The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time posting because these water parameters have got me scratching my head. Had a 55 gallon tank for many years, but gave it up when I moved. Just now getting back into the hobby after more than a decade away, so it's the first time in a while that I've started out a tank from scratch.

20 gallon (high) tank, Fluval 207 canister filter, Seachem Flourite Dark substrate, medium/high light, no CO2

Started with fishless cycling, using Aquavitro Seed Bacteria (at recommendation of LFS) for 1 week as directed.
Added some java moss 07/31/2021
Water test at LFS 08/01/2021: NH3: 0, NO2: 0
Added fish 08/04/2021: 2 zebra danio (+ anacharis)
Added fish 08/07/2021: 4 additional zebra danio, 3 red wag platy

Here have been my water parameters using the API kit: (I have been testing almost every day, but am eliminating some of the redundant test results)
DateNH3NO2NO3
08/04100
08/0610.250
08/0710.50
08/08125
08/090.5210
08/10025
08/15025
08/170210
08/180.25510
08/220.2525
08/28105
08/30205
09/01200
pH generally stable at 7.8-8.0.
KH (on the occasions I have had it tested at LFS): 9-10

Water changes have been around 25% every 2-3 days at first. Started increasing the interval between water changes around 08/14, but when I saw the ammonia level go back above 1, started doing them more frequently again. Did 25% water changes on 08/28 and 08/30. Using API Tap Water Conditioner.

Given the presence of nitrates in August, I was under the assumption that my tank had cycled, so I am a little bit of a loss to explain the numbers now. Seems unlikely that my bb would have died. Is it possible that the java moss and anarcharis are consuming the nitrite and nitrate faster than the fish can generate it? If so, why are the bb not keeping up in connecting the ammonia to nitrite?

Fish seem happy, and both the anacharis and java moss are growing, but the numbers have me slightly concerned. Any thoughts/ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Your numbers actually kinda make sense. If for some reason your cycle crashed then Amonia is not being converted so Amonia accumulates and Nitrates don't rise.

The reason why your fish are not dead yet is probably because your water conditioner is neutralizing it.

Btw, you said you added fish on 08/04 and 08/07 but according to your chart your Amonia was 1ppm and you had Nitrates 5ppm at some point.

Why did you think it was Ok to start adding fish if your water parameters were not good?

I think you rushed adding the fish before the cycling was finished and your tank is not able to process all Ammonia produced by fish yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your numbers actually kinda make sense. If for some reason your cycle crashed then Amonia is not being converted so Amonia accumulates and Nitrates don't rise.

The reason why your fish are not dead yet is probably because your water conditioner is neutralizing it.

Btw, you said you added fish on 08/04 and 08/07 but according to your chart your Amonia was 1ppm and you had Nitrates 5ppm at some point.

Why did you think it was Ok to start adding fish if your water parameters were not good?

I think you rushed adding the fish before the cycling was finished and your tank is not able to process all Ammonia produced by fish yet.
Yes, I did add fish earlier than my initial plan, based partially on my LFS advice and partially on the pressure my daughters were putting on me to get fish. (hard to say no to them :))

But the numbers still don't make sense to me: I added the last few fish on 08/07 - ammonia levels on 08/10, 08/11, 08/12, 08/15, 08/16, 08/17 were 0. So clearly the bb were handling the ammonia load, even with just 1 water change over that timespan.

Also, my understanding is that API Tap Water Conditioner only takes care of chlorine and chloramine, but does not do anything to ammonia. (Unlike Prime, which detoxifies ammonia.) So it seems unlikely that it's the reason my fish aren't succumbing to the ammonia level.

The thing that's confusing for me is that I've done a fish-in cycle before (and I'm well aware of what the water parameters should like during cycling), but the difference was that I added the plants after my tank had been fully cycled for months. This is the first time cycling with plants in place, so I'm not sure what to expect from the water parameters, given that the plants will consume some nitrates (and nitrites, depending on the plant). I had assumed that the plants were what was keeping the nitrates from rising to the usual fish-in cycle levels of 20-40ppm. But now I'm not so sure.

The more important question, however, is what do I do now? Let's assume you're correct and my tank never fully cycled. Just wait it out as if I'm starting a fish-in cycle? Keep checking parameters and doing water changes based on the ammonia level? Switch to using Prime? Any recommendations?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
I just did a quick read on API Tap Water Condition and looks like you are right, it doesn't say to be detoxifying ammonia.

In this case all I can say is that your test results are incorrect. Your fish would not survive with 2ppm ammonia.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top