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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 5 gal planted tank with 1 betta and 2 nerites. biggest problem I've seen is when I clean the sponge filter (place sponge filter into bag with tank water and squeeze. repeat a few times), my ammonia goes up then my nitrites. I seem to be having a mini cycle each time. I think it's because I have such a small bioload in the tank. I just purchased the seachem nitrogen to add because the plants were eating all the nitrates and were starving for nutrients. I was literally at 0 nitrates for a few days before it came in. My algae was also out of control because of this.

So, what do I do? do I add a few small community fish? I have a pretty deep substrate, about 2 inches deep so my actual water volume is probably closer to 4 gallons. I havea sponge filter, a heater and a small airstone as well a floating long as well as the plants and one piece of driftwood. I need more poop, people! >:)
 

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'I need more poop'
Funny, but its not true. You have enough bioload in there. It just takes time....

Fish/cycle:
How long have you been cycling? How often do you do water changes? You shouldn't have to 'squeeze' your filter that often- I do mine about once a month or three lol- You get a spike because it 'rustles' stuff up, disturbing your mini ecosystem.


Plants:
When you say 'starving' what do you mean? as in disintegration? turning yellow?
What are you using as far as other ferts? low tech, low light generally doesnt require nitrogen like that IMO. You would be better off with flourish and excel then check your plant leaves and if showing certain signs potentially add potassium.
I would be very careful about adding nitrogen. Your plants could very well just be using your nitrogen your tank is already producing. I have never had an algae bloom due to low nitrogen.... too much light, not dosing excel, uncycled tank, overfeeding, yes.
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
'I need more poop'
Funny, but its not true. You have enough bioload in there. It just takes time....

Fish/cycle:
How long have you been cycling? How often do you do water changes? You shouldn't have to 'squeeze' your filter that often- I do mine about once a month or three lol- You get a spike because it 'rustles' stuff up, disturbing your mini ecosystem.
The tank has been going a month. I used water from my cycled tank to seed it. I water change once a week. I think I actually figured out part of the issue. I'm doing a tannin water set up with almond leaves. I didn't realize just how much dust, I guess, that the decaying leaves leave. So I get a lot of dust and think I need to squeeze the filter or deal with it. especially since I had a lot of brown diatom algae and thread algae growing on the the leaf dust. Now I'm more aware of what's going on and will leave the sponge alone for awhile.

This is my first sponge filter (this is my 2nd tank ever and I started the hobby at the beginning of this year). how do I know when to clean the sponge filter? especially since it's such a small tank?


Plants:
When you say 'starving' what do you mean? as in disintegration? turning yellow?
What are you using as far as other ferts? low tech, low light generally doesnt require nitrogen like that IMO. You would be better off with flourish and excel then check your plant leaves and if showing certain signs potentially add potassium.
I would be very careful about adding nitrogen. Your plants could very well just be using your nitrogen your tank is already producing. I have never had an algae bloom due to low nitrogen.... too much light, not dosing excel, uncycled tank, overfeeding, yes.
so I noticed the more faster growing plants melting more despite being in the tank for awhile. Ferts I had in the tank at the time were only some seachem flourish root tabs and I was dosing with flourish comp and api leaf zone but not regularly since I'm still trying to figure out a good fert schedule. I'm not really looking to do EI but I gotta research some more. I also hadn't started the CO2 booster because I didn't have any significant nitrogen for the plants to use. Even my ammonia was very low. I'm dosing the tank wiht nitrogen to go to about 10-20 nitrate at highest. So far, it's working. I was at 20ppm when I first dosed on 3/30. Today, nitrates are at 10ppm. I added the floating water wisteria I had wanted to add and they are growing with no melt so I figure everything is better.
So tl;dr:
nitrates now between 10-20 with nitrogen fert dosing when nitrate 5ppm or less
co2 booster 1x a day
api leaf zone and seachem flourish comp added to tank during the week dosing with a dropper to try to keep the nutrients in the water column.

Since my massive water change, I have green dust algae on the glass but that's ok. that's why I have nerite snails.
 
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