Did my plants eat my nitates?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Machine11, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Machine11Well Known MemberMember

    In the process of trying to get my 50L tank cycled.... On the 29/6 I added 3 plants (annonas?? Not sure of spelling but small green good for Goldie tank) at that time water parameters were
    pH 7.4
    Ammonia 3
    Ni - 0
    Nitrate - 0

    On the 30/6 I added Colony on advice from LFS. Water parameters unchanged from day before

    pH 7.4
    Ammonia - 2
    Ni - 0.25
    Nitrate - 5

    Today (4days after Colony without water changes as reccomended or any other product)

    pH 7.4
    Ammonia - 1
    Ni - 0.25
    Nitrate - 0

    As Goldie owners would know, 3 fantails can produce a lot of waste (and there was a lot on the substrate) than the drop in ammonia and presence of Ni is a good sign things are kicking along.... But did the plants eat the Nitrates?? Or am I misreading the process of Nitrogen cycle in that if ammonia is dropping its likely converting to Nitrites (which hadn't risen) so should be converting to Nitrates which plants use??

    Am I overthinking the process??

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  2. Claire Bear

    Claire BearWell Known MemberMember

    Hi, I am not sure what you are using to measure your nitrates but with goldies in a US 13g tank, there should be about a ton of them. Three plants will not have eaten the nitrates.
    If you are using the API liquid tests make sure and really shake those bottles, especially 2 so that you will get an accurate reading.
  3. Phishphin

    PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    If I'm reading this clearly (and I may not be) it looks like you are doing a fish-in cycle. I believe you may also be using "pre-made" bacteria, which you are refering to as "Colony"? And I also think you were told by the LFS not to change the water after adding the colony?

    Just to clarify, you said Fantails produce a lot of waste? Are they in your tank already after just having set it up a few days ago? Again, I may be misreading.

    If they are in your tank, it is recommended that Goldfish have at least 20 (78 liters) gallons for the first fish, plus an extra 10 (38 Liters) gallons for each additional fish. A 50 liter tank would be too small for one and certainly too small for three.

    Second, I've used premade bacteria colonies to jump start a nitrogen cycle. There have been reports of random fluctuations after using certain products indicating the strength of these bacteria colonies may not be excellent. Even after using these premade colonies, I would recommend water testing daily for at least two weeks to ensure the process has completed. If your test kit is recording ammonia and nitrites, the cycle has not finished.

    Plants will utilize some of the nitrates in a tank, but not all. Even in my heavily planted 15 gallon, I still replace about 20% of the water once a week. I would strongly recommend you do daily water changes of at least 10-15% if you intend on keeping these fish. What type of filter do you have?

    Consider using AqAdvisor fish stocking calculator. I did this for you and included the tank size you provided along with your current stock of 3 fantail goldfish. I assumed you were using the filtration system that came stock and made it for a 15gal. The following report was produced:

    Warning: Fantail Goldfish is not recommended for your tank - it may eventually outgrow your tank space, potentially reaching up to 8 inches.

    Recommended temperature range: 19 - 23 C.
    Recommended pH range: 6.5 - 7.5.
    Recommended hardness range: 5 - 15 dH.

    Warning: You NEED to add more aquarium filtration capacity!!!

    Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is20%. 
    Recommended water change schedule: 95% per week. (You might want to split this water change schedule to two separate 77% per week)
    Your aquarium stocking level is 361%.
    Your tank is seriously overstocked. Unless this setup is temporary, you should consider a larger tank.

    If I misread your original post, I apologize.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  4. OP

    Machine11Well Known MemberMember

    Claire I'm using the API master test kit. It takes a of a beating. But it did register a small amount of nitrates for my other tank so I can only assume that the test is correct
    pHish. Yes I am well aware it is over stocked only after it was brought in April this year where another LFS said "oh 4 Goldie's would be fine"
    I am running 2x 200L HOB. Before using ATM's colony I was doing 2)daily testing (don't tend to give that away) 2) daily back to back 50% WC 3) using API Quick Start daily 4) ammonia pads 5) Ammolock And that still wasn't enough to stop ammonia levels from rising above 8. The tank has been completely torn down 3 times.
    The fish will be relocated to a pond in a couple of months when I get my garden landscaped.

    However the question was. If the ammonia levels dropped where did it go to

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  5. Phishphin

    PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks for the clarification! Sounds like you've done a lot more for the goldies than most folks would upon realizing the situation, so kudos to you.

    It looks like the ammonia dropped, but nitrites increased, suggesting the beginning stages of the nitrogen cycle. Nitrites will rise some more before the bacteria colony will propogate and convert the nitrites into nitrates. Your regular water changes will help with all of that, as you are already aware. The only thing absorbing ammonium is the bacteria that converts it into nitrites.

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