Tank 1: Deep Blue Betta 5 (just under 3 gallons), with a Solar Flare mini clip on LED light, and an Azoo Palm filter. Runs about 78* with a Hydor Theo heater. Has been set up for about a month.
Contains a small driftwood arch, and a ton of plants. Moss, rotala, swords, vals, crypts, pennywort. It's about 75% planted. Plants are growing well, just fought off an algae outbreak (left the light on too long).
Got some hitchhiker pond snails and copeopods, and they are doing well. No fish yet.
It registered Nitrate once, at the lowest level on the API drops kit, and ammonia once at the lowest level. All readings since then have been zero, zero, zero.
Tank 2: 2.5g rectangle, desk lamp with a fluorescent Colormax bulb (about 2-3" from the water surface), Azoo Palm filter. Runs about 80* with an Archaea mini heater. Has been set up for about 20 days. No fish.
Heavily planted, but some different types than Tank 1. Wisteria, bacopa, watersprite, vals, mini swords, a crypt. About 80% plant cover. Plants are going through a terrible melt down, and almost all of them are not really growing.
Has been zero, zero, zero when tested- until today. Today, nitrites were off the chart, nitrates were 2.0, but still zero ammonia. I changed the water.
What is going on here? I am pretty sure the plant issue is due to the difference in light. Is the 2.5g cycling correctly? Why no ammonia ever? Is Tank 1 doing a silent cycle?
Thanks so much for any opinions/ advice. I read the stickies, but not seeing ammonia has me confused.