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Old 06-28-2020, 09:58 AM   #1
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Planted tank help

Hi all!

I am new to the world of freshwater tanks and need a little help! I have a 54 litre planted tank, i have not yet added any fish. I planted everything at the same time around 1 month ago now and I've noticed the bottom leaves of some of my plants have gone really see through, and/ or brown- I've attached some pics for reference!

I leave the light on around 8-10 hours per day and use both Aqua One plant food and Interpret flora boost. i did find a sneaky snail in the tank the other day which i swiftly removed as i thought he may have been nibbling on the plants.

Basically i think my plants look a little sad and i don't want to put fish in until they are healthy and settled. I'm going to do a 10% water change and clean up some algae thats grown on the sides of the tank but does anyone else have suggestions of what i can do?

Thank you
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:17 AM   #2
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Leaf melt is normal. Commercially grown plants are grown immersed not submerged, so arent used to being underwater. Some leafs will melt away, possibly you will lose all your leafs, but new growth will be tolerant to its new conditions.

If your tank is cycled, or your plan is to do a fish in cycle i would add your fish. Even though you are dosing ferts, they will be missing some nutrients that will come from your fish waste.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:06 AM   #3
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Thank you! i was quite worried as lots of leaves have been dying or looking less health since i planted but i guess i have to be patient and everything will be fine in your experience would you say cycling with fish is best then?
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:58 AM   #4
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Personally i prefer fishless cycle. There are pros and cons with both.

Fishless cycle is kinder on fish, and in the long run can be quicker to a fully stocked tank. It will also give your plants a bedding in period before you add fish. Downside in a planted tank would be that the plants will take up some of the ammonia you dose to fuel the cycle and might prolong it a bit. And obviously the wait to see fish swimming about.

Plus side for fish in. Gets you some fish in there quicker, the plants will take up some of the ammonia, so the cycle period wont be so harsh. Downside is obviously the fish will be in less than ideal water parameters for a short while, lots of waterchanges, and you should stock your fishes slowly.

Fish in or fishless is down to you really. Main criteria for deciding is how patient are you. Fish in is fine if you do it properly. Its when people don't know about cycling and put too many fish in, don't know when to do water changes, fish get sick, and then you are trying to deal with getting an overstocked tank cycked with sick and dying fish. If you need any advice on this let us know.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:54 AM   #5
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Thank you for your help Ive had the tank up and running with plants in for about a month now but to be honest i have read so many different articles about how to cycle a tank i don't know where to start, I'm assuming its doing some sort of cycle since i started but i haven't been dosing with ammonia and i haven't completed any water tests yet. Can you recommend a good water testing kit i could purchase?

is dosing with ammonia absolutely key? if so i will purchase asap!

I really don't want to put fish in until its right as i want to do everything correctly and give my fish the best environment i can so I'm happy and willing to wait.

Ta!
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:25 AM   #6
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also as a side note i did my first water change since aquarium has been up and running yesterday (about 25%). the guy in the pet shop told me no need to do a water change however on most forums people are talking about daily/ weekly water changes... argh!

whats this best course of action for this?
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:44 AM   #7
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Hi laura.

If you want to do a fishless cycle you really need to be dosing ammonia. If you dont add ammonia there is no food for the bacteria to consume and grow. This is usually done in the form of an ammonium chloride product specifically for aquarium cycling. Dr Tims Ammonium chloride is the most common, but there are others. You can use pure ammonia, most commonly a really cheap cleaners bleach, but you have to make sure its pure, no perfumes, nothing. Check the label carefully if you go down that route.

You will also need a test kit, preferably a liquid test kit that will test for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Water conditioner if you havent already added it to your aquarium water. And i would recommend a biological booster, like Seachem Stability.

There is a useful guide that people get pointed to on this forum. Have a read through that.

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/tips-...ishless-cycle/

My method though. If your water isnt already conditioned add water conditioner. Then dose ammonia to 4ppm. Be careful doing this as high levels (above 6ppm) will kill off the bacteria you are trying to grow. Read the instructions if you are using an ammonium chloride product and double check testing the amount in a bucket and multiply up to your tank size. Possibly go up in increments of 1ppm to be sure.

Once your ammonia is at 4ppm, then add your biological booster, with additional dosages the following day etc as manufacturers instructions. Then test everyday for ammonia and nitrite. Might take a few days or a week, but you should see your ammonia start to drop and nitrite start to rise. Continue testing daily, and start to test for nitrate as well when you begin to see nitrite. If your ammonia drops to 1ppm or below, top up with ammonia till you get upto 2ppm. If your nitrites are too high to read on your test, do a 50% water change before you dose ammonia back up. After a while (maybe 4 or 5 weeks) you will see 0ppm ammonia and nitrites 24 hours after dosing ammonia and your nitrates will be increasing. This is when your aquarium is cycled and you can start stocking with fish.

When asking questions and looking online for help, expect to get different answers from everywhere and everyone. There is more than one way to skin a cat, if the advice is from someone in the hobby, it is based on their experience and it is what works for them, and you will find what works for you as well.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:40 AM   #8
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Thank you Aiken

I've purchased the ammonia and API testing kit you recommended both should be arriving today! Just to double check and probs a silly question but I'm ok to cycle with my plants in there? the ammonia etc won't affect them?
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:43 AM   #9
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If anything the ammonia will help the plants. Ammonia is a nitrogen containing nutrient.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:15 PM   #10
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Looks like a macronutrient deficiency (most likely nitrogen). Also, is there any reason why you're using 2 fertilizers from 2 different brands at the same time?
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Old Today, 05:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
If anything the ammonia will help the plants. Ammonia is a nitrogen containing nutrient.
Hi Aiken, hope your having a lovely weekend! Wondering if i could ask for your advice again please

I started my cycle on Friday, i tested the water yesterday and the ammonia read slightly below one and could also see there was nitrite present. I dosed half the amount of ammonia i used on the first day,

Today i have readings of 0.25- 0.50 of ammonia and 0.50-1 of nitrite. Im worried about the ammonia, should i dose again? i know it says never let ammonia go to 0 but concerned as mine is below 1.

v worried I'm going to have ruined this already! help!
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Old Today, 06:07 AM   #12
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Hi laura.

You are seeing exactly what you want to be seeing.

Test everyday 24 hours, if the ammonia is below 1ppm dose it back up to 2ppm. Eventually after 24 hours your ammonia and nitrite will both be 0ppm and your nitrates will be rising. Then your cycle will be good enough to start stocking.

Now you are seeing nitrites i would also start to testing nitrates. When that starts rising everyday your cycle is well on the way.
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Old Today, 07:19 AM   #13
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Nitrate is showing as 20 ppm
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