Is my parameter normal? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Is my parameter normal?

Hi all,
My 20gal now has below param.
Ph: 6.8
Nitrite:1ppm
Amm:0.5ppm
Nitrate:10ppm

Planted 85% with 8 golden white mountain cloud.
Been a week added fish and plants....substrate was there when I use for Goldie's.
After changing 20% water yesterday this morning my readings r same as 3 days ago.

Is this cycling?
Will it drop down....
Excel 2ml daily and ferts once week.....it's just been a week now.
9 hrs photoperiod.

Glad to hear any suggestions.

Last edited by fern09; 07-29-2012 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Missed
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:48 AM
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Are you saying you set up the tank, planted it about 85% full of plants, added 8 fish, and now, after one week you have ammonia and nitrite not zero? If so it is very unlikely that the tank has cycled.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:50 AM
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yeah, your tank is cycling. i'd return the minnows if you can, if not, then get some product (seachem prime works well) to detoxify ammonia/nitrite while you cycle.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:57 AM
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I think the same as above.

I suggest:
Wait for the fish and use this time to aquascape.
Make sure there is good oxygenation.
Lower the photoperiod to 6 hrs to prevent an algae out brake when the ammo spikes and because it's said that nitrobacteria is photosensitive.

Keep us posted! Good luck!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Are you saying you set up the tank, planted it about 85% full of plants, added 8 fish, and now, after one week you have ammonia and nitrite not zero? If so it is very unlikely that the tank has cycled.

Before I added fish and plants I had Goldies for 2 years with some plants and returned them as they ate all my plants. changed 70% water and after 1 week I checked nitrite and ammonia both was 0ppm. The tank ran for a week without any plants and fish but readings were 0ppm.

Then I bought fish and plants. now after 4 days that's my readings then 1 week later yesterday I changed water and same readings as before.

So this happened after I added fish. Before was 0ppm.

Should I wait and see. Continue with ferts and excel for plants?
Reduce photo periods?
Is this readings can go up?
So should I return fish?

Last edited by fern09; 07-30-2012 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Missed
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fern09 View Post
Before I added fish and plants I had Goldies for 2 years with some plants and returned them as they ate all my plants. changed 70% water and after 1 week I checked nitrite and ammonia both was 0ppm. The tank ran for a week without any plants and fish but readings were 0ppm.

Then I bought fish and plants. now after 4 days that's my readings then 1 week later yesterday I changed water and same readings as before.

So this happened after I added fish. Before was 0ppm.

Should I wait and see. Continue with ferts and excel for plants?
Reduce photo periods?
Is this readings can go up?
So should I return fish?
yeah, when you ran the tank for a week without any fish, the plants likely sucked all ammonia/nitrite/nitrate out of the water/substrate and your bacteria died. now the fish are creating waste and there's no or little bacteria to process it.

i don't know if i'd continue with ferts or excel, i'm not sure of what effect they have on bacteria but anything that could raise CO2 levels of the water/reduce O2 content (excel) might slow down the bacteria colonies' reproduction. if your lighting is high, and you decide to stop dosing, then cut the lighting too.
yes, the readings can go up. they might not, if you have some bacteria left from your previous colonies, but there's no telling.
i'd return the fish if i were you, yes, because ammonia/nitrite during a cycle can damage their gills permanently and it's not very nice to them.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatB View Post
yeah, when you ran the tank for a week without any fish, the plants likely sucked all ammonia/nitrite/nitrate out of the water/substrate and your bacteria died. now the fish are creating waste and there's no or little bacteria to process it.

i don't know if i'd continue with ferts or excel, i'm not sure of what effect they have on bacteria but anything that could raise CO2 levels of the water/reduce O2 content (excel) might slow down the bacteria colonies' reproduction. if your lighting is high, and you decide to stop dosing, then cut the lighting too.
yes, the readings can go up. they might not, if you have some bacteria left from your previous colonies, but there's no telling.
i'd return the fish if i were you, yes, because ammonia/nitrite during a cycle can damage their gills permanently and it's not very nice to them.
Sorry forgot to mention my lfs told me to add little bit of microbe lift bacteria every nite for few days. His is what I bought from him and adding everynite.
Will this solve?
My lighting is 2x20 watts cfl 20gal with 17 inch high.
I wanted to grow plants faster that's why I use 9 hrs photoperiod.
I hv ludwigia,crypts,sags...
Should I add hornwort or anacharis to suck up?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 07:52 AM
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Hehe, seems that you want somebody to tell you what you want to hear.

Those micro lifts are not very convincing to me.

