10gallon fishless cycle confusion
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10gallon fishless cycle confusion

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10gallon fishless cycle confusion
Old 05-03-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
 
10gallon fishless cycle confusion

Hey everyone, thanks for checking this out and for whatever you can contribute.

So I have set up my 10 gallon tank. I've got the a flourite substrate in the and 3 plants (H. difformis, M. pteropus, and A. nana). Here is the story. So its day 3 now of the tank being set up. I am trying for the first time a fishless cycle. My ammonia source is food, slightly less than half a tablespoon of freeze dried plankton to be exact. It is wrapped up and tied to the driftwood. (there appears to be a transparent goo growing on it, which i believe to be a bacterial colony establishing itself.) BUT test results over the past three days are confusing.

I am using old API liquid test kit. Any results shown in brackets "[XX]" are the results from old Jungle test strips - I know, shame on me, but I don't have liquid test kit for nitrates and the hardness instructions are missing :( I thought it would be good to have 2 opinions either way.

Day 1
Substrate placed in tank, no ammonia source added. Water was treated with Prime prior to entering the tank.

Day 2 - Plants added, 0.5 mL dose of Aqueon Plant food and 2 Jungle Plant tabs added within 1-3 inches of plants
Ammonia = 0.5 - 1.0 ppm
Nitrites = 0 ppm [0.5 ppm]
Nitrates = Did not test
pH = 7.0 (relatively low and odd reading from what is consistent. I think it is from my hands being in the tank for so long during planting.)
Hardness = [>300 ppm]
Chlorine [0.5 ppm]

Day 3
Ammonia = 2.0 - 3.0 ppm [0.5 ppm]
Nitrites = 0 ppm [0.5 ppm]
Nitrates = [40 ppm]
pH = 7.5
Hardness = [>300 ppm]
Chlorine = [0.5 ppm]

Day 4 - Today
Ammonia = 0.5 - 1.0 ppm [0.5 ppm]
Nitrites = 0 ppm
Nitrates = [80 ppm]
pH = 7.5
Hardness = Did not test
Chlorine = Did not test

So. First, should I be expecting to see results in the first 3 days? Is the ammonia source sufficient to produce results? Am I not seeing ammonia because the plants in the tank are using it?

I have pictures and extra information posting under my tanks aquarium log, but I will post it here so you don't have to make the trip.

AquaClear Mini
15 watt life-glo II, 6700k
50 watt heate
75 degrees fahrenheit
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:49 PM   #2
 
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I would suggest that the plants are consuming the ammonia/ammonium. The nitrification cycle might not even establish itself. However, this is good in that you can add a fish or two from the start and not worry about "cycling" as long as there are live plants. I would remove the "food" (white may be fungus), it is not necessary, and add a fish. You don't mention which fish you want in this tank, but as it is a 10g I would add one fish, then two more a couple of days later. Hygrophila difformis (Wisteria) is a fast-growing plant and good in new tanks for that reason, it consumes a lot of nutrients.

Byron.
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:35 PM   #3
 
Ahhh so it is the plants going to town. Good to know. Also I have the java fern tied to driftwood with some sewing string. Generally, how long does it take for the roots to establish a hold of their own?

And as far as fish go, I see that liveaquaria.com has the danio margaritatus that I'd love to have in this tank! But I also plan to put some otocinclus in their as well. I think I will start out with the oto's since they are ubiquitous among local sellers.

Thank you!

And on a complete side note, the Hygrophila difformis i have was grown through a form of hydroponics using a gel. You can see on the pictures I have that the leaves are not typical, resulting of their non-submersed upbringing. So i will get to see H. difformis quite literally live up to its name. Has anyone done this as well? How long do i expect to see the plant take is traditional aquarium look?
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:55 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Ahhh so it is the plants going to town. Good to know. Also I have the java fern tied to driftwood with some sewing string. Generally, how long does it take for the roots to establish a hold of their own?
Not sure exactly but I've had it root fairly well within a couple of months or less. The string is fine, presumably it is cotton and will disintegrate on its own, or you can remove it once the plant is anchored a bit.

Quote:
And as far as fish go, I see that liveaquaria.com has the danio margaritatus that I'd love to have in this tank! But I also plan to put some otocinclus in their as well. I think I will start out with the oto's since they are ubiquitous among local sellers.
Otos do not fare well in new tanks. They really must have algae when they are introduced or they frequently starve. And water fluctuations are critical to them, the tank should be well established and well planted with some green or brown algae. Once they settle in, they will hopefully become accustomed to tablet and pellet foods, and possibly veggies like cucumber, lettuce, zucchini. But that initial algae is important. And especially with the more delicate and sensitive species like O. cocama which you mention in the tank profile. All otos will be wild-caught and thus very sensitive to water parameters and conditions. This is one group of fish that I would always leave in the store tanks for at least a week if not two after they first arrive before I purchased any; mortality is often very high among initial imports, and better they die in the store than in your aquarium. They occur in acidic very soft water, so if your tap water is hard and alkaline, be careful in how you acclimate them; they do not like drastic fluctuations.

Of the two fish species, the celestial danios would be the hardier and given their very small size, the group could be introduced at once with no issues. First though I would get some more plants. Both these fish species prefer thickly planted tanks.

Quote:
And on a complete side note, the Hygrophila difformis i have was grown through a form of hydroponics using a gel. You can see on the pictures I have that the leaves are not typical, resulting of their non-submersed upbringing. So i will get to see H. difformis quite literally live up to its name. Has anyone done this as well? How long do i expect to see the plant take is traditional aquarium look?
I have never seen H. difformis offered for sale in this form. The leaf shape and size is determined by the tank conditions once in the aquarium. Lower light will cause the lower leaves to fall off initially, but new leaves will grow that will resemble those in your photos. Water temperature also affects leaf shape/size. Lower temperatures result in smaller and thicker leaves, like those in your photos, whereas warmer temperatures cause larger leaves that will be more divided. The division is then subject to light; brighter light such as nearer the surface will cause very delicate-looking fern-like leaves. This plant grows very fast and is a good water filter, so a few more strands of the common form would fill in your 10g within a couple of weeks. My 70g SE Asian aquarium is full of this species, rooted but allowed to wind along the surface, so I have both leaf forms on the same plants; there are a couple photos under my Aquariums.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 05-03-2010 at 06:00 PM..
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