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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just hit day 13 and my 20g tall is reading 0 ammonia for the first time. Nitrites are off the charts since there are no fish in there i have done 0 water changes so far.

Questions...

1. Will there be one more ammonia spike right before the cycle is done? If i remember correctly thats what happened in my 6gal fish-in cycle.

2. Do i need to keep "feeding" the tank to give it more ammonia? I have low light live plants in the tank. (Anubias, 2 crypts, Wisteria, and one more i have not ID'ed yet.) ((i went with all low light plants bc i have one 18" t8, its a ZooMed Flora-Sun 5000k bulb))

3. Just to make sure i understand, cycle is considered complete when Ammonia and Nitrite have been pegged at 0 for a few days, correct?

**edit**
Updated my Aquarium Log with a photo. The plant in the front along the left half is the one i have not IDed. If you know what it is please share. It grows up about 6 inches then start to fall and grow horizontal while sending more stems vertical every node. Thanks guys!
 

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I don't recognize the plant, so hopefully someone else will. The Wisteria stems in the rear left will need good light, so they may or may not do well. Leave them and see, sometimes surprises happen.

On the cycling, yes you would normally continue to add ammonia for a fishless cycle, but here you have live plants so I would not even mess with this.

Do a good water change to get rid of the ammonia and nitrites, get yourself a floating plant, and add your first fish. Plants grab ammonia, and a lot of it; with just a few smallish fish, and especially floating plants which are very high users of ammonia/ammonium, you will be fine.

Byron.
 
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I don't recognize the plant, so hopefully someone else will. The Wisteria stems in the rear left will need good light, so they may or may not do well. Leave them and see, sometimes surprises happen.

On the cycling, yes you would normally continue to add ammonia for a fishless cycle, but here you have live plants so I would not even mess with this.

Do a good water change to get rid of the ammonia and nitrites, get yourself a floating plant, and add your first fish. Plants grab ammonia, and a lot of it; with just a few smallish fish, and especially floating plants which are very high users of ammonia/ammonium, you will be fine.

Byron.
So basically the whole silent cycle theory?
 

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So basically the whole silent cycle theory?
I believe I have heard that term applied, yes. The bacteria do develop, but minimally because the plants ouit-copmpete them for ammonia. And with our basic test kits, you can't detect ammonia (and then nitrite) at such low levels as will occur with live plants. Provided all is balanced.;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
my nitrites are still a little high for my comfort when it comes to adding fish. im gonna do another water change tomorrow or maybe tonight and see where it is tomorrow
 

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Hey mate. When I did my fish less cycle I saw ammonia drop to zero. Nitrites exploded and dropped shortly afterward, about a week. I used fish food as the ammonia source. And kept adding it until nitrites dropped to zero. I didn't use plants during the cycle but added them when I added the fish.
Just my experience
 

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my nitrites are still a little high for my comfort when it comes to adding fish. im gonna do another water change tomorrow or maybe tonight and see where it is tomorrow
Yes, do not introduce fish if ammonia or nitrite is above zero.
 

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Hey mate. When I did my fish less cycle I saw ammonia drop to zero. Nitrites exploded and dropped shortly afterward, about a week. I used fish food as the ammonia source. And kept adding it until nitrites dropped to zero. I didn't use plants during the cycle but added them when I added the fish.
Just my experience
I'm not positive on the exact number, but my nitrite spike took 3 and a half weeks to go away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
after todays 25% water change, i went up to .25ppm Ammonia (from the tap) Nitrite was at 3ppm and i forgot what nitrates were at exactly but according to the test strip it was in the safe zone. I will test again in the morning (24 hours from last test) and we will see where it is.

No fish. i am doing it complete fish-less as suggested on this site. I decided to go this rout and decide which method i prefer.
 

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When i start up my tanks, I just plant it with a bunch of fast growing stem plants and then fish in 1 week. Never saw an ammonia spike or a nitrite spike. Tossed out the stem plants after a month and let the other plants take over.

I think the speed of the stem plants growth really help with keeping the water stable, esp if its left to float and absorb CO2 from the air.
 

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When i started up mine, i planted it straight away and after a month the water was good with no spikes, live plants seem to make life a bit easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i have live plants too but mine are all low light, i would say the anubias and 2 crypts are slow growers, the hygro, supposedly fast but i would say med-fast, and the Wisteria as fast. So the plants dont quite take up enough to put fish in. Plus i am trying to build my bacteria colony before adding fish. Ammonia is being wiped out in 24hrs but nitrites are not. should be a few more days. i am continuing to feed it fish food in the mean time.
 

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My Anubis and crypts are really slow growers, wisteria soon takes off, i also have African tiger Lotus which has done really well (has 4 leaves on the surface). I didn,t use food to get things moving but just some good plants and Nutrafin Cycle, it did take a month though.

The only thing that is a little high is the pH, but not high enough to have to add anything yet.
 

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The only thing that is a little high is the pH, but not high enough to have to add anything yet.
Could you explain this? I'm a little concerned as I'm not sure what is intended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
we have higher pH in our tap here than a lot of places i am being told. Its coming form the tap at 8.2-8.4. My 6 gal tank thats established hold between 8.0 and 8.2. The 20g should hold a little lower bc it has drift wood. Since it is still a relatively new set up i have not been keeping an eye on the pH in it at this time.
 

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we have higher pH in our tap here than a lot of places i am being told. Its coming form the tap at 8.2-8.4. My 6 gal tank thats established hold between 8.0 and 8.2. The 20g should hold a little lower bc it has drift wood. Since it is still a relatively new set up i have not been keeping an eye on the pH in it at this time.
May have misunderstood all round. I saw OxonFish's statement and took it that he/she was intending to do something to adjust the pH in his/her tank, and I was asking where this was coming from.

If it was meant in relation to your (xfatdannx) situation...you are just leaving it alone I trust? Messing with pH can be very risky.
 
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