Aquarium Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! *old dude

I've searched up and down on many message boards and sites alike but can't seem to find my specific problem so I figured I'd ask. I'm a little over a week into cycling my 30 gallon tank (holding about 23 gal), currently housing 6 small black neon tetra. I have multiple (5+) groups of live plants that were transferred from an already cycled tank as well a filter and piece of wood from an already cycled tank. I've been doing my water tests every few days, sometimes just checking ammonia waiting for the proverbial spike.

Yesterday I tested for everything I had kits for (NH3/NH4, Nitrates, and pH). I was still registering 0-0.25 ppm (hadn't changed since a day or so after I began cycling) however my nitrates were up around 10 ppm. I have also begun to notice blackening on the tips of the leaves of my Anubias and Anacharis. pH was fine.

I've read that nitrates are basically the key/end product. Am I cycled? What about nitrites? (LFS didn't have a kit available...)

P.S. Sorry for the short novel just wanted to give proper backstory info. Any help is very much appreciated. *c/p*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
By moving over some of your filter from your existing tank, you seeded your new tank with the good bacteria (which is the best way to avoid cycling a new tank). Sounds like you just had a mini cycle while the good bacteria grew. Having the plants helped too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply! I knew this would be the right place to come.
So do you think I should do a water change and I'm good to go?

Any other input is much appreciated! Anyone have any insight on the blackening tips of my plants? Some stalks of the Anacharis appear very healthy still.
 

·
Queen Platy
Joined
·
932 Posts
If you "seed" a tank, it is possible to cycle within a week. Since you showed traces of Nitrate, chances are your nitrites-to-nitrate converting bacteria has grown. Your tank has either finished cycling, or very close to finishing. To be on the safe side, I would still do water changes once every 2 days for 1 more week just in case it is not done.
 
  • Like
Reactions: t0astiez

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks a ton! I'm so relieved that's the case and it wasn't something unexpected and and horribly awry :) I will be continuing water changes and will keep this updated and will get pics up asap.

I'd love to hear as many opinions on anything discussed as possible!
Does anyone find it imperative that I get a nitrite test at this point?
Should I be worried about my plants at all?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I wouldn't worry about rushing out for the nitrite test as this point. But you should always have one handy. Add it to your supplies when you can. Plants don't like to transplanted, some less than others. Give them a few weeks to adjust. What kind of substrate do you have? I like to put a small piece of a Flourish root tab around my plants when they are newly planted to give them a boost of nutrients. That is the only fertilization I use.
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
The cycle of ammonia->nitrites->nitrates you hear so much about is the aerobic bacteria cycle. And it is functioning in your tank.

But you started the tank with live plants. So include the plant action in your analysis.

Plants prefer to get their nitrogen from ammonia over nitrates. But in a "cycled" aquarium nitrates is all that is available.

But in a new tank there is plenty of ammonia which the plants prefer and consume directly. Hence you got very low to no ammonia readings. As long as the plants have the ammonia for their nitrogen they don't consume nitrates.

There very well could be both ammonia and nitrates in things like your substrate or even the water you put into the system. So it is possible to get an almost immediate nitrate spike.

Meanwhile the aerobic bacteria is still there and slowly starting to consume the ammonia. So nitrites are being produced and I do get a low 1 day nitrIte spike. Then nitrates start rising even if there were no immediate nitrates.

So you get a nitrate spike from the bacterial action after some time. like a week or two.

Then you reach a point where the bacteria consume the ammonia and the plants start lowering the nitrates. So after a few weeks nitrates drop down.

So it's the normal plant drive cycle and very safe for your fish and tank. Plus if you add fish or something goes bump in the night, the plants again consume the ammonia and again all you get is a nitrate spike. So the plants can prevent tank crashes and help not only balance out the tank but stabilize the operation as well.


Meanwhile you have probably already noticed fairly high pH values. On my tanks with no circulation my FW pH is 8.4-8.8 with the api high range test kit. Even with peat moss in the substrate.

my .02
 
  • Like
Reactions: t0astiez

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
gee my novel is bigger then your novel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Haha I've been out-written.

Thank you though, what you wrote about the plants' consumption makes sense. My pH is around 7.8 (I use API tests as well). So going along with your advice, beaslbob, would you say doing ~20% water changes every other day for another week or so to be completely cycled?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
Haha I've been out-written.

Thank you though, what you wrote about the plants' consumption makes sense. My pH is around 7.8 (I use API tests as well). So going along with your advice, beaslbob, would you say doing ~20% water changes every other day for another week or so to be completely cycled?
I never do water changes. Just replace the water the evaporates.

I recommend you not do water changes.


It is the plants that will condition the tank. Water changes will never bring nitrates down to 0 for instance.

I hope you are using the api high range ph kit. the normal pH kit will be pegged at 7.6 or so.

my .02
 
  • Like
Reactions: t0astiez
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top