Cycling, Ferts, Plants, and Fish (yes, I'm a Newbie) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Cycling, Ferts, Plants, and Fish (yes, I'm a Newbie)

So, I'm not new to aquariums, but I am to high light/high tech. I had a Walsted, low tech tank for three years, but it wasn't much fun... so I've taken the plunge to mount a 5' 120. It's been cycling for about 10 days. I planted it on the first day with about 25% coverage of Black Diamond substrate (with Osmocote+ granules sprinkled in). I now know I should have had more plants and CO2 from the get go, but remember, I am a Newbie! )

After a couple of days, I checked the ammonia spiked at a high of 2.0 ppm. Seven days later, the Ammonia is down to 0.5, and Nitrites are up at 1.0, while Nitrates are at 40ppm. My GH is 6, KH is 10, and pH is between 7.8 and 8.0. I got my EI ferts yesterday and started by dosing only micros, since my Nitrates are pretty high. My CO2 regulator came yesterday, and tomorrow I'll be turning on the CO2. I have a few bits of spot green algae, but I'm hoping that the ferts will help with that, and I have more plants coming early this week.

Here are my questions:

1) With plants in place, should I be dosing ammonia to complete my cycle, given that ammonia is dropping? OR...

2) Should I add a fish or three instead? Would they survive current levels?

3) I have old-school VHO flourescent lights (96 w/4 bulbs/10000K). They only sell 10,000 K or 12,000K lights in 48" VHO anymore, as far as I can tell. I'm not eager to change lights because I've spent a lot on start up, so if I don't HAVE to change, I don't want to. Is that enough light that I should be concerned about bleaching or anything else bad, once the CO2 is in place?

Tanks a bunch!

My current 120 tank journal:
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Last edited by Tanks!; 11-06-2016 at 10:39 PM. Reason: *
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