I've been attempting to cycle a 20Long brackish tank since late may of this year. This is my first attempt at a brackish tank, but not at freshwater, as I've done both a 10 and a 55 in the past year.
First off, I had to move the tank about 2 weeks into the cycle from my downstate home to my college dorm. I drained 50% of the water and transported the tank carefully to avoid stress cracks. The filter media was transported wet to keep any bacteria alive. I'm running a 30gal. BioWheel as the filter.
It took around 1 month or so to get any nitrite buildup. Two weeks after, the nitrites started to rise as expected, nearing 1-1.5 ppm
. Now, nearing 2 weeks later, my nitrites are up at a very high level (5 ppm
, Aquarium Pharm. liquid test kit) with no signs of nitrates at all. I am using fish to cycle, mollies that I would like to keep after the tank is established.
Is a month a normal period of time for a brackish tank to establish the bacteria that use nitrites to produce nitrates? My other FW
tanks completed their complete cycle in less than 2 months, so this one has me a bit confused. I checked my SG
and it's at around 1.007.
Also, once the tank has been fully cycled for a few weeks, I'd like to look into getting some low light plants that tolerate brackish conditions. I know java moss and java ferns are shoe-ins for this, are there any other plants that can tolerate low light and brackish conditions without Co2
injection? Due to my living quarters and the placement of the tank injection is impossible, at least until I graduate.