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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 46 gallon has been up and running with plants for about 3 days now, running a fluval that has been on another tank for almost two years, to seed the tank. I tested the water today and I got:

Ammonia 4+

Nitrite .5

Nitrates 0

Does this sound right? I was under the impression the plants would be using all the ammonia? I may be a little anxious of course to have things perfect, it has only been 3 days....
 

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With respect to a newly setup tank, that is normal. The plants are either not performing or there's not enough of them, wrong species maybe. What plants do you have and how many? The best bet is fast growing stem plants like Hygrophila, hornwort, lots of it too. CO2 makes plants perform sometimes 10 times faster it seems, I never expect plants in a low tech tank to cover the nitrogen of a new cycle, but it may be possible. Most of the low techs I've done were in cycled tanks downgraded from high tech.

Do you have fish in there? You must with Amm that high or you are feeding it some other way? That is the danger zone for fish, so you'll want to do back to back water changes to keep amm and nI at or below 0.25ppm, unless you're planning to fillet these guys for a fish-fry. :wink:

I hope this isn't another case where planted folks made a newcomer believe their new fish would be fine if they put plants in the tank. There's more to making that work, like knowing how to grow the plants, and it's very bad, misleading advice IMO.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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IME plants help tanks cycle more quickly, but it's tough making sure you've got enough fast-growers to eliminate a cycle all together.

I HAVE immediately cycled tanks by moving over established filters, though... do you have fish in this tank already?

If not, do you know where the ammonia's coming from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, there are no fish in the tank. I just set it up three days ago with eco complete, the fluval from another established tank, and anubias, anacharis, java moss, java fern, crypts, ludwigia, water wisteria. Not sure where the ammonia is coming from....maybe my test kit is bad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, so I tested the water out of the tap, and I got a reading of about 1ppm for ammonia? Is that normal for tap water to have ammonia in it? Then I tested the filtered water from the fridge dispenser and that reads a 0. Its a little scary to think the water I used for water changes has ammonia in it...
 

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Yes, it's normal, shouldn't be but lots of people have it and don't even realize it. My old city water had 1ppm ammonia and 4ppm nitrite. Of course the city didn't acknowledge it no matter how many test kits I used, and you can't deny 0 readings in a tank going up to 4 along with fish dying. I thought my tank cycle was crashing and decided to test the tap after compounding the issue by doing tons of water changes, after that I bought an RODI. the good side is that you can fishless cycle a tank with your tap water. I seed the tank with a mature filter, fill it with tap water, watch for amm and nI to hit 0 then add a fish. Works every time, 12 days max.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for the responses. Makes me feel a little better! Do you suggest using amquel or a similiar detoxifier to take out the chlorine and ammonia? Right now I have only been letting my water sit out in jugs to dechlorinate, or using a dechlorinator if I needed water quick.
 

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I use Prime because the tap water ammonia level is so high in my area. I still let the water age a week so it has time to de-gas before I add it to the tanks.
 

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Yes, use Amquel Plus, only if your KH is 5 or more, any less then that Amquel+ can crash pH big time. Keep in mind if you use Prime, it will release everything to the biofilter after 48hrs. If you continue to cycle with the same water then the biofilter (bacteria) will reach a level to deal with this, but it is still something to keep in mind, it becomes a factor if you're ever using this water in a container with no biofilter, like a hospital tank or temporary quarantine.
 

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Sorry I don't mean to hijack - when you use Prime, after 48 hours does it release the ammonia in its original form or does the Prime convert it to ammonium? I ask because I haven't found any traces of ammonia/ammonium in my tank after I switched over to Prime but I know it must be going somewhere and I don't think my bacteria colony is strong enough to break down the level of ammonia I'm getting out of my tap.
 

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Not sure, ask a tech on the Seachem site. As far as I know, it releases it slowly, so it may be so slow you don't catch anything before it's converted to nitrite/nitrate.
 

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My 46 gallon has been up and running with plants for about 3 days now, running a fluval that has been on another tank for almost two years, to seed the tank. I tested the water today and I got:

Ammonia 4+

Nitrite .5

Nitrates 0

Does this sound right? I was under the impression the plants would be using all the ammonia? I may be a little anxious of course to have things perfect, it has only been 3 days....
What are you using to treat your tap water? Apparently some water conditioners convert chloramine into ammonia/ammonium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't treated the tap water. I have large water jugs I fill and let sit to dechlorinate, so I've never used a dechlorinator before. After testing the tap for ammonia though, now I need to start using a product to get rid of it for future water changes. I do have stress coat+ which is also supposed to get rid of the ammonia and ammonium. Is a specific product better to use since I'll have to be using it constantly?
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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I personally like Prime, since it detoxes ammonia into a form that the N-bacteria can still utilize. I believe Amquel+ works the same.

Be careful just leaving tap water out to age- chlorine may evaporate out, but chloramines do not evaporate out as easily, which is why most water treatment facilities actually use this chemical pretty regularly (and sometimes will switch or increase concentrations in their facility without any warning).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well thats the problem. I am assuming the water company only recently started using chloramines instead of chlorine because I've never tested positive for ammonia in any of my cycled tanks. I never needed to use a dechlorinator because I just left it out to dechlorinate, assuming there wasn't any ammonia. Obviously this new planted tank is going to have it, but I have also recently tested ammonia in my Oscar's tank as well, which has been up and running for 2 years! So now that I know, I'll start using Prime with each water change.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Be aware that you'll still be able to measure the ammonia when using Prime.
That depends on which test kits are being used, since different brands use different reagents to test for ammonia. I know the API test kits won't read anything besides free ammonia. I can't remember which reagent each of the other brands use, but you can always Google it.
 
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