Fishless Plant Advice
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Fishless Plant Advice

This is a discussion on Fishless Plant Advice within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I'll start this post with a reference to my first post re: water parameters. Originally I had crashed my fishless cycle with my ammonia ...

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Fishless Plant Advice
Old 07-25-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
 
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Fishless Plant Advice

I'll start this post with a reference to my first post re: water parameters. Originally I had crashed my fishless cycle with my ammonia at .50ppm and my nitrites at .50ppm. I added a couple stems of Brazilian Pennywort (literally 4 little stems), because it was all I could find. I even had to drive 25 miles to get it!

Two days later my ammonia was at 0, but my nitrites were still at .50ppm. I have no idea why I didn't do a water change first, so I quickly did a 50% water change (w/prime) and added a petite anubis and a regular sized anubis - again it was all I could find. I guess plants are tough to find in my area.

Because my tap water has .50ppm of ammonia, the ammonia is back up to .50ppm. However, due to the water change, my nitrites are down to .25ppm.

I certainly don't expect miracles with the small amount of plants I've added. Sounds like my cycle is still attempting to happen based on my nitrites? But I'm worried I'm going to now kill the few plants I have. Thank goodness I don't have fish in there.

This cycle stuff is really bumming me out! I'm on 8 weeks!
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:38 AM   #2
 
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its called new tank syndrome.first week amonia second week amonia goes dow nitrite show up
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:32 AM   #3
 
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The plants will be fine.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:40 PM   #4
 
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The last time I endured new tank syndrome, I had a fish-in. It was awful. This is my first fishless cycle. My ammonia went up, then down. My nitrites then spiked and were coming down. I was on 5 weeks. Then I crashed my cycle by adding unconditioned tap - killed all my bacteria. SO FRUSTRATING! Since then I've added a few plants, but when I did a water change, my ammonia went back up to .50ppm (I have .50ppm ammonia in my tap). So my ammonia is stuck at .50 ppm and my nitrites are at .25 ppm (they went down when I did a water change) and here I sit. Looks like I have at least another 4 weeks, because I'm assuming I'm starting over? I don't have any other media sources, because my current cycled 25 gal just endured ICH. Assuming I'm stuck to wait it out again - yes?
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by flowerslegacy View Post
The last time I endured new tank syndrome, I had a fish-in. It was awful. This is my first fishless cycle. My ammonia went up, then down. My nitrites then spiked and were coming down. I was on 5 weeks. Then I crashed my cycle by adding unconditioned tap - killed all my bacteria. SO FRUSTRATING! Since then I've added a few plants, but when I did a water change, my ammonia went back up to .50ppm (I have .50ppm ammonia in my tap). So my ammonia is stuck at .50 ppm and my nitrites are at .25 ppm (they went down when I did a water change) and here I sit. Looks like I have at least another 4 weeks, because I'm assuming I'm starting over? I don't have any other media sources, because my current cycled 25 gal just endured ICH. Assuming I'm stuck to wait it out again - yes?
What are you adding to the tank for the ammonia source for the cycling?
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
 
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I'm not using an outside source of ammonia because I assumed the .50ppm in my tap was efficient. Because I'm only adding two bettas I didn't think I'd need to raise it any higher. Is that my issue?
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:17 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by flowerslegacy View Post
I'm not using an outside source of ammonia because I assumed the .50ppm in my tap was efficient. Because I'm only adding two bettas I didn't think I'd need to raise it any higher. Is that my issue?
Just wanted to be clear. With live plants and only two Betta, I would not worry about a "cycle." However, the tap water ammonia has to be dealt with. Using a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia will handle the initial influx at a water change. These products change ammonia into ammonium, harmless to the fish, but assimilated by plants as their nitrogen source, and by bacteria same as ammonia. Test kits will still read ammonium/ammonia as "ammonia" so don't worry on that score.

I would add the fish. What plants do you have? Floating plants are ideal because not only do Betta need them, they assimilate nutrients (including ammonia/ammonium) faster because they obtain their CO2 from the air where it is in greater supply than the tank water. Water Sprite is ideal, but some stem plants can be left floating for a nice effect. Brazilian Pennywort is my fav for this, but Wisteria and Cabomba also work.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:29 PM   #8
 
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Thank you Byron! I took your previous advice and bought some Brazilian Pennywort. I only found a few stems, so I'll try and get some more (it's really popular!). So tell me what you think of this: Since I still have .25ppm of nitrites from the old cycle, I was thinking of doing a 100% water change. This will put my nitrites back to 0. I use Prime, so that should take care of the initial ammonia in my tap until the plants kick in. My question is regarding the nitrites as the tank begins the cycle. I know that Prime will detoxify it, but it still worries me because it's sooo harmful to fish. I know I'll need to do frequent water changes during the cycling stage, and I don't care about that. Again, I will only have two bettas for a 10 gal divided. Sound good? Should my fish be okay?
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:27 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by flowerslegacy View Post
Thank you Byron! I took your previous advice and bought some Brazilian Pennywort. I only found a few stems, so I'll try and get some more (it's really popular!). So tell me what you think of this: Since I still have .25ppm of nitrites from the old cycle, I was thinking of doing a 100% water change. This will put my nitrites back to 0. I use Prime, so that should take care of the initial ammonia in my tap until the plants kick in. My question is regarding the nitrites as the tank begins the cycle. I know that Prime will detoxify it, but it still worries me because it's sooo harmful to fish. I know I'll need to do frequent water changes during the cycling stage, and I don't care about that. Again, I will only have two bettas for a 10 gal divided. Sound good? Should my fish be okay?
The Pennywort will rapidly grow once it is established; I found it can take a few weeks, then suddenly it grows.

The idea behind live plants in new tanks is to avoid any "cycle" as such. Plants need nitrogen, and they prefer ammonium (ammonia) as their nitrogen source. Provided there are enough plants--and fast growers like stem plants and floating plants are ideal--and minimal fish, there will be no discernible ammonia/nitrite. The little from the fish like a Betta will be grabbed mostly by the plants which out-compete the bacteria. As very little ammonia gets converted to nitrite by bacteria, nitrite is not an issue. If you can add one Betta first, then after a week add the second, it should be fine. even both Betta together with enough plants will work.

Byron.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:30 PM   #10
 
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Awesome!! Thank you Thank you! I've wanted a planted aquarium for quite some time but I've been afraid to jump in. I really appreciate all of your help. I'm going out tomorrow to buy quite a few more plants. I'll do the water change w/the Prime, add the plants and then add one betta. I'll follow your process. Thanks again!
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