On the right track? advice asked for - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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On the right track? advice asked for

Dear all

Completely new to having a planted tank aside from the guppies i had when i was 5 years old nearly 30 years ago.

I decided i wanted an aquarium as the final piece of decor.

Now i went into it with decor in mind, but since researching and delving deeper, I know hold a keen interest as to how it all works. Especially, since the info is not as straightforward as I thought it would be. I have been bitten by the bug.
I Have always been somewhat of an energy bundle, so I consider this new interest as an excersize in patience, as it is a trait I do not posses.

Initially, I bought the Fluval Edge 12 gallon, unbeknownst of its difficulties as first tank. I have learned to move around now, though.

I started out with the nutrafin cycle as proposed, but grew impatient and at the same time decided I wanted to go for a planted tank. I had bought some vallisnerias from the getgo.

3 weeks into the cycle I experienced high nitrites that wouldnt drop. I mixed in a little ammonia and all sorts of fiddlings easily linked to my impatience.

Anyway, I emptied all out, keeping filters in tankwater, while I went out and bought Tropica plant growth substrate(finegrain sand I already had for topping from "old cycling), a couple of bundles of Limnophilia Sessiliflora and anubiasbarteri var. nana. Also, I opted for the Eleocharis sp. mini which i know has a fairly high light requirement. more on why I am hoping my setup will help it along.

Equipment is the above mentioned edge, a jäger 75w heater, and the Tropica Plant Growth System 60 for co2 source.
stock ligthing are the 42 leds (3 blue) data is 5 watts, 7900K. plus the added led bar with 6x0,5w warm white.

A picture of the tank at day 1 after setup: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/823/img1857c.jpg/

and here a picture on day 3 after a 40% water change 20 mins ago: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/404/img1865bq.jpg/

What do you think of the setup/design?

I know I am taking a chance with the eleocharis but do notice the ekstra lighting i have provided (led bar with 6x0,5w warm white). Also, it seems it has decided to spread/grow as shown here: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/338/img1866jn.jpg/

Anyway, my problem is this.

I have meddled too much about with adding cycles (I added tetra safestart at day 1/setup on this), previously added ammonia, etc. etc.

Tropica has an app that gives a 90 day schedule, and here at day 3 it suggested a water change of up to 50%, and then adding shrimps and snails to combat algae.

But my readings (jbl drop test kit) says fairly low ammonia(just over detectable) high nitrites (doesnt seem totally off scale, but having difficulty differentiating red colours, so could be higher than 1 ppm or slightly below). Also nitrates show around 5 ish.

I just did the water change, and will post a test on nitrites a little later. My suspicion is that it will not go down, as the nitrites where high even with the entirely new planted tank here. (i added 3 gallons of the "old" water).

Should i stick to the tropica schedule, or will the high nitrites kill the shrimp? snails might take it, as they can be very hardy, so should i just get some of those, and in that case what would you suggest?

Also, can my plant be considered a heavily planted tank, or need i do more to achieve that. I am thinking of a post I saw that said heavily planted tanks can just use a silent circle. should I lower nitrites through water changes and attempt that instead?

or should I leave it and just keep on fishless cycling til all readings are as is (adding appropriate ammonia, of course).

VERY long post, so if you have stuck through till now, I'd really appreciate any advice you might offer.

Last note.

Desired stocking:
1 CT betta
10 green neons
Some amano shrimp, maybe even cherries and a few snails.

Thank you very much in advance!

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 03:37 PM
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Id stick with the fishless cycle for a few more days. From your readings so far it looks like its progressing, just not finnished yet! Keep appropriate amm lvls and it will get there. After NitrIte lvls start dropping a bit, Id add some fauna, very slowly and cut back/stop adding amm. And without fauna in there Id say a water change isent nessesary unless the NitrAte lvls require it. You want to keep the Amm and NitrIte in there to feed the bacteria.

And welcome to TPT! and your tank looks awesome!
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 10:47 PM
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So you had nitrites three weeks in and then you changed things in the tank? Did you change the filters? If not, then the bacteria is still growing on the filters (which is good) and probably the reason for high nitrite again. Nitrites in the middle of the cycle is normal and it's the longest phase so it can take 3 weeks or so for them to start dropping. It might be tricky with shrimp though; I'm guessing they won't like the ammonia you're adding nor will they like the nitrite. Also check your source water for ammonia,nitrite, nitrate to see where you're starting from (e.g. if your source water has nitrites then some or all may be from your water and not necessarily from the cycle).

Here's are some guides f you haven't seen them:


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