Fluval Spec V (with new light), substrate, plant and cycling questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Fluval Spec V (with new light), substrate, plant and cycling questions

So when I was younger I used to be obsessed with bettas and kept many. Its now been a few years since I've kept fish and I got myself the Fluval Spec V with the 7000K light and intend to keep a dwarf puffer, maybe two if they get along (with lots of water changes). This tank has been running since Dec 27th.

So, my various questions:

1) I started cycling the aquarium with fish food in order to release ammonia. I got the test kit in the mail Tuesday and it showed my Ammonia at 0, Nitrite at 0.5ppm and Nitrate at 0 each day until today where Nitrite showed 1ppm. My tap water is 0 across the board. Is this cycle going properly? How high will Nitrite peak until I see Nitrates?

2) Besides the wendtii crypt and the anubias in the one corner, my plants don't seem to be doing well. The anubias on the driftwood and the red plant (some type of ludwigia I believe) are turning black at the leaf tips, as if burned. The red plant is also growing green, so I should add Iron I guess. Is the light too strong? Also, I have some relative of dwarf hairgrass, and the other tall green plant, that are both turning clear/yelowish with wisps coming off. The also have some light brown fuzz
The aquarium store dude mentioned that they were previously immersed and would go through something like this. Is he right? Do I just keep chugging on? Is this a side effect of not having fish in the tank yet? What should I do to keep them healthy?

3) I don't want to add CO2, I want to keep the aquarium low tech, but I am open to using Flourish Excel and whatnot. What should I dose my aquarium with and how often?

4) Substrate. The black stuff is Flourite Sand and the upper layer is CaribSea Super Natural sand. Is the sand layer too thick for my plants to reach the flourite at the bottom?

5) I'm thinking of breaking up that huge rock so I can oile it up more interestingly and get more plabts in the corner. Y/n?

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:34 PM
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1) If you're doing a No-Fish cycle the particular value of your Nitrite could peak anywhere really, especially since you're still adding food. Seems like it's going right to me. Nitrates could take anywhere from days to weeks to show up, depending on how much of it the plants are consuming and how much bacteria they brought with them.

2) Plants grown out of water (emmersed) will always melt back when put underwater (immersed) because the leaf structure needs to be completely different. For now the plants are consuming their old leaves to grow new ones, so just let them do their thing. Algae is also common with new tanks and should settle down as the plants grow in and start consuming nutrients.

3) Excel really isn't a good replacement for CO2, it's more of an algaecide. Your fish and bacteria will produce CO2, and you can also add it by whatever means you're oxygenating the water. For fertilizer I like Easy Green by Aquarium Co-op, assuming you're in the States. You will probably need fertilizer of some sort to keep your plants happy.

4) Won't be a problem. I run my substrate deeper than that and my plants have roots spreading across the glass.

Also: I wouldn't do two Pea Puffers. With two of anything one usually ends up dominating the other.
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