No Ammonia, no nitrites, or nitrates after 3 weeks fish-in cycle.

johnnygromis

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I'm currently cycling my planted 29 gallon tank going in to week 3 now. And there's no detectable ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates with my API master kit. The kit is not expired and is reading nitrates and nitrites on my other aquarium. I let the tank run for about two weeks use with some bio media from my other tank, and then added some minnows, along with some fritz zyme 7. Its been over a week with the fish and there's still no detectable ammonia. I've been waiting to use my prime but no fish have died and no ammonia has spiked. I've been feeding frozen blood worms and flakes. Is there such thing as over filtering? I have a HOB topfin 30 silent filter and a topfin 40 sponge filter running. Am I possibly filtering out the ammonia? I had detectable ammonia within two days of adding fish in my last tank. It just seems like at this pace my cycle wont be done for another month or so...

Is there anything I'm using that would affect these readings?

I have a planted tank with java fern, swords, anubias
Using flourish fertilizer, flourish excel, and flourish root tabs
Used stress coat or topfin WC in the beginning for my tap water

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

Sgooosh

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I'm currently cycling my planted 29 gallon tank going in to week 3 now. And there's no detectable ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates with my API master kit. The kit is not expired and is reading nitrates and nitrites on my other aquarium. I let the tank run for about two weeks use with some bio media from my other tank, and then added some minnows, along with some fritz zyme 7. Its been over a week with the fish and there's still no detectable ammonia. I've been waiting to use my prime but no fish have died and no ammonia has spiked. I've been feeding frozen blood worms and flakes. Is there such thing as over filtering? I have a HOB topfin 30 silent filter and a topfin 40 sponge filter running. Am I possibly filtering out the ammonia? I had detectable ammonia within two days of adding fish in my last tank. It just seems like at this pace my cycle wont be done for another month or so...

Is there anything I'm using that would affect these readings?

I have a planted tank with java fern, swords, anubias
Using flourish fertilizer, flourish excel, and flourish root tabs
Used stress coat or topfin WC in the beginning for my tap water

Thanks in advance for any advice!
do you have activated carbon? that might be the case.
other than that 3 weeks is enough for a cycle for me.
have any plants in the tank? they could be absorbing it.
also since you transferred filter gunk, you might already have completed your cycle!
 
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johnnygromis

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do you have activated carbon? that might be the case.
other than that 3 weeks is enough for a cycle for me.
have any plants in the tank? they could be absorbing it.
also since you transferred filter gunk, you might already have completed your cycle!
Never used activated carbon. I have a decent amount of plants in there but not a lot like the fully planted ones. If my cycle completed wouldn't I have at least some detectable amount of nitrate?
 

Sgooosh

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Never used activated carbon. I have a decent amount of plants in there but not a lot like the fully planted ones. If my cycle completed wouldn't I have at least some detectable amount of nitrate?
I never had detectable nitrate levels in my tank, and it has been running for like 2 years... perhaps i have too many plants and too little fish.
it could be because it is just getting absorbed by plants

what filter do you have?
 

Byron

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The "cycling" is most likely the benefit of the plants. I have always had fast-growing plants (floaters are best, but swords, stem plants also work here) and never had ammonia or nitrite in more than 30 years. Nitrate is in the 0-5 ppm range and always has been. Plants use ammonia/ammonium as their preferred source of nitrogen, and they can assimilate a lot of it. This is why you never need to "cycle" a well-planted tank.

Nitrate may remain zero, or it may appear at some point depending upon the stocking. The more fish there are, the more they are fed, the more waste which results in nitrate. But those of us with well-planted tanks can have zero nitrate for years. Since nitrate is harmful to fish, this is a good thing. I would not waste your money or effort on additional so-called bacterial supplements.

As for the plant additives, do not use Excel, this is a highly toxic disinfectant. I know not everyone will agree, but I don't care. The fact is that used as directed some plants will be killed, algae may be killed, and no product that does this should ever get inside fish.

The Flourish Tabs are excellent for large rooted plants like swords. They really are incredible. The Flourish Comprehensive Supplement liquid is good and safe but use it sparingly. Too much and problem algae may appear. Everything has to be in balance.

Do not use Stress Coat, it contains aloe vera and this is dangerous to fish, especially the gills.

No idea about Top Fin, but will say the best conditioner on the market is probably API's Tap Water Conditioner. It is the most highly concentrated so less is needed (good for fish), and it does what usually needs to be done and no more.
 

Sgooosh

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The "cycling" is most likely the benefit of the plants. I have always had fast-growing plants (floaters are best, but swords, stem plants also work here) and never had ammonia or nitrite in more than 30 years. Nitrate is in the 0-5 ppm range and always has been. Plants use ammonia/ammonium as their preferred source of nitrogen, and they can assimilate a lot of it. This is why you never need to "cycle" a well-planted tank.

Nitrate may remain zero, or it may appear at some point depending upon the stocking. The more fish there are, the more they are fed, the more waste which results in nitrate. But those of us with well-planted tanks can have zero nitrate for years. Since nitrate is harmful to fish, this is a good thing. I would not waste your money or effort on additional so-called bacterial supplements.

As for the plant additives, do not use Excel, this is a highly toxic disinfectant. I know not everyone will agree, but I don't care. The fact is that used as directed some plants will be killed, algae may be killed, and no product that does this should ever get inside fish.

The Flourish Tabs are excellent for large rooted plants like swords. They really are incredible. The Flourish Comprehensive Supplement liquid is good and safe but use it sparingly. Too much and problem algae may appear. Everything has to be in balance.

Do not use Stress Coat, it contains aloe vera and this is dangerous to fish, especially the gills.

No idea about Top Fin, but will say the best conditioner on the market is probably API's Tap Water Conditioner. It is the most highly concentrated so less is needed (good for fish), and it does what usually needs to be done and no more.
I wholeheartedly agree, I used flourish and api tap water after 2 failed attempts at keeping fish, and countless attempts at keeping fussy plants, but now they really "flourish"
 

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