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Plants dying during fishless cycle...should I restart?


doink
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I'm cycling a 2 gallon nanotank with plans to add some RCS for my office. Since I know shrimp benefit from a "seasoned" set up, I've avoided water changes as long as the tank water parameters have not been out of control. I've also added very small doses BacterAe a few times a week, one catappa leaf, some plants. After about 3 weeks, I think I'm close to being done (takes 2 days for 1-2ppm ammonia to result in 0 ammonia and nitrates), but I'm not sure if I've been too hands off with the process? The Crypto leaves have melted (bottom right corner), the banana plant has some white fuzz growing with leaves following off, and the walls are getting pretty filthy. Do I need to start over? Thanks!

20240630_105934.jpg

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On 6/30/2024 at 2:21 PM, doink said:

I'm cycling a 2 gallon nanotank with plans to add some RCS for my office. Since I know shrimp benefit from a "seasoned" set up, I've avoided water changes as long as the tank water parameters have not been out of control. I've also added very small doses BacterAe a few times a week, one catappa leaf, some plants. After about 3 weeks, I think I'm close to being done (takes 2 days for 1-2ppm ammonia to result in 0 ammonia and nitrates), but I'm not sure if I've been too hands off with the process? The Crypto leaves have melted (bottom right corner), the banana plant has some white fuzz growing with leaves following off, and the walls are getting pretty filthy. Do I need to start over? Thanks!

20240630_105934.jpg

I agree with @Cory. Especially since you're only at the 3 week point. Plants melt back; sometimes they recover and sometimes they don't, but to overgeneralize, plants like stability, and starting over would be making them start over, too. Depending on what nutrients you've got in your substrate, you might add some liquid fertilizer, though that will throw off the nitrate readings you're using for cycling.

A lot of newly-set-up tanks go through an "ugly phase" about a month or two in where the tank is finding its equilibrium and different algaes and other small lifeforms boom and then best. It's hard to tell in the photo, but I think you're going through the diatom (brown) algae phase. You can wipe down the glass and do a water change if you want, but you can probably also just ignore it and it'll likely go away on its own in a week or two.

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