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Regarding fish in cycling in a planted tank

321 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Macavitybetta
Hi all!

I started my first fish tank last week with a betta and lots of plants, then I learned about cycling... So I am doing the fish in cycling now.

The problem I have encountered and couldn't find in stickies is that i can't get a good reading on ammonia. I have both the API kit and seachem ammonia kit because I read that the water conditioner I use (Prime) could result in inaccurate ammonia reading. The thing is, since I have plants that absorb ammonia too, my free ammonia reading is so low that it's reading 0, and the total ammonia is just slightly at 0.1. There is no nitrite in the reading either. My tank cannot possibly be cycled in a week, right?

My setup is the stock Fluval Spec V, with Eco complete substrate. I've done two 20% water changes in the past week regardless of my ammonia readings. The fauna in the tank is the betta and a nerite snail. Both are very active.

What to do now? :-?
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There is such a thing called a "silent cycle" in which a heavily planted tank is cycled without the fishless method. An article about it is here:

Not sure how well it works without co2 and previous seeding material, but the idea is that a heavily planted tank should be able to handle small ammonia while the cycle goes through. Fast-growing stems and floaters are the best at absorbing ammonia.
Thank you so much, Briz! That makes a lot of sense!
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