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Thread: fishless tank cycling 2nd attempt with plants only

  1. #1
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    fishless tank cycling 2nd attempt with plants only

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    Hi all,

    I need to seek advise as my new cycling tank seem to hit with OTS.

    New plant tank 1st cycling fail attempted as ammonia is 4ppm and nitrate is close to 80ppm with nitrite at 0ppm. Ph is 6.4

    I am using both amazonia light and gex bio sand, my sand base is ada power sand advance. My tank is only planted and removed most of the rotted plantes and My tank was infest with white worms too.

    On 30/11 use eiho worm ex to kill worms and remove rotting plants. Ammonia is 4ppm and nitrate is 80ppm

    1/12, morning i measure ammonia at 4-8ppm and nitrate at 80-180ppm. So i Did a full tank water about 90% change to remove all die worm to restart and start second cycling: with matrix and stability. After 90% water change: Ph6.8, Ammonia at 0.5ppm nitrite 0ppm nitrate at 5ppm. Dose prime and stability

    1/12 evening test water, ph 6.4 ammonia 1ppm nitrite 0ppm nitrate at 10ppm. Perform 15 % water change and ammonia went down to 0.5ppm and nitrate at 5ppm. Dose stability

    2/12 morning test water ph 6.4 ammonia went up to 1ppm, nitrite 0ppm and nitrate remains at 5 ppm. I remove my chemipure elite and put in more bio media and read chemi pure eiltre is for large tank while mine is only a 20litre tanks. Dose with stability with flourish, ada K and nitrogen. Tds at 181. There is a little bit of white worm still


    Hope i need advise is my tank have some funny issue because stability should be able to help in any condition. Wanted to get continuum bacter gen f but it is sold out all over sg. I am worry my ph goes more acidic due to the soil buffering.

  2. #2
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    Re: fishless tank cycling 2nd attempt with plants only

    I think you are over-doing and over-thinking.

    Firstly I'm not sure what are those white worms you are mentioning. It could just be planaria as parasitic worms only lives when there is fish as host. I suggest stop treating the tank as it might affect cycling.

    Secondly, tank cycling can take up to a month. I won't bother test the water for the first week. Just do frequent weekly 25-50% water changes with dose of anti-chlorine if top-up from tap

    Thirdly, plant heavy. Meaning as much plant mass and CO2 dosing as high. Lighting stick to 4hrs initially and observe plant growth. Nutrient dosing not need as your aquasoil has lots of nutrient. Maybe only add K until tank is cycle. Plants also need to acclimatise and if too much nutrient is in the water, algae will take advantage and bloom.

    Fourth, I would temporary add activated carbon or since you have chemipure and remove once tank is cycle. I will add seachem purigen as it can be regenerate by you when it becomes saturated and use it continously in the filter.

    And lastly, do not add any other chemicals to complicate things. Just do water change, light dosing, short light timing, observe and wait. Don't worry about your pH or tds as your tank is cycling fishless. Everything will stablize after a few weeks. Just wait.
    Last edited by greenie; 2nd Dec 2018 at 23:42.

  3. #3
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    Re: fishless tank cycling 2nd attempt with plants only

    Hi greenie,

    Thank you for your insight, currently my tank is lightly plant with only 6hr of lighting. The worm are those detritus worm not planaria. I had remove the chemipure today and only use matrix top layer, second and third layer using the Azoo 4 in 1 bio filter in my sump.

    I havent start my co2 yet, as tomorrow i need to rescape to replace the rotted plants but reuse the cycling water. Then after will use the neo co2.

    I will Lightly dose k (maybe weekly since soil have the nutrients as mention)

    As of this evening my reading were, PH: 6, ammonia 1ppm nitrite 0ppm nitrate 10ppm. I have done a 15% water change ( i did this before i read ur reply).

    Because my ph is 6, i guess my ammonia reading is ammonium instead and should be harmless to fish. Because i plan to get some tetra to eat the white worms in the tank as the white worms are overwhem....

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    Re: fishless tank cycling 2nd attempt with plants only

    Hi Marcus,

    Just to share with you I recently so called "completed" fishless cycling with fish food and no dosing beneficial bacteria or seeding of media from established tank.

    It took about 3.5 weeks of staring at my empty tank and having no test kits makes it even exciting!

    Patience is key here.

    Since yours is a planted tank so things are somewhat different.

    Fish keeping should be fun, so do enjoy the process.

    Cheers!

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    Re: fishless tank cycling 2nd attempt with plants only

    Hi Vipered,

    Thanks for the advise and encourage, i also hope to get my first tank done. Yesterday was doing rescaping again with some frd who are in the same hobby and noted i have planaria. Becos previously my plants some are from ppl in carousell, moss from shrimp tank, stem plants from nanyang, Carpet from C328.

    I cant use the water already so reset again, with work trap and bait.

    This is today’s reading:

    Ph 6.4
    Ammonia : 1ppm
    Nitrite : 0ppm
    Nitrate : 5ppm

    Hope it get better.

  6. #6
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    Re: fishless tank cycling 2nd attempt with plants only

    You are doing fine. One thing to note is to quarantine your plants in the future to rid of any algae spores and snails.
    Remember this when you add more plants in the future, nevermind to whatever algae spores already reside in your tank now.
    Since you rescaping again, your cycling will restart again since the substrate is disturbed. Do expect this.

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