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  1. Im so confused! The tank details: I just set up this 55 gallon. It has a fluval fx4 with a heater, bubbler, prefilter, and spray bar. I added the monte carlo about 3 weeks ago and the other plants about 3 days ago. The monte carlo was a tissue culture, so all the terrestrial leaves are melting and new ones are growing in, as well a new roots. Ive added easy green and easy carbon around every other day for the last week and a half. I also added cycled media from my old tanks and beneficial bacteria starter liquid. Now for the problem: I just checked my nitrates and the its sitting really high, around 40-80ppm (i cant really tell which color it is based on the chart). The ammonia is at 0ppm and the ph is around 7. I think it maybe all the melting from the monte carlo causing a spike in ammonia->nitrates. Ive never had this happen during a tank start up. Also, should I do a large water change. I have ludwigia in the tank and have read they dont like dramatic changes in water parameters. If I should, what percentage do you recommend? Update: I just moved into this new apartment thats a few blocks away. I assumed the water was the same. However, this is the reading of the faucet water with dechlorinater in it. Nitrates: 20ppm, ph is at 8.2., ammonia is at 0~0m25ppm. Is this normal? Also, after a 50% water change my waters sitting at about 40ppms still and ph is now 7.8. Should i do another 50% water change?
  2. Hello Fish-Folks! I am preparing a new tank which will be home to my first Discus fish, and I would like to establish and cycle the tank before it is stocked. I have heard about the fish-less cycling technique; seeding bacteria with “Stability” and feeding them with household ammonia. My question is; how high a concentration of ammonia should I be maintaining in the water for this to be effective? I routinely test using the API master kit, and plan to measure the concentration of ammonia by adding and testing, but how many ppm should I be aiming for? My gut feeling is something like 2ppm, topping up as necessary to maintain that concentration and running like that for a month or so. What are your thoughts? Thanks In advance Folks!
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