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Old 05-14-2013, 01:22 AM   #1 
Nibblez
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Cycling with plants

I have a planted tank that im cycling. I know that the filter will be helping to establish BB but the plants will also be helping to convert ammonia - nitrite - nitrate. The problem im having here is that i dont even know what is happening to my tank.

My readings on 5/7/2013 was:
pH - 7.0
Ammonia - 1.0mg/L
Nitrite - 0.0mg/L
Nitrate - 0.0mg/L

That was the test result after i did a 30% water change. At that point i figured that the ammonia is from the ADA soil and BB has yet to establish. That was the second week after setting up the tank so i decided to reduce my water change to let the BB establish. I did another 30% water change on thurday. I tested the water again yesterday before my WC (4 days after WC) to find my parameters:

pH: 7.0
Ammonia : 0.5mg/L
Nitrite: 5.0mg/L
Nitrate: 50mg/L

I did a 30% water change right after finding my parameters so out of whack and i tested my water again today only to find my parameters are exactly the same as yesterday.

pH: 7.0
Ammonia : 0.5mg/L
Nitrite: 5.0mg/L
Nitrate: 50mg/L

I checked with my LFS and he told me to probably revert my WC to about 20%-30% every 2 days to try and reduce the nitrate. But why is the nitrite so high as well, whats with the high nitrite and high nitrate? Did the cycle stall or something if that possible?
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:18 AM   #2 
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i think i might know why, are you using a soil substrate like potting mix?? if so the bacteria decompostion in the soil itself is giving off ammonia and other byproducts. this peaks around 4 weeks after submerging the soil,and levels off around wk 6-8.

this tidbit of info is from diane walsted's book Ecology of a Planted Aquarium, chapter 8, section C, Chaos in Freshly Submerged Terrestrial Soils, page 130-31. hard read but informative. if your not using a soil substrate, then if i no idea why your ammonia is high :p
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:32 AM   #3 
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I was told that the high ammonia is the trait of the ADA substrate, it lowers the pH a bit and has a high amount of ammonia initially for the plants. But i dont get whats going on with my nitrite and nitrate.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:40 AM   #4 
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wow ADA, thats fancy!! never used that before. well if your still cylcing i dont think its too big of an issue, just keep doing your weekly wc and by of the cycling month it should level off.

btw do u have more pics of your betta, it looks awesome in your avatar picture.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:50 AM   #5 
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yup, never posted them up but i got these.


I think he ripped his fins on the fake plant so i took that out, his fins seems to stay like that, its still not healing. Might have to try AQ salt although i'd prefer not to.

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Old 05-14-2013, 02:58 AM   #6 
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beautiful!!

a little aq salt doesnt hurt, and in general is benefitual to the fish
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:59 AM   #7 
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btw what size your planted tank??
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:21 AM   #8 
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its roughly a 10 gallon
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:53 AM   #9 
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What a beautiful fish! The gills are very dark though. Are they normally like that, or do you suspect this is from burn?

When my boy tore his fin on his plant, I used BettaFix and it healed right up. He had no stressful reaction to it. Many betta keepers have heard the stories about MelaFix, often confused with BettaFix. There is an ingredient in MelaFix that clouds the labyrinth organ in tetras. BettaFix is specifically formulated for bettas, and I have had no problems using it with all of my fish. The harmful ingredient is still there, but not active. For this reason, BettaFix should not be used in large containers or tanks, because of the sheer volume of the ingredient. If you follow the direction on the label, you should be fine.

Other than that, aquarium salt is good for keeping the wound from becoming infected and turning into rot, but the water temperature has to be on the high side for the effect to be maximized, about 80F. It will also promote slime coat regrowth, which will protect the fins and scales. But the regenerative ability of your betta is more so relied on with salt over medication, so as long as he is fed and not stressed, he will heal in time.

Here's hoping he recovers!
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