Trying to cycle my first tank using real plants

PlantZombie

Hello, here I am, new to the hobby and trying to cycle my first tank using real plants. After one week, I am noticing melting as well as new growth. My water is getting very cloudy. BUT LAST NIGHT, MY GIRLFRIEND SUPRISES ME WITH 2 GLOFISH DANIOS.
Now I guess Im doing a fish-in cycle with live plants and I am a bit overwhelmed. I have API's freshwater master test kit, seachem prime, and have been dosing with seachem flourish advance since the beginning. I also used tetra safe start and complete water care kit in the begening.
My ph is dark blue. (Maybe 7.4 or 7.5?)
Amonia, nitrites, and nitrates are all 0ppm
THE QUESTION:
Am I overthinking things? Or is "time" now my friend and I just must relax and observe my levels?
 

mattgirl

Hello, here I am, new to the hobby and trying to cycle my first tank using real plants. After one week, I am noticing melting as well as new growth. My water is getting very cloudy. BUT LAST NIGHT, MY GIRLFRIEND SUPRISES ME WITH 2 GLOFISH DANIOS.
Now I guess Im doing a fish-in cycle with live plants and I am a bit overwhelmed. I have API's freshwater master test kit, seachem prime, and have been dosing with seachem flourish advance since the beginning. I also used tetra safe start and complete water care kit in the begening.
My ph is dark blue. (Maybe 7.4 or 7.5?)
Amonia, nitrites, and nitrates are all 0ppm
THE QUESTION:
Am I overthinking things? Or is "time" now my friend and I just must relax and observe my levels?
Welcome to Fishlore

Yes, time, patience and a lot of water changes are in your immediate future. What was your ammonia source before you added the fish? Without one the cycle wouldn't have started until now.

What size is this tank? How long have you had it set up and running? Now that you have a couple of fish you should start getting an ammonia reading in a few days.
 

Amyjw

Hello, here I am, new to the hobby and trying to cycle my first tank using real plants. After one week, I am noticing melting as well as new growth. My water is getting very cloudy. BUT LAST NIGHT, MY GIRLFRIEND SUPRISES ME WITH 2 GLOFISH DANIOS.
Now I guess Im doing a fish-in cycle with live plants and I am a bit overwhelmed. I have API's freshwater master test kit, seachem prime, and have been dosing with seachem flourish advance since the beginning. I also used tetra safe start and complete water care kit in the begening.
My ph is dark blue. (Maybe 7.4 or 7.5?)
Amonia, nitrites, and nitrates are all 0ppm
THE QUESTION:
Am I overthinking things? Or is "time" now my friend and I just must relax and observe my levels?
Yup going thru the exact same smh. It will be fine tho.. thats what I keep telling myself
 

PlantZombie

Thanks guys. Is there a rule of thumb with adding more fish over time, during a fish-in cycle? These two little guys are less than an inch and They are in a 20 gallon tank. (Not the long one)
 

mattgirl

Thanks guys. Is there a rule of thumb with adding more fish over time, during a fish-in cycle? These two little guys are less than an inch and They are in a 20 gallon tank. (Not the long one)
I have to think if you are not seeing an ammonia reading after a week or so it would be safe to add a couple more. Personally I would go ahead and add at least 4 more right now but if you do so keep a very close eye on the ammonia. As long as you can keep it down to around .25 with water changes the cycle will grow and the fish should be safe.
 

PlantZombie

I have been adding new fish once a week to my 20 gallon planted tank. I now have 7 little zebrafish. Its been almost a month into my fish-in cycle and I have not noticed an amonia spike, or a nitrite spike, and my nitrates still read 0ppm. Ive noticed some new growth in my brizilian pennywort, and with my S. Repens. I recently put black electrical tape on my beamswork lighting because of hair algae. And ive been preforming 10%-15% water changes every other day with seachem prime. I believe the rockwoll on my amazon sword is adding cilicates and phosphate to the watter so i also ordered some seachem phosguard.
I have a bunch of stone and driftwood for a re-scape and im curious if my ceramic rings and biofoam sponge has enough bacteria to maybe save 25%-50% of the old watter, take EVERYTHING out, re-scape, re-plant, and add the 7 fish back in once Im done.
I have a bottle of tetra safe start laying around, i may use it just to be safe???. Am I overlooking something important? Are re-scapes alloud after only 1 month into my fish-in cycle?
 

