2 levels. I want to keep this tank low maintenance, but nice.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #26
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Going on 3 days of incredibly milky water. Would using a flocculent screw the cycle up? I am worried about the plants I do have not getting enough light because of how milky it is.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:30 PM   #27
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Okay so it looks like whatever bacteria cause the bloom have died off and may be causing a significant ammonia spike. I have not had to add ammonia to the tank for 3 days now (been holding strong at somewhere between 4 to 8ppm, sorry I have the api test and it goes straight from 4 to 8 the results have looked more like 4 though) and we are into day 8 of the cycle. No nitrites yet.

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions and help in this thread!
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:21 PM   #28
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Just be patient. Sounds like you are on the right track.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #29
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I always get negative reactions to this, but my technique of cycling tanks is simply:

1) if you have it, take some media from another tank to get it started
2) stock the tank very lightly with fish
3) add some plants if you can
4) do lots of big water changes for a few weeks. so much that the ammonia and the nitrites/nitrates can't reach any toxic levels but the beneficial bacteria still starts to stabilize
5) after a month or two, it will all settle down

It seems that concept of doing huge water changes to prevent over-accumulation of ferts is well accepted, but why not use that same mentality for cycling a tank? A 50g tank with just a few fish in it will slowly develop a bacteria base and if you do a 50% water change every couple of days you aren't risking the water getting too nasty for the fish, right?

I have python connected to a tub right near the tank, so doing a huge water change is much easier than testing and fooling around with the cycle. I like the brute force approach of frequent water changes.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:54 PM   #30
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So the nitrties showed up about 3 days ago and are now in an area that is difficult for my API test to resolve. My API test kit goes from 2ppm right up to 5ppm and honestly they look identical!!! My Ammonia has dropped dramatically and I am having to bring it back up to 3ppm daily. I noticed in the guide that if the nitrites get over 5ppm that I should do a water change, however I really can't tell if it is over 5ppm. What do you guys recommend?

Thanks!
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