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post #1 of 3 Old 01-21-2011, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
Little advice with fishless cycle (shrimp)

So I had my decaying shrimp in my 10 gallon for a week now. The ammonia levels reached 8ppm and probably more. I took the shrimp out tonight because I figured it had more than enough bacteria to start the cycle. I did about a 40 percent water change because I wanted to get all the shrimp pieces out of there. I replaced it with decholorinated tap water, the same water that was in there. I also raised my temp up to 85 degrees because i heard that it helps speed up the process. I tested my ammonia levels just to see if there was enough still in there after the water change, and it didn't move much. Still over 8 ppm. I saw the nitrites lowered back down to zero though after the water change. They were at 0.25. Not a big deal I don't think. SO anyways, my question now is, what about live plants? I will be getting 5 Amazon Sword plants and 20 frogbit leaves in about a week from now. Should I add all these plants to the tank when I get them? Will it help bring ammonia levels down to zero and start spiking Nitrite levels? Should I wait until after my tank is done cycling to add the plants? I think I should add them when I get them...Anyways, thanks for your input!
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-21-2011, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jschristian44 View Post
So I had my decaying shrimp in my 10 gallon for a week now. The ammonia levels reached 8ppm and probably more. I took the shrimp out tonight because I figured it had more than enough bacteria to start the cycle. I did about a 40 percent water change because I wanted to get all the shrimp pieces out of there. I replaced it with decholorinated tap water, the same water that was in there. I also raised my temp up to 85 degrees because i heard that it helps speed up the process. I tested my ammonia levels just to see if there was enough still in there after the water change, and it didn't move much. Still over 8 ppm. I saw the nitrites lowered back down to zero though after the water change. They were at 0.25. Not a big deal I don't think. SO anyways, my question now is, what about live plants? I will be getting 5 Amazon Sword plants and 20 frogbit leaves in about a week from now. Should I add all these plants to the tank when I get them? Will it help bring ammonia levels down to zero and start spiking Nitrite levels? Should I wait until after my tank is done cycling to add the plants? I think I should add them when I get them...Anyways, thanks for your input!
The plants will take in ammonia but not the nitrite. You could put them in after the cycle, or you could just rely on the plants to get rid of all the ammonia your fish would produce. You will probably need to plant it more heavily though. You can put them in now and they will lower the ammonia levels, but the tank will not be cycled. Also 8 ppm is pretty high, if you got it down a little the tank will cycle faster.
I don't know a lot about plants so if I'm wrong please correct me....

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post #3 of 3 Old 01-21-2011, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
thanks for your input. ive been reading that the ammonia should be around 4 ppm to make it go quicker and for nitrite to show up. i just did about a 40-50 water change and tested it again, same ammonia levels. i think i should wait a day before testing it because i dont think it will show up right away. so tomorrow night im gonna test the ammonia and nitrite again. people said adding live plants will only suck up the ammonia and it will take more time for the nitrite to show up. ill be getting them in about a week, can i just put them in a seperate bowl until my cycle is done? i also read that the 8ppm is normal with the shrimp method, so i think i will just do another water change tomorrow night if i get the same readings, just to get that down lower so the nitrites will show up quicker. someone correct me if anything i said is wrong, but ive been researching a couple hours now and this is what i came up with.


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Originally Posted by catdawg426 View Post
The plants will take in ammonia but not the nitrite. You could put them in after the cycle, or you could just rely on the plants to get rid of all the ammonia your fish would produce. You will probably need to plant it more heavily though. You can put them in now and they will lower the ammonia levels, but the tank will not be cycled. Also 8 ppm is pretty high, if you got it down a little the tank will cycle faster.
I don't know a lot about plants so if I'm wrong please correct me....
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