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Old 02-25-2016, 10:28 AM   #1
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plants to lower ammonia?

I have been trying to cycle my tank for about 7 weeks. The cycle seems stuck at about 0.25 NH3/0 NO2/5 to 10 NO3. I tested my tap water, and it contains 0.5 NH3.

So I am considering adding plants to help with reducing ammonia.

current setup:
5gallon/2 silk plants and 1 fake cave/gravel and marbles for substrate
1 betta, 2 nerite snails
HOB filter (Marina S10 power filter) and sponge filter
heated to 78 to 79F

After doing some reading, it seems common beginner plants are anarchis, java moss, java fern.

My questions:
1) Would any of these or other plants be particularly good choices to lower ammonia?
2) Also, are there any floating plants that you would recommend? It would be nice to have a plant that my betta could sleep in near the surface. Also, since I only have gravel/marbles for substrate, perhaps a floating plant would be appropriate.
3) For any plant recommendations, could you recommend a specific light to go with it? (currently I don't have any lighting)

Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:56 PM   #2
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If your seeing ammonia your tank either isn't fully cycled or your ph is lower than the minimum for ammonia to nitrite conversion.
My guess would be the former. Keep up with water changes and you will get there.
As far as plants to reduce nitrogen cycle components.

Watersprite, duckweed are some good nitrate reducers. Lighting wise you could do anything from something like Fluval clip light to compact fluorescents as long as the proper wavelength.


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Old 02-25-2016, 02:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemach7 View Post
If your seeing ammonia your tank either isn't fully cycled or your ph is lower than the minimum for ammonia to nitrite conversion.
My guess would be the former. Keep up with water changes and you will get there.
As far as plants to reduce nitrogen cycle components.

Watersprite, duckweed are some good nitrate reducers. Lighting wise you could do anything from something like Fluval clip light to compact fluorescents as long as the proper wavelength.


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OP said tap water contains ammonia. Therefore they are testing the water too soon after a wc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adobe1234 View Post
I have been trying to cycle my tank for about 7 weeks. The cycle seems stuck at about 0.25 NH3/0 NO2/5 to 10 NO3. I tested my tap water, and it contains 0.5 NH3.

So I am considering adding plants to help with reducing ammonia.

current setup:
5gallon/2 silk plants and 1 fake cave/gravel and marbles for substrate
1 betta, 2 nerite snails
HOB filter (Marina S10 power filter) and sponge filter
heated to 78 to 79F

After doing some reading, it seems common beginner plants are anarchis, java moss, java fern.

My questions:
1) Would any of these or other plants be particularly good choices to lower ammonia?
2) Also, are there any floating plants that you would recommend? It would be nice to have a plant that my betta could sleep in near the surface. Also, since I only have gravel/marbles for substrate, perhaps a floating plant would be appropriate.
3) For any plant recommendations, could you recommend a specific light to go with it? (currently I don't have any lighting)

Thanks for your help!
You need to do a water change and wait 24 hours to test the water in the tank. With a tank that small, get a 5g bucket, fill it up, add prime (or any water conditioner) and wait 24 hours to do your wc

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Old 02-25-2016, 02:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemach7 View Post
If your seeing ammonia your tank either isn't fully cycled or your ph is lower than the minimum for ammonia to nitrite conversion.
My guess would be the former. Keep up with water changes and you will get there.
Thanks for your reply.
pH is about 6.6 to 6.8 (don't know if that impacts ammonia to nitrite conversion).

I agree that my cycle isn't complete. But my concern is that I have a bit of an uphill battle -- for water changes I am using tap water at 0.5 ppm NH3 versus tank water at 0.25ppm.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:01 PM   #5
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OP said tap water contains ammonia. Therefore they are testing the water too soon after a wc.