mattgirl

I have been adding new fish once a week to my 20 gallon planted tank. I now have 7 little zebrafish. Its been almost a month into my fish-in cycle and I have not noticed an amonia spike, or a nitrite spike, and my nitrates still read 0ppm. Ive noticed some new growth in my brizilian pennywort, and with my S. Repens. I recently put black electrical tape on my beamswork lighting because of hair algae. And ive been preforming 10%-15% water changes every other day with seachem prime. I believe the rockwoll on my amazon sword is adding cilicates and phosphate to the watter so i also ordered some seachem phosguard.
I have a bunch of stone and driftwood for a re-scape and im curious if my ceramic rings and biofoam sponge has enough bacteria to maybe save 25%-50% of the old watter, take EVERYTHING out, re-scape, re-plant, and add the 7 fish back in once Im done.
I have a bottle of tetra safe start laying around, i may use it just to be safe???. Am I overlooking something important? Are re-scapes alloud after only 1 month into my fish-in cycle?
I normally don't recommend making any major changes until a cycle is well established. The first few months it is still fairly delicate. Since you are wanting to do a total rescape you will be removing a significant amount of bacteria since it grows on all the surfaces in our tanks. Should you decide to do the rescape just keep a close eye on the parameters once done.

I do have to wonder why you are doing so many of these small water changes. One big water change as needed normally works better than several small ones. In your case you are lightly stocked so I will recommend you keep an eye on the ammonia/nitrite levels and do water changes accordingly. If you are constantly seeing 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites hold off on the frequent water changes. It may actually be time for you to go to your weekly maintenance water changes.

When I cycled my tank I was doing much larger water changes and was doing them often but I was doing a fish in cycle with a fully stocked tank. In my case I knew there would be a lot of ammonia produced so needed to stay ahead of it. In your case you are lightly stocked so I will recommend you keep an eye on the ammonia/nitrite levels and do water changes according to your numbers.
I believe the rockwoll on my amazon sword is adding cilicates and phosphate to the watter so i also ordered some seachem phosguard.
Before adding any product to your tank you really need to be sure it is needed.
 

PlantZombie

Thank you for your advice. I will hold off with adding product unless I am sure i need it. I think i should have waited for all my hardscape to arrive before starting my first tank.
I thought my frequent water changes were staying ahead of the amonia and helping to reduce algae, but i guess i should let the test kit tell me when to do water changes?
I am giving myself anxiety with all this hardscape sitting here waiting to go in... Lol!
 

mattgirl

Thank you for your advice. I will hold off with adding product unless I am sure i need it. I think i should have waited for all my hardscape to arrive before starting my first tank.
I thought my frequent water changes were staying ahead of the amonia and helping to reduce algae, but i guess i should let the test kit tell me when to do water changes?
I am giving myself anxiety with all this hardscape sitting here waiting to go in... Lol!
Time and patience is the key to cycling our tanks. When we are doing a fish in cycle throw in water changes. In some cases lots of them

Yes, let your test kit be your guide. I do recommend weekly water changes no matter what the numbers are telling me though. With your 20 gallon with just 7 small fish and actively growing plants 30% weekly may be enough to change. 50% won't hurt though.
 

PlantZombie

I am verry grateful for fishlore and all its members help and advice. This hobby is great and I know the waiting will pay off in the end. Eventually, I want to increase my bio load and have corys, ottos, or both as my bottom dwellers, and maybe some red melon sword, and ludwigia repens for color.
 

Jmanrow

Yup going thru the exact same smh. It will be fine tho.. thats what I keep telling myself
I would recommend lowering your pH to 7.0, but not lower than 6.5
Ammonia is more toxic at higher pH. As you lower the pH it changes from free ammonia, to less harmful ammonium.
 

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