How are my parameters looking? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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How are my parameters looking?

So I recently just started my first planted tank (5.5gal) and have been cycling it for almost 2 weeks with a single endler and a cherry shrimp, evenly spaced glosso and some floating plant that i dont know the name of. currently no CO2 (yet), but wiill add CO2 by next week.

Just did a water test today measuring KH, GH, NO2, NO3, and pH.

pH ~ 7.2-7.3
GH ~ 7.9 - 8.4 dGH (German degrees)
KH ~ 2.25 dKH (German degrees)
NO2 ~ 0.4 ppm
NO3 ~ 45 ppm

Any tips on raising KH just a bit as it seems to be slightly low, and GH is pretty high so techniques to lowering?? Is an ammonia test also necessary? Thanks!!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 12:37 AM
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You should absolutely have a test for ammonia, it's necessary for the health of your fish. I would also recommend returning your fish and cycling your tank fishless, but that's a mater of opinion and you can continue the way you started, but you will be doing more water changes and your cycle might well take longer. Your GH isn't incredibly high and your KH isn't too low according to most; I don't think you have a problem there.

Your tank is not cycled as you still have nitrite. I can't speak to whether you have ammonia or not, because you don't have a test for it.

Two weeks is generally not nearly long enough for a cycle, most take 3 weeks to a month, and that's fishless. My guess is that you are just starting to see nitrites and you will have a spike soon. You need to be testing regularly so that you can do water changes when ammonia and nitrite levels get too high for the health of your livestock. Look up how to do a fish-in cycle.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah great advice,friend! I have just given my fish to my friend's established aquarium to allow my tank to cycle. I've also performed a water change with my buddy's established tank's water. Hopefully this will some what speed up the cycling process? I will allow another 2 weeks before I add in fish while allowing my plants to grow in the mean time. I also will be buying an ammonia test kit so any suggestions on brands??? Thnaks!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Pham View Post
Yeah great advice,friend! I have just given my fish to my friend's established aquarium to allow my tank to cycle. I've also performed a water change with my buddy's established tank's water. Hopefully this will some what speed up the cycling process? I will allow another 2 weeks before I add in fish while allowing my plants to grow in the mean time. I also will be buying an ammonia test kit so any suggestions on brands??? Thnaks!
The water from your friend's tank wont do anything to help the cycle. If you can get some of their filter material that will help as the beneficial bacteria colonizes on the surfaces in the tank and not in the water column.

You need to understand the nitrogen cycle and/or how to properly cycle a tank. You cant just sit around and wait 2 weeks doing nothing and expect the cycle to complete itself. You need an ammonia source (and you'll need to test for ammonia.....the API master test kit is generally the recommendation).

As already somewhat stated, since you have a nitrite reading then the cycle is underway, but not yet complete. In a nutshell, you want to add an ammonia source (which you did by having fish in there....their waste produces ammonia as does the food that you likely gave the fish....and the uneaten food basically produces some ammonia). Eventually a strain of bacteria colonizes on the surfaces in the tank which consumes ammonia and produces nitrite. Without a source of ammonia that bacteria will die. With a source of ammonia it continues to thrive and eventually another bacteria colonizes and consumes nitrite producing nitrate which you then remove manually via water changes (and/or your plants consume the nitrate).

So you'll need to keep adding ammonia (be it liquid unscented ammonia you buy from the store, fish food, frozen shrimp) and have a way to test so you dont over do it. You want to see a discernible reading of ammonia, and eventually that reading will drop down to 0 (but you still need to dose the ammonia); and you'll get a spike in the nitrite readings eventually followed by a reading of 0 nitrite and 0 ammonia which is when the cycle is complete.

Rich's Fishes
Curator of an ever growing fishroom that currently houses 30 different tanks. Most full of at least water....some even have fish!
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