You need to do a water change and wait 24 hours to test the water in the tank. With a tank that small, get a 5g bucket, fill it up, add prime (or any water conditioner) and wait 24 hours to do your wc

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Some additional info that may help:
1) After water changes, I have been waiting 24 hrs for next test and do daily testing. The water parameters (0.25 NH3/0 NO2/5 to 10 NO3) have been holding steady for 4 to 5 days.

2) Out of curiosity, during my last water change, I kept aside some of the Prime-conditioned water that I didn't need for the tank. I tested after 12 and 24 hours -- still 0.5 ppm NH3. So I am wondering: what is the benefit of keeping my conditioned water in a bucket for 24 hours before adding it to the tank?

Also, I have been doing 25% to 30% water changes every 4 or 5 days (nitrates max out at 10ppm). I've been concerned about a small tear in one of my bettas fins and don't want toxins to get too high, although I have been dosing with Prime. Do you think I should adjust my water change schedule?
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:43 PM   #6
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Try leaving the tested water in the vile over night or maybe even a day. I know it says 5 min in the instructions but that seems to be the only way for my ammonia to read 0. The water in my area comes out at 0.5 ammonia.

I've had my 40g which is probably around 50% stocked with an aqueon 55/75 (90g filter) and a sun sun 302 running for 2 years and to this day my api kit still picks up 0.25 ammonia ( ph stays at 7.6) as well as in my other tanks I've had set up for a almost as long.

My bosemani's have bred, cherry shrimp breed no problem and my fish haven't had any health issues other then when I first started it so I really don't believe the test kit right away unless I leave it out in the vile for a day.

I've read around it could be picking up the ammonium, But I honestly don't know too much about that I just don't let the initial ammonia results bother me anymore.


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Old 02-25-2016, 08:23 PM   #7
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Try leaving the tested water in the vile over night or maybe even a day. I know it says 5 min in the instructions but that seems to be the only way for my ammonia to read 0. The water in my area comes out at 0.5 ammonia.

I've had my 40g which is probably around 50% stocked with an aqueon 55/75 (90g filter) and a sun sun 302 running for 2 years and to this day my api kit still picks up 0.25 ammonia ( ph stays at 7.6) as well as in my other tanks I've had set up for a almost as long.

My bosemani's have bred, cherry shrimp breed no problem and my fish haven't had any health issues other then when I first started it so I really don't believe the test kit right away unless I leave it out in the vile for a day.

I've read around it could be picking up the ammonium, But I honestly don't know too much about that I just don't let the initial ammonia results bother me anymore.


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This is probably correct at under 7ph ammonia begins to convert to ammonium, far less toxic to fish. The tests you are performing are picking up both forms of ammonia and giving you a reading. When you reach 6 or lower almost all ammonia becomes ammonium. What ever you plant that would take nitrate will more readily take ammonium. I have a chart somewhere on the ammonia to ammonium by ph will post when I find.


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Old 02-27-2016, 05:35 PM   #8
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Its not unheard of for an api test to give a false positive of 0.25ppm ammonia. I would get it tested at your lfs with a different kit.

That being said, 0.25ppm ammonia is completely harmless. I wouldnt worry about it as long as it doesnt go above that reading.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:43 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your input. Will try to see how the test reads if I hold it overnight. I did have another observation: added a seeded sponge filter to the tank 3 weeks ago, and for a brief period (each of 3 days after) the ammonia and nitrites did read 0 with my API kit. (Then I made the mistake of adding the snails and starting up the cycle all over again.) But based on this, I was thinking that it should be possible to get to a zero ammonia reading again once cycled-- unless something happened to my API kit in the past few weeks.

Anyhow, I am thing of floating some hornwort and purchasing the Eheim power LED full spectrum kit. The tank is small 5 gallons. Do you think this light/plant combo would be appropriate?
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:36 PM   #10
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One thing I forgot is that chloramines can show up as a false positive on the ammonia test. Not sure if it's 100% true or location based but that's what mine does. You may be worrying for nothing!

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