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I've been fishless cycling my 10 gallon for a month and my ammonia is looking great, it will take 2.0 ppm to 0 within 24 hours every day. My nitrite is at 0. But my nitrate reading won't go down. Water temperature is about 80°. I put in the tank 1 - 5" driftwood, 1 - conconut hut, 2 - 1.5" marimo balls 4 weeks ago and 2 - golf ball size java moss 2 weeks ago. Should I add more plants? Do more water changes? I did 2 - 50% water changes 3 and 4 days ago and it's back up to 80 ppm. Should I keep dosing with ammonia? Should I stop, do another water change and put a fish in there? This will be a shrimp tank with a divider and has 2 sponge filters currently.
as long as the plants are consuming the ammonia, there can/will be nitrates. After the bacteria builds up the plants will start consuming nitrates.
maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.
have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.
With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)
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