Cycling with fish...parameters are off out of nowhere. Help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Cycling with fish...parameters are off out of nowhere. Help!

Started up my tank almost 3 weeks ago. Set up everything, added API quick start and got two fish rummy nose from the local fish store to start off, and within 3 days noticed that one was developing ich spots. I quickly bumped the temp up to 82 and began treatment with microbe lift herbtana (which I highly recommend after this experience...will be doing the dosing with artimess for new additions from now on to lessen the chances of it ever happening again). I am 7 days into the treatment and everything has been cleared up visibly for a few days now. I have been using various things for my plants (Flourish, Flourish Excel, Flourish tabs, and most recently, liquid co2).

Up until now, my water parameters have stayed pretty much perfect. Yesterday I tested the water and I got these parameters:

PH-7.2
Ammonia-.25
Nitrite-.25
Nitrate-5

I tested it earlier today and got the same results. I added a bit of the API quick start again but only 1/3 the dose because I wasnt sure if it would hurt or help. I havent tested it since.

Is this a natural occurrence in the cycling process? Or, could it be possible that this is happening because my carbon filter has been removed for a week now? I have made 3 small water changes this water to compensate for the lack of filter. I attached a picture of the tank that I took just a few minutes ago just in case someone sees something I'm missing.

Any advice that you could give would be really helpful. I want to go about this the most correct way possible so that it can cycle properly, but I do have a few plants being mailed over this week and wanted to clear this up so I don't encounter any issues. Thanks all!
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Last edited by Hayleyxx; 03-22-2018 at 03:33 AM. Reason: added
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 11:16 AM
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Hay...

When I cycled my first tank with fish, I used female Guppies. They're hardy and I had fry in the tank by the time the tank cycled. You have to establish a steady source of ammonia. A couple of Tetras isn't enough. You really need three to four small fish for every 10 gallons of water. You feed the fish a little every day or two and test the water daily for traces of ammonia and nitrite. If you have a positive test you change out 25 percent of the water and replace that with treated tap water. This gets the chemistry back into the safe zone for the fish and leaves some nitrogen to grow the bacteria colony. Just test every day and remove and replace the water when needed. When you have several daily tests with no trace of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled. Then to maintain the water, you change out half or more weekly for the life of the tank.

M

"The fish keeping hobby is very simple. Just change out a lot of water, a lot of the time!"
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!! I will do a partial when I get home and then retest tomorrow. Filter goes back in after 2 more treatments. I have a feeling that might help things along too.

Trust me, I had all intentions on increasing fish after a week but after the stupid bout of ich I had to put things on hold for a bit. My plan was to start at 4 but they only had two rummy nose left and the owner of the store told me it would be better to wait than to get a different type of fish. I also felt it would be pointless just to add some more and have the ich come right back all over again.


Cant wait for this process to be over. Cycling is the most annoying part of the entire experience, and it is definitely different than when I have done it with non-planted tanks.

Last edited by Hayleyxx; 03-22-2018 at 02:08 PM. Reason: added
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayleyxx View Post
... and it is definitely different than when I have done it with non-planted tanks.
This idea of having to formally cycle a planted tank is rather unnecessary and no reason to risk/kill fish doing it.

If you put plants in (the more the better) they will provide both bacteria and ammonia since any dying leaf or plant part will decompose. You keep up with water changes so nothing goes to far off center and slowly add fish over the course of 4-weeks or so. Between the growing plants and the water changes you really don't have to worry about the cycle.

It's much better to tinker with the tank and get the plants growing before adding fish anyway.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post

It's much better to tinker with the tank and get the plants growing before adding fish anyway.
Plants are definitely growing! The onion plants are growing like weeds to be honest. My java fern has also sprouted as well along the back panel pretty much as I intended on it.

The foreground plants have been in the tank just 4 days, and ive noticed massive color improvement and some slight growth on those as well as the other plants in there.

I have some S-Repens being delivered tomorrow and was planning on removing 50% of the water before planting. Do you think I could hold off on the water change until tomorrow if my parameters have remained the same so that I dont have to keep adding and removing from it?

I really appreciate all the help. Didnt realize how drastically planted tank cycling could vary from non-planted Silly me
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 09:34 PM
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If you're finished medicating it would be a good idea to add carbon back to your filter. It will help out until your plants and bacteria are established.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 10:25 PM
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For cycling with plants, you really want at least some quick growing stem plants. Those are the ones with the highest uptake so help keep the water safe for fish. Javafern is comparatively slower growing and carpet plants don't have the mass. I'd temporarily add some even if you don't plant to keep them longer term. That should help stabilise the tank.
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