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Re: Hazy water and fishless cycling

> Help! After doing some fishless cycling and getting to 0 ammonia and
> nitrites, I thought everything was fine. I put in some otto cats a pleco
> and a synodontis cat. After a week, I recycled about 15 gallons in my 46
> gallon tank and while I was at it, I cleaned the filter by rinsing the
> sponge in tank water and rinsing the bio pieces in unsoftened tap water.
> After I put everything back together again, with a new batch of yeast for
> Co2, everything was fine. This morning the water was hazy and the
> nitrites measured .25ppm. I had to go out for a while and when I came
> back I changed about 10 gallons of water. This time, the nitrites were up
> to .50ppm. I changed another 10 gallons and the nitrites are still at
> .50. The fish seem fine. In fact, for the first time, the pleco and
> synodontis are out during the day, the pleco is eating algae. What is
> going on and what should I do about it? My guess is that when I rinsed
> out the stuff in the filter I disrupted the biological filter. I had done
> the fishless recycling with water and gravel from a friend's tank, but
> maybe there wasn't a large community of bacteria and I wiped it out by
> rinsing off the filter stuff. Can I wait and see what happens or should I
> be changing more water?

Change your water, like 50%. Do not do fish less cycling. Produces NO2 which
as you can see, plant don't use. NO2 is not good for plants, fish or your
tank. It takes a few weeks(3 or so) for the NO2-> NO3 bacteria to get going
good. A damn good way around this bad idea is to use lots of plants from the
start, add fresh mulm to new gravel and filter, and add nutrients/CO2 light.
The next day after set up, add herbivores. Don't feed for a week or so and
if you do only lightly.

The idea is to never have any NH4 to begin with. The FC adds lots NH3 (which
at our pH's forms NH4). Far more than is produced by the fish. Why do this?
You do not need to do this for a plant tank at all.
 Sure plants use that but not *that much* and the establishment of NH4-> NO2
bacteria is rapid while the establishment of NO2->NO3  bacteria takes much
longer. So then your stuck with all this bacterial produced NO2.
What good is that?
This process does not need to be speed up one bit in a plant tank. Having no
herbivores for a few weeks is not good either. Chances of GW outbreaks and
other algae greatly increase using this FC method. Very bad IMO. I've seen a
few folks do this and I have not seen good or beneficial results once yet.

I'd try using the natural mulm method. You can add fish etc that day. No
need for testing to see if your NO2 are down etc. You won't have them or NH4
since only **much smaller** amounts are produced(some decaying matter(leaf,
fish food etc).

NH4 is almost never present in a fish tank due in large part to the plants.
The bacteria play a role but I've never found any NH4 in my tanks unless I
added NH4 on purpose. Unless I plan on adding it all the time why add it in
the beginning? Let the plant remove it, let the bacteria fend for
themselves, they will fine. Plants will take care of the cycling better.
Tom Barr