Sorry for the long post. I tried to include all of the info I've seen people ask for when troubleshooting.
A few questions from a newbie. We have 3 tanks. 2 10's and a 30. Our tap water (well) tests around 6.3 ph and 0 for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates.
30 gallon is mid-ish cycle. We have a few large java ferns, a few baby java ferns, some anacharis, some hornwort, a water Sprite, and some type of bushy grass planted in it. Using fluval stratum for substrate and I added root tabs when I set it up. A heater is keeping it around 79. We have an led
light, but a more appropriate light on the way. So far a little melt from the anacharis, but everything else looks good. My husband chose the filter, no idea what it is, but i know we went with a higher capacity (flow rate?). And an air stone. It's about 13 days into its cycle.
Ph has been wavering between 6 and 6.6. Ammonia got as high as 3, and gradually dropped to 0 3 days ago.
Nitrites went up to 2 5 days ago and have been there ever since.
5 days ago nitrates went from 3 to 15 to 30 to 40 and have stayed at 40 for two days.
For tank 1 do I need to continue to provide ammonia until nitrites drop to 0 or just wait for nitrites to drop without interfering?
Second tank is a 10 gallon tank. 10 days into the cycle. Fluval stratum, heater at 79, air stone, filter for a 30 gallon. It had some anacharis, but it melted hard so I removed it yesterday. Still some baby java ferns, water Sprite, and lucky bamboo. A few root tabs. Hygger 18 watt light. Set it to the default 24 hour cycle, 10 hours of full light with long ramp up and down. I've only been testing this tank for 4 days.
Ph has been 6 to 6.6.
Ammonia started a little over .75 and has dropped to .5 for two days.
Nitrites have been 0 since I started testing
Nitrates have been hanging around 4-5
What is up with tank 2? Why do I have 0 nitrites but 5 nitrates? What do I need to do to continue the cycle? Should I provide an alternate ammonia source since I have removed the melting anacharis?
And tank 3. This was our first tank. Almost 2 months in. Gravel substrate, heater to 78, air stone, and filter for a 20+ gallon. A few windelov javas, 2 amazon swords. Same hygger light as the other 10 gallon. We set it up, used the quick start stuff recommended by LFS
and added a betta a few days later. My husband and daughter were handling this one until the cycle crashed, bacteria blooms, algae, and after a few of their attempts to fix things I took over. Ph had dropped to 6, ammonia skyrocketed. It took 3 days of 50% water changes to even begin to register close to the highest end of the scale. (betta is fine and living elsewhere until we get this right) When the ammonia finally started to drop we tried baking soda. Did half of what the lfs
recommended and still wound up with a ph of 8.
Through out all of this the plants are doing well and growing a bit.
Over the last 4 days of testing:
Ph 8.1 to 7.4
Ammonia 8 to 4 after 50% water change. Next day 4 to 2 after 50% water change
Today it held steady at 2. I'm planning to skip the water change for a day now to see if it stays steady.
Two days ago I added quick start
What should I do here for tank 3? Just leave it? Should I be trying to keep ammonia at 4 until the cycle kicks off? Anything else?
Any other general advice?