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Old 02-24-2011, 12:16 AM   #1
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Plants vs Ammonia / Nitrites / Nitrates

If Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates were all present in a fresh water tank, is there any specific order which the plants will use first?
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:20 AM   #2
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Can do just fine with ammonia and nitrite present in the aquarium, but the nitrate might be another thing...
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:29 AM   #3
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Do you know if Nitrites are used before Ammonia, if there is an order at all?
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:06 AM   #4
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I don't think there's any order, they can all be used. Also, a lot of the ammonia and nitrite get taken up by the beneficial bacteria before it even reaches the plants.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:33 AM   #5
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Yeah, but thats where my problem starts. My tank doesn't want to cycle which is why I am wondering if the plants are using all the Nitrites before they are able to reach the bacteria. I guess its not the plants.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:57 AM   #6
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But the ammonia and nitrites still go through the filter which is where a good portion of the bacteria is going to be, it will still cycle, even with plants. The plants should help speed things up.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Strange, I wonder why the tank won't cycle then, I was guessing it had something to do with the plants.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:36 PM   #8
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Typically a cycle will go ammonia -> nitrites -> nitrates. Plants use nitrates and that is the reason when people get heavily planted tanks, and/or high tech plants, they need to dose nitrates.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:43 PM   #9
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See I have Ammonia in my tank at levels around 0.2 which have been there about 5-6 weeks. The problem is I am not getting ANY Nitrites or Nitrates. I have 9 super-speedy plants in my tank, will this be the reason?
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:03 PM   #10
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How many fish in the tank and what size is the tank? What filter?
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:09 PM   #11
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Plants will uptake ammonia and nitrite as well. Plants will go crazy with a little ammonia in the water. It is not healthy for fish or inverts though, so when we have to supplement N, we do it in the form of nitrates, as it is less toxic to fish.

Yellow gold for plants though, that ammonia

I always cycle tanks with a lots of plants.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:13 PM   #12
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I have a 35L freshwater tank with 5 zebra danio and 5 guppy. The tank has been running for about 5-6 weeks. I change 15% of the water every other day. Filter is a fluval105. The ammonia is always at 0.25, however no nitrites or nitrates. Any ideas why ?
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:18 PM   #13
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Try taking a water sample down to a pet shop that carries fish and have them test it. Maybe a faulty test kit?
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:19 PM   #14
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My guess: Too many fish too quickly. I think you could successfully keep those fish in 9 gals of water, but I wouldn't add any more. I personally wouldn't have that many fish in the tank after only 5-6 weeks up and running.

5-6 weeks with no nitrites is not unheard of. Cycling can take time. Especially if you have done anything to inadvertently stall it.

Are you doing/have you performed any filter maintenance?

Have you added any meds to the tank?
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolfblue View Post
Try taking a water sample down to a pet shop that carries fish and have them test it. Maybe a faulty test kit?
Is this heard of?

I'm using the API Freshwater testing kit so its not cheap rubbish that I'm using.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:58 AM   #16
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My guess: Too many fish too quickly. I think you could successfully keep those fish in 9 gals of water, but I wouldn't add any more. I personally wouldn't have that many fish in the tank after only 5-6 weeks up and running.

5-6 weeks with no nitrites is not unheard of. Cycling can take time. Especially if you have done anything to inadvertently stall it.

Are you doing/have you performed any filter maintenance?

Have you added any meds to the tank?
The guppy were only added recently but hasn't made a spot of difference to the water variables.

Can you tell me, if I were to change 25% of the water in a day across two different changes, what affect "should" this have on the ammonia level at 0.25? The reason I ask is because I did exactly this Saturday just gone, but no changes in the ammonia. Very strange eh?

I would normally check the canister every 4 weeks but I have been doing weekly checks to remove the guppy fry. Taking out the foam pads and rinsing them with cold tap water. I would replace the filter wool or polishing pads with new. If necessary, rinsing the bio media with clean dechlorinated water. I also run a gravel vac around a small area once a week. I have no medication in the tank, although I have tried added API Bacteria to try kick-start the bio into action.

I have two theories behind the cycle problem....
1. Maybe the water conditioner wasn't working for some reason and there was clorine in the water, this would explain the lack of bacteria. However with the carbon being in the filter, this would have helped remove any remaining clorine.
2. Maybe the tank was cycling but the plants were using all the nitrites before they could be converted in nitrates?
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:13 AM   #17
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Any algae growth? And its possible u have ammonia in Ur tap water, have u tested it? And any sludge in Ur filter?
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:45 AM   #18
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No algae in the tank.

There is no ammonia in the tap water, I tested this a few times.

There is no sludge in the filter or the tank.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:01 AM   #19
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I read an article on here about 30 minutes ago which said the chemicals in the testing kit sometime solidifies on the bottom of the bottle and that I need to shake them violently for 3 minutes. I have been shaking the bottles before using them but not for the recommended 3 minutes. I have just done exactly this and re-tested my water. The results are as follows...

Ammonia 0.5
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 5

Does this now mean that my tank is actually in the process of cycling? Do you think the Nitrite reading is correct? I'll take a sample to the shop on saturday for a second opinion but until then I guess just continue with the water changes.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:55 AM   #20
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You will just have to take it slow and keep the ammonia and nitrites below .25ppm. Ideally they would be closer to 0ppm and once the cycle has established nitrites and ammonia should read 0ppm.

Yes, you are cycling but all the water changes (which you need to do) are slowing the process down.
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