Need help on cycling planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-12-2015, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Need help on cycling planted tank

I recently started a new 40gallon breeder tank fully planted and am in the process of cycling it. I dose with ammonia and it eats about 1ppm every other day, I have been dosing for a week now. The thing that baffles me is that there have been no nitrites or nitrates present at all. I'll post tank specs, maybe that will help someone explain to me what is happening to the ammonia if it's not cycled.
40 gallon breeder
Large Biosponge filter
Aqueon quiet flow 50 Hob filter
Hydor Nano circulation pump
Aqueon 150 watt heater (being replaced with eheim)
Caribsea eco complete plant substrate
36 inch Finnex planted+ 24/7 Led light
Stocked with various plants that I bought off a website that says it's the perfect plant package for a 40 gallon

I'd really like to stock it with some fishys as soon as I can, but I know it has to cycle. The Caribsea eco complete substrate says it's fish ready, but I'm not trusting that. I have been dosing and testing twice a day and have found that it eats about 1ppm of ammonia every other day but has produced no nitrites or nitrates. Also, I am dosing it with plant fertilizers in appropriate doses. I am using all Seachem products. Flourish, Iron, Excel and Trace. I have the rest of their products on the way from Amazon. I also use r/o water from my r/o filter and add Seachem Equilibrium to gets the mineral content back right for the plants. The 10 gallon next to the 40 is my quarantine tank. Im also pretty proud of my stand i built. Here are some pics, maybe they will help. Hope somebody can help. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-12-2015, 10:59 PM
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I rarely if ever purposely cycle a tank. Most of mine are planted from the start and after the first week I start adding fish. Slowly. And I keep my tanks on the low side of stocking. I get home from the society auction, fill a tank add fish. That fast. I have to confess though I am on well water. Untreated well water.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-12-2015, 11:03 PM
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Dump in most of a 250 ml bottle of Tetra SafeStart Plus and continue dosing with ammonia. You should get a reading of zero ammonia 24 hrs. after dosing. Nitrites should also be zero. Nitrate levels will depend on whether the plants are sucking it all up. If your tank is heavily planted it is not unusual to get zero nitrate readings.

Continue ammonia dosing until you are ready to add fish. Dose ammonia when levels reach zero so that the bacteria has something to eat. Time the fish to when ammonia is zero.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 12:07 AM
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Your ammonia could partially be consumed by the plants. Unless you seed the tank with bacteria, you won't see nitrite till at least a week. Below is the typical cycle w/o seeding.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 01:20 AM
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Short version, add more ammonia to get 4 ppm, then wait. Usually takes 1-2 weeks to have nitrite and more than 4 weeks for full cycle to all nitrate.
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