My 10 gallon Build Process

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I just tested the water. Ammonia is at 0, nitrite a tiny bit above 0, maybe 0.05, and the nitrate was at 10-20 ppm, I could tell since the colors are so similar. Is this normal?? I haven't gotten any pure ammonia yet since suve been really busy, but I put a pinch of fish flakes in this morning. And I finally found the tiny snail, i haven't seen him since I put him in!
I don't think there's been enough time since Tuesday for the fish food to decompose enough to generate a significant amount of ammonia.
 
The ammonia previously, do they add chloramine to your water?

The nitrates, have you tested your source (tap) water on its own for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
I'm not sure what you mean by the ammonia adding chloramine to the water but I treated the water with dechlorinator when I set it up.

The tap water has between .50 and 1ppm of ammonia, between 0 and 0.25 nitrite, and nitrate is at 0.
 
I'm not sure what you mean by the ammonia adding chloramine to the water but I treated the water with dechlorinator when I set it up.

The tap water has between .50 and 1ppm of ammonia, between 0 and 0.25 nitrite, and nitrate is at 0.

I was asking if the water authority added chloramine (instead of chlorine) to your water; many places in the US do, and I've no idea where you are, hence the question. This can cause ammonia at very low levels. But your post here indicates there is ammonia in your tap water, so that explains the reading in the tank. This is nothing to worry about, the plants will take this up within hours.

The nitrate for the tank in the earlier post is from the plant substrate. Nitrate would otherwise be zero, and stay there, for some time. All of my tanks over more than 12 years consistently had nitrate in the 0 to 5 range on the API liquid test. And I had heavily stocked tanks. But the plants thriving on the ammonia/ammonium and my weekly 50-70% water changes kept nitrate low. Ammonia and nitrate from the plant substrates is not uncommon.
 
Thank you. Should I do a water change then? Or just keep adding fish food for now? When I saw no ammonia and nitrite and high nitrate I thought the cycle was done, but it's only been running for 3 days with mature filter sponges and bottled bacteria. It says ok the plant substrate packaging that it can cause ammonia.
 
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Looks amazing, well done! I'm surprised with that amount of plants you didn't just put in your fish? You've got cycled media in your filter already so with regular testing to be careful and good daily water changes you could have gotten away without an official cycle in my opinion. Probably better to finish what you've started though 👍🏻don't forget to add some floaters!
 
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Thank you. Should I do a water change then? Or just keep adding fish food for now? When I saw no ammonia and nitrite and high nitrate I thought the cycle was done, but it's only been running for 3 days with mature filter sponges and bottled bacteria. It says ok the plant substrate packaging that it can cause ammonia.

Your plants look good, I would not add fish food, it serves absolutely no purpose. You should use a plant fertilizer though, to give the plants a good start. The large swords in the left rear could do with a Flourish Tab (these are very good, replace 1 every 3-4 months). A comprehensive liquid for the other plants is advisable. Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is one of the best. A comprehensive supplement has all necessary nutrients, except those naturally occurring in the aquarium (nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon). The fish will get the carbon going.

You can use the bottled bacterial supplement, but it is frankly a waste of money when you have plants like the photos show. You don't want to be stealing ammonia/ammonium from the plants by encouraging nitrification. And, with plants as here, you are not going to see cycling occurring even if it did. The plants grab ammonia/ammonium, and faster than the bacteria can. The only supplement worth using is Tetra's SafeStart, or Dr. Tim's One and Only but this involves ammonia and I do not recommend that, you could easily kill some of the plants. None of the other bacterial products contain the true nitrifying bacteria, they are next to useless.

As for the sponges, again up to you. I never did this. And I never sa ammonia or nitrite above zero in all my tanks. Once the plants were growing, in went the fish to feed them.
 
Looks amazing, well done! I'm surprised with that amount of plants you didn't just put in your fish? You've got cycled media in your filter already so with regular testing to be careful and good daily water changes you could have gotten away with an official cycle in my opinion. Probably better to finish what you've started though 👍🏻don't forget to add some floaters!
Awesome! I forgot to pick up some floaters when I went to my LFS, so I will grab some soon
You should use a plant fertilizer though, to give the plants a good start. The large swords in the left rear could do with a Flourish Tab (these are very good, replace 1 every 3-4 months). A comprehensive liquid for the other plants is advisable. Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is one of the best. A comprehensive supplement has all necessary nutrients, except those naturally occurring in the aquarium (nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon). The fish will get the carbon going.
I am using a liquid plant fertilizer and the Aquarium co-op root tabs, I would get the florish root tabs but a lot of people said that the small amount of copper in there killed their shrimp. When I got the Amazon sword shipped to me it was really hot so I think it got a little dried up but it's coming back now.
You can use the bottled bacterial supplement, but it is frankly a waste of money when you have plants like the photos show. You don't want to be stealing ammonia/ammonium from the plants by encouraging nitrification. And, with plants as here, you are not going to see cycling occurring even if it did. The plants grab ammonia/ammonium, and faster than the bacteria can. The only supplement worth using is Tetra's SafeStart, or Dr. Tim's One and Only but this involves ammonia and I do not recommend that, you could easily kill some of the plants. None of the other bacterial products contain the true nitrifying bacteria, they are next to useless.
I used the tetras safe start once when I set the tank up and used the right amount according to the instructions.

