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Old 11-03-2019, 03:38 PM   #1
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Nitrates at 110ppm after water change (Day 17)

My nitrates have been steadily climbing since I established my tank. Tank is new with fresh ADA Aqua soil & root tabs. I dosed EI daily on week one (added around 1,5 mg/l of nitrates daily), did a 50% water change and tested a bigger dose (added ~4mg/l equivalent of NO3 after water change) and left it for the week.

Nitrates have been climbing after week one steadily and reached ~180 ppm right before todays 50% water change. Attached are pictures of the parameters. Is this normal? The cycle seems to be past the first step, but nitrites are still high and climbing as they should be with a fresh tank.

After the latest water change I did not add any ferts, since Nitrates remained high. Should I dose according to the guide (so either 1,5mg/l daily or 4mg once for the whole week) or try a week without ferts?

Tank is medium lights, no CO2 (well, liquid carbon). CO2 should arrive this week.

Ps. don't worry about the potassium fluctuating - I think my tests might've been a bit defective. Also buffered KH on week 1, but have since stopped after I was taught about the effects of Aqua soil.
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:42 AM   #2
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Does this mean the tank is appx 3 weeks since you started running it?

Are you using Amazonia Aqua Soil?

Plants,
tank size
and any
fish
in the tank?

You are fishless cycling?

If so, here is a good thread about the details of the fishless cycle progression, what to expect and what to do to get the cycle moving as fast as possible.

The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling - Aquarium Advice
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
Does this mean the tank is appx 3 weeks since you started running it?

Are you using Amazonia Aqua Soil?

Plants,
tank size
and any
fish
in the tank?

You are fishless cycling?

If so, here is a good thread about the details of the fishless cycle progression, what to expect and what to do to get the cycle moving as fast as possible.

The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling - Aquarium Advice
Yeah, using fresh ADA Amazonia Aqua soil. Also using root tabs, and dosing according to EI regime. The charts in the attached images show the exact amounts of ferts I've added. They are ppm or mg/l so the volume of the tank shouldn't matter, but the tank is 120 litres. Filtration is mostly Seachem Matrix in an eheim 250 eXperience external canister filter.

The guide you linked explains that nitrates can rise, but then it recommends a 50% water change. However my nitrates are high even after the water change. Before water change nitrates were around 180 mg/l. After water change at 110 mg/l. Didn't add any ferts. One day later nitrates are back up to 180 mg/l. My lights are on for only 6 hours a day - should I increase that time to give plants more time to consume nutrients?

The cycle is still not even close to done because nitrites are very high. The next step should be nitrites being converted to nitrate, but my tank is super high in both?

I'm doing a fishless cycle. Used Seachem stability for the first week, but have not added anything since then. Now is day 18 so around 2,5 weeks since the first fill. I've done 2x 50% water changes. The tank is fully planted and there is barely any surface area without plants. Plants are Hemianthus Cuba, Micranthemum Montecarlo, Marsilea Crenata, Marsilea Hirsuta, Echinodorus Dschungelstar Kleiner Bär, Echinodorus grisebachii Amazonicus, Echinodorus grisebachii Tropica, Cryptocoryne wendtii Green, Bacopa caroliniana, Bacopa Monnieri compact, Riccardia Chamedryfolia, Bucephalandra pygmaea Wavy green, Bucephalandra Mini needle (didn't survive), Anubias barteri var nana petite, Anubias barteri var nana mini mini.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:10 PM   #4
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Fresh ADA soil releases tons of ammonia.
Ammonia will = NO3 from bacterial action.
EI dosing can result in 60+ ppm NO3 if only doing 50% water changes.

That is your issue at the moment. ADA calls for massive amounts of daily water changes, read up on the instructions that came with the soil.

Many users of traditional EI will have huge NO3 build up. Either drop the NO3 dosing way down, or increase the amount of water you change.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:13 PM   #5
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Fresh ADA soil releases tons of ammonia.
Ammonia will = NO3 from bacterial action.
EI dosing can result in 60+ ppm NO3 if only doing 50% water changes.

That is your issue at the moment. ADA calls for massive amounts of daily water changes, read up on the instructions that came with the soil.

Many users of traditional EI will have huge NO3 build up. Either drop the NO3 dosing way down, or increase the amount of water you change.
Alright, thanks for the info. Question: I understood that in a fresh cycle Ammonia turns into Nitrite and only then Nitrite to Nitrate - how can ammonia fom AS turn directly to NO3? Or have I misunderstood? Cycle hasn't reached the point where NO2 is consumed yet, since NO2 is sky high.

NO3 build up wasn't an issue before but now I'm worried it might affect the cycle. I'll go with more frequent 50% water changes and see where that gets me.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
Alright, thanks for the info. Question: I understood that in a fresh cycle Ammonia turns into Nitrite and only then Nitrite to Nitrate - how can ammonia fom AS turn directly to NO3? Or have I misunderstood? Cycle hasn't reached the point where NO2 is consumed yet, since NO2 is sky high.

NO3 build up wasn't an issue before but now I'm worried it might affect the cycle. I'll go with more frequent 50% water changes and see where that gets me.
Some of the NO2 is being converted to NO3.



Just because NO2 hasn't zeroed out yet, doesn't mean the cycle isn't progressing.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:30 PM   #7
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Some of the NO2 is being converted to NO3.



Just because NO2 hasn't zeroed out yet, doesn't mean the cycle isn't progressing.
Should I ideally keep on adding ferts to make sure no other deficiencys arise, while doing big water changes more often? Or should I stop adding ferts for now?

What about the light period? Someone recommended to drop it at 6 hours at the beginning of the cycle. I have medium lights, and they are currently on only 6 hours a day. I'm dosing Seachem Excel, but just noticed some small brown spots have started to appear on hardscape (not on plants).
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
Should I ideally keep on adding ferts to make sure no other deficiencys arise, while doing big water changes more often? Or should I stop adding ferts for now?

What about the light period? Someone recommended to drop it at 6 hours at the beginning of the cycle. I have medium lights, and they are currently on only 6 hours a day. I'm dosing Seachem Excel, but just noticed some small brown spots have started to appear on hardscape (not on plants).
What does ADA recommend?

I do not have experience using ADA Aquasoil.

Reduce lights to 5-6 hours per day during the early stages of the tanks life. The brown algae is likely diatoms which are known for in new tanks.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:52 PM   #9
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Brown spots are likely Diatoms. Reduce the light just a little if you do not see light problems in the plants right now half hour then keep watch on the plants.

Or get Seachem PhosGuard (or I have used Purigen) to help bind any silicates in the water. Can come from the tap water ans if you had used sand from sand as well (in case anyone else reading this has the similar issue).

You can go to the Seachem website and review what each of these do for your tank. I love Purigen for crystal clear water!!!

https://seachem.com/purigen.php

https://seachem.com/phosguard.php

It takes about 6-8 weeks for the ADA Amazonia to reduce to not leaching ammonia.
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