Originally Posted by Tropical Trav
So when can/should I add more fish? I only have 2 neons in there right now. I know I need to continue to get ammonia in the tank to create the bacteria. I just want to make sure I do the right thing.
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You have live plants, they will deal with ammonia, and you don't need to be adding it in any form, it will occur naturally. For one thing, it is in your tap water.
There may still be some confusion over "cycling" and plants, so let me explain this once more. When you have live plants, especially fast growing such as stem and floating plants, they will take up much of the ammonia produced by a few fish and the breakdown of organics by bacteria in the substrate. The nitrifying bacteria will still appear but they will be minimal because the plants out-compete most of them for the ammonia. Our test kits will not be able to register ammonia or nitrite because of the plants.
Now, you are adding ammonia with the source water and this is all at once, which is why you are seeing ammonia on tests. But the Prime changes ammonia to non-toxic ammonium. The plants and bacteria take up the ammonium just as ammonia, so there is no change except the ammonium is not hurting the fish.
As long as the plants are growing, you can add a few fish, slowly. Here we come to the aggressive neons...are the two left the bad guys?