So is it safe to add fish and shrimp? I can't do it right now since I have guests over but I can in a few days if it's safe.
 
I am using a liquid plant fertilizer and the Aquarium co-op root tabs, I would get the florish root tabs but a lot of people said that the small amount of copper in there killed their shrimp.

This is frankly just my opinion, but I would think it very highly unlikely that either Flourish product would kill shrimp, provided the liquid is not overdosed. The root tabs even more unlikely. First, there is not enough copper to do this, second the Flourish Tabs do not dissolve into the upper water column but only down in the substrate as the plants use them. No one I have ever found has evidence to dispute these claims, so I accept them. But it is opinion.

As for the Aquarium Co-op tabs...these seem to be missing some nutrients, and some of what they say is in them I would question.

However, with the plant substrate these should probably not be necessary, but this gets me to another problem I have with plant substrates, namely some of them require fertilizers just the same as inert sand (or gravel). I'll leave that.

So is it safe to add fish and shrimp? I can't do it right now since I have guests over but I can in a few days if it's safe.

Yes in my view. The plants appear to be alive (how long have you had them?) and if nothing looks wrong in a couple days, move the fish in. Some floaters would seal the deal, but the plants you have are not slow growers and six neons or whatever are not going to have issues here.
 
I have the aqueon liquid fertilizer which a lot of people said it has all the macro and micro nutrients. So I think with the plant substrate, the root tabs and the liquid fert, and then snails and fish I hope the plant will have enough nutrients.

I've had the plants for maybe 4 days? In the tank for 2 days. So far I'm not seeing much melt, maybe a liiitle in the vallisneria.

I'm going to get floaters next time I go to my LFS, I forgot them last time.

I will post updates soon
 
I have the aqueon liquid fertilizer which a lot of people said it has all the macro and micro nutrients. So I think with the plant substrate, the root tabs and the liquid fert, and then snails and fish I hope the plant will have enough nutrients.

I've had the plants for maybe 4 days? In the tank for 2 days. So far I'm not seeing much melt, maybe a liiitle in the vallisneria.

I'm going to get floaters next time I go to my LFS, I forgot them last time.

I will post updates soon

OK, my previous advice stays. Sounds good, and looks nice. :fish:
 
I have shrimps - red cherry shrimps in the small tank and amano shrimps in the community tank. I use Flourish Comprehensive Supplement in both tanks and Flourish root tabs in the community tank. I don't use the liquid fertiliser at full dose as I don't have a jungle of fast growing plants in either tank.
My shrimps are fine :)
 
I have shrimps - red cherry shrimps in the small tank and amano shrimps in the community tank. I use Flourish Comprehensive Supplement in both tanks and Flourish root tabs in the community tank. I don't use the liquid fertiliser at full dose as I don't have a jungle of fast growing plants in either tank.
My shrimps are fine :)
When I run out of the aquarium co-op tabs I will get the florish tabs. Thanks!
 
Tested the water today and the ammonia was at 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate 10. Should I do a water change before adding fish? The ammonia in the tap water is pretty high, so I'm thinking to just leave it but I'm not sure. I'm going to start with the 5 neons and some cherry shrimp, so I don't overload the tank.
 
Tested the water today and the ammonia was at 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate 10. Should I do a water change before adding fish? The ammonia in the tap water is pretty high, so I'm thinking to just leave it but I'm not sure. I'm going to start with the 5 neons and some cherry shrimp, so I don't overload the tank.

I would do a W/C for the nitrate, but we know this is probably from the plant substrate, so not worth it. Keep an eye on nitrate, it does affect fish slowly and needs to be as low as possible. Yes on moving the critters, keep an eye on them, shrimp especially.
 
I would do a W/C for the nitrate, but we know this is probably from the plant substrate, so not worth it. Keep an eye on nitrate, it does affect fish slowly and needs to be as low as possible. Yes on moving the critters, keep an eye on them, shrimp especially.
Will do! Drip acclimating them now.
 

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