I know that you want to skip the cycle but that is not going to happen. It's the first lesson you need to learn, nature takes its time and there is not much you can do without making it even a slower process.

Just do what needs to be done now and enjoy it instead of trying to do what is meant to be done in a few weeks.

Be careful with listening to the LFS for advice, they are always going to try to sell you something for the most part. And if you don't see that the store is planted tank specialized, forget it. This is the place to look for advice.

I'm sure it's going to be an awesome tank!
Just be patient.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:08 PM
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I cycled my 55 gal. tank back in February with 13 neon tetras and 2 dwarf gouramis and 2 amano shrimp. I had to do a lot of big water changes for a week to keep the ammonia at almost zero.. Then I got a bag you put in any free space in your filter and used some Ammonia absorbing chips from Petco. That seemed to work great. I only needed them for a short time. I started with eco-complete substrate which is supposed to have the bacteria needed to have an instant cycle but I went a little overboard with fish. I also waited a week before adding anything besides plants. You should definitely stop using the excel, it says right on their website that it is a low grade sterilizer so you will kill your good bacteria with it. I would wait until you have no ammonia or nitrites for about a month before restarting the excel dosing. That is what worked for me. All my fish did wonderfully until my heater went and cooked most of them. Now I'm down to 1 shrimp, 1 gourami and 2 neons.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:10 PM
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P.S. I was testing before andafter dosing excel and Ammonia would come back when I used it in the first month.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thank u all.
I always treated my new water with seachem neutral.
I hv aquaclear power filter
Should I use ammonia remover?
Or should I use seachem prime?
Can I use prime in existing water?

Sure I will wait for excel dose?
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flutterbug View Post
P.S. I was testing before andafter dosing excel and Ammonia would come back when I used it in the first month.
did you mean it won't have any effect either adding or not?
confused?

thanks
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 07:10 PM
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The easy way to cycle a tank is to just plant it heavily, turn on the lights, filter, etc. and start your fertilizing regime. Wait a couple of weeks, making sure the plants have started growing well, then add a few fish, maybe a couple for a 20 gallon tank. Wait another week or so and add a few more, maybe 3-4 more. Wait another week or so, and you should be able to finish adding all of the fish you want. The growing plants will be consuming most or all of the ammonia from the fish, but a bacteria colony will also be developing. You will have given it a month or more to fully develop, which should be plenty. And, you will not have forced the tank to grow an oversized colony of bacteria just to die for lack of ammonia when you finally stop dosing ammonia. This has always worked for me.

But, if you are going to buy $10 apiece fish, or rare ones, or special order a school of 50 cardinal tetra, etc. then you will want to use the conventional ammonia dosing method for establishing a big enough colony of bacteria to be absolutely sure you won't be in any danger of harming your investment in fish when you add them. This is how I see it anyway.

Hoppy
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
The easy way to cycle a tank is to just plant it heavily, turn on the lights, filter, etc. and start your fertilizing regime. Wait a couple of weeks, making sure the plants have started growing well, then add a few fish, maybe a couple for a 20 gallon tank. Wait another week or so and add a few more, maybe 3-4 more. Wait another week or so, and you should be able to finish adding all of the fish you want. The growing plants will be consuming most or all of the ammonia from the fish, but a bacteria colony will also be developing. You will have given it a month or more to fully develop, which should be plenty. And, you will not have forced the tank to grow an oversized colony of bacteria just to die for lack of ammonia when you finally stop dosing ammonia. This has always worked for me.

But, if you are going to buy $10 apiece fish, or rare ones, or special order a school of 50 cardinal tetra, etc. then you will want to use the conventional ammonia dosing method for establishing a big enough colony of bacteria to be absolutely sure you won't be in any danger of harming your investment in fish when you add them. This is how I see it anyway.
makes clear for me.
thanks so much.
i already hv 85% of plants and i'm thinking to add some floating tonite...so will be completely no place to fill for plants....
i guess it will be fine....lets see...

thank so much.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 09:52 PM
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Personally I'd do a couple of 50% water changes to get those levels down; if you can get Prime to use as your dechlorinator it'll help neutralize the toxins in between water changes to protect the fish but it shouldn't be used in place of water changes. Nitrites and ammonia are toxic to fish and apparently your plants aren't soaking up the toxins fast enough. Also leave a glass of tap water out for 24 hours and then test PH and see what it is; your normal PH may be 6.8 but it may also be dropping which is common in cycling; if it drops much lower it can stall the bacteria from multiplying (the water changes I mentioned above should fix this as well if that's what's happening).


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