03-13-2012, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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| | Cycling a planted tank
I posted this in the "el natural" forum but got no response. I'm hoping someone here will share insights, opinions, experience. Thanks.
I'm in the process of cycling (fishless) a planted tank. I've cycled tanks before, but never planted tanks. The cycle is at the point where I add ammonia to 3-4 ppm and in 24 hours it's at .25ppm. So I'm thinking that I'm 1-2 days away from getting a 0 ppm reading after 24 hours. Out of curiosity I did a Nitrite test. Nitrites are at 0 ppm. So I then did a Nitrate test and they are at 5 ppm.
Being new to planted tanks, my best guess is as follows: There are two processes going on here. The biofilter is developing as usual, but because I have a heavily planted tank, the plants are consuming the ammonia (ammonium?) as well. Some ammonia is being converted to Nitrite because Nitrate is present. All Nitrite is being converted or consumed.
Does this sound like a plausible explanation?
Also, I'm thinking that when I show 0 ppm for Ammonia and Nitrite after 24 hrs of adding Ammonia that I'm good to add fish.
40g with 20g sump
Day 21 of cycle. Seeded with filter media from established tank
2 x 39 watt T5 bulbs
Flourish 1 x per week per bottle instructions
Heavily planted. Plants growing well