Cycling or just part of EI dosing? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Cycling or just part of EI dosing?

I'm roughly one week into my fishless cycle and I just started EI dosing. This week, around the same time I started dosing, I started seeing nitrites and nitrates. I'm assuming this is just because of the fertilizers I'm adding, since I haven't really seen a reduction in the amount of ammonia. Is it worth it to continue with the fishless cycle by adding liquid ammonia or should I just rely on what's being added from the ferts?

I've posted my water parameters here.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by myessail View Post
I'm roughly one week into my fishless cycle and I just started EI dosing. This week, around the same time I started dosing, I started seeing nitrites and nitrates. I'm assuming this is just because of the fertilizers I'm adding, since I haven't really seen a reduction in the amount of ammonia. Is it worth it to continue with the fishless cycle by adding liquid ammonia or should I just rely on what's being added from the ferts?

I've posted my water parameters here.

If you are seeing nitrite that isn't from your ferts, right? That can only be from ammonia being converted to nitrite by bacteria. Your at about 4ppm ammonia so i definitely wouldn't add any more ammonia right now. Also I have found in my expeierence that once the bacteria gets going a little ammonia translates into a lot of nitrite and nitrate.


How are you dosing your macros? dry or in solution? and did you mix all three macros together or are you dosing them separate?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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If you are seeing nitrite that isn't from your ferts, right? That can only be from ammonia being converted to nitrite by bacteria. Your at about 4ppm ammonia so i definitely wouldn't add any more ammonia right now. Also I have found in my expeierence that once the bacteria gets going a little ammonia translates into a lot of nitrite and nitrate.


How are you dosing your macros? dry or in solution? and did you mix all three macros together or are you dosing them separate?
I'm dosing them dry. I don't mix them together, but I do dose them all in succession.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 03:08 AM
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I'm dosing them dry. I don't mix them together, but I do dose them all in succession.
okay stop dosing ammonia, watch the nitrite levels and completely stop dosing KNO3. Your nitrate levels are already through the roof. Once the bacteria gets going its going to be ridiculous.

If it were me I would do a water change very soon because your going to have over 150ppm nitrate soon.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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okay stop dosing ammonia, watch the nitrite levels and completely stop dosing KNO3. Your nitrate levels are already through the roof. Once the bacteria gets going its going to be ridiculous.

If it were me I would do a water change very soon because your going to have over 150ppm nitrate soon.
Ok, thanks for the advice. I was planning on doing the water change on Sunday but that's probably going to be too late. If I do a water change, when should I start dosing KNO3 again?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 10:37 AM
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Ok, thanks for the advice. I was planning on doing the water change on Sunday but that's probably going to be too late. If I do a water change, when should I start dosing KNO3 again?
If your doing normal EI dosing, the target range is that you are dosing 30ppm Nitrate from KNO3 per week. In general most people agree that 40-50ppm nitrate is the upper limit of whats acceptable for fish. Your test indicated you are at our near 80ppm right now, so dosing more isn't bring 0 benefit because it is no longer the limiting nutrient in the tank.

If you did a 50% water change right now, assuming there is 0ppm nitrate in your tap (which is true for most people but not everyone) your nitrate would still be around 40ppm. Hopefully this demonstrates why I am suggesting you needn't add more.

As to when you should start again: Probably not until your nitrite levels hit 0, which won't happen until your ammonia levels hit 0. Until then your beneficial bacteria is going to be cranking out nitrate converting all of that. If your concerned about this though you can just keep testing your nitrate levels.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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If your doing normal EI dosing, the target range is that you are dosing 30ppm Nitrate from KNO3 per week. In general most people agree that 40-50ppm nitrate is the upper limit of whats acceptable for fish. Your test indicated you are at our near 80ppm right now, so dosing more isn't bring 0 benefit because it is no longer the limiting nutrient in the tank.

If you did a 50% water change right now, assuming there is 0ppm nitrate in your tap (which is true for most people but not everyone) your nitrate would still be around 40ppm. Hopefully this demonstrates why I am suggesting you needn't add more.

As to when you should start again: Probably not until your nitrite levels hit 0, which won't happen until your ammonia levels hit 0. Until then your beneficial bacteria is going to be cranking out nitrate converting all of that. If your concerned about this though you can just keep testing your nitrate levels.
Ok, thanks for the advice. Would it be super harmful to wait until Sunday to do the water change? I don't have any fish in the tank and I'd like to keep the once a week schedule if I can.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 02:36 PM
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Not sure what toxic levels are to plants. I'll take a guess and say that most plants probably don't mind much at all. I found an old post by darkcobra, one of the more seasoned members here and he said

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Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post

At 70-140ppm nitrate (weekly range), I saw stunting and slow growth in many varieties of plants. Signs of phosphate deficiency, despite levels of 30ppm. Uncontrollable algae. The fish, oddly enough, were fine.

I found another post by tom barr who thinks that high levels aren't a problem. But I'm not sure they are talking about 100ppm+ To be honest I'm not sure if its detrimental to the plants or not. Maybe someone else here knows.

Edit: I looked up some of the nutrient antagonist relationships and it looks like excess nitrogen can cause inhibition of uptake of potassium and calcium. Still don't know what "excess" is but I'm guessing it probably has more to do with how much of each are present. Guess you can just keep an eye out for potassium deficiency which shows up as yellowing of leaves starting from the edges and sometimes pinholes. Calcium deficiency shows up as stunted new growth and curling/wavy leaf edges.
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