I'm new and could use some help please - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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I'm new and could use some help please

Hi there,

I'm new to freshwater and I have a 15g Fluval Flex planted tank, please could you take a look below and see if you think my cycling readings look ok, I've been dosing with DrTims ammonium chloride, now my nitrites are at 0, shouldn't my ammonia be 0?

My plants also don't look very healthy (in my opinion at least), I don't know if it's just an algae bloom causing it or I've done something wrong but you can see in my images some of the leaves look like they have died, like the one on the left. I have had a little growth but there is definitely some algae in here at the moment which I'm hoping is not a concern.

Tank set up with plants added on 15th Jan this year
I used JBL ProScape PlantSoil.
No water changes yet (Should I do one during cycling?)
No extra filtration added apart from the standard filtration media that came with the Fluval Flex
Temperature - 24C/75F

Here is a picture of the day I set it up on 15th Jan (left) and one from today (6th Feb) on the right, the bacopa monnieri looks like it's grown a bit

Here is my test results so far

I'd be really grateful if you think everything looks okay or if not, any recommendations for help with cycling, if I should do a water change etc. I'm going to top it up a bit tomorrow, thank you in advance!

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 01:39 AM
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Iíd guess your tank has cycled by now, but youíre adding a lot of ammonia pretty regularly, so that may be keeping your numbers up.

Iíd try going a week without adding any ammonia and then test everything. If itís all zero, then add just a little ammonia... like enough to take it to 1ppm or so. Then check it 24 hours later, and if itís zero.. safe to assume your cycled.

In regards to plant health, We would need more info to help.

Whatís your lighting like? Intensity and photo period are both important.

You need to be fertilizing...Youíll need to be adding both macros and micros.

Are you using CO2 or dosing chemical carbon?

Youíre gonna have algae issues at first, why exactly youíre having them is fully dependent more than just water quality. You need to have your lighting, fertilization and carbon source all in balance to prevent it.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 05:58 PM
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I would question our Nitrate test kit. It's showing values of 100 on the very second day, then tapering down to 40 eventually, but bouncing between 80 to 5 to 40 in between. Is the reagent expired?
I don't think your plants look that bad for a brand new tank. I agree with jaz, stop adding ammonia, and let it settle down. And feed your plants. If you are starting to see a problem algae bloom, then you can dose with some hydrogen peroxide (3%) at 2ml/gal and do a 50% water change the next day. That has worked wonders for me.

I use this Seachem dosing schedule and it seems to work pretty good.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 07:22 PM
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If using an API nitrate test kit, shake those bottles like mad before testing.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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