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confused on tank cycling

This is a discussion on confused on tank cycling within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by aura09 I can explain the nitrogen cycle better since noone really did lol and sice you have live plants which is ...

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confused on tank cycling
Old 04-05-2011, 10:59 PM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by aura09 View Post
I can explain the nitrogen cycle better since noone really did lol and sice you have live plants which is awesome however ..its not good to add a lot of plants at once kinda like you wouldnt add 20 fish at once you wouldnt add 40 plants at once either ...indeed there are advantages to the staggered approach. the overall display should be the result of a build-up of plants that become gradually established. ANYWAYS lol Plants convert light, co2 and nutrients into biological matter > plant material and foods are consumed by fish > fish waste is excreted directly and indirectly as ammonia ( thats the bad stuff lol) highly toxic! > soooooooooo nitrosomonas bacteria in the filter and aquarium subtrate use oxygen to break down ammonia into nitrites > nitrobacter bacteria in the filter and subtrate break down nitrites into nitrates > nirates are only toxic at high levels and are partially taken up by plants as a source of nutrients> the majority of nitates are removed by water changes although some are converted by subtrate bacteria. and it takes more then a few days for the bacteria to get established prob 4-6 weeks but keep testing your water you should always wait the longest you can before adding fish min a week !!! keep testing every few days and only add a few fish at a time obv/ since you already have some which is cool i love those tetras i have some as well :) just make sure that ammonia gets to 0 before you add anything else :)
:)
While you are correct here. This is not the exact cycle Boredom is trying to start in his tank. Its often suggested amongst planted tank keeps that you don't need to cycle. Your correct that plants consume nitrate, but not very much really. They much more prefer ammonia then nitrate. This is why we usually don't bother with the fishless cycle. Plants tend to give you wonky readings, and the high ammonia levels=instant algae. Eventually his tank will cycle to support a normal bio-filter, the plants cause what is referred to as "silent cycling". You start out and stock slowly. Plants consume the excess ammonia and eventually the biofilter will kick in. There is then El Natural method which relies entirely on the cycle of fish>ammonia>plants. Thats all there is, you have no filter so there is no encouragement of a bacterial cycle. With a filter eventually the bacteria will establish and consume the ammonia even with plants in the tank. Though there will be a overlap of both.

There is no problem with adding lots of plants to a tank. Its actually recommend especially on a brand new tank. New planted tanks have LOTS of nutrients in the water, which is what we are seeing here with ammonia. You add lots of plants to consume those nutrients, start with just a few and you will have algae problems very quickly.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:59 PM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by Rip View Post
i would think that 40+ plants would consume nearly all the ammonia produced by a school of 5 tetras. that's probably why your ammonia is staying at .25ppm
okay you are going to have to go a little deeper into that one for me?
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:22 AM   #23
 
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Okay Soo I've been doing some reading and I think I know what part of my problem might be when I do water changes I have been cleaning the gravel alittle bit also I will stop doing this for now untill the tank cycles completely I am thinking this part of my problem as for the rest am hoping y'all can tell me. I know I am probably doing something else that is wrong just haven't figured it out?
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:39 AM   #24
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there's nothing wrong with your test results. probably due to your tank being so heavily planted. the amount of ammonia your fish are producing is being directly consumed by the living plants, therefore leaving only small, acceptable amounts of ammonia in your water. the small amounts of remaining ammonia will work on starting the cycle process. plus 5 tetras doesn't seem like that many fish for a heavily planted 55 gallon aquarium, but i still wouldn't increase it yet. keep in mind i'm still new too, but i think i have it figured out.

and if your tank has only been set up less than a week, that's not even that long.

Last edited by Rip; 04-06-2011 at 12:42 AM..
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:56 PM   #25
 
Boredomb I agree that cleaning the gravel isn't necessary. A densely planted tank needs no gravel/substrate cleaning. Usually what I do is suck up anything on top of the substrate, no need to actually pull the gravel up into the gravel vac. I'm not sure how you added the eco complete, but if you still have cloudiness issues you can do WC to help with that. I often find it helpful to do a couple large WC on new planted tanks to simply keep nutrients low while plants are establishing in the first week. Helps avoid algae issues IMO.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:11 PM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
Boredomb I agree that cleaning the gravel isn't necessary. A densely planted tank needs no gravel/substrate cleaning. Usually what I do is suck up anything on top of the substrate, no need to actually pull the gravel up into the gravel vac. I'm not sure how you added the eco complete, but if you still have cloudiness issues you can do WC to help with that. I often find it helpful to do a couple large WC on new planted tanks to simply keep nutrients low while plants are establishing in the first week. Helps avoid algae issues IMO.
Okay thanks as of right now I don't have cloudiness issus nor do I have any algae. Just seem to the paremeters off? Didn't have time to check them today will check them first thing in the morning and see what I got. Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:30 PM   #27
 
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well actually its not recommended to add a lot of plants at once as u need to allow for growth.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:29 PM   #28
 
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well actually its not recommended to add a lot of plants at once as u need to allow for growth.
How does the number of plants effect growth?

Its not the plants that effect growth its the amount of light and nutrients available. Plants grow and you trim them back when you feel like it. You have too many plants only when your fish have no where left to swim. When a planted tank is first setup, especially with a plant specific substrate lots of nutrients are initially present in the water. The guaranteed recipe for algae is lots of light/nutrients + low amount of plants or low amount of growth. It doesn't matter too much in a low light tank, but moderate and high light you are asking for algae if you don't plant heavy initially. Lots of plants and lots of fast stem plants specifically is considered good.
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