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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so I have been cycling my tank for a week now with a low stock count of 6 plattys in a 40 gallon and a 10 gallon sump. About 4 days in I had a trace ammonia level of .25 ppm. so I thought great, cycle here we go! well every day after that I get readings across the board of 0. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. Now scouring zee internets and this forum one is lead to believe this is rather possible however I'm hesitant to believe it. why... well I don't know call me a sceptic. When something seems to good to be true it probably is. It is a planted tank running presurized CO2 so I suppose it is possible. In the end all this ranting is to sum up one question. Do partial water changes or just let it ride to see if I can get some readings out of the cycle?? API freshwater master test kit for anyone wondering.
 

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I'd let it ride and keep testing.
 

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My guess is that the plants are growing quick with CO2 and are utilizing the ammonia faster than the platys can produce it (they uptake ammonia better than nitrate). You also have a relatively large tank which would further dilute the ammonia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
this is kinda my thinking. just the little wee man inside me is screaming water change, water change!
 

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It does sound too good to be true haha - it definitely seems "cycled" to some degree since you are testing nothing for ammonia and nitrites. It also helps that you have 6 platys in a 40 gallon (low bio-load). My guess is that any drastic change in bioload (more fish) could cause issues because the filter is not completely "established" but safe to go on adding more plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sorry for the double post here but I suppose the real question here then becomed when will the lack of a bacteria led nitrogen cycle inhibit the natural function of a tank? or will it?
 

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If there's no ammonia present, there's really no need to do more than weekly water changes. If you add more fish to produce more ammonia than the plants can intake, the bacteria will establish itself. If you were to add more fish, I'd do so slowly so that you don't get a spike in ammonia, but at the same time still allowing the bacteria to grow. Maybe up to 6 small schooling fish per two weeks or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks a lot for the feedback everyone. I have done this before but with less knowledge and in reverse. Too many fish and bad cycle of death so this time around I just want to go really slow and let things mature on their own. I would fish less cycle but try explaining to a 3 year old why we can't get fish for 6 weeks or so ;)
 

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Even your 3 year old might get the idea that having 3 or 4 in your whole house is just fine but all of you in just one bedroom ... not so good. Eventually though you could get use to a crowded room but it takes time and that's what you are doing for your fish.

It's great teaching. Many years later that's why I am a hobbyist, those kinds of lessons when I was 3 and 4.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, it is day nine and everyone seems happy as can be. I think I am going to not worry about this too much. Continue to monitor for ammonia and nitrates every other day but I don't expect to see much. I have a tonne of filter media a decent plant load and very few fish. This is looking like a winning combination. Again I thank everyone for the support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so incase anyone was wondering I'm still not reading anything out of that tank. However I did test my tap water for trace elements today and discovered it contains nitrite in concentrations of 0.25 ppm which I'm not sure how to interpret in my concern but the tank definitely reads zero. on the left is tank and the right is tap. weird!
 

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so incase anyone was wondering I'm still not reading anything out of that tank. However I did test my tap water for trace elements today and discovered it contains nitrite in concentrations of 0.25 ppm which I'm not sure how to interpret in my concern but the tank definitely reads zero. on the left is tank and the right is tap. weird!
O_O... Not sure if this is normal or not but nitrite is not good for fish and shrimp!
 
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