Struggling a little - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-08-2017, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hi All,

I have a very small planted 25 litre tank that I started a month to have a go at a planted tank in the view to having some shrimps later on. After a lot of research, I set out and purchased a buffering substrate (Dennerle Scaper's Soil 4L Shrimp & Plants) and some Salty Shrimp GH+ due to the need of keeping the PH low.

Where i am struggling is with cycling the tank and think I may have made the errors with using RO with GH+ to early?

For background, I am using an all-in-one fertiliser containing:--

1.5 ppm Nitrate
0.4 ppm Phosphate
1.6 ppm Potassium
0.2 ppm Magnesium

And I add 2ml per day as per the instructions provided (5ml per 40l).

The plants are growing well and have added a nano CO2 system controlled by a solenoid that comes on 1hr (Morning) and 30mins (Evening) before the light comes on/off - Light is on from 12pm until 6pm (6hrs). The drop checker is green and was yellow to start with until i adjusted the levels.

My Plants consist of:

Micranthemum MonteCarlo
Eleocharis pusilla
Cryptocoryne wendtii Kompakt
Alternanthera reineckii Mini
Helanthium tenellum Broad Leaf
Pogostemon erectus

Plus a couple of Anbius'.

I am also ghost feeding the tank with flakes and did for a while produce ammonia, but added some stability to help grow the good bacteria.

The lasted tests have come out too good to be true:-

Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0
PH = 6.0-6.1
TDS - 180-190
KH = 0
GH = 8

I know why the KH is at 0 due to only using the GH+ powder, but has the tank really cycled and ready for shrimps, or do I need to increase the PH and other parameters to cycle as I'm also seeing an increase in hair green algae.

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My guess is I've made some error in the early water stages and have seen on another thread that it should be cycled with tap water and then brought to where you want it to be?

Also, i'm aware that shrimps and CO2 don't mix too well, but other have had success in keeping them? I'm not worried too much about breeding, but as its only 25l, fish are out of the question?

Thanks in advance!


Just to add, am I right in thinking the reason for the GHA is lack of Nitrate?
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-08-2017 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-08-2017, 06:42 PM
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The ultimate way to know that your tank is cycled is that you have a nitrate reading with ammonia near or at 0. It is possible your nitrate is completely being used by the plants but I'd normally think you would get some kind of reading, but if your driving your plants hard with high light and CO2 I suppose it is possible. If your really concerned about it I would dose a little ammonia, like 1ppm or something and see what happens. Alternatively you could get a couple hardy fish just to cycle the tank.

So i guess with a nitrate reading of 0 I would just be cautious.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-09-2017, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Highseq..

I will continue to ghost feed for now, but having 0 Nitrate is worrying me? Do you think I should increase the fertilisation to try and up the NO3 to help fight the algae?

At 25L (5 G) i think its a little small for fish, hence why I though it was good idea for a planted shrimp tank. I guess i could look at purchasing a bottle of ammonia to see what happens? Don't want the shrimps to suffer by putting them in too early

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