Is my cycle truly finished, and is my KH a problem? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Is my cycle truly finished, and is my KH a problem?

Been about a month on a fishless cycle, heavily planted. last week it was taking 48 hours after adding half a cap of ammonia to get to 0/0/40, now it is only taking 24 hours. Am I truly cycled or are the 40 nitrates a problem (it doesn't seem to move, but I do have Flourish Comp & Excel in the water, and Seachem root tabs in Eco-Complete). Some plants look great, others no s omuch (melting - transparent leaves. Not the Crypts either, Amazon swords of all things. Stems seem happy)

Are the nitrates OK? How about my other parameters?

Nitrate - 40
Nitrite - 0
GH - 75 (soft)
Chlorine - 0
KH - appears to be near 0
pH - 6.8 or slightly lower (which is a bit lower than my tap water)

Is the KH a problem? Any way to deal with that?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 03:11 AM
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40 PPM on nitrates is fine for plants only. I would want it a bit lower with fish or shrimp (10-20). A quick and cheap way to increase pH and KH is baking soda. Calcium carbonate is what is in most commercial products for increasing KH. My KH was OK, but my GH was low. I initially used Kent's RO Right, but I would use Seachem Equilibrium, instead. RO Right contains too much salt (table salt) for my taste (no pun intended).

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 03:12 AM
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Oh, and It sounds like your cycle truly is finished.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 03:05 AM
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The nitrogen cycle is finished.
Rising nitrates are part of the nitrogen cycle. Do water changes to get them a lot lower before adding livestock.

Add carbonate (baking soda is most common) to raise KH and pH.
There are other materials that will raise GH, KH and pH, but slowly.
Coral sand, Limestone sand, oystershell grit will do this. I put these in a nylon stocking in the filter.
Gh booster such as Equilibrium will raise the GH (yours is OK, especially for soft water fish and shrimp).
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