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Fishless cycling - killed plant
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.30(Sat)2:35    Post subject: Fishless cycling - killed plant Reply with quote

I started a 55 gallon tank right before Christmas. I filled the tank, added water treatment (chlorine and metal neutralizer). I brought it up to temperature, and added Clear Ammonia to try to get it to cycle quicker. I put in a hornwort that I had just brought from PetsMart. The hornwort I treated with 0.5oz/gal concentration of Alum for the snails. I treated the hornwort for 1.5 days before rinsing it off well and putting it into the 55 gallon.

I left it running, with the HOB filter running, for one week while I went out of town. I had a compact fl light pointed at the plant 10hr/day on a timer. After 7 days, I came back home, and the hornwort was totally dead (yellow yellow yellow). Here are my stats when I came home

Ammonia: 1.5ppm (this was about the same concentration when I left before break)

pH: 7.6 (this is as high as my testing kit gets)

nitrite: 0ppm
nitrate: also 0ppm

Did my plant die from lack of nitrates in the water? I thought maybe it could use ammonia. I think I used the right ammonia, it doesn't bubble, and it saids "Clear Ammonia".

I've empied the tank of most of the water and refilled it. Do you have any idea on why my poor hornwort died?

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Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Location: UK

PostPosted: 2006.12.30(Sat)4:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you are doing a fishless cycle it is best to leave plants out until the cycle is complete, they will use up some of the Ammonia and Nitrites, so in effect compete with the bacteria.

Please don't confuse this with a silent cycle in a heavily planted tank.

Hornwort needs large amounts of Nitrate as plant food, with a cycling tank (as you have noticed), you have 0 Nitrate till near the end, chances are the hornwort starved.

Why did you empty the tank? The bacteria you are trying to grow by cycling, likes to be in water.

Some forms of Ammonia contain addatives, if you shake the bottle does it foam, if so stop using it, and try and find a bottle of "Pure" Ammonia.


PS when you are fishless cycling a tank, it's a good idea to have a steady source of Ammonia going into the tank, if the bacteria had grown well, and finished it off, it could then have died off for lack of food. Thats why I prefer Prawns, as they give off a steady source of Ammonia as they rot.
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2007.01.01(Mon)19:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the plant died from nitrate starvation. More likely that it was burned by the relatively high level of ammonia present.

Plants can utilize ammonia or nitrite instead of nitrate as they are all nitrogenous compounds, ammonia is actually absorbed faster than nitrate if you put them both into the water. The important thing is that the plant is obtaining nitrogen.

What sort of wattage is there on that CF light? Were you dosing any other ferts?

I have no idea what could've killed the plant at this point.
Fishing in the Rivers of Light
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