Cycling, AS - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Cycling, AS

it's been a week of cycling my 60P, I have used filter media but it hasn't helped. ammonia and nitrate are high.

Ammonia: 4ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm

I thought with the used media it would be cycled by now. I'm confused. I thought you shouldn't do water changes while cycling but now I'm reading to do one every other day. Should I start doing that?

If I do every other day water changes can I add fish?

Thank you.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 01:43 AM
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Hmm, I think it depends on what fish you're wanting to add. Labyrinth fish and white cloud mountain minnows are good for cycling a tank. Allot of fish are too sensitive for any amount of ammonia. The fish I mentioned earlier would be okay to add whilst still cycling though. Best of luck!!
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 01:44 AM
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Increase temperature and KH and add bacteria boosters.
Your used media most likely didn't have much bacteria at all if it only created 5 ppm nitrate in a week unless you have plants using it.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 01:45 AM
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Also, I would wait to do water changes until ammonia is gone. Once nitrites are at the end of their spurt water changes should be fine. Generally as a rule of thumb, you shouldn't do a water change until the tank is completely cycled. But small changes shouldn't do too much harm.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for everyone's responses.

Still a bit torn, I plan on added a few female bettas, so should I not do a water change and just put them in a get them to cycle it?

Or wait it out with no fish. Btw, I have plants in there!
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Julie7778 View Post
Thank you for everyone's responses.

Still a bit torn, I plan on added a few female bettas, so should I not do a water change and just put them in a get them to cycle it?

Or wait it out with no fish. Btw, I have plants in there!
You can go ahead and add a few females. The stress might be a little high if they don't know each other. Since bettas generally fight for the first few minutes to make a pecking order. With the ammonia it could add more stress, but if you're just buying them from the store and putting them straight into the tank, who's to say the water they're in right now isn't worse!?

I have a female sorority and love it! They're pretty hardy fish, so they should be alright.

Plants are great since they'll speed up the cycling! Little water changes are fine since there will be more than just one fish in the tank.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 03:02 AM
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I would do 30% water changes every 3-4 days for first 3-4 weeks, add otocinclus and algae eating shrimp at the end of that period.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie7778 View Post
it's been a week of cycling my 60P, I have used filter media but it hasn't helped. ammonia and nitrate are high.

Ammonia: 4ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm

I thought with the used media it would be cycled by now. I'm confused. I thought you shouldn't do water changes while cycling but now I'm reading to do one every other day. Should I start doing that?

If I do every other day water changes can I add fish?

Thank you.
Aqua soil requires(according to those who use it), water changes every couple day's for three or four week's, or ammonia it produces could be too much for plant's/bacteria and likely to feed algae bloom depending on light intensity/duration.
Add as many plant's a you can before considering fishes if the fishes health is primary concern.
If your adding ammonia in addition to the aqua soil,I would stop.
If I added anything other than more plant's,,it would be more used media from already mature aquarium .
would still perform water changes to try and keep ammonia down for reason's mentioned.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
Aqua soil requires(according to those who use it), water changes every couple day's for three or four week's, or ammonia it produces could be too much for plant's/bacteria and likely to feed algae bloom depending on light intensity/duration.
Add as many plant's a you can before considering fishes if the fishes health is primary concern.
If your adding ammonia in addition to the aqua soil,I would stop.
Yep, no need to add ammonia with AS. It produces plenty on its own. With AS you want to do 50% or better water changes daily for the first week. Every other day for week two. Then every 3 or 4 days for week three. I would not add fish until ammonia and nitrite have reached zero. There's no need in subjecting the fauna to elevated levels of ammonia and nitrite. A little patience is all that is needed.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 05:33 AM
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Yep, no need to add ammonia with AS. It produces plenty on its own. With AS you want to do 50% or better water changes daily for the first week. Every other day for week two. Then every 3 or 4 days for week three. I would not add fish until ammonia and nitrite have reached zero. There's no need in subjecting the fauna to elevated levels of ammonia and nitrite. A little patience is all that is needed.
This is what ADA recommends:

"Conduct daily water change and take action against algae for one to two weeks after setup of aquarium."

ADA - NATURE AQUARIUM - Nature Aquarium Starting from Zero

Straight from the horse's mouth
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 06:43 AM
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You have 2 cycles going on.

1) ADA products produce ammonia. It needs to do its thing, and nothing you can do will make it go any faster. It has nothing to do with whether you have nitrifying bacteria in there or not. It will not produce the ammonia faster or slower. Be patient.
Do enough water changes to keep the ammonia at roughly 3 ppm, and lower is not a problem. If you do a really big water change and the ammonia gets down below 1ppm, the bacteria will be just fine.

2) Growing nitrifying bacteria. Feeding them ammonia for about 3 weeks will grow a really big population, even if you started with no media to jump start the process. They will use the ammonia produced by the Aquasoil, but that soil can produce too much ammonia. Keep up the water changes. No matter how big or how small a population of bacteria you have, it will not change the fact that the soil will keep on producing ammonia. Use this opportunity to grow a really good colony of bacteria.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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You can go ahead and add a few females. The stress might be a little high if they don't know each other. Since bettas generally fight for the first few minutes to make a pecking order. With the ammonia it could add more stress, but if you're just buying them from the store and putting them straight into the tank, who's to say the water they're in right now isn't worse!?

I have a female sorority and love it! They're pretty hardy fish, so they should be alright.

Plants are great since they'll speed up the cycling! Little water changes are fine since there will be more than just one fish in the tank.
I bought them all together and they've been living together so I'm thinking I'll add them.

I will begin to do daily water changes of 50%!

I have not been adding ammonia at all so hopefully things will be okay!

Thanks again everyone.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 09:42 PM
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Well, no, you do not have to add ammonia over and above what the soil supplies. For 3-4 weeks it keeps on producing ammonia, and feeding the bacteria. Do water changes to keep the level of ammonia in the right range to grow the maximum bacteria. Your water change will get the ammonia down to or under 1 ppm, then the soil adds more ammonia to about 3 ppm, then you do another water change.

Aquasoil also has a tendency to remove the carbonates from the water.
This drops the pH.

Nitrifying bacteria do better with higher KH and higher pH.

Add potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate to keep the KH at least 3 German degrees of hardness, and higher is better. The bacteria will grow best if you can keep the pH at least in the upper 7s, and into the 8s is really good.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 09:45 PM
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If you are not increasing KH and KH is 0-1, there's no real point in doing water changes. The ammonia in your tank is pretty much 99% ammonium(non toxic form of ammonia).
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 09:53 PM
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There are 2 reasons to do water changes.

1) The lower the ammonia level in the water, the more ammonia will come out of the soil.

2a) Too high ammonia slows the growth of nitrifying bacteria
2b) The ammonia removing bacteria will create way too much nitrite. Too high nitrite also slows the growth of nitrifying bacteria.

Optimum level of ammonia: should no go over 5 ppm for best growth of the nitrifying bacteria, and is better under 3 ppm to keep the NO2 under 5ppm.

Add the carbonates and keep the pH up for the optimum growth of the nitrifying bacteria. They quit growing when the water is too acidic, and lacks carbonates.

None of this has anything to do with ammonia vs ammonium. There are no fish in this tank.
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