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Thread: The Cycle... No livestock

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr c3an's Avatar
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    The Cycle... No livestock

    Im embarrassed that almost all the posts in the beginner forum are mine, but Id rather look stupid than kill livestock and plants. Im about 2 and a half weeks into my new tank and its a planted Iwagumi with no livestock while it cycles. For the first two weeks the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite all tested close to zero. Then about 5 days ago ammonia spiked, and now nitrite and nitrate spiked to 5 ppm on NO2 and around 80 PPM on Nitrate. Is this the normal cycle taking its course or did something happen in my tank to cause an ammonia spike? Can that happen from plants alone? I have had virtually zero melting in my tank and everything seems to be taking root well. I guess Ill know if the nitrite continues to drop and only low amounts of nitrate remain (doing my 50% water changes every 3-5 days). My question is, with what I feel to be such a severe increase in the nitrite/nitrate, how will I continue to add ammonia and make sure I don't lose the nitrifying bacteria?

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr KeyeNewen's Avatar
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    Are you adding any fertilizers right now? If so, nitrates will show on test.
    Could be some of the plants are melting that you can't see. Keep up with water change, test the following day. Hold off adding additional ammonia till you all your reading stabilized. If everything looks good, then if you want to test with adding ammonia you can do it then.

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr c3an's Avatar
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    You may have nailed it. Things started to spike as soon as I started with a regular fert cycle. Does that mean that when I’m fertilizing the plants im actually poisoning the fish as well? I am only adding half the dose the fert calls for because I don’t have a ton of growth yet.

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    It is not that ferts poison your fish, but that the systems (biological microfauna/flora) necessary for proper metabolism of those nutrients are not fully established and are slowly building up to the required populations in order to deal with them.

    You do not have fish in there, so there is no poisoning. Once your tank is cycle everything will benefit the entire system (as it is now).

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    SCAPE President 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    I went back and looked at your thread for the tank, I see you are using an active substrate. In the first month or so this is normal. The active substrates leach ammonia, which turns into nitrites and nitrates, the plants absorb some of the nitrates but that is 1 reason we do a 50% water change on planted tanks.....to remove excess nitrates to keep the fish healthy. Also, nitrates will be added to the tank when you use ferts, its one of the ingredients.
    I would expect you to see some ammonia in your testing in the next few days as part of the cycle. If you don't see any ammonia on your testing then your may be reaching the end of the cycling stage, and you can start "feeding" the tank. Some people will drop a piece of raw shrimp in the tank, others will use fish food, you can put a cube of frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp in some panty hose and put it in the tank (pantyhose makes it easy to remove from tank). Let whatever you "feed" the tank with sit and rot away releasing ammonia. Do your tests so you can see your tank go through the nitrifying process. If within a day or two your ammonia levels drop to 0, your nitrites drop to 0, and the nitrates increase your tank is most likely fully cycled. Do this over the next week or 2 and of you keep seeing the ammonia and nitrites drop to 0 you should be good to add livestock.

    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
    More Tanks!

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr c3an's Avatar
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    Grateful for the advice. I really appreciate it. Ill keep everyone posted how things progress.

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