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Discussion Starter #1
Need some advice about my 5gallon tank. I got it when I knew nothing about keeping fish. This is what the tank houses —
1 betta
1 hornwort
1 anacharis
2 cryptocoryne plants
1 anubias
2 moss balls

I have a heater and a filter and was keeping my tank around 76F. My fish had 2 white dots that looked like ick/ich so I increased the temp. to 80F and the dots are gone.

Of course, my tank wasn't cycled and I have had it for about a month now. I bought it on Feb 10. I do two 35-45% water changes every week. One with vacuuming and one without.

I have been testing my water and so far I haven't seen a nitrite spike at all. Btw, my tap water tests as .5 Ammonia (and 8.2 pH) and the water in my tank is somewhere between 0 -.25 Ammonia.

I keep testing Nitrite and it always says 0. Shouldn't my tank start to cycle by now? What am I doing wrong? Please help!
 

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You may not see a nitrite spike and you may not see nitrate either for a very long time if ever since the plants will use ammonia before conversion...the tank will cycle but with live plants it is different

Since you have ammonia in the source water I am surprised that you are still testing positive for ammonia in the tank after 24h unless it is the dechlorinator that is changing it to ammonium-but even still it should be zero after 24h with active plant growth.....Provided that the plants are thriving and planted correctly....what kind of lights are you using-age of bulbs, kelvin, watts and photoperiod.....

What kind of test products are you using....your pH is fine by the way..

I would decrease your water changes to 25-50% weekly with light vacuum in all places that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots (crypts and anacharis) the other plants should not be rooted.

If you are using any plant ferts-I would schedule the water changes so that you are adding them after the weekly water change to remove any unused ferts to prevent the algae from using it....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your response.

Since you have ammonia in the source water I am surprised that you are still testing positive for ammonia in the tank after 24h unless it is the dechlorinator that is changing it to ammonium-but even still it should be zero after 24h with active plant growth.....Provided that the plants are thriving and planted correctly....what kind of lights are you using-age of bulbs, kelvin, watts and photoperiod.....
Well, I test for Ammonia right before a water change. So basically about 3 days after the last water change. Could Ammonia come back by that point?

Also, my crypts are 'melting'. I just let them be because I read on a few forums they come back. Could that be causing high ammonia?

I have a Fluval Chi and only the LED lights it comes with. I keep them on from 9am — 6pm.

What kind of test products are you using....your pH is fine by the way..
I use the API freshwater master liquid testing kit.

I would decrease your water changes to 25-50% weekly with light vacuum in all places that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots (crypts and anacharis) the other plants should not be rooted.

If you are using any plant ferts-I would schedule the water changes so that you are adding them after the weekly water change to remove any unused ferts to prevent the algae from using it....
I use tabs that go under the substrate for fertilizers. Ok, I will reduce water changes now. Thank you!
 

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The decomp from rotting leaves can cause ammonia spikes-make sure the crown of the crypts are slightly above the substrate-better to plant them too shallow than too deep....you are correct-its not uncommon for the crypts to melt...give them time...

The LED lights are usually not the best for live plants, however, most of your plants will tolerate lower light...not sure what the color temp is on the LED-if you continue to have plant issue you may need to look into different lighting..

Love to see pic of your tank....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't know that about crypts. Will make sure the crown is not buried. Here is a picture (I use rooibos tea in the water, that's why it is brown).
 
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