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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new 55g has been set up for exactly one week. The day after I filled it, the water started getting cloudy, and it seems like it's been getting worse every day. Now it's so bad that if I look through the tank lengthwise, I can't see to the other end. The cloudiness has a slight greenish tint. Sorry I don't have a picture, but all my specs are below.

I know it's normal for newly set up tanks to experience algae blooms and cloudy water; but in my experience I've never had it last a whole week with no signs of improvement. So, do you think this is just a symptom of the new tank going through its phases and I should be patient and give it a chance to balance out? Or do you think there's something fundamentally wrong with my setup (for example, too much light)?

  • 55 gallon (48x13x21)
  • Eheim 2217 canister
  • Pressurized CO2 with inline diffuser
  • 48" Finnex Ray2 + MonsterRay (9 hr. photoperiod)
  • 100 lbs. of Eco-Complete
  • 30 lbs. of rock hardscape (mica schist)
  • Moderately planted (glosso, cabomba, giant hygro, red melon sword, Italian vals, nesaea sp. red, didplis diandra)
  • No fauna except tiny snails that hitched a ride on the plants
  • Water temp = 76*F
  • pH = somewhere in the 7.4 ~ 7.6 range (best I can figure with the API kit)
  • Ammonia = 3ppm (added ammonia from Ace Hardware to start fishless cycle)
  • Nitrite = above 1ppm (again, with the API kit anything >1ppm looks pretty much the same)
  • Nitrate = somewhere between 5ppm and 20ppm
  • KH = 7.5
  • GH = 13 (!)
  • Phosphate = 0
  • CO2 drop checker = green
 

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Hard to say without a picture of it.

Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk
 

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Until you get a fairly good growth of plants going in there you will need to cut the Monster and do 7 hrs/w the Ray II.
But plant growth won't happen at any good rate till you add ferts.
Try this for the info you are lacking on this.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=107303
It needs all three to be sucessful...you have two...
 

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Might this be something stirred up from the substrate? I think your plants are probably okay at this point with all of the ammonia that is in there, but it may be best to cut the light a little. Do you plan to dose any other ferts or just have the ammonia as their source for nutrients? May not cover all they need for your light level, which I am unsure of what light level you would have with both fixtures. Maybe something you planned to add later after cycle had completed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Until you get a fairly good growth of plants going in there you will need to cut the Monster and do 7 hrs/w the Ray II. But plant growth won't happen at any good rate till you add ferts....
Might this be something stirred up from the substrate? I think your plants are probably okay at this point with all of the ammonia that is in there, but it may be best to cut the light a little. Do you plan to dose any other ferts or just have the ammonia as their source for nutrients? May not cover all they need for your light level, which I am unsure of what light level you would have with both fixtures. Maybe something you planned to add later after cycle had completed?
I don't think it's anything stirred up from the substrate. It's brand new Eco-Complete; and it wasn't cloudy until a few days after filling; and I didn't do anything at that point to stir it up.

I will try reducing the photoperiod by a couple hours and maybe eliminate the MonsterRay for now.

Yes, I am planning to dose fertilizers eventually (NPK and micros). In fact, I did add a capful of Flourish Comprehensive on days 3 & 4 after filling the tank, just to get things started a little bit. But then the cloudiness started getting bad, and I'm afraid to add any more ferts. If I put ferts in there now, wouldn't I just be feeding the algae bloom?
 

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The plants need some phosphate to process nitrogen. I would forget about the ammonia and start a fertilizer regime for the plants. Right now I would do a large water change to keep the bacteria in check a bit.
 

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[*]48" Finnex Ray2 + MonsterRay (9 hr. photoperiod)
[*]Ammonia = 3ppm (added ammonia from Ace Hardware to start fishless cycle)
There's you problem right there. Did you add the nh3 and have the lights on 9 hr cycle? Completely unnecessary to add the ammonia. You plant, run lights around 5-7 hrs tops and then wait a few weeks and slowly add fish, no problems. This whole idea of adding nh3 to start a planted tank really makes no sense to me and creates a lot of problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There's you problem right there. Did you add the nh3 and have the lights on 9 hr cycle? Completely unnecessary to add the ammonia. You plant, run lights around 5-7 hrs tops and then wait a few weeks and slowly add fish, no problems. This whole idea of adding nh3 to start a planted tank really makes no sense to me and creates a lot of problems.
That's how I always start a fishless cycle by adding just a little bit of ammo. It's like an invitation to dinner for the beneficial bacteria. No?
 

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There's you problem right there. Did you add the nh3 and have the lights on 9 hr cycle? Completely unnecessary to add the ammonia. You plant, run lights around 5-7 hrs tops and then wait a few weeks and slowly add fish, no problems. This whole idea of adding nh3 to start a planted tank really makes no sense to me and creates a lot of problems.
I don't quite understand why people go to the trouble of doing fish less cycling in a planted tank either. I don't understand a fish less cycle in any tank for that matter.
That's how I always start a fishless cycle by adding just a little bit of ammo. It's like an invitation to dinner for the beneficial bacteria. No?
If you have you tank planted from the start there is no need to add any ammonia as the plants themselves will provide what you need to get the cycle started. Adding more NH3 is as houseofcards stated a way to create problems that could be prevented. If you want to add anything sprinkle some fish food in the tank to help get things going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Completely unnecessary to add the ammonia. You plant, run lights around 5-7 hrs tops and then wait a few weeks and slowly add fish, no problems. This whole idea of adding nh3 to start a planted tank really makes no sense to me and creates a lot of problems.
If you have you tank planted from the start there is no need to add any ammonia as the plants themselves will provide what you need to get the cycle started. Adding more NH3 is as houseofcards stated a way to create problems that could be prevented.
Okay. I dosed ammonia to start the cycle when I set up my heavily planted 20g, and I had no problems. But your way sounds much easier. I'll try it your way this time...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This cloudy water issue has been resolved for a couple weeks now. I just wanted to revisit this thread briefly to set the record straight. The problem had nothing to do with (as some had suggested above) adding ammonia, or performing a fishless cycle, or high lighting. The problem was entirely due to some non-aquarium-friendly rocks that I was using as hardscape. Removed the rocks. Did massive water change. Problem solved.

So, to any and all aquarists of the future who might be reading this thread, don't be afraid of ammonia-dosing/fishless cycling. It's not the only way to start a tank, but it is one of several safe, reliable methods. But, whatever you do, do NOT use mica schist as your hardscape!

The discussion of mica schist can be found in this thread: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=570002
 
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