nitrites during planted tank cycle? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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nitrites during planted tank cycle?

I set up my first planted tank (7 gallons) about 10 days ago. I have moneywort, java moss, dwarf baby tears, anubias, and a microsword.

I dosed ammonia to around what I think was 3ppm. It steadily decreased and is now reading 0.25 ppm.

However, my nitrite readings are confusing. The API test kit is giving me this bright purple/almost magenta color. It has been that way for a few days. The nitrates have been around 10-20ppm.

I just did a 30% water change, but no luck. My plants seem to be doing okay, not great. I want to start adding ferts (aqarium coop easy green), but I don't know if adding more nitrogen to the tank would mess things up.

Several snails have appeared and seem to be doing well (i.e. not hanging out at the water line), and my intention is to add a betta. What should I do to get to the point where I can add a betta?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 12:55 PM
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You're cycle is going like it should. Water changes won't be required unless you want to keep the snails. Keep a low dose of ammonia (1-2ppm) because you need to keep that part of the bio-filter feed. Watch for a decrease of nitrites ultimately to zero (lite blue on the API test). Once ammonia and nitrites have been zero a couple of days do a big water change or maybe two targeting a nitrate level around 20-10ppm. At that point you'll be good to proceed with adding livestock. Watch nitrates closely for a while from then on. Regular Water changes and substrate cleaning should keep nitrates between 10 and 30ppm which is a good starting target range. After a while you'll get a feel of how your feeding schedule and cleaning and water changes manage the nitrates and you'll be able to test less frequently.

Good luck and welcome.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your help! There's so much competing info on cycling that I get confused. I've read that if nitrites get to 5ppm that a water change is necessary.

I'll add a bit more ammonia to make sure those bacteria are still fed. Should I not add any fertilizers til the tank is cycled?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 04:53 PM
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I find most of the recommendations for in cycle water changes referencing cycling with fish. I don't/won't. There are fish that can tolerate the process but it's a lot like raising a child in a cigar bar - not good for the child/fish and ill advised. I keep water changes to a minimum. On rare occasions if either nitrites or nitrates get too high (off the scale) I might do a 30% change. My rational is that during the cycle I want to seed as many locations as possible among the hard surface growth sites in the tank and the bacteria in the water column are the only ones available to do that. Water changes just dilute the concentration. I also don't cycle with plants so the question on fertilization should go to someone more experienced with those details.

Hope this helps.
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