Silent Cycle with used Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Silent Cycle with used Substrate

Before using those fast-growing plants , I have made a 4 weeks fishless cycle, with only used substrate (Flourite 100%). Last Saturday, I have made a 80% water change, and started to puts fast-growing plants on the Sunday. 3 days later, I made the 1st Nitrate and ammonia tests. Results: Nitrate = 30ppm, and ammonia = 0ppm.
CO2 and a used drift wood was added since plant was used to cycle the tank.
A few Questions:
1. Why has 3 days caused such a high niitrate level, though its already 80% water change.
2. Could it be the cause of used Substrate and drift wood?
3. How should I resolved this, beside frequent or 80% water change?
4. Will those fast growing plants absorb those nitrate easily, since ammonia is already 0ppm.
5. Under such situation, im having lighting of 100watts for 25USG, 9 hrs\day, Will it possible to have a algae outbreak easily, during this silent cycle?

My concern is, with every frequent change of water, I may have another high nitrate level in a short time, i.e 3 days. For that its will be waste, but i can accept once every week.

pls advise.

planted tank, 100% Fluorite and Eheim Pro 2222
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 03:25 PM
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Did you do a nitrate test before the water change? It's possible that you had very high levels of nitrate before the water change. Unless there is a ton of decaying organic matter in the substrate it's not adding to the nitrate levels. And unless the driftwood is decaying it should not be contributing to the nitrate levels either. Have you tested the test kit? Do you know the nitrate level of your water source?

Fast growing plants will use the nitrate. It seems from reading your post you really don't understand how plants use nutrients. Plants don't need ammonia available to use nitrates. But they will use ammonia before they use nitrates.

An algae outbreak is always possible if the tank is not balanced. Do you know your phosphate levels? Also how many fast growing plants did you add to the tank?

Why did you waste four weeks?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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I see tons of questions than tons of decaying Organic matters, Rex , but thanks. I will check it out and provide an update.
I have not perform a test before water change. Jus bought those kits today and currently, I have tested twice for tank water and tap water. Tap water is almost zero for nitrate and ammonia.
I have attached a overview pic of my tank, as well. I do know that i shouldnt added fish in, however, I did added small fishes, but has not fed them since cycle started. Do advise.

planted tank, 100% Fluorite and Eheim Pro 2222
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 05:01 PM
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Tank looks great, and you're basically set to go. When you start out w/lots of plants and mulm (as you're adding through your old fluorite bed), you don't have to worry about cycling the tank (hence the reason rex stated that you wasted your four weeks). Also, four weeks is enough to cycle any tank, even without the old fluorite that you added.

Here's some answer to your other questions:
(1) There probably was never a cycling problem in the tank in the beginning. Decomposition from the addition of the plants, as well as some from your driftwood will increase your nitrates. Nothing to worry too much about since, as the plants settle in, they'll use it up really quickly.
(2) See #1.
(3) Slow down and just observe the plants and inhabitants. 80% water changes will stress your fish, especially since the water from your tap will differ from what's in the tank already.
(4) Plants use both ammonia and nitrates. You do not need both of them before the other is utilized.
(5) It's possible. You have quite a few plants in there currently, and since you aren't fertilizing, you should be fine.

Like I said earlier, I would slow down and observe the fish and plants. Start getting into the routine of doing water changes (once a week, but not 80%; try 20-25% most), and start doing routine testing.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 01:42 AM
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Like others have pointed out, fishless cycling in a heavy planted tank is unnecessary. You could have planted the tank and added the fish the same day and do not see any cycling effect. Your extremely high nitrate was accumulated during your fishless cycling and should reduce with each water change. I would do 50% water change a day for a few times until NO3 drops to 10ppm and go from there. The tank looks good right now, but you need to add macro/trace nutrients soon because you have pretty high light, otherwise algae will soon grow. Make sure your CO2 level is good(target 30ppm).


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Flourite, wet/dry, AHSupply 302w PC, PinPoint controller

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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I have jus realised that ALL the anacharis plant having lower stems which is rotting, including those inside the substrate. I remove those plants, and almost half of every stems is affected. This could have happen 1 day after the tank started cycling. I think the sudden increase in nitrate level maybe contributed by this rotting stems.
Jus to side track a little, I experience this rotting stem of anacharis twice. What could be the reason?pls advise.

planted tank, 100% Fluorite and Eheim Pro 2222
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 05:07 PM
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Could be a variety of things: lack of light from reaching the bottom of the stems due to shading, nutrient deficiency, plant not acclimated to the tank conditions are some of them.

Eric


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-05-2004, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerband
I have jus realised that ALL the anacharis plant having lower stems which is rotting, including those inside the substrate. I remove those plants, and almost half of every stems is affected. This could have happen 1 day after the tank started cycling. I think the sudden increase in nitrate level maybe contributed by this rotting stems.
Jus to side track a little, I experience this rotting stem of anacharis twice. What could be the reason?pls advise.

possible that you "injured" the lower stem while planting? too much pressure from the pincers during planting will damage the lower stem.

Melvin Lim
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