01-01-2010, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by stephanieleah
Byron I know you mentioned this in another thread about planted tanks and their ability to handle the ammonia from day one. I have a question about this...I just set up a new 10 gallon which I've been cycling with fish food, and seeding from my other tank, for about four or five days now. I set it up and planted 1 anubias, 4 kyoto grass (very small), a few small valisneria from my old tank, and three or four small swords. I wouldn't consider it "heavily planted" yet How many plants do you think I would need to support the ammonia/nitrite load during the cycling. My ammonia has gone from .5ppm (tap water level) to 1ppm since yesterday. My plants in my 29 gallon definitely do the job of keeping the nitrate down, never has gone above 5ish.
Stephanie, the Vallisneria are fairly quick growers, and fast growing plants use the ammonia/ammonium faster, so that helps. Anubias is the opposite, and in my experience works slower in new tanks. The grass I'm not familiar with. In a 10g you are probably fine, but I would only add a couple of smallish fish to start and monitor ammonia. If it goes as it should, ammonia will be zero [or no higher than the tap water level] from day one, and there is no need to test for nitrite because it won't be there at measurable levels if the ammonia is being used. There will be some nitrifying bacteria established, but fewer in number than would occur or be needed without live plants.
As you have ammonia in there from the food, the plants should be happy and establish quickly. A good water conditioner that neutralizes ammonia will work fine at pwc, as most of these detoxify ammonia by converting it to ammonium, which is exactly what the plants want so it saves the plants having to convert it across the cells.