04-05-2011, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by aura09
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.