Originally Posted by FatherLandDescendant
First off the commercial brand ferts are extremely watered down. If your going to go to pressurized CO2 injection you'd be better off buying dry ferts from green leaf, or a member here. The levels you'd need of seachem products would have you using a whole small bottle every couple of weeks on a 40gal tank for example.
Nitrate levels don't show until the biological filter has finished cycling. The biological cycle goes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.
At this point especially if your following the label directions on the flourish products (which is woefully lacking for the plant needs of most tanks) I'd surmise that your plants are using up what your putting in.
Unless you used some Tetra Safe Start a 1.5 week old tank is not cycled.
Don't do fish/shrimp till it's cycled and the ammonia has stopped.
You will need to correct the amounts of nutrients you dose during the time it is
leaching the ammonia as it begins to stop. Not often or a lot, it's just that it will eventually start giving you nitrates once it's cycled. Obviously you need to stop dosing nitrogen when this happens and this is when you will begin to do water changes.
Nitrates are the final product of a cycle and that level is regulated by water changes.
Best to go light on ferts till then as EI level ferts require a 50% water change each week
and this would be counterproductive to your cycle as the ammonia is needed for it.
Thanks guys, definitely not new to the nitrogen cycle but I just thought that by adding nitrogen, I'd see some sort of nitrates , guess not.
My confusion also comes from the fact that I've transferred a seeded filter from my other tank and I was getting 20-40ppm nitrates and ammonia was around 0.25ppm, so I thought it's going good, no fish or shrimp , aqua soil gives ammonia which is then quickly converted to nitrates...
but that all changed when I had a bacteria bloom for 2 days, milky water, performed 2 small water changes and it's back to being clear....but the readings now are those of an unicycled tank...I guess all the good bacteria was wiped away.
So it's better to monitor ammonia, keep it up there but not over 4ppm, go light with ferts until cycle is over?what should I do with the co2? Starting next week it's gonna be up and running, crank it up or take it slow?
Should I add tetra safe start or skip it? Also no water changes?til when?
I also have purigen in my filter if that counts for anything...
Coming from African cichlids with just a few anubias as plants, you can understand the level of experience I have with plants, but I'm willing to learn everything I can. Thanks again for the advice guys, keep them coming!