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Hi! New here, I am currently trying to cycle my tank. I have a 5g Fluvial Spec and have gotten (I think) everything I need. As for as water care I purchased the Tetra Safe Start and dumped the bottle in as the instructions told me to do to grow beneficial bacteria (yes I understand the nitrogen cycle, quite well), and have dechlorinated and all that. This is day 2 of the tank up and running and have tested my water for the 2nd time to day to see how things are moving along and got some weird results....(I am using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit)

Ammonia: In between 0 ppm and 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: In between 0 ppm and 5.0 ppm

I added in live plants yesterday, 7 anubias nana petite, 3 moss balls and 3 amazon swords, which I assume is accounting for the ammonia because there are some dead leaves, which I am fine with for now since it is an ammonia source for the cycling, but why are my nitrates where they are??? I was waiting for the nitrites spike from the TSS and the ammonia and then the nitrates spike but I read that that would take several days? Did the nitrites spike happen between the 8 hours I was asleep and didn't test my waters, is that really possible...? Did the TSS really work, and that fast, or is it something else?

Also should I add pure ammonia to fishless cycle and speed up the process and will that hurt my plants and how much? Sorry for all the questions, just slightly confused!!
 

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I'm pretty sure the directions tell you not to test the water for a period of time when using TSS, for that exact reason - the test results are going to be confusing. Sounds like it'll be a challenge for you, since you've tested the water twice on just the second day :), but you have to just let it be and not test the water, not add ammonia, not do water changes....just leave it be for the requisite time and then see where you are at.

Having just reread your post, seems like there's no fish in the tank yet? TSS requires there to be a source of ammonia (fish) in the tank. Since you do not have any fish, and you've already used the tss, I suppose it would be worthwhile to dose with some ammonia for the time that the product says it takes to establish. I don't think the decaying plant leaves will be sufficient. However, how much ammonia to dose for your situation?? I don't know for sure, since that is not a method of using TSS that people use. My best guess would be to use an eye dropper and dose 1 drop per day. Either that or go get yourself a fish to go in the tank.

No, you're cycle did not complete in a day. Nitrates are likely in your source water.


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Been around for like 40 years or something. Product was originally named bio spira


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